10:9 About noon 1 the next day, while they were on their way and approaching 2 the city, Peter went up on the roof 3 to pray. 10:10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, a trance came over him. 4 10:11 He 5 saw heaven 6 opened 7 and an object something like a large sheet 8 descending, 9 being let down to earth 10 by its four corners. 10:12 In it 11 were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles 12 of the earth and wild birds. 13 10:13 Then 14 a voice said 15 to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter 16 and eat!” 10:14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!” 17 10:15 The voice 18 spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider 19 ritually unclean!” 20 10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into heaven. 21
1 tn Grk “about the sixth hour.”
2 tn The participles ὁδοιπορούντων (Jodoiporountwn, “while they were on their way”) and ἐγγιζόντων (engizontwn, “approaching”) have been translated as temporal participles.
3 sn Went up on the roof. Most of the roofs in the NT were flat roofs made of pounded dirt, sometimes mixed with lime or stones, supported by heavy wooden beams. They generally had an easy means of access, either a sturdy wooden ladder or stone stairway, sometimes on the outside of the house.
4 tn The traditional translation, “he fell into a trance,” is somewhat idiomatic; it is based on the textual variant ἐπέπεσεν (epepesen, “he fell”) found in the Byzantine text but almost certainly not original.
5 tn Grk “And he.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.
6 tn Or “the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).
8 tn Or “a large linen cloth” (the term was used for the sail of a ship; BDAG 693 s.v. ὀθόνη).
9 tn Or “coming down.”
10 tn Or “to the ground.”
11 tn Grk “in which.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “it,” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style.
12 tn Or “snakes.” Grk “creeping things.” According to L&N 4.51, in most biblical contexts the term (due to the influence of Hebrew classifications such as Gen 1:25-26, 30) included small four-footed animals like rats, mice, frogs, toads, salamanders, and lizards. In this context, however, where “creeping things” are contrasted with “four-footed animals,” the English word “reptiles,” which primarily but not exclusively designates snakes, is probably more appropriate. See also Gen 6:20, as well as the law making such creatures unclean food in Lev 11:2-47.
13 tn Grk “the birds of the sky” or “the birds of the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated either “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. The idiomatic expression “birds of the sky” refers to wild birds as opposed to domesticated fowl (cf. BDAG 809 s.v. πετεινόν).
14 tn Grk “And there came.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
15 tn Grk “a voice to him”; the word “said” is not in the Greek text but is implied.
16 tn Or “kill.” Traditionally θῦσον (quson) is translated “kill,” but in the case of animals intended for food, “slaughter” is more appropriate.
17 tn Possibly there is a subtle distinction in meaning between κοινός (koinos) and ἀκάθαρτος (akaqarto") here, but according to L&N 53.39 it is difficult to determine precise differences in meaning based on existing contexts.
sn Peter insisted he would not violate the law by eating anything defiled and ritually unclean. These food laws were one of the practices that distinguished Jews from their Gentile neighbors. The practice made table fellowship with Gentiles awkward. For an example of Jewish attitudes to this, see Dan 1:8-16; 1 Macc 1:41-64; Letter of Aristeas 142; Tacitus, History 5.5.
18 tn Grk “And the voice.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
19 tn Or “declare.”
21 tn Or “into the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).