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Acts Chapter Twenty-two


I. Content of the Chapter


Paul Bore Witness towards the People at Jerusalem

I. The defense of Paul:

  A. All the people listened to his defense quietly (v.1-2).

  B. He was zealous for the Law before he was saved (v.3-5).

  C. He was enlightened by the Lord on the way to Damascus (v.6-11).

  D. Ananias was sent by the Lord to baptize him (v.12-16).

  E. He was sent by the Lord to bear witness to the Gentiles (v.17-21).

II. The response of all the people and the measure of the commander:

  A. All the people raised their voice and said “away whit him” (v.22-23).

  B. The commander ordered the subordinates to bring him into the barracks for interrogation (v.24).

  C. They knew that he was a Roman and did not dare to scourge him (v.25-29).

  D. The next day, the commander asked all the council in order to know the real situation (v.30).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


Acts. 22:1Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now.’”

   YLT: “`Men, brethren, and fathers, hear my defence now unto you;' --”

   Literal Meaning: Brethren and fathers” Paul’s appellation to all the people was quite kind, polite and it shows his respect. In the original it is that “men, brothers and fathers, please listen”.

  “Hear my defense before you now” Three representations were recorded in this book all together (See Acts. 24, 26) and the representation in this chapter was the first one.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Believers should walk in wisdom toward those who are outside let our speech always be with grace (Col. 4:5-6).

2) Paul made the following defense not to argue strongly on just grounds but to testify the experience of his being saved. The personal experience is the argument that is the most difficult to be refuted.


Acts. 22:2 “And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent. Then he said:

   YLT: “and they having heard that in the Hebrew dialect he was speaking to them, gave the more silence, and he saith, --”

   Literal Meaning: he spoke the Hebrew language” “The Hebrew language” that Paul used for defense at that time may be the Aramic probably which was the common language in the region of Palestine (See the note in Acts. 21:40). And men who did not receive the education of the Greek culture all talked with each other in Aramic.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When preaching and bearing witness, we’d better use the language and terms with which the multitudes are familiar in order to draw men’s attention.

2) If possible, we should learn more languages for the Lord and the skill is not only more convenient for preaching the gospel but also beneficial to the interpersonal communication.


Acts. 22:3I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers' law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.

   YLT: “`I, indeed, am a man, a Jew, having been born in Tarsus of Cilicia, and brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, having been taught according to the exactitude of a law of the fathers, being zealous of God, as all ye are to-day.”

   Literal Meaning: born in Tarsus of Cilicia” “Tarsus” was a great harbor in the Mediterranean Sea and it was also a well-known city of universities.

  “But brought up in this city” The majority of the Bible exegetes held that “this city” was Jerusalem instead of Tarsus. Probably Paul was away from home from a child and came to Jerusalem to seek knowledge.

  “At the feet of Gamaliel” “Gamaliel” was a teacher of the Law who had in reputation among the Jews at that time (See the note in Acts. 5:34). The Jews called him “the rabbi among rabbis” and Paul was his pet.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In order to preach the gospel, we should learn from Paul and try our best to identify with our compatriots.

2) It is supposed to be good to “be zealous toward God”. However, if the determination and the starting point are wrong, we may do something a disservice and even persecute the children of God (See v.4).

3) “Zealousness” is not everything in serving God, and men’s zealousness must be based on the right knowledge (Rom. 10:2) and then they won’t be extreme or regard “the wrong” as “the right”.

4) “As you all are today” On one hand Paul identified with the listeners and on the other he pointed out the differences in the similarities (See v.18). Such are Christians who live in the world and seem to be the same as the world and they are separated to God from the world.


Acts. 22:4 “I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women,

   YLT: “`And this way I persecuted unto death, binding and delivering up to prisons both men and women,”

   Meaning of Words: “delivering into prisons”: put into prisons.

   Literal Meaning: “to the death” It indicates that he persecuted men so that they were in deep despair or they were even put to death, however, it does not mean that Paul killed men by his hands.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We believers are those who are in “this Way”, i.e. those who rely on the Lord and walk in the Lord. And therefore if we do not walk in the Lord, we indeed turn away from the way of the Lord.

