(an uh ni' uhss) Greek form of the Hebrew name Hananiah, which means “Yahweh has dealt graciously.” 1. Husband of Sapphira (Acts 5:1-6). They sold private property, the proceeds of which they were to give to the common fund of the early Jerusalem church (Acts 4:32-34). They did not give all the proceeds from the sale, as they claimed, and both were struck dead for having lied to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3,Acts 5:10). 2. A disciple who lived in the city of Damascus (Acts 9:10-19). In response to a vision he received from the Lord, this Ananias visited Saul (Paul) three days after Saul had his Damascus road experience. Ananias laid his hands on Saul, after which Saul received both the Holy Spirit and his sight.
Acts 9:18 may imply that Ananias was the one who baptized Saul. 3. The Jewish high priest Ananias from A.D. 47 to 58 (Acts 23:2;
Acts 24:1). As high priest, he was president of the Jewish court known as the Sanhedrin which tried Paul in Jerusalem (Acts 23:1). As was typical of high priests who belonged to the aristocratic Jewish group known as the Sadducees, he was quite concerned to appease Roman authorities and representatives. This desire may have prompted Ananias to take such a personal interest in the case of Paul (Acts 24:1-2), since some Roman authorities suspected the apostle of sedition against Rome (Acts 21:38). Because of Ananias' pro-Roman sentiments, he was assassinated by anti-Roman Jewish revolutionaries at the outbreak of the first great Jewish revolt against Rome in the year A.D. 66. See Sadducees; Sanhedrin.