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  Discovery Box

Acts 11:5-10

Context
11:5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, 1  an object something like a large sheet descending, 2  being let down from heaven 3  by its four corners, and it came to me. 11:6 As I stared 4  I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, 5  and wild birds. 6  11:7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; slaughter 7  and eat!’ 11:8 But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord, for nothing defiled or ritually unclean 8  has ever entered my mouth!’ 11:9 But the voice replied a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not consider 9  ritually unclean!’ 11:10 This happened three times, and then everything was pulled up to heaven again.

1 tn This term describes a supernatural vision and reflects a clear distinction from something imagined (BDAG 718 s.v. ὅραμα 1). Peter repeated the story virtually word for word through v. 13. The repetition with this degree of detail shows the event’s importance.

2 tn Or “coming down.”

3 tn Or “the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).

4 tn Grk “Staring I looked into it.” The participle ἀτενίσας (atenisa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

5 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.

6 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).

7 tn Or “kill.” Traditionally θῦσον (quson) is translated “kill,” but in the case of animals intended for food, “slaughter” is more appropriate.

8 tn Possibly there is a subtle distinction in meaning between κοινός (koinos) and ἀκάθαρτος (akaqartos) here, but according to L&N 53.39 it is difficult to determine precise differences in meaning based on existing contexts. The sentiment Peter expressed is like Ezek 4:14.

9 tn Or “declare.” The wording matches Acts 10:15.



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