Acts 9:2
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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.

Acts 9:2 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And desired of him - This shows the intensity of his wish to persecute the Christians, that he was willing to ask for such an employment.

Letters - Epistles, implying a commission to bring them to Jerusalem for trial and punishment. From this it seems that the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem claimed jurisdiction over all synagogues everywhere.

To Damascus - This was a celebrated city of Syria, and long the capital of a kingdom of that name. It is situated in a delightful region about 120 miles northeast of Jerusalem, and about one 190 miles southeast of Antioch. It is in the midst of an extensive plain, abounding with cypress and palm-trees, and extremely fertile. It is watered by the river Barrady, anciently called "Abana," 2 Kings 5:12. About 5 miles from the city is a place called the "meeting of the waters," where the Barrady is joined by another river, and thence is divided by art into several streams that flow through the plain. These streams, six or seven in number, are conveyed to water the orchards, farms, etc., and give to the whole scene a very picturesque appearance. The city, situated in a delightful climate, in a fertile country, is perhaps among the most pleasant in the world. It is called by the Orientals themselves the "paradise on earth." It is mentioned often in the Old Testament. It was a city in the time of Abraham, Genesis 15:2. By whom it was founded is unknown. It was taken and garrisoned by David A.M. 2992, 2 Samuel 8:6; 1 Chronicles 18:6. It is subsequently mentioned as sustaining very important parts in the conflicts of the Jews with Syria, 2 Kings 14:25; 2 Kings 16:5; Isaiah 9:11. It was taken by the Romans A.M. 3939, or about 60 years before Christ, in whose possession it was when Saul went there. It was conquered by the Saracens 713 a.d. About the year 1250, it was taken by the Christians in the Crusades, and was captured 1517 a.d. by Selim, and has been since under the Ottoman emperors.

The Arabians call this city "Damasch, or Demesch, or Schams." It is one of the most commercial cities in the Ottoman empire, and is distinguished also for manufactures, particularly for steel, hence called "Damascus steel." The population is estimated by Ali Bey at 200,000 (circa 1880's); Volney states it at 80,000; Hassel believes it be about 100,000. About 20,000 are Maronites of the Catholic Church, 5,000 are Greeks, and 1,000 are Jews. The road from Jerusalem to Damascus lies between two mountains, not above 100 paces distant from each other; both are round at the bottom, and terminate in a point. That nearest the great road is called "Cocab, the star," in memory of the dazzling light which is here said to have appeared to Saul.

To the synagogues - See the notes on Matthew 4:23. The Jews were scattered into nearly all the regions surrounding Judea, and it is natural to suppose that many of them would be found in Damascus. Josephus assures us that ten thousand were massacred there in one hour; and at another time 18,000, along with their wives and children (Jewish Wars, book 2, chapter 20, section 2; book 7, chapter 8, section 7). By whom the gospel was preached there, or how they had been converted to Christianity, is unknown. The presumption is, that some of those who had been converted on the day of Pentecost had carried the gospel to Syria. See the notes on Acts 2:9-11.

That if ... - It would seem that it was not certainly known that there were any Christians there. It was presumed that there were, and probably there was a report of that kind.

Of this way - Of this way or mode of life; of this kind of opinions and conduct; that is, any Christians.

He might bring them ... - To be tried. The Sanhedrin at Jerusalem claimed jurisdiction over religious opinions, and their authority would naturally be respected by foreign Jews.

Acts 9:2 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Grace Triumphant
'And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2. 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 hound unto Jerusalem. 3. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? 5.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Paul's First Prayer
First, our text was an announcement; "Behold, he prayeth." Secondly, it was an argument; "For, behold, he prayeth." Then, to conclude, we will try to make an application of our text to your hearts. Though application is the work of God alone, we will trust that he will be pleased to make that application while the word is preached this morning. I. First, here was AN ANNOUNCEMENT; "Go to the house of Saul of Tarsus; for behold, he prayeth." Without any preface, let me say, that this was the announcement
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

Such, we May Believe, was that John the Monk...
21. Such, we may believe, was that John the Monk, whom the elder Theodosius, the Emperor, consulted concerning the issue of the civil war: seeing he had also the gift of prophecy. For that not each several person has a several one of those gifts, but that one man may have more gifts than one, I make no question. This John, then, when once a certain most religious woman desired to see him, and to obtain this did through her husband make vehement entreaty, refused indeed this request because he had
St. Augustine—On Care to Be Had for the Dead.

Whether any Preparation and Disposition for Grace is Required on Man's Part?
Objection 1: It would seem that no preparation or disposition for grace is required on man's part, since, as the Apostle says (Rom. 4:4), "To him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned according to grace, but according to debt." Now a man's preparation by free-will can only be through some operation. Hence it would do away with the notion of grace. Objection 2: Further, whoever is going on sinning, is not preparing himself to have grace. But to some who are going on sinning grace is given, as is
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

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 the courts and scourge you in their synagogues;

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Acts 9:14
and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name."

Acts 9:21
All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, "Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?"

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