Acts Chapter 22

(Acts 22:1-2)
Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you. (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)

  • Speaking in Hebrew to his accusers means again that the persecutors were Jews, not necessarily Romans
  • Apparently he had tried to speak earlier, was drowned out to the point that they never discovered that he spoke Hebrew


  • Thirty times in Scripture it is used
  • God is our defence
  • Wisdom and money are our defence
  • Brooks can be a defence
  • Rocky areas are a defence
  • Our apologetics are a defence of the Gospel

(Numbers 14:9)
Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

(2 Chronicles 11:5)
¶ And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah.

(Job 22:25)
Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.

(Psalms 7:10)
My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.

(Psalms 31:2)
Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.

(Psalms 59:9)
Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.

(Psalms 59:16)
But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

(Psalms 59:17)
Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

(Psalms 62:2)
He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.

(Psalms 62:6)
He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

(Psalms 89:18)
For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.

(Psalms 94:22)
But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

(Ecclesiastes 7:12)
For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

(Isaiah 4:5)
And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.

(Isaiah 19:6)
And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither.

(Isaiah 25:2)
For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.

(Isaiah 27:10)
Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof.

(Isaiah 33:16)
He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

(Isaiah 36:1)
Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.

(Isaiah 37:26)
Hast thou not heard long ago, how I have done it; and of ancient times, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps.

(Jeremiah 1:18)
For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.

(Jeremiah 4:5)
Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities.

(Jeremiah 8:14)
Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD.

(Jeremiah 34:7)
When the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah.

(Ezekiel 21:20)
Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbath of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem the defenced.

(Nahum 2:5)
He shall recount his worthies: they shall stumble in their walk; they shall make haste to the wall thereof, and the defence shall be prepared.

(Acts 19:33)
And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.

(Acts 22:1)
Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.

(Philippians 1:7)
Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

(Philippians 1:17)
But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

(Acts 22:3)
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.

  • Zealotry for the sake of zealotry does not equate to truth or any good thing; it does not have to be coupled with God's truth, and in and of itself can be dangerous, when coupled with false religion, such as that which led Paul to kill Christians before he was saved
  • This same Gamaliel is the Gamaliel of Acts 5:34

(Acts 5:34)
Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;

(Acts 22:4)
And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

  • Christians at this time were called members of "this way" or "the way", most likely arising from the proclamation of Jesus in John 14:6
  • This persecution is the zealotry Paul referred to, and one cannot get much more zealous than arresting, imprisoning and even murdering for the sake of another's belief

(Philippians 3:6)
Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

(John 14:4-6)
And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

(Acts 22:5)
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.

  • Letters to the brethren means a bunch of letters to a bunch of men, with orders to arrest and/or kill Christians
  • The word "estate" here probably means the ranks of the elders, lowest to uppermost
  • It is under 200 miles to Damascus from Jerusalem as the crow flies. The distance by land would be 1849 miles today due to political boundaries/squabbles/borders/considerations, but way less then by horseback.

ESTA'TE,n. [L. status, from sto, to stand. The roots stb, std and stg, have nearly the same signification, to set, to fix. It is probable that the L. sto is contracted from stad, as it forms steti.
  1. In a general sense, fixedness; a fixed condition; now generally written and pronounced state.
    She cast us headlong from our high estate.
  2. Condition or circumstances of any person or thing, whether high or low. Luke 1.
  3. Rank; quality.
    Who hath not heard of the greatness of your estate?
  4. In law, the interest, or quantity of interest, a man has in lands, tenements, or other effects. Estates are real or personal. Real estate consists in lands or freeholds, which descent to heirs; personal estate consists in chattels or movables, which go to executors and administrators. There are also estates for life, for years, at will, etc.
  5. Fortune; possessions; property in general. He is a man of a great estate. He left his estate unincumbered.
  6. The general business or interest of government; hence, a political body; a commonwealth; a republic. But in this sense, we now use State. Estates, in the plural, dominions; possessions of a prince.
  7. Orders or classes of men in society or government. Herod made a supper for his chief estates. Mark 6.
    In Great Britain, the estates of the realm are the king, lords and commons; or rather the lords and commons.

ESTA'TE, v.t. To settle as a fortune. [Little used.]
  1. To establish. [Little used.]

