The Scriptures (ISR 1998)
1And Agrippa said to Sha’ul, “You are allowed to speak for yourself.” Then Sha’ul stretched out his hand and made his defence:
2“I think myself blessed, Sovereign Agrippa, because today I shall make my defence before you concerning all of which I am accused by the Yehuḏim,
3you being most of all an expert, knowing of all practices and questions which have to do with the Yehuḏim. So, please hear me patiently.
4“Truly, then, all the Yehuḏim know my way of life from youth, which I led from the beginning among my own nation at Yerushalayim,
5since they have known me from the first, if they wish to witness, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our observance.
6“And now I stand and am judged for the expectation of the promise made by Elohim to our fathers,
7to which our twelve tribes, earnestly serving Elohim night and day, expect to attain. Concerning this expectation, O Sovereign Agrippa, I am accused by the Yehuḏim.
8“Why is it considered ‘unbelievable’ among you if Elohim raises the dead?
9“Therefore, indeed, I thought within myself that I ought to do much against the Name of יהושע of Natsareth,
10which also I did in Yerushalayim, and I shut up many of the set-apart ones in prison, having received authority from the chief priests. And when they were put to death, I gave my vote against them.
11“And punishing them often in all the congregations, I compelled them to blaspheme. And being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
12“While thus engaged, as I was journeying to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13at midday along the highway, O sovereign, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me.
14“And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me, and saying in the Heḇrew language,a ‘Sha’ul, Sha’ul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the prods.’
15“And I said, ‘Who are You, Master?’ And He said, ‘I am יהושע, whom you persecute.
16‘But rise up, and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you a servant and a witness both of what you saw and of those which I shall reveal to you,
17delivering you from the people, and the gentiles, to whom I now send you,
18to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light,a and the authority of Satan to Elohim, in order for them to receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are set-apart by belief in Me.’
19“Therefore, Sovereign Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
21“That is why the Yehuḏim seized me in the Set-apart Place and tried to kill me.
22“Therefore, having obtained help from Elohim, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying nil else than what the prophets and Mosheh said would come –
23that the Messiah would suffer, would be the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light to the people and to the gentiles.”
24And while saying this in his defence, Festus said with a loud voice, “Sha’ul, you are mad! Much learning is turning you to madness!”
25But Sha’ul said, “I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but I speak words of truth and sense.
26“For the sovereign, before whom I also speak boldly, knows these matters. For I am persuaded that none of these are hidden from him, for this has not been done in a corner.
27“Sovereign Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
28And Agrippa said to Sha’ul, “With a little you might persuade me to become a Messianite!”
29And Sha’ul said, “Much or little, I pray to Elohim that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become such as I also am, except for these chains.”
30And having said this, the sovereign stood up, as well as the governor and Bernike and those sitting with them,
31and having withdrawn, they spoke to each other, saying, “This man is doing none at all deserving death or chains.”
32And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been released if he had not appealed to Caesar.”