2) The Lord makes us see this Way to let us walk in it. We should never be believers who are merely able to listen to the word and are unable to do the word.


Acts. 22:5 “as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.

   YLT: “as also the chief priest doth testify to me, and all the eldership; from whom also having received letters unto the brethren, to Damascus, I was going on, to bring also those there bound to Jerusalem that they might be punished,”

   Meaning of Words: “bring in chains”: bind, be in bonds.

   Literal Meaning: the high priest and all the council of the elders” refers to the leading members of the Jewish council.

  “From whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus” “Letters” is a kind of official letters by which men request to seize prisoners and actually the letters do not have the legal sanction. “Damascus” is the capital town of Syria today. It was about two hundred and fifty kilometers away from Jerusalem and there were many Jews dwelling there. At that time the power of the council was only within the borders of Palestine. Probably men in these synagogues also respected the position of the high priest in Jerusalem and therefore they also received the announcement of letters.


Acts. 22:6Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me.

   YLT: “and it came to pass, in my going on and coming nigh to Damascus, about noon, suddenly out of the heaven there shone a great light round about me,”

   Literal Meaning: “at about noon”: it is the moment that the light was the strongest, showing that “a great light” in the next sentence must be stronger than the direct light.

  “Suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me.” The light shone “around” men and therefore it should not be the light of the sun but the heavenly and spiritual light.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The way of the world is that they run after error. However, thank the Lord, we are enlightened by the Lord and our way is corrected before we reach the destination.

2) When reading the Bible or praying, sometimes there is a light that shines in our heart (2Pet. 1:19) and gives us spiritual understanding and guidance and this is “the reception of enlightenment”.

3) Many people only have the one-sided understanding concerning the will of God so that there are always extreme conditions. We should pray the Lord that He might shine “around” us so that we will have the comprehensive and balanced understanding.


Acts. 22:7 “And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'

   YLT: “I fell also to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why me dost thou persecute?”

   Literal Meaning: “why are you persecuting Me?” “Persecute” originally means to search out with enmity. The Lord here did not say that, “why are you persecuting those who believe in Me?” but “why are you persecuting Me?”. Here the Lord shows Saul that He identifies Himself with those who believe in Him and He and those who believe in Him are one. This is the oneness of the head and the body. Who Saul persecuted is the church, however, the word of the Lord shows us that persecuting the church is persecuting Christ because the church is the body of Christ (1Cor. 12:27; Eph. 1:22-23).

   Spiritual Meaning: And I fell to the ground” symbolizes that all his past religious concepts, understanding and views, including the explanation of the Old Testament and the Law were poured out to the ground and emptied.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) He whoever meets the Lord must fell to the ground. Only those who have been shocked down by the light from heaven could be considered that they begin to have a little knowledge of the Lord.

2) “Why are you persecuting Me?” We should never think that sinning against brother is not sinning against Christ. Please remember that touching a little member of the body is indeed touching the head. When a member is hurt, the head feels it.

3) Inasmuch as one does it to one of the least of brothers, he does it to the Lord; inasmuch as one doesn’t do it to one of the least of brothers, he does not do it to the Lord (Matt. 25:40, 45).

4) Persecuting believers is “persecuting Me”. What great comfort it is to believers who are persecuted and are suffering tribulation------the Lord “identifies” with us.

5) Before Saul met the Lord, he thought that he was serving the Lord “zealously” (See v.3). However, the Lord “was persecuted”. The reason is that he did not have the vision of Jesus Christ. It shows that concerning the service without the vision, the more zealous one is, the more the Lord feels that He is persecuted.


Acts. 22:8 “So I answered, Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’”

   YLT: “`And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? and he said unto me, I am Jesus the Nazarene whom thou dost persecute --”

   Literal Meaning: Who are You, Lord?” The appellation “Lord” shows that he knows that the one who spoke to him is not an ordinary figure but “the Lord” with higher power.

  “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting” “Jesus” is Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified, died and was risen and taken up into heaven. When the Lord Jesus was on the earth, Saul had never persecuted Him directly. Here the Lord showed Saul that when he persecuted the disciples of Jesus, he indeed persecuted Jesus.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Men persecute the Lord because they do not know Him. If we Christians do not know the Lord deeply, we may also do something that offends Him unconsciously.

