“In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:”
King James Version (KJV)
11:32 The governor under Aretas - King of Arabia and Syria of which Damascus was a chief city, willing to oblige the Jews, kept the city - Setting guards at all the gates day and night.
2Co 11:32 In Damascus. This seems to be cited to show that the very beginning of his Christian career was amid peril. See Ac 9:23-25. The governor under Aretas the king. Aretas was king of Petra, and the father-in-law of Herod Antipas. Damascus was usually, at these times, under Roman rule. Aretas engaged in war with Herod because he sent off his daughter and took Herodias for a wife. He defeated Herod and became embroiled with the Romans. It is likely that in the contest Damascus fell into his hands for a time. The language, Kept the city . . . with a garrison, shows that it was war times. The Jews, who were very strong in Damascus, doubtless induced the governor to try to seize Paul.