Acts 9:21 MEANING

Acts 9:21
(21) That destroyed them which called on this name.--Better, made havock of them. It is noticeable that St. Paul uses the same verb as descriptive of his own conduct in Galatians 1:13, where the English version has "wasted." On "them which called on this name," see Note on Acts 9:16.

And came hither.--More accurately, had come hither, as implying that the purpose of his coming had been abandoned.

Verse 21. - And for but, A.V.; that in Jerusalem made havoc of for that destroyed them (which called on this Name) in Jerusalem, A.V.; and he had come hither for this intent for and came hither for that intent, A.V., differently stopped; before for unto, A.V. The chief priests. The plural seems to mark how the high priesthood at this period was passed from one to another. Caiaphas, Annas, Jonathan, and Theophilus would all be included under the term.

9:10-22 A good work was begun in Saul, when he was brought to Christ's feet with those words, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And never did Christ leave any who were brought to that. Behold, the proud Pharisee, the unmerciful oppressor, the daring blasphemer, prayeth! And thus it is even now, and with the proud infidel, or the abandoned sinner. What happy tidings are these to all who understand the nature and power of prayer, of such prayer as the humbled sinner presents for the blessings of free salvation! Now he began to pray after another manner than he had done; before, he said his prayers, now, he prayed them. Regenerating grace sets people on praying; you may as well find a living man without breath, as a living Christian without prayer. Yet even eminent disciples, like Ananias, sometimes stagger at the commands of the Lord. But it is the Lord's glory to surpass our scanty expectations, and show that those are vessels of his mercy whom we are apt to consider as objects of his vengeance. The teaching of the Holy Spirit takes away the scales of ignorance and pride from the understanding; then the sinner becomes a new creature, and endeavours to recommend the anointed Saviour, the Son of God, to his former companions.But all that heard him were amazed,.... Not the disciples that believed in Christ, but the unbelievers, as appears from their words:

and said, is not this he that destroyed them that called on this name in Jerusalem? they do not express the name of Christ, out of malice and ill will; which shows who they were that said these words, and were astonished to hear Saul preaching in this name, and proving him to be the Son of God, and the true Messiah; when it was but a little while ago he consented to the death of Stephen, made havoc of the church, wasted and destroyed it as much as was in his power, and persecuted unto death such as called upon the name of Christ, or were called by his name, he could find in Jerusalem: nor did this satisfy him, for it follows,

and came hither, that is, to Damascus,

for that intent, that he might bring them bound to the chief priests: whom he should find professing or invocating the name of Christ, or bearing it; now to see and hear him preach this same name, was surprising to them.

Courtesy of Open Bible