9:1,2. Persecution by Saul.
(The man named Saul is about to have a conversion. Saul was the young man that was educated under Gamaliel, the great teacher of the law. He stood by when Stephen was stoned, and held the coats of them that did the stoning.)
Acts 9:1 And Saul,
(Heb. = desired.)
yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter
(= murder, Gr. phonos.)
against the disciples of the Lord, went unto 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
(= 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.)
to the synagogues, that if he found any of this 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)
whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
(He was a zealous person.
There are those that say; "Every man must have free will to select God as his God." That is not true, because there are some people that have a destiny, and Paul happens to be one of them. Paul's free will was to murder Christians. But Christ had another part of Paul to play in His plan.
This goes back to those that were fore-ordained. This applies to the world that was, referring to the earth age prior to this age of flesh man.
See - "The Elect".)
3-19-. Saul Converted.
3,4. Call to Saul.
-6,7. Command. Arise.
10-. Call to Ananias.
11-16. Command. Arise.
-17,18. Sight restored.
19-. Fast ended.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round
(Cp. Luke 17:24; 24:4., also cp. Matt.28:3.)
about him a light
(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].)
(This flash of light from heaven struck Paul down on the road to Damascus. When God wants your attention, He has ways of getting it. It doesn't matter whether you have "free will", or "one of God election".)
4 And he fell to the earth,
(The presence of God is a shocking thing!)
and heard a voice saying unto 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 persecutest thou Me?
(I.e. when you hurt one of His.)
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."
(= 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, what wilt thou have me to do?"
(Paul was willing to serve God, but God had to get his attention.)
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,
(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" [ph§nŕ] being in the genitive case here, and in the accusative case in v.4. Cp. John 12:28-30.)
but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened,
(A very humbling experience.)
he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
(Paul was being converted here. Jesus knocked him to the ground blind, and then Jesus showed Paul his "destiny", as we will see later in this chapter. We know that Paul was converted and became the author for Jesus Christ to write most of the New Testament.)
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias;
(= whom Yahaveh has graciously given.)
and to him said the Lord in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Behold, I am here, Lord."
(God will use this Ananias to give Paul back his sight, as well as an education.)
11 And the Lord said unto him, "Arise, and go into the street 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 enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus:
(= a flat basket, was the capital of Cilicia. Saul was doubtless one of those who disputed with Stephen [6:9].)
for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen 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 by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints
(= holy, or separate, ones. Cp. Ps.116:15.)
(He, i.e. Ananais, is not arguing, he's just making sure.)
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on Thy name."
(Ananias was asking for reassurance that Saul was the right man.)
15 But the Lord said unto him, "Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel
(Or election. Gr. eklogŕ. Paul did not come by free will. See Rom. 8:26; 9:11; 11:5,7,28. Thess. 1:4. 2 Pet.1:10.)
unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
(Here we have evidence of the 3 level ministry that was to be of Paul. Note the order.
It is for this reason that any true teacher, gifted in God's Word, will also teach on three levels. These levels mean that wherever one person is in the Word of God, there will be a message in it for them.
As those people grow and mature in the Word, they could listen to that same teacher three times and each time through, they should learn something new each time. They will think that it is a new discovery each time through, for God's Word builds on itself, and what is important to the baby in Christ, seeking the milk of the Word, is different then the mature Christian that seeks more then just salvation and baptism. A gifted teacher teaches on whatever level the listener is at. That is why it is important that you learn from the Word of God, and not the words and traditions of men.
Notice there is a difference between those men of free will, and those men that have a destiny, and purpose of the elect of God. Those of the elect know deep inside themselves that they have a destiny and purpose for their lives. Paul knew he had a destiny, only he was confused which way that was. He grabbed out at man's way, instead of seeking God's way. When the time came, God put a stop to Paul's way, and He blinded him.)
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for My name's sake."
(And Paul was up to it! Paul had experienced all levels of humanity, both good and bad, and he had tasted of the other side. Now Paul is hand picked by God to go not only to the Gentile, he was also sent to the rulers, the kings and queens. The "kings and queens" has a deeper meaning for those on the third level, it refers to the kings and queens of the ethnos, that shall lead their people in the final generation. And the other area where Paul was sent was to the house [children] of Israel.)
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 Spirit."
(God does not play game when He speaks to people. God had already spoken to Paul, and already told him that Ananias was coming. Then when God spoke to Ananias, God revealed to Ananias what Paul happened to Paul, and the purpose for his going to Paul. This was no surprise to either of them. Paul received his sight and the Holy Spirit entered Paul at the same time.)
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.
(There were some Bible studies going on here. Reconnoitering.)
Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
(It is one thing to know the Scriptures, and it is something else to understand what they mean. The greatest example of this fact is Paul himself. Paul could quote Scripture, but he had no depth in their meaning.
When the doubt and fear was gone, and after Paul had seen Christ on that day, and heard His voice, Paul knew that Christ child born in Bethlehem was Jesus the Messiah.)
20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues,
(He didn't waste any time. Remember, Saul/Paul was a zealous person.)
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?"
(They were a little suspicious.)
22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded 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. 2:9 & 3:9. Matt. 23.)
which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
(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.)
23-30. Persecution of Saul.
