Paul’s Speech to the Jewish Temple Mob









Acts 22:1-22,​​ NASB,


1​​ "Brethren * and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you."​​ 


2​​ And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet; and he said,​​ 


3​​ "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under * * Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today.​​ 


4​​ "I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons,​​ 


5​​ as also the high priest and all the Council of the elders can testify. From them I also received letters to the brethren, and started off for Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished.​​ 


6​​ "But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all 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 Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.'​​ 


9​​ "And those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.​​ 




10​​ "And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.'​​ 


11​​ "But 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​​ "A certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,​​ 


13​​ came to me, and standing near said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And at that very time I looked up at him.​​ 


14​​ "And he said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth.​​ 


15​​ 'For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.​​ 


16​​ 'Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.'​​ 


17​​ "It happened when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I fell into a trance,​​ 


18​​ and I saw Him saying to me, 'Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.'​​ 


19​​ "And I said, 'Lord, they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another I used to imprison and beat those who believed in You.​​ 


20​​ 'And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.'​​ 


21​​ "And He said to me, 'Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'"​​ 


22​​ They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!"



Here is the ‘Short Version’ we are served in​​ Acts 9:3-18,​​ NASB,


“3​​ As he was​​ traveling, it​​ happened​​ that he was​​ approaching​​ Damascus, and​​ suddenly​​ a​​ light​​ from​​ heaven​​ flashed​​ around​​ him;​​ 


4​​ and he​​ fell​​ to the​​ ground​​ and​​ heard​​ a​​ voice​​ saying​​ to him,​​ "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"​​ 


5​​ And he​​ said,​​ "Who​​ are You,​​ Lord?" And He said,​​ "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,​​ 


6​​ but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what * you must do."​​ 


7​​ The​​ men​​ who​​ traveled​​ with him​​ stood​​ speechless,​​ hearing​​ the​​ voice​​ but​​ seeing​​ no​​ one.​​ 


8​​ Saul​​ got​​ up from the​​ ground, and though his​​ eyes​​ were​​ open, he could​​ see​​ nothing; and​​ leading​​ him by the​​ hand, they​​ brought​​ him into​​ Damascus.​​ 


9​​ And he was​​ three​​ days​​ without​​ sight, and​​ neither​​ ate​​ nor​​ drank.​​ 


10​​ Now​​ there was a​​ disciple​​ at​​ Damascus​​ named​​ Ananias; and the​​ Lord​​ said​​ to him in a​​ vision,​​ "Ananias."​​ And he​​ said,​​ "Here​​ I am,​​ Lord."​​ 


11​​ And the​​ Lord​​ said to him,​​ "Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,​​ 


12​​ and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight."​​ 


13​​ But​​ Ananias​​ answered,​​ "Lord, I have​​ heard​​ from​​ many​​ about​​ this​​ man,​​ how​​ much​​ harm​​ he​​ did​​ to Your​​ saints​​ at​​ Jerusalem;​​ 


14​​ and​​ here​​ he​​ has​​ authority​​ from the​​ chief​​ priests​​ to​​ bind​​ all​​ who​​ call​​ on Your​​ name."​​ 


15​​ But the​​ Lord​​ said​​ to him,​​ "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;​​ 


16​​ for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."​​ 


17​​ So​​ Ananias​​ departed​​ and​​ entered​​ the​​ house, and after​​ laying​​ his​​ hands​​ on him​​ said, "Brother​​ Saul, the​​ Lord​​ Jesus, who​​ appeared​​ to you on the​​ road​​ by​​ which​​ you were​​ coming, has​​ sent​​ me​​ so​​ that you may​​ regain​​ your​​ sight​​ and be​​ filled​​ with the​​ Holy​​ Spirit."​​ 


18​​ And​​ immediately​​ there​​ fell​​ from his​​ eyes​​ something​​ like​​ scales, and he​​ regained​​ his​​ sight, and he​​ got​​ up and was​​ baptized;​​ 

and he​​ took​​ food​​ and was​​ strengthened.



Well, it might not be entirely correct to make these two passages of Scripture in the manner of a ‘Long Version’ and a ‘Short Version’.


But I willfully took this angle, just so we have cleared the Bible truth in this:​​ The ‘Short Version’ is the conversion of Paul referred to us by Luke – that is, seen​​ from outside of Paul’s own mind​​ and thoughts. And the ‘Long Version’ is the one told by Paul, as it went down, ​​​​ becoming a whole new and shocking experience for him.​​ 


I am quite sure of that Paul must have been taken with serious fear and awe…having heard the voice of Christ addressing him directly.​​ As well as having been blinded by the super-natural light hitting him.


I even think that Paul​​ may have had doubts​​ whether he was allowed to stay alive anymore. He had arrested and falsely helped the priesthood in Jerusalem to have these prisoners executed, since they were all believers in Jesus as the Messiah. (It is seen in N.T. very clearly that Messianic believers were​​ destined for executions, and not long sentences to do time in prison, and then sat free).


Acts 22:14,​​ 15,​​ Paul told how he heard the Lord’s orders regarding his coming ministry,


“14​​ "And he said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth.​​ 


15​​ 'For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.”​​ 



Jesus had a​​ full plan​​ for Paul’s life: he was chosen especially to go to the children of Israel, and to Gentiles, and to kings​​ (Acts 9:15).


My sectioning of a ‘Long Version’ and a ‘Short Version’ is not to put the two up against each other. The two rather makes a better WHOLE…a more complete and solid piece of Bible truth.


Paul’s testimony to the temple mob was ended with some rather provoking words, which really set fire to this already angry mob – so they fell into a rage,​​ Acts 22:21, 22,


“21​​ "And He said to me, 'Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'"​​ 


22​​ They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said,​​ "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!"


The Jewish mob declared publicly in the temple site that Paul ought to be executed…in the manner of the mob itself doing this!​​ They were greatly insulted by hearing that a Jew should go to Gentiles!


Luke reported of Paul in​​ Acts 23:11,​​ NASB,​​ that sending him to the Gentiles​​ far away,​​ was in more accurate terms, sending him to Rome,


But on the​​ night​​ immediately​​ following, the​​ Lord​​ stood​​ at his side and​​ said,​​ "Take​​ courage; for as you have​​ solemnly​​ witnessed​​ to My​​ cause​​ *​​ at​​ Jerusalem,​​ so​​ you​​ must​​ witness​​ at​​ Rome​​ also."


Check out my articles​​ on Paul’s dramatically sea voyage to Rome, titled​​ Paul’s Journey to Rome Was Entirely Piloted by the Lord” – (Part 1 and Part 2).


These two​​ articles let us learn how it was as Christ willfully sent Paul there, not to visit the Messianic believers, but to​​ confront the Sanhedrin Counsel​​ of​​ the eleven synagogues in Rome. God wanted a final answer from Israel: will they receive Jesus as Messiah or will they turn this offer down?


They turned Paul’s message down, and God counted that act of disbelief as the FALL OF ISRAEL. And only 10 years later, 70 CE, the nation was utterly destroyed by the Roman Empire due to the up rise in 66-70 CE.












You may also like...