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Origin of the name ANANIAS.
Etymology of the name ANANIAS.
Meaning of the baby name ANANIAS.


ANANIAS (Ἁνανίας).  Biblical. [Greek form of Hebrew Hananyah (Hananiah) = "whom Jehovah has given"].

    (1) A Christian, who, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of land, and taking a portion of the price, laid it at the apostle's feet, falsely pretending that it was the whole.  On receiving a stern rebuke from Peter for having "lied unto God," he fell down and expired, as did his wife Sapphira, when, coming in three hours afterwards, in ignorance of what had taken place, she repeated her husband's falsehood, and had the same penalty assigned her by Peter (Acts v. 1-11).  It is important to note that while in the fervour of its "first love" the members of the infant Church, most or all of them, sold their possessions, casting the proceeds into a common fund, this communism was not compulsory.  Peter expressly stated that Ananias was under no obligation to sell the land; or, if he did, to cast the whole or any part of the proceeds into the Church treasury; but it was not permissible that he should take credit for an act of self-denial which he had not really done (see ver. 4).
    (2) A Christian at Damascus who was Divinely instructed to receive Saul (Paul) on his conversion, and restore him to sight (Acts ix. 10-18).
    (3) A high priest who, sitting as Paul's judge, was so enraged on hearing the Apostle say that he had lived in all good conscience before God till that day, that he told those standing near to smite the prisoner on the mouth.  Paul replied with the severity which such injudicial conduct provoked; but apologised on being told that the erring judge was the high priest (Acts xxiii. 1-3).  Afterwards Ananias went down to Caesarea as one of Paul's accusers before the Roman governor, Felix (xxiv. 1).  Ananias had been high priest some years previously, about A.D. 47, but had been deposed and sent as a prisoner to Rome by Quadratus, governor of Syria, Jonathan being appointed in his room.  The Emperor Claudius allowed him to return to Palestine, which he did.  His successor in office had been murdered at the instance of Felix, who came after Quadratus, and the high-priesthood became vacant.  He was allowed to fill it temporarily as a vicar or deputy till a regular appointment was made.  At length, about A.D. 63, Agrippa gave the office to a certain Ismael, and the temporary incumbency of Ananias came to an end.  When, then, he judged St. Paul he was not in full office, but only acting temporarily till a permanent appointment was made, and there may have been latent sarcasm in St. Paul's apparently innocent confession of ignorance: "I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest" (Acts xxiii. 5) (Joseph. Antiq. XX. vi. 2; viii. 5, 8; War, II. xvii. 9). (The Sunday School Teacher's Bible Manual, Hunter, 1894)


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