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Acts 5:3-10

5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled 1  your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of 2  the land? 5:4 Before it was sold, 3  did it not 4  belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money 5  not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart? 6  You have not lied to people 7  but to God!”

5:5 When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped 8  all who heard about it. 5:6 So the young men came, 9  wrapped him up, 10  carried him out, and buried 11  him. 5:7 After an interval of about three hours, 12  his wife came in, but she did not know 13  what had happened. 5:8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you 14  paid this amount 15  for the land?” Sapphira 16  said, “Yes, that much.” 5:9 Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” 5:10 At once 17  she collapsed at his feet and died. So when the young men came in, they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.

1 sn This is a good example of the Greek verb fill (πληρόω, plhrow) meaning “to exercise control over someone’s thought and action” (cf. Eph 5:18).

2 tn The words “from the sale of” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied to clarify the meaning, since the phrase “proceeds from the land” could possibly be understood as crops rather than money from the sale.

3 tn Grk “Remaining to you.”

4 tn The negative interrogative particle οὐχί (ouci) expects a positive reply to this question and the following one (“And when it was sold, was it not at your disposal?”).

5 tn Grk “it”; the referent of the pronoun (the money generated from the sale of the land) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Grk “How is it that you have [or Why have you] placed this deed in your heart?” Both of these literal translations differ from the normal way of expressing the thought in English.

7 tn Grk “to men.” If Peter’s remark refers only to the apostles, the translation “to men” would be appropriate. But if (as is likely) the action was taken to impress the entire congregation (who would presumably have witnessed the donation or been aware of it) then the more general “to people” is more appropriate, since the audience would have included both men and women.

8 tn Or “fear came on,” “fear seized”; Grk “fear happened to.”

9 tn Or “arose.”

10 tn The translation “wrapped up” for συνέστειλαν (sunesteilan) is suggested by L&N 79.119, but another interpretation is possible. The same verb could also be translated “removed” (see L&N 15.200), although that sense appears somewhat redundant and out of sequence with the following verb and participle (“carried him out and buried him”).

11 sn Buried. Same day burial was a custom in the Jewish world of the first century (cf. also Deut 21:23).

12 tn Grk “It happened that after an interval of about three hours.” 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.

13 tn Grk “came in, not knowing.” The participle has been translated with concessive or adversative force: “although she did not know.” In English, the adversative conjunction (“but”) conveys this nuance more smoothly.

14 tn The words “the two of” are not in the Greek text, but have been supplied to indicate that the verb (ἀπέδοσθε, apedosqe) is plural and thus refers to both Ananias and Sapphira.

15 tn Grk “so much,” “as much as this.”

16 tn Grk “She”; the referent (Sapphira) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

17 tn Grk “And at once.” 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.

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