1“Brethren#Acts 7:2 and fathers, hear my defense before you now.” 2And when they heard that he spoke to them in the #Acts 21:40Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent.
Then he said: 3#Acts 21:39; 2 Cor. 11:22“I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city #Deut. 33:3at the feet of #Acts 5:34Gamaliel, taught #Acts 23:6; 26:5; Phil. 3:6according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and #Acts 21:20; Gal. 1:14was zealous toward God #(Rom. 10:2)as you all are today. 4#Acts 8:3; 26:9–11; Phil. 3:6; 1 Tim. 1:13I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, 5as also the high priest bears me witness, and #Acts 23:14; 24:1; 25:15all the council of the elders, #Luke 22:66; Acts 4:5; 1 Tim. 4:14from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus #Acts 9:2to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.
6“Now #Acts 9:3; 26:12, 13it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. 7And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 8So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’
9“And #Dan. 10:7; Acts 9:7those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. 10So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ 11And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
12“Then #Acts 9:17a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, #Acts 10:22having a good testimony with all the #1 Tim. 3:7Jews who dwelt there, 13came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14Then he said, #Acts 3:13; 5:30‘The God of our fathers #Acts 9:15; 26:16; Gal. 1:15has chosen you that you should #Acts 3:14; 7:52know His will, and #Acts 9:17; 26:16; 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:8see the Just One, #1 Cor. 11:23; Gal. 1:12and hear the voice of His mouth. 15#Acts 23:11For you will be His witness to all men of #Acts 4:20; 26:16what you have seen and heard. 16And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, #Acts 2:38; 1 Cor. 6:11; (Eph. 5:26); Heb. 10:22and wash away your sins, #Acts 9:14; Rom. 10:13calling on the name of the Lord.’
17“Now #Acts 9:26; 26:20; 2 Cor. 12:2it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance 18and #Acts 22:14saw Him saying to me, #Matt. 10:14‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’ 19So I said, ‘Lord, #Acts 8:3; 22:4they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and #Matt. 10:17; Acts 26:11beat those who believe on You. 20#Acts 7:54—8:1And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by #Luke 11:48consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21Then He said to me, ‘Depart, #Acts 9:15; Rom. 1:5; 11:13; Gal. 2:7, 8; Eph. 3:7, 8; 1 Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’ ”
Paul’s Roman Citizenship
22And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, #Acts 21:36; 1 Thess. 2:16“Away with such a fellow from the earth, for #Acts 25:24he is not fit to live!” 23Then, as they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air, 24the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him. 25And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, #Acts 16:37“Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?”
26When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.”
27Then the commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?”
He said, “Yes.”
28The commander answered, “With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.”
And Paul said, “But I was born a citizen.”
29Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
The Sanhedrin Divided
30The next day, because he wanted to know for certain why he was accused by the Jews, he released him from his bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down and set him before them.