Author: Ron Graham

Book of Acts

Acts 22:1-30
—Verse by verse

This page is a verse by verse study of Acts 22:1-30. These verses record Paul’s speech to a hostile crowd in Jerusalem.

Paul addresses a hostile crowd in Jerusalem

1 Paul Tells Crowd “I Persecuted the Way!"

Verses 1-6

¶ "Paul said, “Brethren and fathers, please hear my defense which I now make to you.” When they heard Paul speak to them in the Hebrew tongue, they became more quiet. Here is what Paul said to them: “I am a true Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up here in Jerusalem at the feet of Gamaliel. I was educated according to the strict manner of the law of the fathers. I was zealous toward God, as you all are this day. I persecuted this way of Jesus to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. To this the high priest and all the council of the elders can testify. I received letters from them to the brethren, and went to Damascus to find followers there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem in order to have them punished.”" (Acts 22:1-6).

2 Paul describes his conversion

Verses 7-11

¶ "Paul continued, “On my journey, as I neared Damascus about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?' And I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' And he said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.' Those who were with me saw the light and were afraid; but they did not hear the voice of him who spoke to me. And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Arise, and go into Damascus; there you will be told everything appointed for you to do.' I was made blind by the glory of that light, and my companions had to lead me by the hand. Thus I came into Damascus.”" (Acts 22:7-11).

Verses 12-16

¶ "Paul continued, “I was visited by a man named Ananias. He is a devout man according to the law with a good reputation among all the Jews living in Damascus. Ananias came and stood before me. He said, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.' At that moment I looked up and could see him. He said, 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will, to see the Just One, and hear words from his mouth. For to all people you shall be his witness and tell what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' ”" (Acts 22:12-16).

Verses 17-21

¶ "Paul added, “When I returned to Jerusalem, while I was praying in the temple, I fell into in a trance. I saw Jesus who was saying to me, 'Make haste, and get yourself quickly out of Jerusalem; for they will not receive your testimony about me.' And I said, 'Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you; and when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I was also standing by; and consenting to his death; and I minded the clothes for those who slew him.' And he said to me, 'Go now, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.' ”" (Acts 22:17-21).

3 Paul Almost Flogged by the Romans

Verses 22-28

¶ "The Sanhedrin had been listening to Paul up to that statement. But then they began shouting, 'Away with such a fellow from the earth: for he has no right to live!' While they shouted, they shed their clothes, and tossed dust into the air. The Roman commander had Paul brought into the barracks, ordering that he be examined by scourging, hoping to discover why there was such an outcry against him. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, 'Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?' When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, 'Mind what you are doing, for this man is a Roman.' Then the commander came, and said to Paul, 'Tell me, are you a Roman?' Paul said, 'Yes I am.' The commander replied, 'With a great sum obtained I this freedom.' And Paul replied, 'But I was free born.' " (Acts 22:22-28).

Verse 29-30

¶ "Those who had been about to interrogate Paul immediately withdrew, and the commander was afraid when he realised that he'd bound a Roman. The next day, the commander wanted to know why the Jews were accusing Paul. So he released Paul and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to assemble. The commander brought Paul down, and set him before them." (Acts 22:29-30).