2 Corinthians 11:32
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me.

New Living Translation
When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept guards at the city gates to catch me.

English Standard Version
At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me,

Berean Study Bible
In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas secured the city of the Damascenes in order to arrest me.

Berean Literal Bible
In Damascus the governor under the king Aretas was guarding the city of the Damascenes to seize me.

New American Standard Bible
In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me,

King James Bible
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of the Damascenes in order to arrest me,

International Standard Version
In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas put guards around the city of Damascus to catch me,

NET Bible
In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to arrest me,

New Heart English Bible
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes to arrest me.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
In Dramsuq, the Captain of the Army of Aretus, The King, was guarding the city of the Damascenes to seize me,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The governor under King Aretas put guards around the city of Damascus to catch me.

New American Standard 1977
In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me,

Jubilee Bible 2000
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me;

King James 2000 Bible
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of Damascus with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

American King James Version
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

American Standard Version
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes in order to take me:

Douay-Rheims Bible
At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes, to apprehend me.

Darby Bible Translation
In Damascus the ethnarch of Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes shut up, wishing to take me;

English Revised Version
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes, in order to take me:

Webster's Bible Translation
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

Weymouth New Testament
In Damascus the governor under King Aretas kept guards at the gates of the city in order to apprehend me,

World English Bible
In Damascus the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of the Damascenes desiring to arrest me.

Young's Literal Translation
In Damascus the ethnarch of Aretas the king was watching the city of the Damascenes, wishing to seize me,
Study Bible
Paul's Suffering and Service
31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is forever worthy of praise, knows that I am not lying. 32In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas secured the city of the Damascenes in order to arrest me. 33But I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his grasp.…
Cross References
Acts 9:2
to ask for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way, he could bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

Acts 9:8
Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could not see a thing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.

Acts 9:10
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Here I am, Lord," he answered.

Acts 9:24
but Saul learned of their plot. Day and night they watched the city gates in order to kill him.
Treasury of Scripture

In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

Damascus.

2 Corinthians 11:26 In journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in …

Acts 9:24,25 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates …

Aretas. This Aretas was an Arabian king, and the father-in-law of Herod Antipas, upon whom he made war in consequence of his having divorced his daughter. Herod applied to Tiberius for help, who sent Vitellius to reduce Aretas, and to bring him alive or dead to Rome. By some means or other Vitellius delayed his operations, and in the mean time Tiberius died; and it is probable that Aretas, who was thus snatched from ruin, availed himself of the favourable state of things, and seized on Damascus, which had belonged to his ancestors.

(32) In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king . . .--The question meets us at the outset whether the fact that follows is brought in as being the first instance of suffering endured for the sake of Christ, and therefore the natural opening to what was intended to have been a long, connected narrative of all such sufferings, or as being connected in some special manner with his "infirmities.", On the whole, the evidence--especially the context of 2Corinthians 11:30--seems in favour of the latter view, as far, at least, as the selection of the incident is concerned. There was, we can well imagine, an element of the ludicrous--something that gave occasion to jests and sneers--in the way in which the Apostle's escape On the historical facts connected with this incident, see Notes on Acts 9:24-25. The additional details which we learn from St. Paul are--(1) that Damascus was under the immediate control, not of the Governor of Syria, but of a governor or an ethnarch; (2) that the ethnarch was appointed, not by the Roman emperor, but by Aretas (the name was hereditary, and was the Greek form of the Arabic Haret), the King of the Nabathan Arabs, who had his capital at Petra, who was the father of the first wife of Herod Antipas (see Note on Matthew 14:1); (3) that the ethnarch lent himself to the enmity of the Jews, and stationed troops at each gate of the city to prevent St. Paul's escape. "Ethnarch," it may be noted, was about this time the common title of a subordinate provincial governor. It had been borne by Judas Maccabus (1 Maccabees 14:47; 1 Maccabees 15:1-2) and by Archelaus (Jos. Wars, ii. 6, 3).

Verse 32. - In Damascus. (For the incident referred to, see Acts 9:22-25.) The governor; literally, the ethnarch. This is obviously the title given to the commandant of the city (whether an Arabian or a Jew), left in charge by Aretas. The word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament, but is found in 1 Macc. 14:47; Josephus, 'Ant.,' 14:07, § 2. Under Aretas the king. Hareth, the Emir of Petra, father-in-law of Herod the Great. He had either seized the city during his war with Herod, to avenge the insult offered to his daughter by Herod's adultery with Herodias; or it may have been assigned to him by Caligula. His relations with Damascus are confirmed by coins (see 'Life of St. Paul,' exc. 8.). Kept... with a garrison; literally, was guarding. It is said in Acts 9:24 that the Jews did this; but they could not in any case have done it without leave from the ethnarch, and qui facit per alium, facit per se. Desirous to apprehend me. Both words are a little stronger in the Greek - "determining to seize me." In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king,.... Aretas or Al-Hareth was a king of Arabia, of the family of the Gassanii; among whom were many of this name (r); and who for some hundreds of years ruled over Syria, of which Damascus was the metropolis. The fourth king of that family was of this name, and perhaps is the person here meant; and after him there were four more of the same family so called; it was a name of Arabian kings in other families. The fifteenth king of the Yamanensians was of this name, and so was the "seventeenth" of the Hirensians (s), and the "third" of the kings of Cenda; in the times of Antiochus Epiphanes, there was an Aretas king of the Arabians, mentioned in the Apocrypha (t).

