Paul recounts his former persecution of the Saints as a Pharisee—He testifies of the appearance of Jesus on the Damascus road—Paul bears his testimony to King Agrippa.
1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:
2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a aPharisee.
6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:
7 Unto which promise our atwelve tribes, binstantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should araise the dead?
9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things acontrary to the bname of Jesus of Nazareth.
10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the asaints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to bdeath, I gave my cvoice against them.
11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto astrange cities.
12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a alight from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, aSaul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick bagainst the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have aappeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a bwitness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I asend thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from adarkness to blight, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not adisobedient unto the heavenly bvision:
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judæa, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to akill me.
22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the aprophets and Moses did say should come:
23 That Christ should asuffer, and that he should be the first that should brise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee amad.
25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou abelievest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou apersuadest me to be a bChristian.
29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of adeath or of bonds.
32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto aCæsar.