Acts 5:12-16

Acts 5:12-16
A Women’s Lectionary 25


12 Now manyA signsB and wondersC were doneD

Notes on verse 12a

A “many” = polus. This is much, often, plenteous – a large number or a great extent.
B “signs” = semeion. From the same as semaino (to give a sign, signify, indicate, make known); from sema (a sign or mark). It is literally a sign of any kind. It also refers to a sign given by God to confirm or authenticate a message or prophecy. It is not necessarily miraculous, but it can be. The Gospel of John generally uses this word instead of miracle.
C “wonders” = teras. 16x in NT. This is a wonder or marvel performed to get bystanders to react. It could also be a portent or omen.
D “done” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.

among the peopleE through theF apostles.G

Notes on verse 12b

E “people” = laos. This is the people or crowd – often used for the chosen people. This is where the word “laity” comes from.
F {untranslated} = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.
G “apostles” = apostolos. From apostello (to send, send away, send forth as a messenger, to commission); {from apo (from, away from) + stello (to set, arrange, prepare, provide for); {probably from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand firm)}}. This is a messenger – someone sent out on a mission as an envoy or delegate. It can also refer to someone set at liberty. Generally, this is a messenger who is meant to be a representative of the one who sent them. They are thus, set apart on a mission literally or figuratively.

And they were allH togetherI in Solomon’sJ Portico.K 

Notes on verse 12c

H “all” = hapas. From hama (at once, together with) + pas (all, every, every kind of) OR from a (with) + pas (see above). This is all; every part working together as a unit.
I “together” = homothumadon. 11x in NT. From homou (together); {from homos (the same)} + thumos (passion, wrath; actions emerging from passion or impulse) {from thuo (to rush along, breathe violently, offer sacrifice)}}. This is having one mind or a shared passion. It is people who share the same desire.
J “Solomon’s” = Solomon. 12x in NT. From Hebrew shelomoh (Solomon, meaning “peaceful”); from shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated). This is Solomon, meaning “peaceful.”
K “Portico” = stoa. Related to “apostles” in v12. 4x in NT. Probably from histemi (see note G above). This is a portico, colonnade, or piazza.

13 None of the restL daredM to joinN them, but the people held them in high esteem.O 

Notes on verse 13

L “rest” = loipos. From leipo (to leave behind, be lacking). This is the rest, remained, remnant, other, residue.
M “dared” = tolmao. 16x in NT. From tolma (boldness); perhaps from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax); from tello (to start out with a definite goal in mind). This is to show courage to take a risk, to venture decisively, to put it on the line for something that matters.
N “join” = kollao. 12x in NT. From kolla (glue). This is to glue together. So it is joining, spending time with, or being intimately connected to. It can be used for marriage, joining the church, clinging, or adhering to something. It was also used medically for uniting wounds.
O “held…in high esteem” = megaluno. 8x in NT. From megas (big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.). This is the same word used in Mary’s song of praise in Luke 1:46 “my soul magnifies the Lord.” This is to make great, increase, extoll, magnify. It is increase in a literal or figurative sense.

14 Yet moreP than ever believersQ were addedR to the Lord,S

Notes on verse 14a

P “more” = mallon. This is rather, more than, or better.
Q “believers” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.
R “were added” = prostithemi. 18x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position). This is to add, place to, bring together for a reason, or add up.
S “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.

great numbersT of both menU and women,V 15 so that they even carried outW the sickX into the streets,Y

Notes on verses 14b-15a

T “great numbers” = plethos. From pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is fullness, multitude, great number.
U “men” = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.
V “women” = gune. Related to “done” in v12. Perhaps from ginomai (see note D above). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.
W “carried out” = ekphero. 8x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, or make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense). This is to lead, produce, carry out.
X “sick” = asthenes. From a (not) + sthenes (strong, vigor); {from the base of sthenoo (to strengthen so that one can be mobile); from sthenos (strength)}. This is without strength so weak, sick, helpless, frail, feeble. It can also be unimpressive or impotent. It can be used for physical or moral weakness.
Y “streets” = plateia. 9x in NT. From platus (wide, spread flat, broad); perhaps from plasso (to form, mold; to create like a potter shapes clay). This is a street or some kind of broad place like a public square.

and laidZ them on cotsAA and mats,BB

Notes on verse 15b

Z “laid” = tithemi. Related to “were added” in v14. See note R above.
AA “cots” = klinidion. 3x in NT. From kline (couch, bed, mat. Either a couch laid on to eat or for sleeping); from klino (to slant, rest, recline, approach an end, wear; to bend in a literal or figurative sense – to lay down, a day ending, causing an opposing army to flee). This is a stretcher, bed, litter.
BB “mats” = krabattos. 11x in NT. From Ancient Macedonian grabos (oak or beech). This is a bed or pallet. It is a place for poor people, perhaps made of a quilt or a mat. Always used to refer to sick people on mats – 9x in the Gospels and 2x in the book of Acts.

in order that Peter’sCC shadowDD might fallEE on some of them as he cameFF by. 

Notes on verse 15c

CC “Peter’s” = Petros. Related to petra (large rock that is connected and or projecting like a rock, ledge, or cliff; can also be cave or stony ground). This is Peter, a stone, pebble, or boulder.
DD “shadow” = skia. 7x in NT. This is shade, shadow, outline. It can also metaphorically refer to a spiritual reality whether positive or negative.
EE “fall” = episkiazo. Related to “shadow” in v15. 5x in NT– 3x in the Transfiguration, 1x of the annunciation, 1x of Peter healing the sick with his shadow. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + skia (see note DD above). This is to envelop, cast a shadow on.
FF “came” = erchomai. This is to come or go.

16 A great number of people would also gatherGG from the townsHH around Jerusalem,II bringingJJ the sick

Notes on verse 16a

GG “gather” = sunerchomai. Related to “came” in v15. From sun (with, together with) + erchomai (see note FF above). This is to go with, assemble, leave together with, cohabit.
HH “towns” = polis. This is a city or its inhabitants. It is a town of variable size, but one that has walls. This is where “metropolis” and “police” come from.
II “Jerusalem” = Ierousalem. Related to “Solomon’s” in v12. From Hebrew yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); {from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalam (see note J above)}. This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.
JJ “bringing” = phero. Related to “carried out” in v15. See note W above.

and those tormentedKK by uncleanLL spirits,MM and they were all cured.NN

Notes on verse 16b

KK “tormented” = ochleo. 1x in NT. From ochlos (a crowd, the common people, a rabble; figuratively, a riot); Perhaps from echo (to have, hold, possess). This is to trouble, afflict, press on like a mob.
LL “unclean” = akathartos. From a (not, without) + kathairo (to cleanse or purify by purging out unwanted elements); {from katharos (clean, clear, pure, unstained; clean in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense; so, also guiltless, innocent or upright; something that is pure because it has been separated from the negative substance or aspect; spiritually clean because of God’s act of purifying)}. This is unclean or impure, whether a thing or a person. It is something that is not mixed with something that would taint. This is unclean in a ritual or moral sense. It can also mean demonic or foul.
MM “spirits” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breathe, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
NN “cured” = therapeuo. From therapon (servant, attendant, minister); perhaps from theros (properly heat and so used for summer); from thero (to heat). This is to serve, care, attend, heal, or cure. Since it means to attend to, it can be used for doctors, but also for those who serve God. So, it can mean worship. This is where the word “therapy” comes from.

Image credit: Panel from the pulpit at the Reims Cathedral in Marne, France. Photo by Tangopaso, 2013.

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