2) All those who believe in the Lord are united to the Lord, i.e. the oneness of the head and the body. Any sin that sins against the body is the sin that sins against the head.


Acts. 22:9And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me.

   YLT: “and they who are with me the light did see, and became afraid, and the voice they heard not of him who is speaking to me --”

   Literal Meaning: but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me” It indicates that they only heard the voice of the word (See Acts. 9:7), however, they did not understand what the word meant.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) All the people saw the light, however, Paul saw the Lord; all the people heard the voice, however, Paul heard the Lord speaking to him. If the light and voice do not lead us to meet the Lord Himself, they are still not beneficial to us.

2) Though men see the work of God together, some people still do not know the will of God and let it go causally. We should ask the Lord to have mercy upon us so that we could seize every chance of knowing the Lord and do not let our experiences go aimlessly.

3) If our hearts are not upright, “by hearing we shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing we shall see, and shall not perceive” (Matt. 13:14-15) and only the pure in heart shall see God (Matt. 5:8).


Acts. 22:10 “So I said, What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’”

   YLT: “and I said, What shall I do, Lord? and the Lord said unto me, Having risen, go on to Damascus, and there it shall be told thee concerning all things that have been appointed for thee to do.”

   Literal Meaning: What shall I do, Lord?” This question implies that Saul had confessed that Jesus was the Messiah (i.e. Christ), the one who rules all his life.

  Arise and go into Damascus” Please note that to Saul who persecuted the church fiercely, the Lord did not blame him except to question him that “why are you persecuting Me?” (v.7) and to warn him that “it is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts. 26:14). Contrarily He guided and entrusted him.

  “And there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do” The Lord meant that I did not tell you what you must do and someone would tell you. The Lord used another man to tell him what he must do. It was a revelation of the body and the Lord showed him the principle of the body. Saul (i.e. the later Paul) was a vessel that was greatly used by the Lord, however, the Lord used another man to help him.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Since believers are bought with a price by the Lord (1Cor. 6:20), we should devote our spirits, souls and bodies to the Lord after we have been saved and live for the Lord (Rom. 14:8).

2) Once Paul was saved, he asked that “what shall I do, Lord?” It shows that from then on he no long lived centering on his own will and he would walk centering on the will of the Lord.

3) Serving the Lord begins with one’s knowing “what I shall do” from the Lord; all services that originate from ourselves are unacceptable to the Lord.

4) The turning point of our life begins at the moment we meet the Lord. We did not know that what we have done previously was not “what we shall do” until we meet the Lord.

5) To those who do wrong and walk in the wrong way, the positive teachings and guidance are better than negative punishment.

6) The Lord Jesus guides us step by step instead of once for all.

7) We Christians on one hand receive revelation and provision from the Lord directly and on the other receive the Lord’s revelation and provision through brothers and sisters in the body. And therefore we should never think that we do not need to rely on others and we could receive everything by ourselves before God.

8) Many times, the guidance of the Holy Spirit in us leads us to receive others’ guidance and help. If you do not receive others’ help, you will lose a lot.

9) Many Christians fully live in themselves and they decide many things merely according to their own feelings. Such men have not seen the body. We have to see that we are only members and are restrained and we all need the help from other members.

10) May God let us see the body right now. Only those who seek for communication, fear that they might be wrong and dare not work alone indeed see the body.

11) No matter in the dispensation of the Old and New Testament, when God wants His servants to do something great among His sons and daughters, His guidance is not only one-sided but also dual-sided or many-sided and each side could be proved by one another. The one-sided revelation could be applied to individual affairs, however, it is not applied to the matters concerning others. Many times, when we clearly know the will of God, we still need to seek the proof from other aspects. If there is not the proof from men, there should be the proof of things or matters. It is always doubtful if there is only the one-sided revelation and there isn’t the proof from other aspects.

12) Any one in the church cannot order others, relying on his guidance from God. God’s guidance in the church could always be proved among believers.

13) This verse also tells us that: if we separate from the church, we cannot know the will of the Lord. And therefore we have to live in the church if we want to understand the will of the Lord.

