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Bible Commentaries
Acts 9

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

High - priest ; he was president of the Sanhedrim or great Jewish council, and signed letters in their name and with their authority. Men of great talents, superior religious advantages, and extensive learning, may be so opposed to Jesus Christ as to wish to destroy all, both men and women, who believe in him. Acts 22:4-5 ; Acts 26:9-11 .

Verse 2

Damascus ; a city of Syria, about a hundred and twenty miles north-east of Jerusalem.

To the synagogues ; to the elders or rulers of the synagogues in Damascus, giving him full power to act in the matter, and requiring their cooperation.

Any of this way ; the way of the Lord-any of his disciples.

Might bring them bound unto Jerusalem ; to be tried by the Jewish council and punished. This would require the cooperation not only of the synagogues in Damascus, but of the civil authorities also, which was often granted upon solicitation.

Verse 4

Wicked men in persecuting Christians are persecuting Christ. But he can reveal himself to them in such a manner as to fill them with deep consternation, and lead them without reserve to give up themselves and all their interests to his guidance and disposal. Acts 22:6-7 ; Acts 26:12-20 .

Verse 5

The Lord ; the Lord Jesus Christ. Ver Acts 9:17 ; Acts 9:27 ; 1Co 9:1 ; 1 Corinthians 15:8 .

Hard ; painful and useless.

Pricks ; sharp irons or points at the end of a staff or goad with which they drove cattle. It was a proverbial expression, to denote that a person’s efforts against others would only injure himself. In persecuting Christians, men injure not only others, but also themselves; and the further they proceed, the more they find that the way of transgressors is hard.

Verse 7

Stood speechless , hearing a voice , but seeing no man ; by comparing the present account with chap Acts 22:9 , we learn that Saul’s companions heard a voice and saw a light; but that they neither understood what was said to Saul, nor saw the person of Jesus.

Verse 8

He saw no man ; being blinded by the glory of that light. Chap Acts 22:11 .

Verse 9

Three days ; this meant till the third day, or one whole day and a part of two others. Matthew 12:40 ; Matthew 16:21 .

Verse 11

Tarsus ; the capital of Cilicia, a province of Asia Minor.

He prayeth ; this indicated the change he had experienced. When men offer from the heart supplications to God, he is ready to visit them in mercy; and to those who understand his character and ways, it is always encouraging to learn concerning any one, that he prays.

Verse 12

A vision ; designed to prepare Saul for his interview with Ananias.

Verse 14

Call on thy name ; the name of the Lord Jesus. Christians in the days of the apostles were distinguished by this. 1 Corinthians 1:2 ; 2 Timothy 2:22 .

Verse 15

A chosen vessel-to bear my name ; I have selected him to make me and my salvation known to Jews and Gentiles. Galatians 1:15-17 .

Verse 16

He must suffer ; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 .

Verse 17

That appeared unto thee in the way ; that Saul saw the person of the Lord Jesus is implied in what is said of his companions, that they saw no man; and is affirmed by Ananias here and in chap. Acts 22:14 . Paul, moreover, mentions it as a necessary qualification of an apostle. 1 Corinthians 9:1 .

Verse 20

The Son of God ; the Messiah foretold by the prophets. No man knows, when he starts on a journey, what will take place before he returns. He may be called to pass through scenes and to discharge duties totally different from what he expected. A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9 . Persecutors may become preachers, and those who went out to murder, return to save.

Verse 21

This name ; the name of the Lord Jesus.

Verse 22

Very Christ ; the true Messiah.

Verse 23

Many days ; a part of this time he spent in Arabia, a country south and east of Judea. Galatians 1:15-18 . Wicked men are often disposed to use violence against those who differ from them in religion. They will favor a man who is openly hostile to Christ; but if he believes on him, they are ready to put him to death.

Verse 26

Assayed ; attempted.

Verse 27

Barnabas ; chap Acts 4:36 .

Verse 29

Grecians ; Jews and proselytes who spoke the Greek language. Chap Acts 6:1 .

Verse 30

Cesarea ; chap Acts 8:40 .

Tarsus ; his native city. Verse Acts 9:11 .

Verse 31

Judea and Galilee and Samaria ; the three divisions into which Palestine, or the Holy Land, was divided.

Edified ; strengthened and advanced in knowledge and piety.

Verse 32

Lydda ; a town in Judea a few miles south-east of Joppa.

Verse 34

Maketh thee whole ; cureth thee. Peter was careful to show that this miracle was wrought not by his power, but by the power of Christ.

Verse 35

Saron ; a fruitful region between Joppa and mount Carmel, called in the Old Testament Sharon. 1 Chronicles 5:16 ; 1 Chronicles 27:29 ; Isaiah 33:9 ; Isaiah 35:2 ; Isaiah 65:10 .

Verse 36

Joppa ; a town on the Mediterranean about forty-five miles north-west of Jerusalem.

Tabitha ; a Syriac word, meaning the same as the Greek word Dorcas. Both were applied originally to the gazelle, an animal of great beauty.

Verse 39

Persons who are very benevolent and useful in life, will be affectionately remembered, and greatly lamented in death; and all their works performed from love to God and to men, will meet a gracious and abundant reward.

Verse 42

Believed in the Lord ; the Lord Jesus, whom Peter preached, and by whose power he wrought this miracle.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Acts 9". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/acts-9.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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