17 “Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance
18 and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’
19 So I said, ‘Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You.
20 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’
21 Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’”
Paul’s conversation with the Lord in the temple is not recorded in Acts 9.
Paul considered himself responsible, at least in part, for the unbelief of the Jews.
His defense was that he loved the Jews, but that God had sent him to the Gentiles.
Paul hoped that his own testimony of his change of heart from a persecutor to a follower of Christ would convince the Jews in Jerusalem to do likewise, but the Lord told him they would not listen. In fact, his life was in danger (Acts 9:29). If Paul had followed the Lord’s instructions to leave Jerusalem, he wouldn’t have been in the position he was in at the time covered in Acts 22.
returned to Jerusalem (v.17) — Acts 9:26
trance (v.17) = lit. “a carrying outside one’s self”
imprisoned and beat (.v19) — tense indicates a continuous action
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