14) From the dialogue between the Lord and Paul (v.7-10), we could see that the Lord did not blame or punish the one who always was hostile to Him and persecuted His believers and contrarily He received him tolerantly. However, when many Christians deal with brothers and sisters, they abandon them as long as they have little faults. It is indeed not of the Lord’s mind.

15) We should let this mind be in us, which was also in Christ Jesus (Pill. 2:5) and forebear one another in love (Eph. 4:2).


Acts. 22:11 “And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.

   YLT: “`And when I did not see from the glory of that light, being led by the hand by those who are with me, I came to Damascus,”

   Literal Meaning: And since I could not see for the glory of that light” The Lord took away the sight of Saul’s physical eyes. He may want him to use his inner eyes to concentrate his mind on the Lord.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Those who think that they have the knowledge of the Law and the model of the truth are confident that they themselves are a guider to the blind (Rom. 2:17-20). But actually they themselves are blind (Matt. 15:14; 23:16) and they cannot see anything.

2) From that day, the eyes of Saul which represent the knowledge of the Law became blind, however, his inner eyes began to be shone by the light of the glorious gospel of Christ (2Cor. 4:4-6). The problem of many people is that their eyes of the outer knowledge become brighter increasingly, however, their inner spiritual eyes become more and more blurred.


Acts. 22:12Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there,

   YLT: “and a certain one, Ananias, a pious man according to the law, being testified to by all the Jews dwelling [there],”

   Meaning of Words: “testimony”: witness; “Ananias”: the one whom Jehovah protects, the Lord is merciful.

Literal Meaning: a devout man according to the law” This sentence was quite important to the listeners.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “A devout man according to the law” could also be a good Christian. However, we should be devout not only according to the outer letters but also according to the inner spiritual reality (See Rom. 2:29).

2) Christians should have good behaviors before the world and have a good testimony with the world so as to glorify God.


Acts. 22:13 “came to me; and he stood and said to me, Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And at that same hour I looked up at him.

   YLT: “having come unto me and stood by [me], said to me, Saul, brother, look up; and I the same hour did look up to him;”

   Enlightenment in the Word: Paul, the spiritual giant, still needed the help of Ananias who was unknown and then he could “see”. None of Christians does not need the help of other members (1Cor. 12:21).


Acts. 22:14 “Then he said, The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth.

   YLT: “and he said, The God of our fathers did choose thee beforehand to know His will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice out of his mouth,”

   Literal Meaning: “and see the Just One” “The Just One” refers to Jesus Christ (Acts. 3:14).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) God’s selection and kindness are the foundations that we are able to know and understand His will and therefore the first step that we pursue God is to look upon His mercy. 

2) “You should know His will” It shows that God is the source that we understand His will. If God has a will towards us, He will certainly make us understand it.


Acts. 22:15 “For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.

   YLT: “because thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard;”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We must have seen and heard first and then bear witness toward others. The basis that believers bear witness to the Lord lies in what they have seen and heard from the Lord.

2) If the Lord has mercy upon us and lets us see or hear something about Him, His aim is to let us “be His witnesses”. And we should never have the idea of hiding.

3) The objects towards whom believers bear witness are “all men”------all the people------there is no difference in races, regions, classes, poor or rich, men or women and etc.


Acts. 22:16 “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'

   YLT: “and now, why tarriest thou? having risen, baptize thyself, and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord.”

   Meaning of Words: “be baptized”: be immersed into water; “wash away”: wash fully, wash out.

   Literal Meaning: in the original this verse could be divided into two sentences and there is a participle modifying the finite verb. And therefore it could be translated into “having arisen be baptized and wash away your sins, having called the name of the Lord”. The second sentence specially indicates that “calling the name of the Lord” is the basis for Paul to wash away his sins because his past sins are “doing many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Acts. 26:9) and arresting and destroying believers who called on the name of the Lord (Acts. 9:21).

  “Be baptized, and wash away your sins” Ananias did not mean that the baptism itself could wash away men’s sins. He meant that the baptism is to state and testify before God, men and angels that the one who is baptized believes the effect of the Lord’s salvation that His blood on the cross is able to wash away all the sins of men. This sentence is especially meaningful to Paul because he was a member in the Judaic world that persecuted Christians (See v.3-4; Acts. 7:60; 8:3; 9:1). Now he believed in the Lord Jesus and he should arise and be baptized. He declared through the baptism that he broke off the relation with the world and this way, his sins that he persecuted Jesus before men were washed away. 

