+     Text Size    

1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.

2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)

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 ye all are this day.

4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

5 As also the high priest doth 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, for to be punished.

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.

7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

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 thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

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 into Damascus.

12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,

13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.

14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.

15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

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;

18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:

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.

21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

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.

23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,

24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.

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?

26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.

27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.

28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

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.

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.

Commentary for Acts 22

Paul's account of his conversion. (1-11) Paul directed to preach to the Gentiles. (12-21) The rage of the Jews Paul pleads that he is a Roman citizen. (22-30)1-11 The apostle addressed the enraged multitude, in the customary style of respect and good-will. Paul relates the history of his early life very particularly; he notices that his conversion was wholly the act of God. Condemned sinners are struck blind by the power of darkness, and it is a lasting blindness, like that of the unbelieving Jews. Convinced sinners are struck blind as Paul was, not by darkness, but by light. They are for a time brought to be at a loss within themselves, but it is in order to their being enlightened. A simple relation of the Lord's dealings with us, in bringing us, from opposing, to profess and promote his gospel, when delivered in a right spirit and manner, will sometimes make more impression that laboured speeches, even though it amounts not to the full proof of the truth, such as was shown in the change wrought in the apostle.

12-21 The apostle goes on to relate how he was confirmed in the change he had made. The Lord having chosen the sinner, that he should know his will, he is humbled, enlightened, and brought to the knowledge of Christ and his blessed gospel. Christ is here called that Just One; for he is Jesus Christ the righteous. Those whom God has chosen to know his will, must look to Jesus, for by him God has made known his good-will to us. The great gospel privilege, sealed to us by baptism, is the pardon of sins. Be baptized, and wash away thy sins; that is, receive the comfort of the pardon of thy sins in and through Jesus Christ, and lay hold on his righteousness for that purpose; and receive power against sin, for the mortifying of thy corruptions. Be baptized, and rest not in the sign, but make sure of the thing signified, the putting away of the filth of sin. The great gospel duty, to which by our baptism we are bound, is, to seek for the pardon of our sins in Christ's name, and in dependence on him and his righteousness. God appoints his labourers their day and their place, and it is fit they should follow his appointment, though it may cross their own will. Providence contrives better for us than we do for ourselves; we must refer ourselves to God's guidance. If Christ send any one, his Spirit shall go along with him, and give him to see the fruit of his labours. But nothing can reconcile man's heart to the gospel, except the special grace of God.

22-30 The Jews listened to Paul's account of his conversion, but the mention of his being sent to the Gentiles, was so contrary to all their national prejudices, that they would hear no more. Their frantic conduct astonished the Roman officer, who supposed that Paul must have committed some great crime. Paul pleaded his privilege as a Roman citizen, by which he was exempted from all trials and punishments which might force him to confess himself guilty. The manner of his speaking plainly shows what holy security and serenity of mind he enjoyed. As Paul was a Jew, in low circumstances, the Roman officer questioned how he obtained so valuable a distinction; but the apostle told him he was free born. Let us value that freedom to which all the children of God are born; which no sum of money, however large, can purchase for those who remain unregenerate. This at once put a stop to his trouble. Thus many are kept from evil practices by the fear of man, who would not be held back from them by the fear of God. The apostle asks, simply, Is it lawful? He knew that the God whom he served would support him under all sufferings for his name's sake. But if it were not lawful, the apostle's religion directed him, if possible, to avoid it. He never shrunk from a cross which his Divine Master laid upon his onward road; and he never stept aside out of that road to take one up.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Acts 22

  • Ray321
    Acts 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 thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. Paul now believed that Jesus of Nazareth is God. Paul got saved, that's why Jesus instructed him. Praise the Lord.
  • Steve morrow
    ACTS 22:14 AND HE SAID THE GOD OF OUR FATHERS HATH CHOSEN THEE THAT THOU SHOULDEST KNOW HIS WILL AND SEE THAT JUST ONE AND SHOULDEST HEAR THE VOICE OF HIS MOUTH GALATIANS 1:11 BUT I CERTIFY BRETHREN THAT THE GOSPEL WHICH WAS PREACHED OF ME IS NOT AFTER MAN --1:12--FOR I NEITHER RECEIVED IT OF MAN NEITHER WAS I TAUGHT IT BUT BY THE REVELATION OF --- JESUS CHRIST ---
  • Bruce
    thumper: And did he ever! He testified who he was,how he persecuted the believers.( Hitler of that day). How he meant The Savior on the road to Damascus. Oh to meet The Savior for a life change! A Great multitude which no man could number,of all nations and kindreds and people and Tongues, stood before The Throne and before the Lamb: Revelation 7:9. Celebration with no---------------------- end
  • Bible thumper
    Paul was a dark skinned Jew from the tribe of Benjamin...
    Acts 21:
    38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?
    39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.
  • Steve morrow
    bruce --- ACTS 22:14 AND HE SAID THE GOD OF OUR FATHERS HATH CHOSEN THEE THAT THOU SHOULDEST --KNOW HIS WILL-- AND SEE THAT JUST ONE AND SHOULDEST HEAR THE VOICE OF HIS MOUTH 22:15FOR THOU SHALT BE HIS WITNESS UNTO ALL MEN OF WHAT THOU HAST SEEN AND HEARD ROM 15:18 FOR I WILL NOT DARE TO SPEAK OF ANY OF THOSE THINGS WHICH CHRIST HATH NOT WROUGHT BY ME TO MAKE THE GENTILES OBEDIENT BY WORD AND DEED
  • Patricia Zahler for verse 21
    Years of teachin Sunday morning and afternoon and evening had me perplexed by seeming contradictions. At age 37 my spiritual eyes were opened when I put my life into God's Hands. The loudest verse was The Great Commission, Matthew 28 19 and 20. There is a comma after nations, teaching themvti observe all things whatsoever I have COMMANDED you." What were the all things. Then Paul's message became clear. And backed up by the fact the apostles had not left Jerusalem after 15 years because every Jew had to be saved BEFORE they could take the message to the nations. See Acts 28:24-29.
  • Anne
    Paul had great zeal in persecuting the Christians but God turned it around and he became a zealot for the teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Is 'nt God Awesome? He can do anything.
  • Lillie
    paul was a murderer of gods people, but on his way to damascus jesus caused blindness to come upon him and spoke to him out of the light from heaven to stop persecuteing him only then did he paul accept jesus christ after his sight returned. why is it that something bad have to happen to you before you believe in god, god is real and just and faithful we should always give praises to him and continue to spread his word to everyone we meet. all of our blessings comes from the lord which made heaven and earth. praise the lord god always amen.

View All Comments for Acts Chapter 22...

What Do You Think of Acts 22?

Share your own thoughts or commentary here...
Remaining characters: 400

Bible Trivia

Where was Paul born?
  • Jerusalem
  • Damascus
  • Tarsus
  • Tarshish