Acts 14:5

ESV When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them,
NIV There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them.
NASB And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to treat them abusively and to stone them,
CSB When an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat and stone them,
NLT Then a mob of Gentiles and Jews, along with their leaders, decided to attack and stone them.
KJV And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,

What does Acts 14:5 mean?

Iconium (Acts 14:1) is in modern-day Asia Minor. There, Paul and Barnabas have been teaching those who have put their faith in Christ and angering those who haven't. Eventually, the Jewish and Gentile unbelievers have had enough. But, unlike the antagonists in Pisidian Antioch who just run the apostles out of town (Acts 13:50), the Iconians try to stone them.

Stoning was a common method of capital punishment and was authorized in the Mosaic law (Leviticus 20:2; 24:14–16). When performed legally, the condemned was given a chance to repent, then marched to a ten-foot ledge. He was thrown off the ledge and the primary accuser dropped a large stone or small boulder on the condemned person's chest. If this did not kill him, the witnesses followed with more stones. If the stoning was not the result of a formal inquiry, however, and performed by mob justice (Acts 7:54–60), the crowd would simply throw rocks until the person was dead.

When the early church first spread the story of Jesus, it was Paul who enthusiastically and violently persecuted the Jesus-followers (Acts 8:1–3; 9:1–2). When Jesus claimed Paul, He told Ananias, "I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name" (Acts 9:16). This is a foreshadowing of Paul's suffering. In their next stop, Lystra, Paul will be stoned (Acts 14:19). In Philippi, he and Silas will be beaten and imprisoned (Acts 16:16–24). To the church in Corinth, Paul will later describe being flogged, lashed, beaten with rods, and shipwrecked (2 Corinthians 11:23–28). But he will tell the Romans, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).
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