(Acts 22:6)
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.

  • That distance is why, on horseback with troops, Paul calls it a journey
  • Lest a skeptic claim that this was the sun, it must be remembered that hew was already in the desert, in the day, long after sunrise, and this is a light brighter than the sun for him to see it and blind him

(Acts 22:7)
And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

  • Falling on one's face is a sign of being humbled, or a sign of worship. In this case, it is humility
  • Falling on one's face is a good way to hear the voice of God, in prayer, while reading His Word
  • Persecuting the Church is the same as persecuting the LORD Jesus Christ, because we are His body, HE is the head

(Ephesians 4:15-16)
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

(Colossians 1:18)
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

(Romans 12:4-5)
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

(Acts 22:8)
And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

  • Paul knew who Jesus was, just not that He was the LORD crucified, resurrected, until now
  • Paul calls Him LORD, indicating that he knows and recognizes the Title and Person's LORDship
  • Persecuting the Church is persecuting the LORD Jesus Christ Himself

(Matthew 25:41-45)
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

(Acts 22:9)
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.

  • This account and the one in chapter nine are used by skeptics and unbelievers for claiming a "contradiction"
  • According to the account in chapter 9, they hear "a voice", which is not THE voice, just a sound of a voice, much like a bad witness in court who can not say for certain that it was the actual suspect who they heard say anything, just someone speaking, perhaps through a wall, a door, or in the distance.
  • People still can and do hear voices, but they are not the voice of the LORD and often would not recognize it if they did, unless they are seeking God and God is drawing them to Him

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

(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.

  • Notice he did not say, "the voice said unto me" ,but rather "the LORD said unto me", an acknowledgement.
  • This is either, "What do you want with ME?" or "OK, now that I know who you are, I am at your service"
  • Either way, he is now God's minister to use as God sees fit
  • This is a first act of service, to go by faith to Damascus with no instructions as of yet, by faith
  • Jesus, as was stated in the chapter nine notes

(Acts 22:11)
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.

  • In chapter nine, we are not told that the reason for the blindness is because of the light, although it can and is certainly implied
  • No reason is given for the temporary blindness, except perhaps because, as a drastic person is, so is a drastic solution needed to curb them in their zealousness

(Acts 22:12-13)
And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.

  • God could have removed the blindness by Himself, but chose to use Ananias
  • Either Ananias was a Jew or a Jewish proselyte. Either way, Paul calls him "devout, according to the law"
  • God had sent Ananias to Damascus to meet Saul (Paul). and so his arrival was timely (the same hour)

(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.

  • God chooses us, and we also choose God by responding to His calling
  • To know Jesus, to see the Written Word, to hear it preached today is the precursor to being a witness
  • Paul was specifically chosen as the apostle to the Gentiles

(Romans 11:13)
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

(Acts 22:15)
For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

  • Afterwards, we carry that message we have seen and heard to others
  • Because God chooses men to carry His Word, the whole world will of the Jews and the Gentiles both eventually hear the Gospel, already having a knowledge that God exists

(Acts 22:16)
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

  • The purpose of the water baptism was connected with purification, in order to wash away one's sins, not REGENERATION
  • The Jews associated water with a physical birth, not spiritual birth, such as in creatures out of the water in Genesis 1:20, John 3:3–4)
  • The washing away of the sins was achieved by calling on the Name of the LORD, not by going under the water in baptism

(Acts 22:17)
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;

  • God put Paul into this state in order to give him His message, and do this with a clear head

TR`ANCE, n. tr`ans. [L. transitus, a passing over; transeo, to pass over; trans and eo.]

An ecstasy; a state in which the soul seems to have passed out of the body into celestial regions, or to be rapt into visions. My soul was ravish'd quite as in a trance. While they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened. Acts 10.

(Acts 22:18)
And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

  • Wipe the dust off of your feet and move on to the Gentiles
  • There are others who will hear, and are waiting for you
  • Do this quickly, not slowly, as life is short, brief

(Matthew 10:14)
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

(Mark 6:11)
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

(Luke 10:10-12)
But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

(Acts 22:19-20)
And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: 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.