   Controversial Clarification: The Roman Catholic misused this scripture and they thought that men’s faith is not enough and only when men believe in the Lord and are baptized will the sins of men be washed away. And therefore they baptize the dead ones, lest their sins were still there and they will be condemned after their death. However, the “washing away sins” here stresses on washing away sins before men and cleansing the sins that were kept in men’s feelings. Through baptism, we declare to the world that we believe the name of the Lord and the precious blood of the Lord Jesus has washed away all our sins. The washing away sins here is for men’s life in the world later instead of the judgment after death (See the controversial clarification in Acts. 2:38).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “And now why are you waiting?” At that moment, Paul was saved three days (Acts. 9:9) and the Spirit said that he was “waiting”. It shows that men should be baptized the moment they are saved. 

2) Baptism is the outer mark of the inner work of grace and it shows that the one who is baptized by faith has received the remission of sins and at the same time he has washed away his sins that he had made previously before men.

3) Concerning “being baptized” and “washing away” in this verse, we are baptized when we are saved------be baptized into the death of Christ and be buried with Him (Rom. 6:3-4a); we wash ourselves after we have been saved------have a clean and holy life daily, i.e. walking in newness of life (Rom. 6:4b).


Acts. 22:17Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance

   YLT: “`And it came to pass when I returned to Jerusalem, and while I was praying in the temple, I came into a trance,”

   Meaning of Words: “in a trance”: be lost in abstraction, a displacement of mind.

   Literal Meaning: when I returned to Jerusalem” This case should happen in the third year after he had been saved (Gal. 1:18; Acts. 9:26). The Lord’s appearance and revelation that he received this time were totally different from what he had mentioned in the twentieth chapter of the second book of Corinthians.

  “That I was in a trance” It indicates that the hearts of men are under the unusual conditions, as if they are dreaming but they are not asleep. When the hearts of men are evaluated to such state, they usually see the vision (See v.18; Acts. 10:10; 11:5).


Acts. 22:18 “and saw Him saying to me, Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.'

   YLT: “and I saw him saying to me, Haste and go forth in haste out of Jerusalem, because they will not receive thy testimony concerning me;”

   Literal Meaning: Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly” Probably the zealous Jewish believers were scheming to kill Paul at that time, and the brothers knew it and they escorted him to depart from Jerusalem (Acts. 9:29-30).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “And saw Him saying to me” Prayer (v.17) is to have communion with the Lord and therefore we not only speak to the Lord but also hear Him speak to us. It is not enough that we pray with our mouths without our ears. 

2) When we preach and work for the Lord, we should know to advance and retreat. If we habitually run rashly, there won’t be the good effect and contrarily we will make ourselves be in danger.

3) When bearing witness to the Lord, we should disregard the differences of places and occasions and all places are our workshop. However, we should also examine the response of all the people and it may be better for us to “turn to another place”.

4) When preachers feel the atmosphere that all the people are willing to “receive”, they should “make haste and get out of…quickly”.

5) The Lord once ordered the other disciples not to depart from Jerusalem (Acts. 1:4) and today He ordered Paul to make haste and get out of Jerusalem. The Lord’s orders differed in men and places and therefore we should not be deaf to the Lord’s words now because of His commandment to others or His order to us in the past.


Acts. 22:19 “So I said, Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You.

   YLT: “and I said, Lord, they -- they know that I was imprisoning and was scourging in every synagogue those believing on thee;”

   Literal Meaning: in every synagogue I beat those who believe on You” It does not mean that Paul beat them by himself, but that they were caused to be beaten by him.


Acts. 22:20 “And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.'

   YLT: “and when the blood of thy witness Stephen was being poured forth, I also was standing by and assenting to his death, and keeping the garments of those putting him to death;”

   Literal Meaning: I also was standing by consenting” It shows that he positively agreed with Stephen’s being killed.

