Acts 10 – Cornelius’ Vision & Caesarea Maritima

Finger Pointing Up

1 1

Sometimes I think I would have preferred to have been born back in the time of Jesus, but I bet things were really touch back then, compared to now.  

But I’m not sorry that I was born when I was born because that was Your choice.

I’m sure it was easier to commit a crime back then, they didn’t have all the technology that we have, and the government couldn’t spy on you.  Yet, the punishments back then were extremely painful.  Having your head cut off, stabbed, crucified, etc.

Speaking of government, tomorrow we’re going to look at another Roman emperor, we’ll look at…

Acts 10
Cornelius’ Vision

2 Caesarea Maritima
Caesarea Maritima is a national park on the Israeli coastline, near the town of Caesarea. The ancient Caesarea Maritima city and harbor was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BCE.

The city has been populated through the late Roman and Byzantine era. Its ruins lie on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, about halfway between the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of Pyrgos Stratonos (“Straton’s Tower”).

1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

“Cesarea” – located 30 miles north of Joppa and named in honor of Augustus Caesar, it was the headquarters for the roman forces of occupation.

“Cornelius” – a Latin name made poplar when Cornelius Sulla liberated some 10,000 slaves over 100 years earlier.

2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.

“A vision” – not a dream or trance, but a revelation through an angel.

4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.

5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:

6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.

3 Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is the second most populous city in Israel, and No. 2 startup ecosystem in the world (Silicon Valley, CA is first) with a population of 414,600 within its administrative limits.

The city is governed by the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, headed by Ron Huldai. As the United Nations and all other countries do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Tel Aviv is home to many foreign embassies.

7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;

8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.

9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:

 “Upon the house” – it was customary for eastern houses to have flat roofs with outside stairways.  The roof was used as a convenient place for relaxation and privacy, as it had been in the time of Abraham and Moses.

10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

“Fell into a trance” – a state of mind God produced and used to communicate with Peter.  It was not merely imagination or a dream.  Peter’s consciousness was heightened to receive the vision from God.

11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

4 The Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately 33 miles in circumference, about 13 miles long, and 8.1 miles wide.

The lake has a total area of 64.4 sq miles at its fullest, and a maximum depth of approximately 141 feet. At levels between 705 ft and 686 ft below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake overall (after the Dead Sea, a saltwater lake). The lake is fed partly by underground springs although its main source is the Jordan River which flows through it from north to south.

12 Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.

15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

“God hath cleansed” – Jesus had already laid the groundwork for setting aside the laws of clan and unclean food.

16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,

18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.

19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?

5 Herod
Herod, also known as Herod the Great and Herod I, was a Roman client king of Judea. He has been described as “a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis”, “the evil genius of the Judean.

22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.

23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.

25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

There is no man or woman greater than another, we are all to bow down to God and only to God.

27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

6 Caesar Augustus
Caesar Augustus was born Gaius Octavius on September 23, 63 B.C., in Velletri, Italy. Julius Caesar, his great-uncle, took an interest in Augustus. When Julius Caesar was murdered, Augustus discovered that he was Julius’s heir to the throne. Before Augustus could gain the throne, however, he was forced to battle the armies of both Cleopatra VII and Marc Antony, who had their own plans for power following Julius Caesar’s death.

28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

The primary purpose of Peter’s vision of the four-footed animals was not about food, but that all people are equal.

29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?

30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.

32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.

33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

God loves everyone the same but He does have His favorites or let us say, those He chooses to do His work.

7 Titus was Roman
Titus was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman Emperor to come to the throne after his own father.

35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

8 Vespasian
Vespasian (full name Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus) born at Reate in central Italy in 9 AD, was the son of a tax collector.
He rose to prominence in the Roman army and served in high military and civil posts in the East, Britain and Africa.

42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Caesarea Maritima

Caesarea Maritima (also called Caesarea Augusta), located near the site of modern Tel Aviv, is to be distinguished from Caesarea Philippi, located north of the Sea of Galilee.

9 A section of the Roman
A section of the Roman aqueduct at Caesarea Maritima.

Caesarea Maritima was constructed by Herod the Great from 22 to 10 B.C.  Built to be one of the great cities of the Roman Empire, Caesarea was renowned for its beauty.

The city boasted a temple dedicated to Augustus Caesar, a large hippodrome, a theater (including an inscription that mentions Pontius Pilate), large waterfront warehouses and a sewer system.

Five major roads led into Caesarea. Its harbor, Sebastos, was an engineering wonder that included artificial breakwaters and features that mitigated silt accumulation and wave damage.

Ships entering the harbor passed through an entryway flanked by colossal statues of the imperial family. Underwater archaeology was carried out in the harbor area by the Caesarea Ancient Harbor Excavation Project (CAHEP) during the 1980s.

Paul often traveled by way of the port at and was guarded in Herod’s Praetorium there during the last two years of procurator Antonius Felix’s governorship (c. 58-59 A.D.).

10 The Roman theater
The Roman theater at Caesarea

Caesarea, the Roman headquarters for the province, maintained a large Roman garrison. Vespasian and Titus used the city as a base of operations for the Roman army during the war of 66-72 A.D. against the Jews.

Both Christians and Jews established schools of higher education in Caesarea Maritima. Christian scholars who worker there include Origen, Pamphilus and the church historian Eusebius.

Numerous remain the later Byzantine, Crusader and Muslim periods have also been excavated there.

…Emperor Claudius.

Scroll to Top
Skip to content