The Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 22

Paul declares at large how he was converted to the faith, 1-16, and called to his apostleship, 17-21. At the very mentioning of the Gentiles the people cry out against him, 22, 23. He would have been scourged, 24; but claiming the privilege of a Roman, he escapes, 25-30.

1 "Men, brothers, and fathers, hear my defense which I now make to you"—

2 And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept the more silence. He says,

3 "I am truly 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, being zealous toward God as you all are this day. 4 And I persecuted this way even to death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, 5 As also the high priest and all the estate of the elders can bear me testimony. From them I also received letters to the brothers and went to Damascus to bring those who were there bound to Jerusalem to be punished.

6 "And it came to pass, that as I was passing on my journey and had come near to Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?' 8 And I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' And he said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.' 9 And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of him who spoke to me. 10 And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Arise, go into Damascus, and there it shall be told to you concerning all things which are appointed for you to do.' 11 And when 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 "And one, Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews who dwelt there, 13 Came and stood by me and said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And the same hour I looked up at him. 14 And he said, 'The God of our fathers has chosen you so that you should know his will, see that Just One, and hear the voice of his mouth. 15 For you shall be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'

17 "And it came to pass, that when I had come to Jerusalem again, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance, 18 And saw him saying to me, 'Make haste, and depart quickly from Jerusalem, for they will not receive your testimony concerning me.' 19 And I said, 'Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by and consenting to his death and kept the clothing of those who slew him.' 21 And he said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.'"

22 And they gave him audience to this word and then lifted up their voices, and said, "Away with such a man from the earth, for it is not fit that he should live." 23 And as they cried out, cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, 24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle and said that he should be examined by scourging so that he might know for what cause they cried like that against him. 25 And as they bound him with straps, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?" 26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, "Take heed what you do, for this man is a Roman." 27 Then the chief captain came and said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" He said, "Yes." 28 And the chief captain answered, "With a great sum I obtained this freedom." And Paul said, "But I was born a citizen." 29 Then immediately those who were about to examine him departed from him. And the chief captain also was afraid after he knew that he was a Roman and because he had bound him.

30 On the next day, because he would have known the certainty of why he was accused by the Jews, he released him from his bonds and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear. Then he brought Paul down and set him before them.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Acts, Chapter 22[➚]


[v.7-16] - Reference, Acts 9:1-20.

[v.18] - "Make haste...concerning me" - This is a quote of Christ as told by Paul; therefore, it is not colored blue.

[v.19-20] - Reference, Acts 7:58, 8:1, 3, 9:1-2.

[v.21] - "Depart...the Gentiles" - This is a quote of Christ as told by Paul; therefore, it is not colored blue.