9:1 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats 1 to murder 2 the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest 9:2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues 3 in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, 4 either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners 5 to Jerusalem. 6 9:3 As he was going along, approaching 7 Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed 8 around him. 9:4 He 9 fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, 10 why are you persecuting me?” 11 9:5 So he said, “Who are you, Lord?” He replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting! 9:6 But stand up 12 and enter the city and you will be told 13 what you must do.” 9:7 (Now the men 14 who were traveling with him stood there speechless, 15 because they heard the voice but saw no one.) 16 9:8 So Saul got up from the ground, but although his eyes were open, 17 he could see nothing. 18 Leading him by the hand, his companions 19 brought him into Damascus. 9:9 For 20 three days he could not see, and he neither ate nor drank anything. 21
9:10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The 22 Lord 23 said to him in a vision, “Ananias,” and he replied, “Here I am, 24 Lord.” 9:11 Then the Lord told him, “Get up and go to the street called ‘Straight,’ 25 and at Judas’ house look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. For he is praying, 9:12 and he has seen in a vision 26 a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he may see again.” 9:13 But Ananias replied, 27 “Lord, I have heard from many people 28 about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, 9:14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison 29 all who call on your name!” 30 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument 31 to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. 32 9:16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 33 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, placed 34 his hands on Saul 35 and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here, 36 has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 37 9:18 Immediately 38 something like scales 39 fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He 40 got up and was baptized, 9:19 and after taking some food, his strength returned.
For several days 41 he was with the disciples in Damascus, 9:20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, 42 saying, “This man is the Son of God.” 43 9:21 All 44 who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not 45 the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging 46 those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners 47 to the chief priests?” 9:22 But Saul became more and more capable, 48 and was causing consternation 49 among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving 50 that Jesus 51 is the Christ. 52
9:23 Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted 53 together to kill him, 9:24 but Saul learned of their plot against him. 54 They were also watching 55 the city gates 56 day and night so that they could kill him. 9:25 But his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening 57 in the wall by lowering him in a basket. 58
1 tn Or “Saul, making dire threats.”
2 tn The expression “breathing out threats and murder” is an idiomatic expression for “making threats to murder” (see L&N 33.293). Although the two terms “threats” and “murder” are syntactically coordinate, the second is semantically subordinate to the first. In other words, the content of the threats is to murder the disciples.
4 sn The expression “the way” in ancient religious literature refers at times to “the whole way of life fr. a moral and spiritual viewpoint” (BDAG 692 s.v. ὁδός 3.c), and it has been so used of Christianity and its teachings in the book of Acts (see also 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22). It is a variation of Judaism’s idea of two ways, the true and the false, where “the Way” is the true one (1 En. 91:18; 2 En. 30:15).
5 tn Grk “bring them bound”; the translation “bring someone as prisoner” for δεδεμένον ἄγειν τινά (dedemenon agein tina) is given by BDAG 221 s.v. δέω 1.b.
6 sn From Damascus to Jerusalem was a six-day journey. Christianity had now expanded into Syria.
7 tn Grk “As he was going along, it happened that when he was approaching.” The phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
9 tn Grk “and he.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.
10 tn The double vocative suggests emotion.
11 sn Persecuting me. To persecute the church is to persecute Jesus.
12 tn Or “But arise.”
13 tn Literally a passive construction, “it will be told to you.” This has been converted to another form of passive construction in the translation.
14 tn The Greek term here is ἀνήρ (anhr), which is used only rarely in a generic sense of both men and women. In the historical setting here, Paul’s traveling companions were almost certainly all males.
15 tn That is, unable to speak because of fear or amazement. See BDAG 335 s.v. ἐνεός.
17 tn Grk “his eyes being open,” a genitive absolute construction that has been translated as a concessive adverbial participle.
18 sn He could see nothing. This sign of blindness, which was temporary until v. 18, is like the sign of deafness experienced by Zechariah in Luke 1. It allowed some time for Saul (Paul) to reflect on what had happened without distractions.
