Act 22:1 ¶ "Men, brethren, and fathers, hear my defence
[which I make] now unto you.
COMMENT: Paul is speaking to the multitude
from just outside of the castle.
Act 22:2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew
tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he said,)
Act 22:3 I am verily a man [which am] a Jew, born
in Tarsus, [a city] in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city
at the feet of Gamaliel, [and] taught according to the perfect
manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God,
as you all are this day.
COMMENT: Gamaliel was the respected ruler
of the people who had turned away the wrath of the Sanhedrin
from murdering believers in chapter five of the book of Acts.
The people almost all knew their religious rulers
by name and reputation
and would know him as an acceptable teacher of the law.
So Paul's references are good.
He goes on to respect the people's
zeal for God in attempting to persecute him, rather than accuse
them of any wrongdoing.
Act 22:4 "And I persecuted this way unto the death,
binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
COMMENT: Paul testifies that he persecuted
believers in Jesus Christ.
Act 22:5 As also the High Priest does bear me witness, and
all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters
unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were
there bound unto Jerusalem, to be punished.
COMMENT: Paul even draws the High Priest and
the elders of the Sanhedrin into his testimony as witnesses for
him even though they may have been among the multitude trying to
kill him this day of which we are reading.
Act 22:6 "And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and
was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone
from heaven a great light round about me.
Act 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying
unto me, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
Act 22:8 "And I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?
And he said unto me, "I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute."
Act 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light,
and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spoke
COMMENT: Now Paul is drawing those eight
witnesses who accompanied him, into the judgment. For they too
were of the religion of the Jews and they saw the Light.
Act 22:10 "And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?" And the Lord
said unto me, "Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall
be told you of all things which are appointed for you to do."
Act 22:11 And when I could not see for the glory of that
light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came
Act 22:12/13 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law,
having a good report of all the Jews which dwell [there],
Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, "Brother Saul,
receive thy sight." And the same hour I looked up upon him.
COMMENT: Now Paul has drawn another Jewish
witness into the judgment, so his judgment no longer rested
in the vacuum of mob accusations. So Paul continues to
Act 22:14 And he said, "The God of our fathers has chosen you,
that you should know his will, and see that Just One,
and should hear the voice of his mouth.
COMMENT: Here in Chapter twenty two we receive
an expanded testimony of what happened on the Damascus Road to
Act 22:15 For you shall be his witness unto all men of what
you have seen and heard.
Act 22:16 And now why do you tarry? arise, and be baptized,
and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Act 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to
Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
And saw him saying unto me, "Make haste, and get quickly out of
Jerusalem: for they will not receive your testimony concerning me."
COMMENT: Now Paul is speaking as a Prophet.
Truly they do not accept him in Jerusalem.
Act 22:19 And I said, "Lord, they know that I imprisoned and
beat in every synagogue them that believed on you:
COMMENT: Paul had a conversation with the Lord
the day he was healed by Ananias.
Act 22:20 "And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed,
I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and
kept the raiment of them that slew him.
Act 22:21 And he said unto me, "Depart: for I will send you far
from here unto the Gentiles.
COMMENT: This the Lord had already done in
what we know as THE FIRST AND SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEYS of Saint
Act 22:22 ¶ And they gave him audience unto this word, and
[then] lifted up their voices, and said, "Away with such a
[fellow] from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
COMMENT: The multitude of Jews could not
receive the thought that God would send one of theirs to the
Gentiles whom they had been taught by law to shun and they already
were vehemently opposed to believers in Jesus Christ.
Act 22:23 And as they cried out, and cast off [their]
clothes, and threw dust into the air,
Act 22:24 The Chief Captain commanded him to be brought
into the castle, and ordered that he should be examined by
scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.
COMMENT: The Chief Captain
of the Romans most likely did not understand Hebrew; so he was
in the dark concerning the multitude's violent reaction to him.
Act 22:25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto
the Centurion that stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge
a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?
COMMENT: The Chief Captain is out of reach
but as they tied Paul up with leather thongs, he spoke to the
Centurion who was in command of the scourging.
Act 22:26 When the Centurion heard [that], he went and told
the Chief Captain, saying, "Be careful what you do:
for this man is a Roman."
Act 22:27 Then the Chief Captain came, and said unto him,
"Tell me, are you a Roman?" He said, "Yes."
Act 22:28 And the Chief Captain answered,
"With a great sum obtained I this freedom."
And Paul said, "But I was [free] born."
Act 22:29 Then straightway they departed from him which
should have examined him: and the Chief Captain also was
afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he
had bound him.
COMMENT: Those soldiers who were going to
examine Paul with the scourging whip to get the truth out of him,
departed from him and the Chief Captain was afraid of Caesar
because he had broken the law in tying Paul up without a just cause.
Act 22:30 ¶ On the morrow, because he would have known
the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he
loosed him from [his] bands, and commanded the Chief Priests
and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and
set him before them.
COMMENT: Paul was no longer tied up. The
matter was now more orderly according to Roman law.