Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin

The priests and the captain of the temple guard(A) and the Sadducees(B) came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.(C) They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail(D) until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew(E) to about five thousand.

The next day the rulers,(F) the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas,(G) John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit,(H) said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!(I) If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame(J) and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,(K) whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead,(L) that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
    which has become the cornerstone.’[a](M)

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”(N)

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John(O) and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men,(P) they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.(Q) 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin(R) and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?”(S) they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign,(T) and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”

18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.(U) 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him?(V) You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking(W) about what we have seen and heard.”(X)

21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people(Y) were praising God(Z) for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.

The Believers Pray

23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God.(AA) “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.(AB) 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:(AC)

“‘Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
against the Lord
    and against his anointed one.[b][c](AD)

27 Indeed Herod(AE) and Pontius Pilate(AF) met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus,(AG) whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.(AH) 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.(AI) 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders(AJ) through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”(AK)

31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.(AL) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit(AM) and spoke the word of God(AN) boldly.(AO)

The Believers Share Their Possessions

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.(AP) 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify(AQ) to the resurrection(AR) of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace(AS) was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them,(AT) brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet,(AU) and it was distributed to anyone who had need.(AV)

36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas(AW) (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.(AX)

Footnotes

  1. Acts 4:11 Psalm 118:22
  2. Acts 4:26 That is, Messiah or Christ
  3. Acts 4:26 Psalm 2:1,2

The Image of Gold and the Blazing Furnace

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image(A) of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,[a] and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps,(B) prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials(C) to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language,(D) this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp,(E) pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image(F) of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.(G) Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”(H)

Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.(I)

At this time some astrologers[b](J) came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever!(K) 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree(L) that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold,(M) 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego(N)—who pay no attention(O) to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”(P)

13 Furious(Q) with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods(R) or worship the image(S) of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god(T) will be able to rescue(U) you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego(V) replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver(W) us from it, and he will deliver(X) us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.(Y)

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven(Z) times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego(AA) and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,(AB) 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God,(AC) come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers(AD) crowded around them.(AE) They saw that the fire(AF) had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel(AG) and rescued(AH) his servants! They trusted(AI) in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.(AJ) 29 Therefore I decree(AK) that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble,(AL) for no other god can save(AM) in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.(AN)

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 3:1 That is, about 90 feet high and 9 feet wide or about 27 meters high and 2.7 meters wide
  2. Daniel 3:8 Or Chaldeans
  3. Daniel 3:17 Or If the God we serve is able to deliver us, then he will deliver us from the blazing furnace and

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