Acts 10:10
(10) He fell into a trance.--St. Luke characteristically uses, as in Acts 11:5; Acts 22:17, the technical term ekstasis (whence our English ecstasy) for the state which thus supervened. It is obvious that it might in part be the natural consequence of the protracted fast, and the intense prayer, possibly also of exposure under such conditions to the noontide sun. The state was one in which the normal action of the senses was suspended, like that of Balaam in Numbers 24:4, or that which St. Paul describes in 2Corinthians 12:3, "whether in the body or out of the body" he cannot tell, and, as such, it was, in this instance, made the channel for a revelation of the Divine Will conveyed in symbols which were adapted to the conditions out of which it rose.

Verse 10. - Hungry for very hungry, A.V.; desired to eat for would have eaten, A.V. Hungry. The word so rendered (πρόσπεινος) occurs nowhere else either in the New Testament or in any other writer. Possibly he, like Cornelius (ver. 30), had been fasting till the time of prayer. A trance (ἔκστασις) expresses a state of transition from the ordinary state into a new or different state. Applied to a man, it denotes that state in which the external senses and the volition are suspended, and all his impressions are derived from within (see Acts 11:5; Acts 22:17). It is also used to express great astonishment (Luke 5:26; Acts 3:10; Mark 5:42). In the LXX. of Genesis 2:21 it is spoken of Adam's deep sleep, and in Genesis 27:33 of Isaac's exceeding trembling, and elsewhere of strong emotions.

10:9-18 The prejudices of Peter against the Gentiles, would have prevented his going to Cornelius, unless the Lord had prepared him for this service. To tell a Jew that God had directed those animals to be reckoned clean which were hitherto deemed unclean, was in effect saying, that the law of Moses was done away. Peter was soon made to know the meaning of it. God knows what services are before us, and how to prepare us; and we know the meaning of what he has taught us, when we find what occasion we have to make use of it.And he became very hungry,.... It being in the middle of the day, when it was usual to eat; and perhaps he had ate nothing that day, for those were reckoned the most religious persons, who eat nothing before the Minchah:

and would have eaten; though the Jews say (e), a man ought not to eat near the Minchah, not even the least, lest he should continue at it, and so neglect his prayers:

but while they made ready, while Simon's family were getting dinner ready, preparing the food for it:

he fell into a trance; or an ecstasy, or an ecstasy fell upon him; it was what was supernatural, and came from above, and did not arise from any natural cause in him; he was as it were out of the body, and entirely in the spirit; all the bodily organs and senses were shut up, and all sensible objects removed from him; and he was wholly intent on what was proposed to him in the vision, which filled him with wonder and astonishment.

(e) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Sabbat. ib.

Acts 10:9
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