Galatians 2:11-14 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, lives after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compels thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
‘Peter’ – a few versions have “Cephas” and for 1,500 years a controversy has raged whether it refers to Peter or some other man; but this need not cause any trouble in view of Galatians 2:9, 14; John1:42 and 2Corinthians 1:12. There is no other Cephas known in Scripture.
‘For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles; but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumsion.’ Peter had already eaten with the Gentiles and had taught that the middle wall of partition was broken down between Jews and Gentiles; but when certain Jews came from James he became fearful, withdrawing all fellowship with Gentiles.
‘Dissimulation’ [Greek: hupokrisis] playing or acting a part; hypocrisy (Matt. 23:28; Mark 12:15; Luke 12:1; 1Tim. 4:2; 1Pet. 2:1). Here they acted what they were not, and practised something that they did not believe (2:14).
‘Not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel.’ They acted in hypocrisy which is called here walking “not uprightly” according to the gospel.
‘Why compels thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?’ This was a cutting rebuke in public, but appropriate for Peter who had gone back again on his master (Acts 10:10-15, 28-34; 11:1-18; 15:7-13). This was like the man Peter was before Pentecost, living in fear and torment (Matt. 26:69-75). He had lost some of the boldness for the truth that he had at Pentecost (Acts 2:14, 40; 3:12; 4:8-13; 5:29-32). No man is infallible (1Cor. 10:13).