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THERE was in Caesarea a man called Cornelius, a centurion of the regiment which is called the Italian,
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A man righteous and God-fearing, as were all his household;
who gave alms to the people abundantly, and always sought after God.
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Very openly in a vision about three o’clock in the afternoon he saw an angel of God who came in to him, and said to him, Cornelius.
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And he looked at the angel and was afraid, and he said, What is it, my Lord?
And the angel said to him, Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.
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And now send men to the city of Joppa and bring here Simon who is called Peter:
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Behold he is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the seaside.
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And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household and a soldier who believed in God and was obedient to him,
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And he related to them everything that he had seen, and sent them to Joppa.
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¶ The next day, while they were on their journey, drawing near to the city, Simon Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about noontime.
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And he became hungry, and wanted to eat;
but while they were preparing food for him, he fell into a trance.
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And he saw the heaven open and something fastened at the four corners, resembling a large linen cloth, was let down from heaven to the earth;
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And there were in it all kinds of fourfooted beasts and creeping things of the earth and birds of the air.
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And there came a voice to him, saying, Simon Peter, rise;
kill and eat.
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But Simon Peter said, Far be it, my Lord;
for I have never eaten anything which was unclean and defiled.
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And again the voice came to him a second time, What God has cleansed, you should not call unclean.
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This happened the third time;
then the cloth was lifted up to the heaven.
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Now while Simon Peter was bewildered, wondering in himself what the vision he had seen should mean, the men who were sent by Cornelius arrived, and enquired for the house in which Simon Peter had been staying, and they came and stood at the door of the courtyard.
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And from there they called and asked if Simon who is called Peter stayed there.
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While Simon Peter meditated about the vision, the Spirit said to him, Behold, three men seek you.
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Arise, go down and go with them, without doubt in your mind;
for I have sent them.
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Then Simon Peter went down to the men and said, I am the man you seek.
What is the purpose of your mission?
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They said to him, A man called Cornelius, a righteous and God-fearing centurion of whom all the Jewish people speak well, was told in a vision by a holy angel to send and bring you to his house and to hear words from you.
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So Simon Peter brought them into the place where he was staying and welcomed them.
The next day he arose and went with them, and a few men from amongst the brethren of Joppa accompanied him.
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And the next day they entered Caesarea.
And Cornelius was waiting for them, and all his relatives and also his dear friends were assembled with him.
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And just as Simon Peter was entering, Cornelius met him and threw himself at his feet and worshipped him.
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But Simon Peter raised him, saying, Stand up;
I am but a man also.
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And after he had talked with him, he went in and found a great many people had come there.
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So he said to them, You know well that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with a stranger who is not of his tribe;
but God has showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
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This is why I came at once when you sent for me;
but now let me ask you, for what reason have you sent for me?
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Then Cornelius said to him, Four days I have been fasting;
and at three o’clock in the afternoon while I was praying in my house, a man dressed in white garments stood before me,
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And said to me, Cornelius your prayer has been heard, and your alms are a memorial before God.
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But send to the city of Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter;
behold he is staying in the house of Simon the tanner, by the seaside;
and he will come and talk with you.
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At that very time I sent for you, and you have done well to come.
Behold we are all here present before you, and we wish to hear everything commanded you from God.
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Then Simon Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons;
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But among all people, he who fears him and works righteousness is accepted with him.