  “And guarding the clothes of those who were killing him” He was a young man at that time (Acts. 7:58). Probably he had not reached the legal age and therefore he could not join them to carry out the punishment (beating men with stones). And he guarded the clothes of those who carried out the punishment to show his consent.


Acts. 22:21 “Then He said to me, Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’”

   YLT: “and he said unto me, Go, because to nations far off I will send thee.'”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Apparently Paul departed from Jerusalem for the sake of the environment (Acts. 9:30). But actually he was sent by the Lord (this verse). We believers should take heed and look upon the will of the Lord, concerning where shall we go and what shall we do (James. 4:13-15).

2) The burden where Christians go out to preach is always not determined by us but the Lord’s sending.

3) When the Lord asks us to do the service that we have not intent to do, shall we obey Him and receive the Lord’s dispatch without any struggle?


Acts. 22:22 “And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!’”

   YLT: “And they were hearing him unto this word, and they lifted up their voice, saying, `Away from the earth with such an one; for it is not fit for him to live.'”

   The Background: the Jews have a sense of superiority for their own race and religion (See Rom. 9:3-5) and they would never accept the opinion that the Gentiles and the Jews are the same in religion. If the Gentiles are not converted to Judaism and do not receive the circumcision or obey the traditional regulations of the Jews, they won’t mention them and the Jews in the same breath.

   Literal Meaning: And they listened to him until this word” “This word” indicates that God sent him to the Gentiles (See v.21). This word implies that God also chooses the Gentiles as His people except the Jews.

  “And then they raised their voices and said” The word “the Gentiles” makes them remember their hatred.

  “For he is not fit to live” To the Jews, the Gentiles must receive the Jewish law and become the Jews and then they are able to enjoy God’s grace, otherwise they indeed blaspheme God and they should be stoned to death by all the people. 

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “Away with him” was both used to the Lord Jesus and Paul (John. 19:15; Luke. 23:18). The witnesses of Christ must have the same destiny with Christ whom they bear witness to.

2) The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord (Matt. 10:24; John. 13:16). Men will treat us in the way how they treat our Lord. If others want to “away with” us for the sake of witness, it is proved that we are walking in the right way.

3) The life of self is “not fit to live” and we should be “away with” by men because the Lord said that if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matt. 16:24).

4) Paul used “defense”-----bear witness------to dissolve the persecution, and as a result, more persecution were brought in (v.22-24). It shows that if we want to bear witness to the Lord faithfully, unavoidably we will be persecuted by men. However, though we are persecuted, we are not abandoned (2Cor. 4:9; Acts. 23:11).

5) Satan does not allow anyone to fully live for the Lord. If we want to live for the Lord absolutely, unavoidably we will suffer its threats and attacks.


Acts. 22:23 “Then, as they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air,

   YLT: “And they crying out and casting up their garments, and throwing dust into the air,”

   Literal Meaning: tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air” These behaviors show their disgust and rejection to those who blaspheme God.


Acts. 22:24 “the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him.

   YLT: “the chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, saying, `By scourges let him be examined;' that he might know for what cause they were crying so against him.”

   Literal Meaning: and said that he should be examined under scourging” “Scourge” is an implement of punishment for the Romans to extort a confession to slaves and foreigners. It is a kind of thong into which keen bones and metals are inlayed and it could make the skin torn and even cause death.


Acts. 22:25 “And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?’”

   YLT: “And as he was stretching him with the thongs, Paul said unto the centurion who was standing by, `A man, a Roman, uncondemned -- is it lawful to you to scourge;'”

   The Background: The Roman Government gives high position to the citizenship and a Roman citizen can not be bound or scourged before he is condemned. 

   Literal Meaning: And as they bound him with thongs” They made the one who would be punished naked, bound him to the pillar and prepared to scourge him.


Acts. 22:26 “When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.’”

   YLT: “and the centurion having heard, having gone near to the chief captain, told, saying, `Take heed what thou art about to do, for this man is a Roman;'”

Literal Meaning: When the centurion heard that” “the centurion” was the one who was in charge of carrying out the punishment.


Acts. 22:27 “Then the commander came and said to him, Tell me, are you a Roman? He said, Yes.’”