  • Paul imprisoned and beat Messianic Jews from the synagogues, for converting
  • Paul is reminding God, who needs no reminder, of the stoning also of Stephen

(Acts 22:21)
And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

  • God says, "I get it, that is your past, I forgave you, so move forward to your work I have for you, stop dwelling in the past, there are more souls to save!"

(Acts 22:22)
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.

  • When the LORD Jesus Christ is rejected, even our testimony is a stench in the nostrils of those who hate God
  • They do not just want you to go away, they want you to be dead, martyred, slain

(Acts 22:23)
And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,

  • When unbelievers reject vehemently, violently, in unison, it gets dicey
  • This is a full-force rejection of the Word of God, their lives being interrupted by Paul and they want no part of that or him
  • The meaning of tearing clothes is "grief, mourning, loss"


  • Reuben did it when Joseph was no longer in the pit the brothers dug for him
  • Jacob did it for the same reason, right after that
  • The children of Jacob did this when the silver cup of Joseph was discovered in Benjamin's sack that Joseph commanded be put there
  • When the sons of Aaron were killed for offering strange sacrifices, Aaron commanded no one rend their clothes in mourning
  • The lepers clothes were also to be rent before being burned if, after seven days, the leprosy was still in them
  • Any priest whose daughter played the whore should not rend his clothes when she is judged and burned
  • Joshua rent his clothes when Achan stole of the accursed thing
  • Jephthah rent his clothes when his daughter came through the door, after he made an oath to sacrifice the first thing that came from his house
  • When a man from Benjamin ran out of the army to Eli to tell him the ark of the covenant was taken, and both of Eli's sons killed, the man rent his clothes
  • The young man who killed Saul rent his clothes when he came to David
  • David and his men did the same for Saul, and for Jonathan, right after
  • David rent his clothes when it was told him how Absalom killed David's sons
  • When Elijah told Ahab of the wickedness to come to him, Jezebel his wife, and his children, Ahab rent his clothes in anger
  • When Elisha saw Elijah go up into heaven in a fiery chariot/whirlwind, Elisha rent his clothes
  • Jehoram king of Israel rent his clithes when he read a letter from Naaman the king of Syria telling him to cure Naaman of his leprosy
  • When Hezekiah was told that Sennacherib, king of Assyria threatened him and Israel, he rent his clothes
  • Josiah rent his clothes when he heard the prophecy of the destruction of Israel
  • Ahaziah 's mother rent her clothes because she did not like the good news of what God was doing at the temple
  • When Shaphan read the before the king Josiah, Josiah rent his clothes.
  • When Haman convinced king Ahasueras of the Persian kingdom to kill all of the Jews, Mordecai rent his clothes
  • When Jesus told the high priest He was the Son of God, the high priest rent his clothes

(Acts 22:24)
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.

  • "Examine him by scourging", or torture for answers until he recants of his following Christ
  • The crowd in a pagan culture always has an effect on the leaders when they cry, good or bad
  • "The castle” here is the castle of Antonia, a barracks for Roman soldiers in Lysias’s command.

(Acts 22:25)
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?

  • So leather straps to make sure Paul could not escape
  • And now, to the law-THE ROMAN LAW
  • Paul reminds them that he was never found guilty of anything and that this therefore was unlawful
  • It is even more unlawful, since Paul was a citizen and not an alien
  • It is probable that Lysias did not understand the situations because Paul had not preached in Lysias's native tongue, Greek, but rather in Hebrew, the language of the synagogue

(Acts 22:26)
When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.

  • Eh, I believe that is called, "OOPS!"
  • We can be sure that the penalty was not good for anyone knowingly scourging a citizen of the empire with even a trial before a judge

(Acts 22:27-28)
Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

  • This is no small thing, as one needed a lot of money (with a great sum) to buy his way into citizenry, and Paul was free born
  • Time to put down the whips and take off the thongs here

(Acts 22:29)
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.

  • This being afraid is another sure sign that the penalty would have been significant for scourging an innocent citizen of the Roman empire

(Acts 22:30)
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.

  • Yeah, let;'s sort of let him go, just not too far, in case there is more trouble from him
  • Paul was really just accused of the Jews, not the Romans, here
  • Now the real trial can begin, in earnest, and in honesty. Time for a testimony (chapter 23)

Acts Chapter 23


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