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. Chapter 9.

The Conversion of Saul (Damascus Road) Ac.22.6-16, Ac.26.12-18

1 MEANWHILE SAUL was still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the High Priest 2 and applied for letters to the synagogues at Damascus authorizing him to arrest anyone he found, men or women, who followed the new way, and bring them to Jerusalem. 3 While he was still on the road and nearing Damascus, suddenly a light flashed from the sky all around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?' 5 'Tell me. Lord,' he said, 'who you are.' The voice answered, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you have to do.' 7 Meanwhile the men who were travelling with him stood speechless; they heard the voice but could see no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could not see, so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 He was blind for three days, and took no food or drink.

10 There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. He had a vision in which he heard the voice of the Lord: 'Ananias!' 'Here I am. Lord', he answered. 11 The Lord said to him, 'Go at once to Straight Street, to the house of Judas, and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. 12 You will find him at prayer; he has had a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying his hands on him to restore his sight.' 13 Ananias answered, 'Lord, I have often heard about this man and all the harm he has done to thy people in Jerusalem. 14 And here he is with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who invoke thy name.' 15 But the Lord said to him, 'You must go, for this man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before the nations and their kings, and before the people of Israel. 16 I myself will show him all that he must go through for my name's sake.'

17 So Ananias went. He entered the house, laid his hands on him and said, 'Saul, my brother, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me to you so that you may recover your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.' 18 And immediately it seemed that scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight.

Saul Preaches at Damascus (Damascus, Syria)

19 Thereupon he was baptized, and afterwards he took food and his strength returned.

He stayed some time with the disciples in Damascus. 20 Soon he was proclaiming Jesus publicly in the synagogues: 'This', he said, 'is the Son of God.' 21 All who heard were astounded. 'Is not this the man', they said, 'who was in Jerusalem trying to destroy those who invoke this name? Did he not come here for the sole purpose of arresting them and taking them to the chief priests?' 22 But Saul grew more and more forceful, and silenced the Jews of Damascus with his cogent proofs that Jesus was the Messiah.

Saul Escapes from the Jews (Damascus, Syria)

23 As the days mounted up, the Jews hatched a plot against his life; 24 but their plans became known to Saul. They kept watch on the city gates day and night so that they might murder him; 25 but his converts took him one night and let him down by the wall, lowering him in a basket.

Saul at Jerusalem (Jerusalem)

26 When he reached Jerusalem he tried to join the body of disciples there; but they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe that he was really a convert. 27 Barnabas, however, took him by the hand and introduced him to the apostles. He described to them how Saul had seen the Lord on his journey, and heard his voice, and how he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus at Damascus. 28 Saul now stayed with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem. 29 He spoke out boldly and openly in the name of the Lord, talking and debating with the Greek-speaking Jews. [Literally: the Hellenists.] 30 But they planned to murder him, and when the brethren learned of this they escorted him to Caesarea and saw him off to Tarsus.

31 MEANWHILE THE CHURCH, throughout Judaea, Galilee, and Samaria, was left in peace to build up its strength. In the fear of the Lord, upheld by the Holy Spirit, it held on its way and grew in numbers.

The Healing of Aeneas (Lydda)

32 Peter was making a general tour, in the course of which he went down to visit God's people at Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas who had been bed-ridden with paralysis for eight years. 34 Peter said to him, 'Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you; get up and make your bed', and immediately he stood up. 35 All who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him; and they turned to the Lord.

Dorcas Restored to Life (Joppa)

36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek, Dorcas, meaning a gazelle), who filled her days with acts of kindness and charity. 37 At that time she fell ill and died; and they washed her body and laid it in a room upstairs. 38 As Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who had heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the urgent request, 'Please come over to us without delay.' 39 Peter thereupon went off with them. When he arrived they took him upstairs to the room, where all the widows came and stood round him in tears, showing him the shirts and coats that Dorcas used to make while she was with them. 40 Peter sent them all outside, and knelt down and prayed. Then, turning towards the body, he said, 'Get up, Tabitha.' She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the members of the congregation and the widows and showed her to them alive. 42 The news spread all over Joppa, and many came to believe in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed on in Joppa for some time with one Simon, a tanner.

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NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.