1“Men, brothers, and fathers, hear my defence before you now.”
2And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Heḇrew language,#See 21:40, 26:14. they kept greater silence. And he said:
3“I am indeed a Yehuḏite, having been born in Tarsos of Kilikia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamli’ĕl, having been instructed according to the exactness of the Torah of our fathers, being ardent for Elohim, as you all are today,
4who persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering up into prisons both men and women,
5as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the eldership, from whom I also received letters to the brothers, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Yerushalayim to be punished.
6“And it came to be, as I was journeying and coming near Damascus, about noon, suddenly a great light shone around me out of the heaven,
7and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Sha’ul, Sha’ul, why do you persecute Me?’
8“And I answered, ‘Who are You, Master?’ And He said to me, ‘I am יהושע of Natsareth, whom you persecute.’
9“And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear His voice speaking to me.
10“And I said, ‘What shall I do, Master?’ And the Master said to me, ‘Rise up, go into Damascus, and there you shall be told all that you have been appointed to do.’
11“And as I could not see because of the esteem of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
12“And a certain Ḥananyah,#See 9:10 & 17. a dedicated man according to the Torah, being well spoken of by all the Yehuḏim dwelling there,
13came to me, and stood by and said to me, ‘Brother Sha’ul, look up.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him.
14“And he said, ‘The Elohim of our fathers has appointed you to know His desire, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear the voice from His mouth.
15‘Because you shall be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
16‘And now, why do you delay? Rise up, be immersed, and wash away your sins, calling on the Name of יהוה.’
17“And it came to be, when I returned to Yerushalayim, and while I was praying in the Set-apart Place, I came to be in a trance,
18and I saw Him saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Yerushalayim, speedily, because they shall not accept your witness concerning Me.’
19“And I said, ‘Master, they know that in every congregation I was imprisoning and beating those who believe on You.
20‘And when the blood of Your witness Stephanos was shed, I also was standing by giving my approval to his death, and keeping the garments of those who were killing him.’
21“And He said to me, ‘Go, because I shall send you far from here to the gentiles.’ ”
22And they were listening to him until this word, and then they lifted up their voice, saying, “Away with such a one from the earth, for it is not fit that he should live!”
23As they were shouting and tearing their garments, and throwing dust into the air,
24the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined by flogging, in order to find out why they were shouting so against him.
25And as they were stretching him out with straps, Sha’ul said to the captain who was standing by, “Is it permitted for you to whip a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?”
26And when the captain heard, he went and reported to the commander, saying, “Watch what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman.”
27And having come, the commander said to him, “Say to me, are you a Roman?” And he said, “Yes.”
28And the commander answered, “With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.” And Sha’ul said, “But I was even born so.”
29Then at once 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.
30And on the next day, intending to know for certain why he was accused by the Yehuḏim, he released him, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to come, and brought Sha’ul down and set him before them.
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