Acts 9:2
Parallel Verses
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.

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
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Letters to Damascus to the synagogues - Damascus, anciently called דמסק Damask, and דרמסק Darmask, was once the metropolis of all Syria. It was situated at fifty miles' distance from the sea; from which it is separated by lofty mountains. It is washed by two rivers, Amara or Abara, which ran through it, and Pharpar, called by the Greeks Chrysorrhoas, the golden stream, which ran on the outside of its walls. It is one of the most ancient cities in the world, for it existed in the time of Abraham, Genesis 14:15; and how long before is not known. The city of Damascus is at present a place of considerable trade, owing to its being the rendezvous for all the pilgrims from the north of Asia, on their road to and from the temple of Mecca. It is surrounded with pretty strong walls, which have nine gates, and is between four and five miles in circumference. It contains about 100,000 inhabitants, some say more, the principal part of whom are Arabs and Turks, with whom live, in a state of considerable degradation, about 15,000 Christians. Damascus, like other places of importance, has passed through the hands of many masters. It was captured and ruined by Tiglath Pileser, who carried away its inhabitants to Kin, beyond the Euphrates, about 740 years before the Christian era; and thus was fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, Isaiah 17:1-3, and that of Amos, Amos 1:4, Amos 1:5. It was also taken by Sennacherib, and by the generals of Alexander the Great. Metellus and Laelius seized it, during the war of Pompey with Tigranes; before Christ 65. It continued under the dominion of the Romans till the Saracens took possession of it, in a.d. 634. It was besieged and taken by Teemour lenk, a.d. 1400, who put all the inhabitants to the sword. The Egyptian Mamelukes repaired Damascus when they took possession of Syria; but the Turkish Emperor Selim having defeated them at the battle of Aleppo in 1516, Damascus was brought under the government of the Turks, and in their hands it still remains. In the time of St. Paul it was governed by Aretas, whose father, Obodas, had been governor of it under Augustus. Damascus is 112 miles south of Antioch; 130 N.N.E. of Jerusalem; and 270 S.S.W; of Diarbek. Longitude 37 east: latitude 33 45' north. The fruit tree called the Damascene, vulgarly Damazon, and the flower called the Damask rose, were transplanted from Damascus to the gardens of Europe; and the silks and linens, known by the name of Damasks, were probably first manufactured by the inhabitants of this ancient city.

Any of this way - That is, this religion, for so דרך derec in Hebrew, and ὁδος, hodos, in Hellenistic Greek, are often to be understood. דרך יהוה derec Yehovah, the way of the Lord, implies the whole of the worship due to him, and prescribed by himself: the way or path in which he wills men to walk, that they may get safely through life, and finally attain everlasting felicity. The Jewish writers designate the whole doctrine and practice of Christianity by a similar expression, דרך הנוצרים derec hanotsarim, the way, doctrine, or sect of the Christians.

Whether they were men or women - Provided they were Jews; for no converts had as yet been made among the Gentiles; nor did the power of the high priest and Sanhedrin extend to any but those who belonged to the synagogues. Pearce.

In every country where there were Jews and synagogues, the power and authority of the Sanhedrin and high priest were acknowledged: just as papists in all countries acknowledge the authority of the pope. And as there can be but one pope, and one conclave, so there could be but one high priest, and one Sanhedrin; and this is the reason why the high priest and sanhedrin at Jerusalem had authority over all Jews, even in the most distant countries.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

desired.

Acts 9:14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on your name.

Acts 7:19 The same dealt subtly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children...

Acts 22:5 As also the high priest does bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters to the brothers...

Acts 26:12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,

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 of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians...

Acts 13:14,15 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down...

Acts 28:17-21 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said to them...

of this way. Gr. of the way.

Acts 19:9,23 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spoke evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them...

Acts 22:5 As also the high priest does bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters to the brothers...

Acts 28:22 But we desire to hear of you what you think: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.

Library
'This Way'
'Any of this way.'--ACTS ix. 2 The name of 'Christian' was not applied to themselves by the followers of Jesus before the completion of the New Testament. There were other names in currency before that designation--which owed its origin to the scoffing wits of Antioch--was accepted by the Church. They called themselves 'disciples,' 'believers, 'saints,' 'brethren,' as if feeling about for a title. Here is a name that had obtained currency for a while, and was afterwards disused. We find it five times
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Copies of Christ's Manner
'And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed.... 40. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down and prayed; and, turning him to the body, said, Tabitha, arise.--ACTS ix. 34, 40. I have put these two miracles together, not only because they were closely connected in time and place, but because they have a very remarkable and instructive feature in common. They are both evidently moulded upon Christ's miracles; are distinct imitations of what Peter had
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Sharon. Caphar Lodim. The Village of those of Lydda.
Between Lydda and the sea, a spacious valley runs out, here and there widely spreading itself, and sprinkled with villages. The holy page of the New Testament [Acts 9:35] calls it Saron: and that of the Old calls the whole, perhaps, or some part of it, 'the plain of Ono,' Nehemiah 6:2, 11:35; 1 Chronicles 8:12... The wine of Sharon is of great fame, with which they mixed two parts water: and remarkable is that they say concerning the houses of Sharon. R. Lazar saith, "He that builds a brick house
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Caphar Tebi.
And this village neighboured upon Lydda, situate on the east of it. "R. Eleazar had a vineyard of four years' growth; on the east of Lydda, near Caphar Tebi." Of it there is this mention also:-- "They sometime brought a chest full of bones from Caphar Tebi, and they placed it openly in the entrance to Lydda. Tudrus the physician and the rest of the physicians go forth"--(namely, that they might judge, whether they were the bones of men or no; and thereby, whether they were to be esteemed clean or
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Cross References
Genesis 14:15
During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.

Isaiah 17:1
A prophecy against Damascus: "See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.

Jeremiah 49:23
Concerning Damascus: "Hamath and Arpad are dismayed, for they have heard bad news. They are disheartened, troubled like the restless sea.

Matthew 10:17
Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the 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 he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."

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

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