Cornelius’ Vision

Now at [a]Caesarea [Maritima] there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the [b]Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who, along with all his household, feared God. He made many charitable donations to the Jewish people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.) of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had come to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius was frightened and stared intently at him and said, “What is it, lord (sir)?” And the angel said to him, “Your prayers and gifts of charity have ascended as a memorial offering before God [an offering made in remembrance of His past blessings]. Now send men to [c]Joppa and have them call for a man named Simon, who is also called Peter [and invite him here]; he is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” When the angel who was speaking to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among his own personal attendants; and after explaining everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.

The next day, as they were on their way and were approaching the city, Peter went up on [d]the roof of the house about the sixth hour (noon) to pray, 10 but he became hungry and wanted something to eat. While [e]the meal was being prepared he fell into a trance; 11 and he saw the sky opened up, and an [f]object like a great sheet descending, lowered by its four corners to the earth, 12 and it contained all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. 13 A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” 14 But Peter said, “Not at all, Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is common (unholy) and [ceremonially] unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed and pronounced clean, no longer consider common (unholy).” 16 This happened three times, and then immediately the object was taken up into heaven.

17 Now Peter was still perplexed and completely at a loss as to what his vision could mean when the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions to Simon’s house, arrived at the gate. 18 And they called out to ask whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was staying there. 19 While Peter was thoughtfully considering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Now listen, three men are looking for you. 20 Get up, go downstairs and go with them without hesitating or doubting, because I have sent them Myself.” 21 Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for. For what reason have you come?” 22 They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man well spoken of by all the Jewish people, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and hear what you have to say.” 23 So Peter [g]invited them in and gave them lodging [for the night].

Peter at Caesarea

The next day Peter got up and left with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went with him. 24 On the following day he [and the others] entered Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter arrived, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet and [h]worshiped him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am only a man.” 27 As Peter talked with him, he entered [the house] and found a large group of people assembled. 28 He said to them, “You know that it is unlawful for a Jewish man to associate with or befriend a Gentile, or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I am not to call anyone common or [ceremonially] unclean. 29 Therefore when I was sent for, I came without raising an objection. So I ask for what reason have you sent for me?”

30 Cornelius said, “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour (3:00-4:00 p.m.); and a man [dressed] in bright, dazzling clothing suddenly stood before me, 31 and he said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your acts of charity have been remembered before God [so that He is about to help you]. 32 Therefore send word to Joppa and invite Simon, who is also called Peter, to come to you. He is staying at the house of Simon the tanner by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now then, we are all here present before God to listen to everything that you have been instructed by the Lord [to say].”

Gentiles Hear Good News

34 Opening his mouth, Peter said:

“Most certainly I understand now that God is not one to show partiality [to people as though Gentiles were excluded from God’s blessing], 35 but in every nation the person who fears God and does what is right [by seeking Him] is acceptable and welcomed by Him. 36 You know the message which He sent to the sons of Israel, announcing [i]the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all— 37 you know the things that have taken place throughout Judea, starting in Galilee after the baptism preached by John— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with great power; and He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with Him.(A) 39 We are [personally] eyewitnesses of everything that He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem [in particular]. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross; 40 God raised Him [to life] on the third day and caused Him to be plainly seen, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen and designated beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank together with Him after He rose from the dead.(B) 42 He commanded us to preach to the people [both Jew and Gentile], and to solemnly testify that He is the One who has been appointed and ordained by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about Him, that through His name everyone who believes in Him [whoever trusts in and relies on Him, accepting Him as Savior and Messiah] receives forgiveness of sins.”

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who were listening to the message [confirming God’s acceptance of Gentiles]. 45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them talking in [unknown] tongues (languages) and exalting and magnifying and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “Can anyone refuse water for these people to be baptized, since they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” 48 And he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay there for a few days.


  1. Acts 10:1 See note 8:40.
  2. Acts 10:1 A regiment consisted of about six hundred men, the tenth part of a legion.
  3. Acts 10:5 About twenty-four miles south of Caesarea.
  4. Acts 10:9 The flat roof of a house of this era was accessed by an outside stairway.
  5. Acts 10:10 Lit they were preparing.
  6. Acts 10:11 Or vessel.
  7. Acts 10:23 It was extremely unusual for a Jew to invite a Gentile into the house, much less offer lodging.
  8. Acts 10:25 Or prostrated himself in reverence.
  9. Acts 10:36 Or the gospel of peace.

Cross references

  1. Acts 10:38 : Is 61:1-3; Luke 4:18-21
  2. Acts 10:41 : Luke 24:42, 43; John 21:12-15