(3) Defending Himself before the Rioting Jews
40 And when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and amotioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he addressed them in the bHebrew 1dialect, saying,
1 1Men, abrothers and fathers, hear my 2bdefense which I now make to you.
2 And when they heard that he addressed them in the Hebrew 1dialect, they became more quiet. And he said,
3 I am 1a aJew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia but brought up in this city and trained at the feet of bGamaliel, according to the cstrictness of the law of our fathers, being dzealous efor God, even as you all are today.
4 And I apersecuted this 1Way unto death, binding and delivering to bprisons both men and women,
5 As also the ahigh priest and all the 1assembly of the elders testify for me; from whom I also received bletters to the brothers and went to cDamascus to bring those also who were there bound to Jerusalem that they might be punished.
6 And as I journeyed and adrew near to Damascus about midday, suddenly a great light flashed out of heaven around me;
7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting 1Me?
8 And I answered, Who are You, 1Lord? And He said to me, I am Jesus the aNazarene, whom you persecute.
9 And those who were with me beheld the light, but did not 1hear the voice of the One who was speaking to me.
10 And I said, aWhat shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Rise up and go into Damascus, and there it 1will be told to you concerning all the things which have been appointed to you to do.
11 And as I could 1not see because of the glory of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus.
12 And a certain 1aAnanias, a devout man according to the law, bwell attested to by all the Jews dwelling there,
13 Came to me, and standing by, said to me, Brother Saul, 1areceive your sight! And in that very hour I looked up at him.
14 And he said, The aGod of our fathers has previously bappointed you to know His cwill and to see the drighteous One and to hear the voice from His mouth;
15 For you will be a awitness to Him unto all men of the things which you have bseen and heard.
16 And now, why do you delay? Rise up and 1be abaptized and wash away your sins, 2bcalling on 3His cname.
17 And when I returned to aJerusalem and was praying in the btemple, I went into a 1trance;
18 And I saw Him saying to me, Hurry, and go quickly out of Jerusalem, because they will not accept your atestimony concerning Me.
19 And I said, Lord, they know that I was aimprisoning and beating from bsynagogue to synagogue those who believe on You;
20 And when the ablood of Your bwitness Stephen was being cshed, I myself also was standing by and dapproving and keeping the garments of those who did away with him.
21 And He said to me, Go, for I will send you forth afar away to the bGentiles.