22
Paul defended his believing in Jesus, but the Jews wanted to kill him.
Acts 22:1-16
Paul said, “ Jewish elders and my other fellow Jews, listen to me now while I reply to those who are accusing me!” When the crowd of people heard Paul speaking to them in their own Hebrew language, they became even more quiet and really listened. Then Paul said to them, “I am a Jew, as are all of you. I was born in Tarsus city, in Cilicia province, but I grew up here in Jerusalem. When I was young, for many years I studied the laws that Moses gave to our ancestors. I was taught by the famous teacher Gamaliel [MTY] { The famous teacher Gamaliel taught [MTY] me}. I have carefully obeyed those laws, because I have wanted to obey God. I am sure that many of you also carefully obey those laws. That is why I previously persecuted those who believe the message that people call the Way that Jesus taught. I continually looked for ways to kill them. Whenever I found men or women who believed that message, I commanded that they should be seized and thrown { people to seize them and throw them} into jail. The suprrme priest knows this, and so do the other respected men who belong to our Jewish Council. They gave me letters to take to their fellow Jews in Damascus city. By means of those letters, they authorized me to go to there and find people who believed in Jesus. They had written in the letters that I was to bring those people as prisoners to Jerusalem, so that they would be punished here { the leaders here could punish them}.
So I went on my way to Damascus. About noon, my companions and I were getting near Damascus. Suddenly a bright light from the sky flashed all around me. The light was so bright that I fell to the ground. Then I heard the voice of someone speaking to me from up in the sky. The one who was speaking to me said, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you (sg) do things to harm me?’ I answered, ‘Who are you?’ He replied, ‘I am Jesus from Nazareth. I am the one whom you (sg) are harming by doing things to harm my followers.’ The men who were traveling with me saw the very bright light, and they heard a voice, but they did not understand what the voice said to me. 10 Then I asked, ‘Lord, what do you want me to do?’ The Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus! A man there will tell you (sg) all that I have planned for you to do.’ 11  After that, I could not see, because the very bright light had caused me to become blind. So my companions took me by the hand and led me until we(exc) arrived in Damascus. 12  A couple of days later, a man whose name was Ananias came to see me. He was a man who greatly respected God and carefully obeyed our Jewish laws. All the Jews living in Damascus said good things about him. 13 He came and stood beside me and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, see again!’ Instantly I could see! I saw Ananias standing there beside me. 14 Then he said: ‘The God whom we(inc) worship and whom our ancestors worshipped has chosen you and will show you what he wants you to do. He has allowed you to see the righteous one, the Messiah, and you have heard him speaking to you. 15 He wants you to tell people everywhere what you have seen and heard from him. 16 So now ◄do not delay!/why delay?► [RHQ] Stand up, let me baptize you, and by praying to the Lord Jesus ask God to forgive you (sg) for your sins!’ ”
Paul told about the Lord's commanding him to go to non-Jewish people.
Acts 22:17-22
17 “Later, I returned to Jerusalem. One day I went to the Temple courtyard. While I was praying there, I saw a vision in which 18 I saw the Lord speaking to me. He said to me, ‘ Do not stay here! Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not ◄believe/listen to► what you (sg) tell them about me!’ 19 But I protested and said to him, ‘Lord, they know that I went to many of our meeting houses looking for people who believe in you. I was putting in jail those whom I found who believed in you, and I was even beating them. 20  They remember that when Stephen was killed [MTY] {when people killed [MTY] Stephen} because he told people about you, I stood there watching it all and approving what they were doing. I even guarded the outer garments that those who were murdering him had thrown aside. So if I stay here, the fact that I have changed how I think about you will surely impress those leaders of our people.’ 21 But the Lord said to me, ‘No, do not stay here! Leave Jerusalem, because I am going to send you (sg) far away from here to non-Jewish people!’ ” 22 The people listened quietly to what Paul was saying until he mentioned the Lord sending him to non-Jewish people. Then they began shouting angrily, “Kill him! He does not deserve to live any longer!” They said that because they could not believe that God would save anyone except Jews.
Paul said that he was a Roman citizen, so soldiers did not flog him.
Acts 22:23-29
23 While they continued shouting, “Kill him!” they took off their cloaks and threw dust into the air, which showed how angry they were. 24 So the commander commanded that Paul be taken { soldiers to take Paul} into the barracks. He told the soldiers that they should strike Paul with a whip that had pieces of bone/metal on the end of it, in order to make him tell what he had done that made the Jews shout so angrily. So the soldiers took Paul into the barracks. 25 Then they stretched his arms out and tied them so that they could whip him on his back. But Paul said to the officer who was standing nearby watching, “ You(sg) should think carefully about this! You will certainly be [RHQ] acting unlawfully if you whip me, a Roman citizen whom no one has put on trial and condemned!” 26 When the officer heard that, he went to the commander and reported it to him. He said to the commander, “This man is a Roman citizen ◄Surely you would not command us to whip him!/Do you really want us to whip him?► [RHQ]” 27 The commander was surprised when he heard that. He himself went into the barracks and said to Paul, “Tell me, are you (sg) really a Roman citizen?” Paul answered, “Yes, I am.” 28 Then the commander said, “ I am also a Roman citizen. I paid a lot of money to become a Roman citizen.” Paul said, “But I was born a Roman citizen, so I did not need to pay anything.” 29 The soldiers were about to whip Paul and to ask him questions about what he had done. But when they heard what Paul said, they left him immediately. The commander also became afraid, because he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had illegally commanded soldiers to tie up Paul's hands.
The commander's soldiers brought Paul to the Jewish Council.
Acts 22:30
30  The commander still wanted to know exactly why the Jews were accusing Paul. So the next day he told the soldiers to take the chains off Paul. He also summoned the chief priests and the other Jewish Council members. Then he took Paul to where the Council was meeting and commanded him to stand before them.