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August 22    Scripture



Bible Names A-G: Ananias


Ananias in Easton's Bible Dictionary a common Jewish name, the same as Hananiah. (1.) One of the members of the church at Jerusalem, who conspired with his wife Sapphira to deceive the brethren, and who fell down and immediately expired after he had uttered the falsehood (Acts 5:5). By common agreement the members of the early Christian community devoted their property to the work of furthering the gospel and of assisting the poor and needy. The proceeds of the possessions they sold were placed at the disposal of the apostles (Acts 4:36, 37). Ananias might have kept his property had he so chosen; but he professed agreement with the brethren in the common purpose, and had of his own accord devoted it all, as he said, to these sacred ends. Yet he retained a part of it for his own ends, and thus lied in declaring that he had given it all. "The offence of Ananias and Sapphira showed contempt of God, vanity and ambition in the offenders, and utter disregard of the corruption which they were bringing into the society. Such sin, committed in despite of the light which they possessed, called for a special mark of divine indignation." (2.) A Christian at Damascus (Acts 9:10). He became Paul's instructor; but when or by what means he himself became a Christian we have no information. He was "a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt" at Damascus (22:12). (3.) The high priest before whom Paul was brought in the procuratorship of Felix (Acts 23:2, 5, 24). He was so enraged at Paul's noble declaration, "I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day," that he commanded one of his attendants to smite him on the mouth. Smarting under this unprovoked insult, Paul quickly replied, "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall." Being reminded that Ananias was the high priest, to whose office all respect was to be paid, he answered, "I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest" (Acts 23:5). This expression has occasioned some difficulty, as it is scarcely probable that Paul should have been ignorant of so public a fact. The expression may mean (a) that Paul had at the moment overlooked the honour due to the high priest; or (b), as others think, that Paul spoke ironically, as if he had said, "The high priest breaking the law! God's high priest a tyrant and a lawbreaker! I see a man in white robes, and have heard his voice, but surely it cannot, it ought not to be, the voice of the high priest." (See Dr. Lindsay on Acts, _in loco_.) (c) Others think that from defect of sight Paul could not observe that the speaker was the high priest. In all this, however, it may be explained, Paul, with all his excellency, comes short of the example of his divine Master, who, when he was reviled, reviled not again.

Ananias in Fausset's Bible Dictionary 1. High priest (Acts 23:2, etc.; Acts 24:1). Son of Zebedaeus, succeeded Joseph, son of Camydus, and was followed by Ismael, son of Phabi Herod, king of Chalcis A.D. 48, appointed him. The prefect Ummidius Quadratus in A.D. 52 sent him to be tried before the emperor Claudius on the charge of oppressing the Samaritans. Cumanus the procurator, his adversary, was not successful but was banished; so that Ananias seems not to have lost office then, but lost it before Felix left the province; and was at last assassinated by the Sicarii (zealot assassins and robbers) early in the last Jewish war. Violent tempered to such a degree that he caused Paul to be smitten on the mouth for saying, "I have lived in all good conscience before God"; himself on the contrary "a whited wall." Compare Matthew 23:27. 2. A disciple at Jerusalem, Sapphira's husband (Acts 5). Having sold his property for the good of the church professedly, he kept back part of the price, and handed the rest to the apostles. Peter stigmatized the act as "lying to the Holy Spirit," who was in the apostles, and whom notwithstanding he thought he could elude. Ananias instantly fell down and expired. That this was no mere natural effect of excitement appears from the sentence expressly pronounced by Peter on Sapphira, and immediately executed by God, whose instrument of justice Peter was. The judgment had the salutary effect designed, of guarding the church in its infancy from the adhesion of hypocrites; for "great fear came upon all the church and upon as many as heard it; and of the rest durst no man join himself to them, but the people magnified them." Ananias was sincere up to a certain point, for he had cast in his lot with the despised "Nazarenes," but he wished to gain a high name in the church by seeming to have given his all, while he really gave but a part. He was not obliged to throw his property into a common Christian fund (as Peter's words show, "after it was sold, was it not in thine own power?") It was a compromise between love of Christian applause and worldliness; "Satan filled his heart" as "Satan entered into Judas" (Luke 22:3). At the beginning of the course of the New Testament church an awful example was given to guard her in guileless sincerity from the world's corruption's; just as at the beginning of the course of the Old Testament church, Israel, a similar example was given in Achan's case, to warn her that she was to be a holy people, separate from and witnessing against the world's pollution's by lust (Joshua 7). The common fund which the first disciples voluntarily brought was a kind of firstfruits to the Lord in entering on possession of the spiritual Canaan, as Jericho's spoil was a firstfruit to Jehovah of the earthly Canaan. The need there was for such a prescient warning appears from the last protest of the same apostle Peter in his 2nd Epistle, against the growing covetousness and lust within the church. 3. A Jew Christian at Damascus, "a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there" (Acts 9:10, etc., Acts 22:12, etc.). By the Lord's direction in a vision, he sought out Saul in his blindness and foodlessness for three days after Jesus' appearing to him; putting hands on Saul, Ananias was the Lord's instrument of restoring his sight, and conveying to him the Holy Spirit, that he might be "a chosen vessel to bear Jesus' name before the Gentiles, and kings and Israel, as a witness unto all men of what he had seen and heard, suffering as well as doing great things for His name's sake. Ananias told him, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." How striking that Ananias, whom Saul would have seized for prison and death, should be the instrument of giving him light and life. Tradition makes Ananias subsequently bishop of Damascus and a martyr.

