Acts 9:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

New Living Translation
He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them--both men and women--back to Jerusalem in chains.

English Standard Version
and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Berean Study Bible
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.

Berean Literal Bible
requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any being of the way, both men and women, having bound them, he might bring them to Jerusalem.

New American Standard Bible
and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

King James Bible
And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

International Standard Version
He asked him for letters to take with him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way, he might bring them in chains to Jerusalem.

NET Bible
and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

New Heart English Bible
and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he requested a letter for himself from The High Priest and to give it for Darmsuq for the synagogues, that if he were to find those following in this way, men or women, he may bind and bring them to Jerusalem.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
and asked him to write letters of authorization to the synagogue leaders in the city of Damascus. Saul wanted to arrest any man or woman who followed the way [of Christ] and imprison them in Jerusalem.

New American Standard 1977
and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and asked him for letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

King James 2000 Bible
And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

American King James Version
And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

American Standard Version
and asked of him letters to Damascus unto the synagogues, that if he found any that were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any men and wemen of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Darby Bible Translation
and asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues, so that if he found any who were of the way, both men and women, he might bring [them] bound to Jerusalem.

English Revised Version
and asked of him letters to Damascus unto the synagogues, that if he found any that were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Webster's Bible Translation
And desired from him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he should find any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Weymouth New Testament
went to the High Priest and begged from him letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, in order that if he found any believers there, either men or women, he might bring them in chains to Jerusalem.

World English Bible
and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Young's Literal Translation
did ask from him letters to Damascus, unto the synagogues, that if he may find any being of the way, both men and women, he may bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Study Bible
The Road to Damascus
1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out threats of murder against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2to 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. 3As Saul drew near to Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.…
Cross References
Genesis 14:15
He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus.

Isaiah 17:1
The oracle concerning Damascus. "Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city And will become a fallen ruin.

Jeremiah 49:23
Concerning Damascus. "Hamath and Arpad are put to shame, For they have heard bad news; They are disheartened. There is anxiety by the sea, It cannot be calmed.

Matthew 10:17
But beware of men; for they will hand you over to their councils and flog you in their synagogues.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Acts 9:14
And now he is here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name."

Acts 9:21
All who heard him were amazed and asked, "Isn't this the man who wreaked havoc in Jerusalem on those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?"

Acts 18:25
He had been instructed in the way of the Lord and was fervent in spirit. He spoke and taught accurately about Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.

Acts 19:9
But when some of them stubbornly refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way, Paul took his disciples and left the synagogue to conduct daily discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

Acts 19:23
About that time a great disturbance arose about the Way.
Treasury of Scripture

And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

desired.

Acts 9:14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all that …

Acts 7:19 The same dealt subtly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, …

Acts 22:5 As also the high priest does bear me witness, and all the estate …

Acts 26:12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from …

Esther 3:8-13 And Haman said to king Ahasuerus…

Psalm 82:2-4 How long will you judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah…

the synagogues.

Acts 6:9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue …

Acts 13:14,15 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, …

Acts 28:17-21 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief …

of this way. Gr. of the way.

Acts 19:9,23 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spoke evil of …

Acts 22:5 As also the high priest does bear me witness, and all the estate …

Acts 28:22 But we desire to hear of you what you think: for as concerning this …

(2) And desired of him letters to Damascus.--We learn from 2Corinthians 11:32-33, that Damascus was at this time under the government of Aretas, the king of Arabia Petra. How it came to be so, having been previously under Vitellius, the Roman president of Syria (Jos. Ant. xiv. 4, 5), is not clear. It is probable, however, that in the war which Aretas had declared against Herod Antipas, in consequence of the Tetrarch's divorcing his daughter in order that he might marry Herodias (see Notes on Matthew 14:3; Luke 3:14), he had been led, after defeating the Tetrarch (Jos. Ant. xviii. 5, 1), to push his victories further; and, taking advantage of the absence of Vitellius, who had hastened to Rome on hearing of the death of Tiberius (A.D. 37) had seized on Damascus. In this abeyance of the control of the Roman power, Aretas may have desired to conciliate the priestly party at Jerusalem by giving facilities to their action against the sect which they would naturally represent as identified with the Galileans against whom he had been waging war. The Jewish population at Damascus was, at this time, very numerous. Josephus relates that not less than 10,000 were slain in a tumult under Nero (Wars, ii. 25), and the narrative of the Acts (Acts 9:14) implies that there were many "disciples of the Lord" among them. Many of these were probably refugees from Jerusalem, and the local synagogues were called upon to enforce the decrees of the Sanhedrin of the Holy City against them. On the position and history of Damascus, see Note on next verse.