23. Plot to kill (anaire§).
24. Plot known.
25,26-. Escape to Jerusalem.
27. Preaching boldly (parrhŕsiazomai).
29-. Speaking boldly (parrhŕsiazomai).
-29. Plot to slay (anaire§).
30-. Plot known.
-30. Escape to Tarsus.
23 And after that many days were fulfilled,
(= the three years of Gal. 1:18. Cp. 1 Kings 38,39, where many days also implies three years.)
(= Kenites = the sons of Cain. Not our brother Judah. See v.22.)
took counsel to kill him:
(= slay, Gr.anaire§, take off, or away. See 2:23.
Kenites give brother Judah a bad name, but the main thing that we must understand is that they were the heads, the chief priests, and Pharisees, and scribes in the religious community. They thought themselves to be very righteous people, when in fact, they were murderers of all that didn't agree with them. That was their democracy of the church.
We are told by Ezra and Nehemiah that these Nethinims had taken over the Levitical priesthood from top to bottom, by the time that house of Judah [the tribes of Judah and Benjamin] came out captivity in Babylon. Not only was the priesthood taken over, but we are told in I Chronicles 2:55 that these Kenites had even taken over the scribes duties of recording of the Scriptures, and documents relating to God's house, and people.
I Chronicles 2:55 "And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez [Jerusalem's former name], the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab." They came from the house Cain the first murderer. They were the children of Cain, the offspring of the sexual union between Satan and Eve.
Are you starting to understand why the religious leaders plotted to kill Jesus right from the start of His ministry? and why they sought to kill Lazarus when he came out of the grave. They plotted to kill Peter and John during the trial, when Gamaliel spoke out, and they killed Stephen. Now they are again out to murder another person, Paul who dares to go against them. They have the mind of Satan because they are the physical children of Satan, and not of Adam, as is taught in ignorance in most churches today. Friend that is tradition, and that tradition will cause you to become the bride of the wrong Christ in this generation. These Kenites now are laying in wait to kill the one they know as Saul.)
24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill 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] a pleasure, like Felix, Aretas endeavored to seize Paul.)
25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
(Not a cowardly act, but to prevent trouble.)
26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed 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 believed not
(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
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.
(Good old Barnie the preacher was vouching for him.)
28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
(Once the apostles got to know Paul, they wanted to be around him, for he was very knowledgeable of the manuscripts. Paul was a very likable person. He was very zealous person for the preaching of the gospel.)
29 And he spake 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 went about to slay him.
(Gr. epicheire§, a medical word, giving evidence of Luke's authorship of this letter. The Kenites knew Paul was dangerous.)
30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.
(This was Paul's home town.)
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 Spirit, were multiplied.
(The true Word of God coming from a gifted teacher, will make that Word come to life. God's Word will be understandable, and give vitality to your spiritual life to where you simply cannot help but tell others what God has done for you. It brings joy to your soul to know that you have communication with God, and He cares for you.)
32-42. Ănea, &c.
32 And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints 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 Aeneas,
which had kept his bed
(Or pallet, a poor man's bed, see Mark 2:4.)
(Symbolic, #8 = new beginnings.)
and was sick of the palsy.
(This man is going to have a new beginning, and just as this man will see a new beginning, so also will the Church, as Paul and the other Apostles are preaching boldly the gospel of Christ. We will read of this new beginning with the Gentiles in the next Chapter.)
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.
(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. mathŕtria, the fem. form of mathŕtŕs. The Church was open to both Men and WOMEN.)
(Aramaic. The Hebrew for roe or gazelle is Zebee. The Fem. is found in 2 Kings 12:1, there spelled ZibiŃh. which by interpretation is called Dorcas:
Symbolic of the bride of Christ, body of Christ, i.e. the People. Cp. Song of Solomon & Prov.5:19.
For more about her, see - Tabitha/Dorcas - "Women of the Bible.)
this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds
(Compassion for the utmost poor.)
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.
(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 nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men,
(Here we have a double witness.)
desiring him that he would not delay to come to 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 coats 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 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.
(The symbology is that the Gospel through the disciples brought back life to the bride of Christ.
Today we don't go to someone today who is biologically dead and do this, but if you are a true Christian you know that the soul of a dead person is still alive, and with the Father in Paradise.
To the flesh there is sorrow for the dead flesh, but we know that Christ is preparing an army to come back with Him, and set up His kingdom here on earth. God is calling a few good ones home to get ready to join that army. It may be a child here, or a young lady there, but whomever it is, when God calls them home it is for a purpose, and ours is not to question the plan and purpose of God. Peter knew that Dorcas, who's name also is Tabitha was not dead, but was with the Lord. For only reasons that God knows, God gave that young lady back physical life.)
41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called 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 was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.
(By bringing Dorcus to life, the news spread like wildfire not only in Lydda, but in Joppa, and neighboring town, and many came to believe on the name of Jesus Christ by the raising of this woman. It was part of the rebirth of the Church, and the drawing of many to Jesus. Was this done to show how great Peter was? No, It was the name of Jesus Christ that grew, for Peter was only the instrument that was used by the Holy Spirit.)
43 And it came to pass, that he tarried many days
(Gr. men§. 7 [#7 = spiritual completeness, perfection] years after the Resurrection of Christ.)
in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.