What does Acts 5:6 mean?
ESV: The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.
NIV: Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
NASB: The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.
CSB: The young men got up, wrapped his body, carried him out, and buried him.
NLT: Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him.
KJV: And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
NKJV: And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
Verse Commentary:
We don't know why, exactly, God killed Ananias. Possibly the main intent was to set an example of holiness in the church. But the incident does show how God feels about dishonesty in the church. There is no need to make ourselves appear spiritually better than we are. To lie in a setting where the people are specifically told not to judge is the height of foolishness (Romans 14:4).

One of the primary laws of interpreting Scripture is to do so in the context of other passages. Reading nothing but this short passage, God might appear harsh and capricious. He seems to judge Ananias without warning. This knee-jerk reaction would not be consistent with the rest of Scripture. God gave Adam and Eve clear instructions that they deliberately disobeyed (Genesis 2:17). The Bible doesn't give specifics, but apparently Noah warned the people of coming judgment (2 Peter 2:5). God even sent Jonah to the evil Ninevites fifty years before finally telling Nahum to announce He was done with them. For hundreds of years God sent prophets to warn the kingdoms of Israel and Judah before He sent them into exile.

Second Peter 3:9 says God is patient with the rebellious, giving them time to repent and seek forgiveness. Although the text doesn't say how God interacted with Ananias and Sapphira before this event, it is reasonable to assume He did not condemn them for a single spontaneous act. If Ananias and Sapphira were with the others, learning from the apostles (Acts 2:42), they should have known better. But Judas proved that no amount of teaching can change a hardened heart.
Verse Context:
Acts 5:1–11 contains the unfortunate story of Ananias and Sapphira. While the story of Peter and John's arrest by the Sadducees shows the beginning of problems outside the church (Acts 4), the account of Ananias and Sapphira reveals issues inside the church. As people listen to the witness of the apostles and come to a saving faith in Jesus, they donate what they have so that everyone in the church has what they need (Acts 4:32–37). Ananias and Sapphira want to join the wave of altruism, but not completely. God loves generosity, but not shallow performances which attempts to make a fool of Him and His people.
Chapter Summary:
The apostles continue to make hard decisions in the name of Jesus, both inside and outside the church. When Ananias and Sapphira lie to God, the Holy Spirit inspires Peter to pronounce God's judgment on them, protecting the church from the love of the world. Despite the Sanhedrin's watchful eye—and direct orders (Acts 4:17–18)—the apostles continue to preach and heal openly. The guards arrest the apostles, but the Sanhedrin settles for beating them instead of capital punishment. The apostles consider it an honor to suffer on behalf of their Savior.
Chapter Context:
In Acts 5, persecution from unbelievers begins to accelerate. The Sanhedrin has become aware the apostles teach that Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 4). Now, they start to push back in earnest, arresting and beating the apostles. Soon, a mob will kill Stephen, a deacon (Acts 7:54–60), and the Sanhedrin will empower Saul to run down and arrest any Jesus-follower he can find (Acts 8:1–3). The apostles will stay in Jerusalem. Other Jesus-followers will carry His offer of forgiveness and reconciliation with God into the Roman Empire and beyond. The apostles' faithfulness and submission to the Holy Spirit is why we have the gospel message today.
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 5/27/2024 11:58:06 PM
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