Act 26:1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, "You are permitted to speak for yourself." Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: COMMENT: Their courts were like those of today in that ordinary people usually are not permitted to speak for themselves, in that they are too ignorant of the law and of legal procedures.

Act 26:2 "I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before you touching all (of) the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:" COMMENT: This is the same way Paul addressed the governor. He is happy to be able to speak for himself and wisely makes it clear he will answer for himself "touching all of the things" he is accused of.

Act 26:3 Especially [because I know] you to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beg you to hear me patiently. COMMENT: Paul is asking for patience as he continues to address King Agrippa though the Governor and other dignitaries are present in the place of judgment.

Act 26:4 "My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; COMMENT: Paul tells King Agrippa he was well known in Jerusalem.

Act 26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. COMMENT: Of the three sects of the Jewish religion, Saint Paul recommends that of the Pharisees above them all; so he must have found something wrong with the Essenes who have some reputation historically as spiritual ascetics.

Paul says "if they would testify" of his former behaviour before his Damascus Road experience, that Paul lived according to the law according to the strictest sect of the Pharisees; but so far none of the Jewish people who knew him in Jerusalem in his earlier years have come forth for obvious reasons. Once the Jewish Sanhedrin has decided to persecute and kill a believer in Jesus Christ, the Jewish unbelievers in Christ will not come forward of their own free will to testify of their former good behaviour.

Act 26:6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:

Act 26:7 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.

Act 26:8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? COMMENT: Paul brings in his belief in God raising Jesus Christ from the dead, as the hope the twelve Jewish tribes are looking for, and that it should not be thought of as something incredible for God to raise the dead which he has also done through Paul; though none of his miracles have come up during the two years or more he has been held in custody and accused of the Jewish Sanhedrin. Paul goes on to say to King Agrippa:

Act 26:9 "I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

Act 26:10 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].

Act 26:11 And I punished them often in every synagogue, and compelled [them] to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted [them] even unto strange cities.

Act 26:12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the Chief Priests,

Act 26:13 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. COMMENT: This is the third time the appearing of the Lord on the Damascus Road has been discussed in the book of Acts and each time we learn a little more of it.

Act 26:14 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 do you persecute me? [It is] hard for you to kick against the pricks.

Act 26:15 And I said, Who are you, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom you persecute. COMMENT: From the Lord's point of view, THAT WHICH IS DONE UNTO THE LEAST OF MEN IS DONE TO HIM.

Act 26:16 But rise, and stand upon your feet: for I have appeared unto you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of these things which you have seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto you; COMMENT: Christ promised from the second visitation to visit Paul in visions to give him instructions on how he was to witness. The Lord went on to say to Paul:

Act 26:17 "Delivering you from the people, and [from] the Gentiles, unto whom now I send you, COMMENT: Saint Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles. In the thousand year reign of Christ, he will be the Apostle with supernaturl authority over the Gentile nations.

Act 26:18 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. COMMENT: Here Christ speaks of of salvation, how sinners are turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God to receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance in Christ.

Act 26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: COMMENT: Paul finishes quoting Jesus in the vision and tells King Agrippa, he has not been disobedient unto the heavenly vision.

Act 26:20 But showed 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 suitable for repentance.

Act 26:21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill [me].

Act 26:22 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: COMMENT: Paul makes it clear he is totally within the framework of Holy Scripture in what he continues to do to this day.

Act 26:23 That Christ should suffer, [and] that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

Act 26:24 And as he thus spoke for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are beside yourself; much learning makes you mad." COMMENT: Paul was addressing King Agrippa this whole time while Governor Festus and the dignitaries of the city observed, but Festus being in authority broke in with a statement that once again showed himself to favor the Jewish rulers who wished to kill Paul.

Act 26:25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. COMMENT: Paul turned aside the accusation of Festus skillfully turning the focus of his presentation back to King Agrippa.

Act 26:26 For the king knows 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. COMMENT: Paul is right back on track with King Agrippa powerfully pointing out to Festus that none of these things "are hidden from him."

Then Paul shows great skill as an orator in turning back to Agrippa to say:

Act 26:27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe. COMMENT: This is called assuming the sale in marketing. Paul has assumed Agrippa believes. It is a very powerful marketing technique. And in this situation, Paul has an invisible product to market to those who can believe in Jesus Christ by faith.

Act 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost you persuade me to be a Christian. COMMENT: King Agrippa was moved by Paul's oratory.

Act 26:29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only you, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.

Act 26:30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: COMMENT: By standing up, King Agrippa indicated by his body language he had heard enough.

Act 26:31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man does nothing worthy of death or of bonds. COMMENT: Once again it was decided Paul was innocent.

Act 26:32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, "This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar." COMMENT: There apparently was a law in the Roman empire that once a defendent appealed unto Caesar, he had to be sent to Caesar.