1: But (or, Now) Saul (Heb. = desired), yet breathing out threatenings (see 4:17) and murder (Gr. phonos) against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, (His every thought was, "get those Christians". He wasn't a Mean person but was of the school of thought that this was a cult. He was a excellent Bible student, but couldn't recognize the Truth)
2: And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues (= heifer. Probably the oldest city in the world. First mentioned in Gen.14:15. Founded before Baalbec and Palmyra, has outlived them both. In David's time a garrison town [2 Sam.8:6]. Rebelled against Solomon [1 Kings 11:24]. Many interesting events connected with it. See 2 Kings 8:7-15; 14:28; 19:9,10. 2 Chron.24:23. Isa.7:8, &c.), that if he found being of the way (note the term "of the way" to describe the faith of the believers. See 18:25,26; 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:14,22, and cp. John 14:6), both men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. (He was a zealous person)
G² L 3,4. Call to Saul. M 5,6-. Response. N -6,7. Command. Arise. O 8-. Obedience. P -8,9-. Blindness. Q -9. Fasting. L 10-. Call to Ananias. M -10. Response. N 11-16. Command. Arise. O 17-. Obedience. P -17,18. Sight restored. Q 19-. Fast ended.
3: And as he journeyed (Lit. in the journeying), it came to pass as he drew near Damascus: and suddenly there flashed around (cp. Luke 17:24; 24:4., also cp. Matt.28:3) him a light from heaven (Gr. phos = light [underived and absolute]; the opposite of darkness. Used therefore specially of God [John 1:4,5; 8:12; 1 John 1:5, &c]):
4: And he falling (The presence of God is a shocking thing!), heard a voice (Gr. phõnê. Same as "sound", 2:6) saying to him, “Saul, Saul (up to 13:9, the Greek form Saulos is used in the narrative, but here, v.17; 13:21; 22:7,13; 26:14, the Hebrew Saoul is found. See Gen. 22:11 for the Fig., using name twice), why persecute you Me?” (i.e. when you hurt one of His)
5: And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” (used of Christ, as in 1 Cor.8:6) And He said, “I am Jesus Whom you persecute: it is hard (the text omits, "to him", in the middle of verse 6. The words were probably supplied from the personal narrative in 26:14) for you to kick against the pricks” (= a goad for an animal, or the deeper meaning a point of a compass, i.e. perfect system).
6: And he trembling and astonished said, “Lord (see v.5), what will You have me to do?” (Paul was willing to serve God, but God had to get his attention) And He said to him,
“Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told you what you must do.”
7: Now the men which journeyed with him stood speechless (cp. Prov.17:28 [holds his peace] and Isa.56:10 [dumb]), hearing a voice (the companions of Saul heard the sound of the voice, but did not distinguish the words spoken. Cp. 22:9. This is expressed by the word "voice" [phõnê] being in the genitive case here, and in the accusative case in v.4. Cp. John 12:28-30), but seeing no one.
8: And Saul was raised up from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, (a very humbling experience)
he saw nothing: but they leading him by the hand (cp. 13:11), brought him into Damascus.
9: And he was three days not seeing,
and did not eat nor drink.
10: And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, by name Ananias (= whom Yehovah has graciously given); and to him said the Lord in a vision (see 7:31), “Ananias.”
And he said, “Behold, I am here, the Lord.”
11: And the Lord said to him, “Arise, and go into the lane which is called Straight (= True. It ran direct from the West gate to the East gate. In oriental cities such would be the bazaar), and seek in the house of Judas for a Tarsean, Saul by name (Tarsus [= a flat basket] was the capital of Cilicia. Saul was doubtless one of those who disputed with Stephen [6:9]): for, behold, he prays,
12: And saw in a vision a man named Ananias (2nd man named Ananais, not the same as the first) coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.”
13: Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many concerning this man, how many evil things he has done to Your saints (= holy, or separate, ones. Cp. Ps.116:15) at Jerusalem: (He's [i.e. Ananais] is not arguing, he's just making sure)
14: And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on Your name.” (see 2:21)
15: But the Lord said to him, “Go your way: for he is a a vessel of choice (or election. Gr. eklogê. Paul did not come by free will. See Rom.8:26; 9:11; 11:5,7,28. Thess.1:4. 2 Pet.1:10) for Me, to bear My name in the presence of the nations, and kings, and the sons of Israel (here we have evidence of the 3 level ministry that was to be of Paul. Note the order):
16: For I will forewarn him how great things he must suffer (and Paul was up to it!) on behalf of My name.” (see 22:14-18)
17: And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said,
“Brother Saul (thus recognizing him a fellow-disciple), the Lord, even Jesus, that was seen by you in the way by you came, has sent (Gr. apostellõ) me, that you might receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18: And straightway there fell away from his eyes as it had been scales (Gr. lepis. Only here in N.T. In Sept. Lev.11:9,10, &c. Cp. Tobit 11:13): and he received sight forthwith (the text omits), and arose, and was baptized.
19: And when he had received nourishment, he was strengthened. (There were some Bible studies going on here. Reconnoitering)
Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
20: And straightway he preached Christ (the text read "Jesus") in the synagogues (he didn't waste any time. Remember, Saul/Paul was a zealous person), that This One is the Son of God.