19 tn Grk “they”; the referents (Saul’s companions) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
20 tn Grk “And for.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
21 tn The word “anything” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader. The fasting might indicate an initial realization of Luke 5:33-39. Fasting was usually accompanied by reflective thought.
22 tn Grk “And the.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
24 tn Grk “behold, I,” but this construction often means “here is/there is” (cf. BDAG 468 s.v. ἰδού 2).
25 sn The noting of the detail of the locale, ironically called ‘Straight’ Street, shows how directive and specific the Lord was.
26 tc ‡ The words ἐν ὀράματι (en oramati, “in a vision”) are not found in some of the earliest and best
sn Apparently while in Damascus Paul had a subsequent vision in the midst of his blindness, fulfilling the prediction in 9:6.
28 tn The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
29 tn Grk “to bind.”
31 tn Or “tool.”
34 tn Grk “and placing his hands on Saul, he said.” The participle ἐπιθείς (epiqei") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. For the same reason καί (kai) has not been translated before the participle.
35 tn Grk “on him”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
36 tn Grk “on the road in which you came,” but the relative clause makes for awkward English style, so it was translated as a temporal clause (“as you came here”).
37 sn Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Here someone who is not an apostle (Ananias) commissions another person with the Spirit.
38 tn Grk “And immediately.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
39 tn The comparison to “scales” suggests a crusty covering which peeled away (cf. BDAG 592 s.v. λεπίς 2).
40 tn Grk “and he.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence was started, with “and” placed before the final element of the previous clause as required by English style.
41 tn Grk “It happened that for several days.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
43 tn The ὅτι (Joti) is understood to introduce direct (“This man is the Son of God”) rather than indirect discourse (“that this man is the Son of God”) because the pronoun οὗτος (Jouto") combined with the present tense verb ἐστιν (estin) suggests the contents of what was proclaimed are a direct (albeit summarized) quotation.
sn This is the only use of the title Son of God in Acts. The book prefers to allow a variety of descriptions to present Jesus.
44 tn Grk “And all.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
45 tn The Greek interrogative particle used in this verse (οὐχ, ouc) expects a positive reply. They all knew about Saul’s persecutions.
46 tn Normally, “destroying,” but compare 4 Macc 4:23; 11:4 and MM 529 s.v. πορθέω for examples from Koine papyri. See also BDAG 853 s.v. πορθέω.
47 tn Grk “bring them bound”; the translation “bring someone as prisoner” for δεδεμένον ἄγειν τινά (dedemenon agein tina) is given by BDAG 221 s.v. δέω 1.b.
48 tn Grk “was becoming stronger,” but this could be understood in a physical sense, while the text refers to Saul’s growing ability to demonstrate to fellow Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. The translation “to become capable” for ἐνδυναμόω (endunamow) is given in L&N 74.7, with this specific verse as an example.
49 tn Or “was confounding.” For the translation “to cause consternation” for συγχέω (suncew) see L&N 25.221.
50 tn Or “by showing for certain.”
51 tn Grk “that this one”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
52 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.” Note again the variation in the titles used.
sn See the note on Christ in 2:31.
54 tn The words “against him” are implied, as suggested by L&N 30.71.
56 tn The word πύλη (pulh) may refer to a house door or gate, or to the large gates used in a palace, temple, or city wall. Here the context clearly indicates a reference to the latter, so the translation “city gates” is used.
57 tn The opening in the wall is not specifically mentioned here, but the parallel account in 2 Cor 11:33 mentions a “window” or “opening” (θυρίς, quris) in the city wall through which Paul was lowered. One alternative to introducing mention of the opening is to translate Acts 9:25 “they let him down over the wall,” as suggested in L&N 7.61. This option is not employed by many translations, however, because for the English reader it creates an (apparent) contradiction between Acts 9:25 and 2 Cor 11:33. In reality the account here is simply more general, omitting the detail about the window.
58 tn On the term for “basket” used here, see BDAG 940 s.v. σπυρίς.