Paul Speaks to the People
37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, “May I say something to you?” And he said, “Do you know Greek? 38 Are you not rthe Egyptian, then, who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out sinto the wilderness?” 39 Paul replied, t“I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no obscure city. I beg you, permit me to speak to the people.” 40 And when he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the steps, umotioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great hush, he addressed them in vthe Hebrew language,1 saying:
22 w“Brothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make before you.”
3 y“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated zat the feet of aGamaliel2 baccording to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, cbeing zealous for God das all of you are this day. 4 eI persecuted fthis Way gto the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, 5 as hthe high priest and ithe whole council of elders can bear me witness. From them I received letters to jthe brothers, and I journeyed toward Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 k“As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8 And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am lJesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 mNow those who were with me saw the light but did not understand3 the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, n‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ 11 And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.
12 “And oone Ananias, a devout man paccording to the law, qwell spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 rcame to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And sat that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, t‘The God of our fathers uappointed you to know his will, vto see wthe Righteous One and xto hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for yyou will be a witness for him to everyone of what zyou have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? aRise and be baptized and bwash away your sins, ccalling on his name.’
17 d“When I had returned to Jerusalem and ewas praying in the temple, I fell into fa trance 18 and saw him saying to me, g‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another hI imprisoned and ibeat those who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of Stephen jyour witness was being shed, kI myself was standing by and lapproving and kwatching over the garments of those who killed him.’ 21 And he said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you mfar away to the Gentiles.’”