¶ Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself.
Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:
2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
.5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
.6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:
7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
- Agrippa See on ac2513. He
identified with Jews since his great-grandmother was Jewish.
2 - Happy Paul felt more at ease with Agrippa than with others who tried him.
6 - Promise The promise of the Messiah.
Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise
.9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
.10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
- Why ... incredible The resurrection was a very important
event to Paul ph0310f.
This is implicit in the "promise" of v6. See is5310ff.
9 - Do ... contrary to the name Paul's third account of his conversion. See on ac0901.
¶ Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from
the chief priests,
.13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
.14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
- Whereupon ... Or "While thus occupied,
as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief
12 - Midday The light wasn't sunshine.
14 - Hebrew The vernacular language was Aramaic. Jesus may have been directing the mind of the future apostle to His ancient identity as the I AM which is part of the next verse. See ex0314.
14 - Pricks This was apparently a familiar Greek expression based on oxen resisting the orders of their masters to hasten. Iron goads, kentra, were placed to discourage kicking. See the word as "sting." in 1co1555. The clause is not in any Greek manuscript. See on ac0906.
And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
.16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
.17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
.18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
|15 - I am Jesus In an earlier account we read, "I am Jesus of Nazareth." ac2208.|
Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
- Works Not that works would bring salvation but that they
would characterize the lives of those who have received or were receiving
19 - Vision Paul later prized this personal contact with His Lord. ac0903, 2ti0112.
¶ And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice,
Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
.25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
|24 - Festus said He was unkind. He didn't want to hear more. Paul indeed had much learning. See ac2203. We remember that the Jewish leaders expected little from those who had not been educated in recognized schools. jn0715, ac0413.|
And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice,
and they that sat with them:
31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.