Acts 9 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Acts 9)
9:1 And 1 Saul, yet a breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

(1) Saul (who is also Paul), persecuting Christ most cruelly, who did as it were flee before him, falls into Christ's hands, and is overcome: and with a singular example of the goodness of God, in place of punishment which he justly deserved for his cruelty, is not only kindly received, but is also even by the mouth of God appointed an apostle, and is confirmed by the ministry and witness of Ananias.
(a) This is a sign that Saul's stomach boiled and cast out great threats to murder the disciples.

9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this b way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

(b) Any trade of life which a man take upon himself the Jews call a "way".

9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: [it is] c hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

(c) This is a proverb which is spoken of those who through their stubbornness hurt themselves.

9:7 And the men which journeyed with him d stood speechless, hearing a e voice, but seeing no man.

(d) Stood still and could not go one step forward, but remained amazed as stood still like statues.
(e) They heard Paul's voice: for afterwards it is plainly said in (Acts 22:9) that they did not hear the voice of the one who spoke. Others, however, try to reconcile these places (which seem to contradict) by saying that the men with Saul heard the sound of a voice, but did not hear it clearly.

9:11 And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of f Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

(f) Tarsus was a city of Cilicia near to Anchiala. It is said that Sardanapalus built these two cities in one day.

9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a g chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

(g) To bear my name in.

9:16 For I will h shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

(h) I will plainly show him.

9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into i the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

(i) Into Judas' house.

9:20 2 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

(2) Paul begins immediately to execute the office which was given and commanded to him, never consulting with flesh and blood.

9:22 3 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, k proving that this is very Christ.

(3) Paul does not do battle only with his own authority, but also with the testimonies of the Prophets.
(k) By conferring places of the Scripture together, as skilful craftsman do when they make something, they used to gather all parts together, to make them agree fitly one with another.

9:23 4 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

(4) Paul, who was before a persecutor, now has persecution planned against himself, though it will not happen for a long time.

9:25 5 Then the disciples took him by night, and let [him] down by the wall in a basket.

(5) We are not forbidden to avoid and eschew the dangers and conspiracies that the enemies of God lay for us, but only if we do not swerve from our vocation.

9:26 6 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.

(6) In ancient times no man was rashly or lightly received into the members and the sheep of the Church, much less to be a pastor.

9:28 7 And he was l with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.

(7) The steadfast servants of God must look out for danger after danger: yet God watches out for them.
(l) With Peter and James, for he says that he saw none of the apostles but them; (Galatians 1:18-19).

9:29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the m Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

(m) See (Acts 6:1).

9:30 8 [Which] when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.

(8) The ministers of the word may change their place with the advice and counsel of the congregation and church.

9:31 9 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were n edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

(9) The result of persecutions is the building of the Church, so that we will patiently wait for the Lord.
(n) This is a borrowed type of speech which signifies establishment and increase.

9:32 10 And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all [quarters], he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.

(10) Peter's apostleship is confirmed by the healing of the man who suffered from paralysis.

9:35 And all that dwelt at o Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.

(o) Lydda was a city of Palestine, and Saron a first-class country, and a place which was excellent for grazing, between Caesarea of Palestine and Mount Tabor, and the lake of Gennesaret, which goes far beyond Joppa.

9:36 11 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

(11) Peter clearly declares, by raising up a dead body through the name of Christ, that he preaches the glad tidings of life.