13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me.
14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.
17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,
18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
midday (v.13) — when the sun was at its brightest (and this in Syria!), the light from heaven still outshone it.
shining around (v.13) — The Greek word here is uses again in Scripture only in Luke 2:9 of the light seen by the shepherds.
goads (v.14) — a stick used to prod animals. There may be a sense here in which Paul’s conscience had been bothering him even before he met the Lord personally.
which you have seen (v.16) — only eye-witnesses of the Lord could be apostles
to whom (v.17) — Jews and Gentiles, but particularly Gentiles
Paul was indeed chosen and taken out from both his own people and the Gentiles, and sent back to both with the message of grace. This distinguishes him, too, from the twelve. They represented the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). He, as one apostle, represents the one Body (Colossians 1:24; Ephesians 4:4). — Stam, page 137.