If he found any of this way.--Literally, of the way. We have here the first occurrence of a term which seems to have been used familiarly as a synonym for the disciples of Christ (Acts 19:9; Acts 19:23; Acts 22:4; Acts 24:14; Acts 24:22). It may have originated in the words in which Christ had claimed to be Himself the "Way," as well as the "Truth" and the "Life" (John 14:6); or in His language as to the "strait way" that led to eternal life (Matthew 7:13); or, perhaps, again, in the prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3) cited by the Baptist (Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3), as to preparing "the way of the Lord." Prior to the general acceptance of the term "Christian" (Acts 11:26) it served as a convenient, neutral designation by which the disciples could describe themselves, and which might be used by others who wished to speak respectfully, or, at least, neutrally, instead of the opprobrious epithet of the "Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5). The history of the term "Methodists," those that follow a distinct "method" or "way" of life, offers a partial but interesting analogue.

Whether they were men or women.--The mention of the latter has a special interest. They too were prominent enough to be objects of the persecution. It is probable that those who were most exposed to it would have fled from Jerusalem, and among these we may think of those who had been foremost in their ministry during our Lord's life on earth (Luke 8:2), and who were with the Apostles at their first meeting after His Ascension (Acts 1:14).

Might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.--The mission implied that the offence, as being against the Holy Place and the Law, as involving what would be called, in modern language, sacrilege and heresy, was beyond the jurisdiction of the subordinate tribunals, and must be reserved for that of the Council. (See Notes on Matthew 5:22; Matthew 10:17.)

Verse 2. - Asked for desired, A.V.; unto for to, A.V.; any that were of the Way for any of this way, A.V.; whether men, etc., for whether they were men, etc., A.V.; to for unto, A.V. To Damascus. No special reason is given why Damascus is singled out. But it is clear from vers. 10 and 13 that there was already a considerable number of Christian Jews at Damascus. And this, with the fact of there being a great multitude of Jews settled there, was a sufficient reason why Saul should ask for letters to each of the synagogues at Damascus, directing them to send any Christians who might be found amongst them bound to Jerusalem to be tried there before the Sanhedrim. There may have been thirty or forty synagogues at Damascus, and not less than forty thousand resident Jews. Of the Way; i.e. holding the doctrine of Christ. Thus in Acts 18:25, 26, the Christian faith is spoken of as "the way of the Lord" and "the way of God." In Acts 19:9, 23; Acts 22:4; Acts 24:14, was the term by which the faith of Christ was spoken of chiefly, perhaps, among the Jews. The term means a peculiar doctrine or sect. Its application to Christians apparently lasted only so long as Christianity was considered to be a modification or peculiar form of Judaism, and its frequent use in the Acts is therefore an evidence of the early composition of the book. And desired of him letters to Damascus,.... Damascus was the head or metropolis of Syria, Isaiah 7:8 And so Pliny (z) calls it Damascus of Syria: it was a very ancient city; it was in the times of Abraham; his servant Eliezer is said to be of it, Genesis 15:2 and some say it was built by him the said Eliezer; though Josephus (a) makes Uz, a grandson of Shem, to be the founder of it; whose surname is conjectured, by some, to be Dimshak, seeing that and Uz differ not in sense: and Justin says (b), it had its name from Damascus, the king of it, in honour of whom the Syrians made a temple of the sepulchre of his wife Arathis, and her a goddess; after Damascus, he says, Azelus, then Azores, Abraham, and Israel were kings of it. Some think it has its name from blood, and that it signifies a "sack" or bag, or, as Jerom explains, a cup of blood (c), or one that drinks blood; who says, it is a true tradition, that the field in which Abel was killed by Cain, was in Damascus (d): but it seems rather to be so called from the redness of the earth about it; for some very good writers affirm, that the earth in the fields of Damascus is like wax tinged with red lead; so if it be read Dammesek, as it commonly is, in the Arabic language, "Damma" signifies to tinge, and "Meshko" is used for "red earth"; or if "Dummesek", as it is in 2 Kings 16:10, "Daumo", in the same language, is "permanent", what always abides, and "Meshko", as before, "red earth", and so "Dummesek" is never failing red earth; or if it be Darmesek", as in 1 Chronicles 18:5 the same with Darmsuk", it may be observed, that the Syrians call red earth "Doro sumoko": so that, upon the whole, this seems to be the best etymology of the word (e), and the rise of the name of this famous city, which Justin calls the most noble city of Syria. It is said (f) to be an hundred and sixty miles from Jerusalem. Here might be many Christians before, and others might flee hither upon this persecution; and Saul, not content with driving them from their native place, persecuted them, as he himself says, to strange cities: and that he might do this with safety to himself, and with the greater force and cruelty to them, he got letters from the high priest, and sanhedrim, at Jerusalem; either recommending him to the Jews at Damascus, and exhorting them to assist him in what he came about; or empowering him to act under his authority, or both: and these were directed to be delivered