"In the end therefore he had an unhappy return, being accused before Aretas the king of the Arabians, fleeing from city to city, pursued of all men, hated as a forsaker of the laws, and being had in abomination as an open enemy of his country and countrymen, he was cast out into Egypt.'' (2 Maccabees 5:8)

Josephus (u) also makes mention of Aretas king of the Arabians, who seems to have been king of Arabia Petraea, since his royal seat was at Petra, to whom Hyrcanus fled by the advice of Antipater, the father of Herod the great; and there was also one of this name in the times of Herod himself, who succeeded Obodas (w); yea, there was an Aretas king of Petraea, in the times of Herod the tetrarch, whose daughter Herod married, and put her away when he took Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, which occasioned a quarrel between him and Aretas, which issued in a battle, in which Herod was beaten (x); and who is thought to be the same king which is here spoken of: the name Aretas or Al-Hareth, as Hillerus (y), observes, signifies the lion; and a lion with the eastern nations was a symbol of royalty and dominion; hence such names were given to persons of illustrious birth and power; so Ali, the son-in-law of Mahomet, was called by the Arabs and Persians the lion of God: now Syria, where Damascus was, and which is called by Pliny (z) Damascus of Syria, had been of long time in the hands of the kings of Arabia; and (a) Josephus makes mention of Aretas, king of Coele Syria, who was called to the government by those who had Damascus in their hands; very probably by Milesius, who was governor of the tower of Damascus, and commanded , "the city of the Damascenes", as Josephus calls Damascus, just as it is here in the next clause; in which country of Coele Syria, Ptolomy (b) also places Damascus; and Grotius has proved from Justin Martyr (c) and Terlullian (d), that Damascus formerly belonged to Arabia, though in their times it was reckoned to Syro Phoenicia: here the apostle preached to the confounding of the Jews that dwelt there, which provoked them to enter into a consultation to take away his life; and that he might not escape their hands, they moved to the then governor who was under the king, that the gates might be watched day and night; see Acts 9:23 to which he agreed; and as the apostle here says,

kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, or set a guard about it; or as the Arabic version reads it, "he shut up the city"; and placed a watch at the gates of it night and day, or allowed the Jews to do so:

desirous to apprehend me; in order to deliver him into their hands, who were now his sworn enemies for the Gospel's sake; willing to do them this favour to ingratiate himself into their affections; or perhaps it might be insinuated to him, that he was a seditious person.

(r) Pocock. Specimen Hist. Arab. p. 76, 77, 78. (s) Pocock. ib. p. 58, 70, 79. (t) Vid. Joseph. Antiqu. l. 13. c. 13. sect. 3.((u) Antiqu. l. 14. c. 1. sect. 4. de Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 2.((w) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 16. c. 9. sect. 4. & c. 10. sect. 8, 9. (x) Ib. Antiqu. l. 18. c. 6. sect. 1.((y) Onomasticum Sacrum, p. 116, 748. (z) Nat. Hist. l. 36. c. 8. (a) Antiqu. l. 13. c. 15. sect. 1, 2.((b) Geograph. l. 5. c. 15. (c) Dialog. cum Tryphone Jud. p. 305. (d) Adv. Marcion. l. 3. c. 13. 32. governor—Greek, "Ethnarch": a Jewish officer to whom heathen rulers gave authority over Jews in large cities where they were numerous. He was in this case under Aretas, king of Arabia. Damascus was in a Roman province. But at this time, A.D. 38 or 39, three years after Paul's conversion, A.D. 36, Aretas, against whom the Emperor Tiberius as the ally of Herod Agrippa had sent an army under Vitellius, had got possession of Damascus on the death of the emperor, and the consequent interruption of Vitellius' operations. His possession of it was put an end to immediately after by the Romans [Neander]. Rather, it was granted by Caligula (A.D. 38) to Aretas, whose predecessors had possessed it. This is proved by our having no Damascus coins of Caligula or Claudius, though we do have of their immediate imperial predecessors and successors [Alford]. 11:22-33 The apostle gives an account of his labours and sufferings; not out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honour of God, who enabled him to do and suffer so much for the cause of Christ; and shows wherein he excelled the false apostles, who tried to lessen his character and usefulness. It astonishes us to reflect on this account of his dangers, hardships, and sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance, diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all these trials. See what little reason we have to love the pomp and plenty of this world, when this blessed apostle felt so much hardship in it. Our utmost diligence and services appear unworthy of notice when compared with his, and our difficulties and trials scarcely can be perceived. It may well lead us to inquire whether or not we really are followers of Christ. Here we may study patience, courage, and firm trust in God. Here we may learn to think less of ourselves; and we should ever strictly keep to truth, as in God's presence; and should refer all to his glory, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore.
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Alphabetical: Aretas arrest city Damascenes Damascus ethnarch governor guarded guarding had In King me of order seize the to under was

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