Acts 9


Saul begins expansion of persecution but encounters Jesus 1
Ananias Baptizes Saul 10
Saul argues for Christ 20
Escape from death plot 23
Saul joins believers in Jerusalem; churches at rest 26
Peter comes to Lydda and heals a man 32
Peter calls Tabitha to life 36
Text Comments
The account of Paul's conversion appears below and also in Acts 22:4-11 and Acts 26:9-18.
.1 ¶ And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
.2  And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
.3  And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
.4  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
.5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
  1 - Breathing out From empneo, "to breathe in or on. See ac0803.
  1 - Slaughter Rather "murder."
  1 - Against ... disciples Saul had spoken his approval ac2610. He soon had the backing of the the chief priests.
  1 - High priests Annas or Caiphas. See ac0406.
  3 - Near Damascus The site is unknown although it must have been near Damascus.
  3 - Suddenly ... light The whole story is told again as noted above.
  3 - Shined  Better translated "flashed." It was at noon according to ac2206 and ac2613.
  4 - Fell Saul and those with him ac2614 fell. Perhaps it was like the influence of the angel at the tomb mt2802. Incidentally, we are not told that any of the travelers were riding horses.
  4 - Saul, Saul Up to this point the name is written in Greek is saulos. Here it is in Hebrew transliterated as Saoul.
  4 - Why persecutest? Christ identifies with His afflicted people is6309, zc0208, mt1040.
  5 - Lord Saul apparently sensed the divine presence but would not have understood its full significance. See jn0138.
.6  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
.7  And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
.8  And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
 9  And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
  6 - And he trembling and astonished said These words are not found in Greek manuscripts and were probably added from the Latin Vulgate by The preparation of the textus receptus by Erasmus. The same holds for the last clause of v5
  7 - Hearing a voice From akouontes ... tes phontes.  In the account at 22:9 Paul says that the companions "heard not the voice." ten ... phonen ouk ekousan. The verb akouo "to hear" may indicates the ability to hear sound or to understand (as Mark 4:33; 1 Cor. 14:2). The Greek grammar indicates that they heard but did not understand. In 22:9 the verb is phonen and with "not" indicates that they did not hear well enough to understand. In summary, the Greek indicates harmony between the two accounts.
Events following Saul's encounter with the Jesus.
.10 ¶ And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
.11  And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
 12  And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
 13  Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
 14  And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
   10 - Ananias God worked through His human agent to heal and guide Saul.
   11 - House of Judas, Inquire for Saul God revealed a specific plan to Ananias. He is just as real today although He often directs our paths without our realizing it. At the beginning of Saul's Christian life, he and the believers needed the boost of faith in knowing about the vision and how God had led. Once people have the evidence, God leads without our seeing it as directly.
.15  But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
 16  For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
 17  And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
 18  And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
 19  And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
 15 - Go thy way The words "thy way" were added by translators. God was not directing ananias to not be concerned or to leave town but to go ahead and obey. God new the whole situation.
  15  - Vessel  From skeuos with a variety of meanings like "implement." See how it is used in mt1348, lu0816, jn1929, ac1011, 2co0407. In classical Greek the word was used for a trustworthy slave.
  15 - Kings Fulfilled in part by Paul's encounter with Agrippa ac2601. See also 2ti0416.
  16 - I will shew Saul was given special instructions.
.20  And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
 21  But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?
 22  But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
  20 - Straightway Or "immediately." The same Greek adverb as in v18.
  20 - Christ A better word is "Jesus." Paul was perching that He was the Son of God or Messiah. (Some manuscripts read "Jesus."). See on lu0135.
  21 - Destroyed Better "raised havoc" See the rest of the verse. Paul used the Greek word to describe himself ga0113, ga0123.
  22 - Strength As from Christ in ph0413, 2co1209, 1ti0112, 2ti0417.
.23 ¶ And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:
 24  But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
.25  Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
  23 - Many days Not used for a few days. See the translation in ac1818.
  25 - The disciples Probably "his disciples."
.26  And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
 27  But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
 28  And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
 29  And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.
.30  Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.

  26 - Come to Jerusalem After his three years in Arabia ga0117.
  26 - Believed not Saul was known for sending Christians to their death.
  27 - Lord ... had spoken to him The reluctant disciples needed this assurance. We need to uphold others in ministry as far as possible and avoid damaging their reputation by our criticism.
  29 - Grecians In this case, Jews of the Hellenistic culture popular at that time.
Image © GoodSalt.com
.31  Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
.32 ¶ And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.
 33  And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.
 34  And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.
 35  And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.
  32 - Lydda A town about 9 miles (14 km.) east of Joppa on the road to Jerusalem. Earlier called Lud or Lod 1ch0812. See Joppa on map.
.36 ¶ Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
 37  And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
 38  And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
Image from old book is not sharp but probably more like it was in Paul's time.

  36 - Joppa See map. Modern Jaffa. A seaport. The city was known to Egyptians in the 15th century BC and is mentioned a number of times in Acts. See 2ch0216, ezr0307, jon0103, ac1105.
  36 - Tabitha ... Dorcas "the Syro-Chaldaic and Greek names for an antelope or gazelle, which, from its loveliness, was frequently employed as a proper name for women ... Doubtless the interpretation, as here given, is but an echo of the remarks made by the Christians regarding her how well her character answered to her name." (JFB Commentary)
  36 - Good works Some believe she held a church office as deaconess. Philip may have influenced the church there. He was one of seven chosen ones ac0603.
  37 - Was sick and died Notice that she was washed, a custom among Jews called "purification." Placing the body in an upper room was also a common practice. Skeptics who doubt resurrection would not use this case as an example because the lady was clearly dead.
As we can see from this probably19th-century-drawing, Joppa was a hazardous port.
 39  Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
.40  But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
 41  And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
 42  And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.
 43  And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.
Passages linked to often have more than one verse.

  39 - All the widows Luke, author of the book of Acts, often mentions women. See on lu0802.
  39 - Garments ... made The Greek verb tense indicates that it was her practice to make such garments.
  40 - Put them all forth Probably to avoid sensationalism. This was a sacred time. Compare similar actions: mr0539, 1ki1717, 2ki0433. Peter's prayer is an example for us.
  40 - When she saw Peter I like this phrase. She was apparently surprised. Sitting up may also have been a medical action lu0715.
  43 - Tarried ... with ... Simon See ac1006.

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