The Damascus Road
1Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples#Mt 9:10; Mk 10:10; Lk 6:1; Jn 6:3; Ac 6:1 of the Lord. He went to the high priest#Ac 8:3; 9:13,21 2and requested letters#Ac 15:30; 22:5; 23:25,33 from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way,#Ac 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:14,22 he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As#Ac 22:6-11; 26:12-18; 1Co 15:8 he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
5“Who are you, Lord?” Saul said.
“I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied. 6“But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one.#Dn 10:7; Jn 12:29; Ac 22:9 8Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. 9He was unable to see for three days and did not eat or drink.
10There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.”
“Here I am, Lord,” he replied.#Ac 10:3,17,19; 22:12
11 “Get up and go to the street called Straight,” the Lord said to him, “to the house of Judas, and ask for a man from Tarsus#Ac 9:30; 11:25; 21:39; 22:3 named Saul, since he is praying there. 12In a vision#9:12 Other mss omit In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him so that he may regain his sight.”#Mk 5:23; Ac 9:17
13“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem.#Ac 8:3; 9:32; Rm 1:7; 15:25-26,31; 16:2,15 14And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”#Ac 7:59; 1Co 1:2; 2Tm 2:22
15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument#Ac 13:2; Rm 1:1; Gl 1:15 to take my name to Gentiles,#Mt 28:19; Rm 1:5; Gl 1:16 kings, and Israelites.#Ac 25:22; 26:1 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”#Ac 20:23; 21:4,11; 2Co 6:4-5; 11:23-27; 1Th 3:3
17Ananias went and entered the house. He placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”#Ac 6:6; 22:13
18At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19And after taking some food, he regained his strength.#Ac 11:26; 26:20
Saul Proclaiming the Messiah
Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some time. 20Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God.”#Mt 4:3; Ac 13:5,14
21All who heard him were astounded and said, “Isn’t this the man in Jerusalem who was causing havoc for those who called on this name and came here for the purpose of taking them as prisoners to the chief priests?” #Ac 8:3; 9:13-14; Gl 1:13,23
22But Saul grew stronger and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
23After many days had passed, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24but Saul learned of their plot. So they were watching the gates day and night intending to kill him,#Ac 20:3,19; 23:12,30; 25:3; 2Co 11:26 25but his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the wall.#Jos 2:15; 1Sm 19:12; 2Co 11:33
Saul in Jerusalem
26When he arrived in Jerusalem,#Ac 22:17; 26:20; Gl 1:17 he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, since they did not believe he was a disciple. 27Barnabas, however, took him and brought him to the apostles and explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had talked to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly#Ac 13:46; 14:3; 18:26; 19:8; 26:26; Eph 6:20; 1Th 2:2 in the name of Jesus.#Ac 4:36; 9:3-6,20,22 28Saul was coming and going with them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29He conversed and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him.#Ac 6:1; 2Co 11:26 30When the brothers found out, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.#Ac 8:40; Gl 1:21
The Church’s Growth
31So the church#Mt 16:18; 1Co 14:4; Rv 1:4 throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
The Healing of Aeneas
32As Peter was traveling from place to place, he also came down to the saints#Rm 1:7; Eph 5:3; 6:18 who lived in Lydda.#1Ch 8:12; Ezr 2:23; Neh 7:37; 11:35 33There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. 34Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed,”#9:34 Or and get ready to eat and immediately he got up.#Ac 3:6,16; 4:10 35So all who lived in Lydda and Sharon#1Ch 5:16; 27:29; Sg 2:1; Is 33:9; 35:2; 65:10 saw him and turned to the Lord.
Dorcas Restored to Life
36In Joppa#Jos 19:46; 2Ch 2:16; Ezr 3:7; Jnh 1:3; Ac 10:5 there was a disciple named Tabitha (which is translated Dorcas). She was always doing good works#1Tm 2:10; Ti 3:8 and acts of charity. 37About that time she became sick and died. After washing her, they placed her in a room upstairs. 38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples heard that Peter was there and sent two men to him who urged him, “Don’t delay in coming with us.” 39Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they led him to the room upstairs. And all the widows approached him, weeping and showing him the robes and clothes that Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40Peter sent them all out of the room. He knelt down, prayed, and turning toward the body said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.#Mt 9:25; Mk 5:41; Lk 22:41; Jn 11:43; Ac 7:60 41He gave her his hand and helped her stand up. He called the saints and widows and presented her alive. 42This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43Peter stayed for some time in Joppa with Simon,#Ac 10:6,17,32 a leather tanner.