1 Now there was a certain man in Caesarea named Cornelius. He was [a military man] in charge of one hundred soldiers and belonged to the "battalion of Italy." 2 He was very devoted [to his religious principles] and had great respect for God, along with the members of his household. He gave [money] liberally to poor people and prayed to God regularly. 3 About three o'clock one afternoon [Note: This is based on Jewish time calculations; if Roman time were employed, it would have been
4 As he stared at [the angel] in fright, he asked, "What is it, Lord?" [Note: The word "Lord" here could also be translated "Sir," and its correct rendering depends on whether or not Cornelius understood the angel to be from God]. And the angel replied, "Your [continual] prayers and [generous] gifts to poor people have not gone unnoticed before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa to get Simon Peter; 6 he is staying with Simon, a tanner [of animal hides], whose house is close to the [Mediterranean] sea." 6 AM if calculating by Roman time], to the top of the house to pray [Note: The roofs of houses were flat areas, often used for resting, meals, prayer, etc.].
7 When the angel who spoke with him had left, Cornelius called two of his house servants and a soldier who was devoted [to God], men who worked for him regularly, 8 and after explaining the whole situation to them, he sent them on to Joppa.
9 AM], while he was wide awake, he had a vision in which an angel of God came to him [and spoke his name] "Cornelius."
9 As they were traveling the next day, and were coming close to the city [of Joppa], Peter went up about noontime [Note: Or 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while lunch was being prepared he was overcome by a "trance" [i.e., a semi-conscious, vision-like state] 11 and could see the sky open up and a huge sheet-like container being lowered to the ground by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, crawling [reptiles] and birds. 13 A voice then directed Peter with the words, "Get up; kill and eat [one of] them."
14 But Peter answered, "No, Lord, I cannot. I have never eaten any such ordinary or [ceremonially] unfit creatures."
15 So, the voice spoke again, saying, "What God has made [ceremonially] acceptable, you must not consider ordinary [and therefore defiled]." 16 And after this was done three times, the huge sheet-like container was lifted back up into the sky.
17 Now while Peter was much perplexed over the meaning of this vision, the men sent by Cornelius, having learned where Simon [the tanner] lived, arrived at the gate [of his house], 18 and asked if Simon Peter were staying there.
19 While Peter was thinking about [the meaning of] the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, "Look, there are three men [here] looking for you. 20 Go downstairs and [then] leave with them. Do not worry about anything because I have sent them [to you]."
21 So, Peter went down to the men and said, "I am the one you are looking for. Why have you come here?"
22 They said, "Cornelius, a [military] man in charge of one hundred soldiers, [and] a man who does what is right, [and] who respects God and who has a good reputation among all the Jews [who know him], was urged by God through a holy angel to have you come to his house so he could hear you speak [about salvation, See 11:14]." 23 So, Peter invited them to stay [for the night]. The next day Peter got up and went with the men, [who were] accompanied by certain [Christian] brothers from Joppa. 24 The following day they arrived at Caesarea where they found Cornelius, gathered with his relatives and close friends, waiting for them. 25 When Peter entered [the house] Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet [and attempted] to worship him.
26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, "I am just a man, myself." 27 As they talked, Peter went into the house and found many people gathered together [there]. 28 And he said to them, "You people know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with, or even go near a person from another [i.e., non-Jewish] country, and yet God showed me that I should not consider any person ordinary or [ceremonially] unacceptable. 29 So, I came [here] when I was sent for, without objecting. [Now,] why have you sent for me?"
30 Cornelius [then] said, "Four days ago, when I was at home, praying at the appointed hour (i.e., three o'clock in the afternoon) [See verse 3], suddenly a man in bright clothing appeared in front of me. 31 He said to me, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and God has taken account of your giving money to poor people. 32 Therefore, send [men] to Joppa and ask for Simon Peter to come to you. He is staying at the house of Simon, a tanner [of animal hides] who lives close to the [Mediterranean] sea.' 33 So, I proceeded to send [my men] for you and you have done the right thing in coming [here]. Now, therefore, we are all assembled here before God, to hear everything you were commanded by the Lord [to tell us]."
34 Then Peter began to speak. He said, "I perceive that God truly does not show favoritism toward anyone, 35 but that whoever respects Him and does what is right, whatever country he may be from, is acceptable to Him. 36 He sent His message [first] to the Israelites; [it involved] preaching the good news through Jesus Christ (who is Lord of all). 37 You yourselves know [all this, and] how this message was proclaimed throughout Judea, having begun from Galilee after the preaching of the immersion [taught and practiced] by John. 38 This message was about Jesus from Nazareth and how God specially chose Him [and signified it] by giving Him the Holy Spirit and power. He traveled all over doing good [for people] and healing everyone who was [being] oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we [apostles] are witnesses of all that He did, both in the region where Jews lived and in Jerusalem [as well]. But they killed Him by hanging Him on a tree [i.e., the cross]. 40 However, God raised Him up the third day and made it possible for Him to appear [following His resurrection], 41 not to everyone, but to us [apostles] who were specially chosen by God to be witnesses [of His resurrected body], and to eat and drink with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He [i.e., Jesus] is the One whom God ordained to be the Judge of people who are [now] alive and those who have [already] died. 43 All the prophets have testified [in their writings], that it is through the name of Jesus that every person who believes in Him will receive the forgiveness of sins."
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit descended upon all those who were listening to this message [i.e., Cornelius and his household]. 45 And the believers of Jewish descent, who had come with Peter, were amazed [when they saw] that the gift of the Holy Spirit had [now] been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For [as evidence of it] they heard them speaking in [other] languages [supernaturally] and lifting up God [in praise]. Peter then said, 47 "Who can keep these people [i.e., Cornelius' household] from being immersed in water now that they have received the Holy Spirit just like we [apostles] have?" [See 2:4]. 48 So, Peter commanded them to be immersed in the name of Jesus Christ. Then Cornelius and his household asked Peter to stay on for a number of days.