to the synagogues; to the rulers of them; for the Jews being numerous in this place, they had more synagogues than one. Josephus says (g), that under Nero the inhabitants of Damascus killed ten thousand Jews in their own city: and Benjamin Tudelensis (h) in his time says, there were about three thousand Jews (Pharisees), besides two hundred Karaites (or Scripturarians), and four hundred Samaritans, who lived in peace together. Now to these synagogues, and the chief men of them, was Saul recommended for assistance and direction,

that if he found any of this way; of thinking; that were of this sect of religion, and either professed to believe, or preach, that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah:

whether they were men or women; without any fear of one, or mercy to the other:

he might bring them bound to Jerusalem; to be examined and punished by the sanhedrim there, as they should think fit; and for this purpose he must take with him a considerable number of men; and that he had men with him is certain from Acts 9:7.

(z) L. 36. c. 8. (a) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 5. (b) Ex Trogo, l. 36. c. 2.((c) De Nominibus Hebraicis, fol. 97. F. & 101. K. (d) Comment. in Ezekiel 27.18. (e) Vid. Hiller. Onomasticum, p. 114, 115, 419, 793. (f) Bunting's Itinerar. p. 394. (g) De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 20. sect. 2.((h) ltinerar. p. 56, 57. 2. desired … letters—of authorization.

to Damascus—the capital of Syria and the great highway between eastern and western Asia, about one hundred thirty miles northeast of Jerusalem; the most ancient city perhaps in the world, and lying in the center of a verdant and inexhaustible paradise. It abounded (as appears from Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 2.20,2) with Jews, and with Gentile proselytes to the Jewish faith. Thither the Gospel had penetrated; and Saul, flushed with past successes, undertakes to crush it out.

that if he found any of this way, whether men or women—Thrice are women specified as objects of his cruelty, as an aggravated feature of it (Ac 8:3; 22:4; and here).9:1-9 So ill informed was Saul, that he thought he ought to do all he could against the name of Christ, and that he did God service thereby; he seemed to breathe in this as in his element. Let us not despair of renewing grace for the conversion of the greatest sinners, nor let such despair of the pardoning mercy of God for the greatest sin. It is a signal token of Divine favour, if God, by the inward working of his grace, or the outward events of his providence, stops us from prosecuting or executing sinful purposes. Saul saw that Just One, ch. 22:14; 26:13. How near to us is the unseen world! It is but for God to draw aside the veil, and objects are presented to the view, compared with which, whatever is most admired on earth is mean and contemptible. Saul submitted without reserve, desirous to know what the Lord Jesus would have him to do. Christ's discoveries of himself to poor souls are humbling; they lay them very low, in mean thoughts of themselves. For three days Saul took no food, and it pleased God to leave him for that time without relief. His sins were now set in order before him; he was in the dark concerning his own spiritual state, and wounded in spirit for sin. When a sinner is brought to a proper sense of his own state and conduct, he will cast himself wholly on the mercy of the Saviour, asking what he would have him to do. God will direct the humbled sinner, and though he does not often bring transgressors to joy and peace in believing, without sorrows and distress of conscience, under which the soul is deeply engaged as to eternal things, yet happy are those who sow in tears, for they shall reap in joy.
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Alphabetical: and any as asked at belonged belonging both bound bring Damascus for found from he him if in Jerusalem letters men might or prisoners so synagogues take that the them there to Way whether who women

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