21: But all that heard him were amazed (cp. 2:7; 8:9,13), and said; “Is not this he that devastated (same word as in Gal.1:13,23. Not the same as 8:3) them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came to this place for this, in order that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?” (they were a little suspicious)
22: But Saul was strengthened, and confounded (see 2:6) the Jews (This word has 2 meanings. 1. = a son of Judah; or 2. = a resident of Judea. Here it wasn't our brother Judah. These were Kenites who lived in the land. Check the fruit out. See Rev.2:10. Matt. 23) which dwelt at Damascus (see 2:5), proving (Lit. bring together, compare. Here, 16:10. 1 Cor.2:16. Eph.4:16. Col.2:2,19) that this is The Messiah.(Instead of searching the Scripture to see if these things were so, the Damascenes were occupied with Saul's attitude. Hence we read nothing of believers. Contrast 17:11,12. No epistle addressed to them nor any record of a church there)
F³ R u 23. Plot to kill (anaireõ). v 24. Plot known. x 25,26-. Escape to Jerusalem. S y -26. Suspicion. z 27. Preaching boldly (parrhêsiazomai). S y 28. Reception. z 29-. Speaking boldly (parrhêsiazomai). R u -29. Plot to slay (anaireõ). v 30-. Plot known. x -30. Escape to Tarsus.
23: And when many days were fulfilled (= the three years of Gal.1:18. Cp. 1 Kings 38,39, where many days also implies three years), the Jews (= Kenites = the sons of Cain. Not our brother Judah. See v.22) plotted (Gr. sumbouleuõ) to kill him (= slay, Gr.anaireõ, take off, or away. See 2:23):
24: But their plot was known to Saul (Gr. ginõskõ = to know [by experience, or effort]; to acquire knowledge, become acquainted with; hence, to come to get to know, learn, perceive). And they were watching the gates day and night that they might slay him (nice religious folks right? In 2 Cor.11:22, Paul says, "the governor under Aretas kept the city with a garrison". This Aretas was Herod's father-in-law, upon whom he made war because Herod had abandoned his daughter for his brother Philip's wife, Herodias. Perhaps to do the Jews [not our brother Judah but the Kenites, see v.22] a pleasure, like Felix, Aretas endeavored to seize Paul).
25: Then the disciples took him by night, and sent him down through the wall lowering him a basket. (Not a cowardly act, but to prevent trouble)
26: And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he tried to join himself to (= cleave to = glue together, i.e. he forced himself. See Luke 15:15) the disciples:
but they were all afraid of him, and not believing (i.e. hesitating to believe) that he was a disciple. (Because of his past deeds. They knew what he did when Stephen died)
27: But Barnabas (see 4:36) laid hold of him, and brought him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly (= spoke without reserve) at Damascus in the name of Jesus. (Good old Barnie the preacher was vouching for him)
28: And he was with them coming in and going out (a Hebraism for life in general) at Jerusalem.
29: And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians (= Greek speaking Jews. Here we have the Kenites again, not our brother Judah. They were slave merchants):
but they took in hand to slay him (Gr. epicheireõ, a medical word, giving evidence of Luke's authorship of this letter. The Kenites knew Paul was dangerous).
30: But the brethren having got to know it,
they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent (Gr. exapostellõ) him forth to Tarsus. (They sent [with authority] him home. See 11:25)
31: The church indeed therefore had peace throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and being edified; and walking in the reverence (or love) of Jesus were replenished with, and in the comfort (Gr. paraklesîs = consolation or exhortation) of the Holy Spirit, was multiplied (see 6:1).
H³ T 9:32-42. Æneas, &c. U 9:43. Abode (menõ). T 10:1-48-. Cornelius. U 10:-48. Abode (epimenõ).
T a 32-34. Miracle. b 35. Result. a 36-41. Miracle. b 42. Result.
32: And it came to pass, as Peter passed through all quarters, he came down to the saints also which dwelt at Lydda (Ludd, in the plain of Sharon, about a day's journey west of Jerusalem. See 1 Chron.8:12).
33: And there he found a certain man named Æneas (= laudable), lying on a couch (or pallet, a poor man's bed, see Mark 2:4) from eight years (symbolic, #8 = new beginnings), and was paralyzed (see 8:7).
34: And Peter said to him, Æneas, “Jesus Christ heals you (Gr. iaomai. See Luke 6:17): arise, and make your bed.” (Lit. spread for yourself) And he arose immediately.
35: And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to Jesus (There is a purpose for miracles. See 11:21; 14:15; 15:19; 26:18,20).
36: Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple (Gr. mathêtria, the fem. form of mathêtês. The Church was open to both Men and WOMEN) named Tabitha (Aramaic. The Hebrew for roe or gazelle is Zebee. The Fem. is found in 2 Kings 12:1, there spelled Zibiãh), which being interpreted is called Dorcas (Greek for antelope, or gazelle. Symbolic of the bride of Christ, body of Christ, i.e. the People. Cp. Song of Solomon & Prov.5:19): this woman was full of good works and alms which she did (compassion for the utmost poor).
37: And it came to pass in those days, that she fell sick, and died: whom when they had bathed, they laid her in an upper room. (The symbology here is that the Kenites [= the sons of Cain], were sitting in the seat of Moses and the church was spiritually dead)
38: And forasmuch as Lydda was near to Joppa (Lit. Lydda being near), and the disciples had heard that Peter was in it, they sent to him two men (here we have a double witness), entreating him that he would not delay to come as far as them.
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 tunics (or under-garments) and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. (Not much faith. They gave up pretty easy. Don't hang around these kind of people that let the Word die. They have no backbone)
40: But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down (same expression as in 7:60), and prayed; and turning him to the body said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. (The symbology is that the Gospel through the disciples brought back life to the bride of Christ)
41: And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up (Lit. caused her to rise up), and when having the saints and widows, presented her alive.(The Holy Spirit did this through Peter. Peter did not do it. Symbology is presented the church alive, ready to go)
42: And it came to be known (see note on 1:19) throughout all Joppa; and many believed in Jesus.
43: And it came to pass, that he abode many days (Gr. menõ. 7 [#7 = spiritual completeness, perfection] years after the Resurrection of Christ) in Joppa with a certain Simon a tanner (Gr. burseus. Perhaps no one else would receive him).