Ananias in Hitchcock's Bible Names or Ananiah

Ananias in Naves Topical Bible 1. High priest, before whom Paul was tried Ac 23:2-5; 24:1; 25:2 -2. A covetous member of church at Jerusalem. Falsehood and death of Ac 5:1-11 -3. A Christian in Damascus Ac 9:10-18; 22:12-16

Ananias in Smiths Bible Dictionary (whom Jehovah has graciously given) 1. A high priest in Ac 23:2-5; 24:1 He was the son of Nebedaeus. He was nominated to the office by Herod king of Chalcis in A.D. 48; was deposed shortly before Felix left the province and assassinated by the Sicarii at the beginning of the last Jewish war. 2. A disciple at Jerusalem, husband of Sapphira. Ac 5:1-11 having sold his goods for the benefit of the church he kept back a part of the price, bringing to the apostles the remainder as if it was the whole, his wife being privy to the scheme. St. Peter denounced the fraud, and Ananias fell down and expired. 3. A Jewish disciple at Damascus, Ac 9:10-17 of high repute, Ac 22:12 who sought out Saul during the period of blindness which followed his conversion, and announced to him his future commission as a preacher of the gospel. Tradition makes him to have been afterwarded bishop of Damascus, and to have died by martyrdom.

Ananias in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE A high priest in Jerusalem from 47-59 AD. From Josephus (Ant., XX, v, 2; vi, 2; ix, 2; BJ, II, xvii, 9) we glean the following facts: He was the son of Nedebaeus (or Nebedaeus) and was nominated to the high-priestly office by Herod of Chalcis. In 52 AD he was sent to Rome by Quadratus, legate of Syria, to answer a charge of oppression brought by the Samaritans, but the emperor Claudius acquitted him. On his return to Jerusalem, he resumed the office of high priest. He was deposed shortly before Felix left the province, but continued to wield great influence, which he used in a lawless and violent way. He was a typical Sadducee, wealthy, haughty, unscrupulous, filling his sacred office for purely selfish and political ends, anti-nationalist in his relation to the Jews, friendly to the Romans. He died an ignominious death, being assassinated by the popular zealots (sicarii) at the beginning of the last Jewish war. In the New Testament he figures in two passages. (1) Acts 23:1-5, where Paul defends himself before the Sanhedrin. The overbearing conduct of Ananias in commanding Paul to be struck on the mouth was characteristic of the man. Paul's ire was for the moment aroused, and he hurled back the scornful epithet of "whited wall." On being called to account for "reviling God's high priest," he quickly recovered the control of his feelings, and said "I knew not, brethren, that he was high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of thy people." This remark has greatly puzzled the commentators. The high priest could have been easily identified by his position and official seat as president of the Sanhedrin. Some have wrongly supposed that Ananias had lost his office during his trial at Rome, but had afterward usurped it during a vacancy (John Lightfoot, Michaelis, etc.). Others take the words as ironical, "How could I know as high priest one who acts so unworthily of his sacred office?" (so Calvin). Others (e.g. Alford, Plumptre) take it that owing to defective eyesight Paul knew not from whom the insolent words had come. Perhaps the simplest explanation is that Paul meant, "I did not for the moment bear in mind that I was addressing the high priest" (so Bengel, Neander, etc.). (2) In Acts 24:1 we find Ananias coming down to Caesarea in person, with a deputation from the Sanhedrin, to accuse Paul before Felix.

Ananias in Wikipedia is the Greek form of Hananiah (Hebrew for "Yahweh is gracious"), or Ananiah, a name occurring twice in the Tanakh (Nehemiah 3:23, 1 Chronicles 15:23), and several times in the New Testament and Apocrypha.

Ananias Scripture - Acts 24:1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and [with] a certain orator [named] Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.

Ananias Scripture - Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land?

Ananias Scripture - Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

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