   YLT: “and the chief captain having come near, said to him, `Tell me, art thou a Roman?' and he said, `Yes;'”


Acts. 22:28 “The commander answered, With a large sum I obtained this citizenship. And Paul said, But I was born a citizen.’”

   YLT: “and the chief captain answered, `I, with a great sum, did obtain this citizenship;' but Paul said, `But I have been even born [so].'”

   The Background: there are three ways to have the power of the Roman citizens at that time: 1) the one who was born in the Roman family; 2) the one who did great contribution to the Roman Empire; 3) the one who paid the considerable money.

   Literal Meaning: With a large sum I obtained this citizenship” The Roman citizen has many privileges and it could be bought in the time of Claudius the Roman Emperor.

  But I was born a citizen” It shows that his father was already a Roman citizen before he was born and therefore he followed his father and had the Roman citizen when he was born.


Acts. 22:29 “Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.

   YLT: “Immediately, therefore, they departed from him who are about to examine him, and the chief captain also was afraid, having learned that he is a Roman, and because he had bound him,”

   Literal Meaning: was also afraid” He was afraid that the superior might know that he went against the regulation and he might be condemned.


Acts. 22:30 “The next day, because he wanted to know for certain why he was accused by the Jews, he released him from his bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down and set him before them.

   YLT: “and on the morrow, intending to know the certainty wherefore he is accused by the Jews, he did loose him from the bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their sanhedrim to come, and having brought down Paul, he set [him] before them.”

   The Background: the highest chief executive that the Roman Empire accredited to the land of Judaea was the governor and he usually was accredited to Caesarea and there was also the hall of judgment at Jerusalem (John. 18:28). When the governor was not at Jerusalem, the commander was appointed to perform his duty, however, the commander had to ask for instructions and report to the governor.

   Literal Meaning: “and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear” The plural word “the chief priests” refers to those who were of the family of the chief priest and most of them were the Sadducees.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Two Supernatural Reasons that Changed Paul

I. The Lord’s appearance------made him “be fervent in the gospel of grace” from “being fervent in the Law” (v.1-9).

II. The Lord’s commandment------made him “be the Lord’s witness to the Gentiles” from “being the Lord’s witness to the compatriots and kinsmen” (v.10-21).


The Steps of Christians’ Spiritual Knowledge

I. Know and serve God according to the letters (v.3).

II. Receive the heavenly enlightenment and know the Lord Himself (v.6-8).

III. Receive the help from members and know the will of the Lord (v.10, 14-15).

IV. Have the Lord’s appearance and know the Lord’s special will towards him (v.17-21).


The Conditions of Knowing the Lord

I. The Lord’s light of glory shines one around (v.6, 11).

II. The Lord’s words (v.8).

III. Understanding (v.9).

IV. Obey the Lord’s voice (v.10).


The Marks of True Christians

I. Have the enlightenment of the Lord’s gospel (v.6).

II. Meet the Lord and hear His voice and therefore know the Lord (v.7-8).

III. The enlightenment and voice that he received were “individual”------the others saw the light and did not fall to the ground because of the light and they heard the voice and did not understand it (v.9, See v.6).

IV. Know the members of the body of Christ from the communion with the Lord (v.10).

V. Change his view towards the world fundamentally------ignore the world (v.11).

VI. Know the purpose of God’s election from the communion with members of the body of Christ (v.12-15).

VII. Remove the oldness and be renewed------wash away the past sins (v.16).

VIII. Receive the Lord’s commission to himself from the further prayer and communion with the Lord (v.17-21).


The Two Questions that Paul Asked when He Was Saved

I. “Who are You, Lord?” (v.8)------we should know the Lord Himself.

II. “What shall I do, Lord?” (v.10)------we should know the will of the Lord.


The Extracts of Christians’ Life (v.14)

I. Know and do the will of God.

II. Look upon and fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ. 

III. Listen to and receive His voice.


The Aim that God Chose Us

I. He wants us to know His will (v.14b).

II. He wants us to see the Just One------the Lord Jesus Christ (v.14b).

III. He wants us to hear the voice of His mouth (v.14c).

IV. He wants us to be His witness to all men (v.15).

V. He makes us be unto the body of Christ and live a holy life (v.16).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Sharon Ren