Acts 5:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 5:7, NIV: About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

Acts 5:7, ESV: After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

Acts 5:7, KJV: And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

Acts 5:7, NASB: Now an interval of about three hours elapsed, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

Acts 5:7, NLT: About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

Acts 5:7, CSB: About three hours later, his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

What does Acts 5:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Over five thousand people have repented of their sins and joined the church in Jerusalem (Acts 4:4). Many of them are not from the area (Acts 2:9–11), and there are many poor people, so the locals provide what they can, some even selling land and houses and donating the money for the apostles to use (Acts 4:32–37). Luke says that Barnabas is one of the generous donors, foreshadowing the "encourager's" generosity with his time and heart: he will later take Saul and John-Mark on missionary journeys (Acts 11:25–26; 12:25; 15:37–41).

The burst of generosity catches Ananias and Sapphira in its wake, but something goes wrong. After claiming to donate all the proceeds from the sale of some land, they keep some of the money back. The description of their choice implies dishonesty—they are lying about how much money they obtained. It's the lie, not the dollar amount, that means they are effectively embezzling what is rightfully God's. Ananias has already brought the money, and Peter confronted him. Because he lied to God, God condemned Ananias to death (Acts 5:1–6).

Sapphira knows Ananias brought the money, but she's unaware that God struck him down. Her husband has died and was buried. She can escape the same fate if she is just honest. She needs to take the example of Abigail. When her foolish husband, Nabal, cheated David of what he was due, David resolved to kill the wealthy landowner. Abigail humbly approached David and apologized, saving her husband from a violent death and David from unjustified homicide. God struck Nabal down for his sin, but Abigail became the wife of a king (1 Samuel 25).

Sadly, Sapphira will not make the same choice.