Acts Chapter 9: The Apostle Paul’s Conversion and Experiences, Dorcas

Jan 28th, 2010 | By | Category: Acts, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Acts Chapter 9: The Apostle Paul’s Conversion and Experiences, Dorcas

Acts 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

Acts 9:2 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 bound unto Jerusalem.

Remember, this is still the first year following Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Many things were happening.

The last mention of Saul was in connection with witnessing the death of Stephen. From his prejudiced standpoint, Saul could not recognize the saintly character of Stephen, even though he heard the long, bold sermon to the priesthood and the authorities and witnessed the stoning and Stephen’s kneeling down with a radiant face. Saul thought Christianity was a false religion, and although he could see that stamping it out would be very difficult, he felt that something had to be done to stop those who, like Stephen, spoke so boldly and so confidently and were willing to die in a resigned fashion for their beliefs. Feeling a personal responsibility to do everything in his power to stop this new interpretation of the Old Testament Scriptures, he got letters (plural) of authority from the high priest. This meant that the high priest wrote to the one in charge of each synagogue Saul would be visiting en route to Damascus, his destination.

Saul intended to arrest women as well as men and bring them back, bound, to Jerusalem. With zeal and fury, he thought their boldness had to be stamped out with boldness, and he felt he had to let others know so that Christianity would be nipped in the bud before it went like a forest fire. In fact, Saul was so intent on seizing Christians that he was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter,” meaning that not only his words but also his visual expression and attitude manifested his intention. We can see the intensity of his opposition to the gospel.

Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

As Saul was approaching Damascus, a bright light from heaven suddenly shone around him, and he heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” When we compare the three accounts of Saul’s conversion in the Book of Acts, we find seeming contradictions that need to be explained (Acts 9:3-8; 22:6-11; 26:12-18).

Of the three accounts, Acts 9:7 says that those with Saul heard the voice, Acts 22:9 says that they did not hear the voice, and the last account does not state the matter either way. When the flash of light occurred, it was probably like lightning with thunder (sound) being involved. The thought is that those who accompanied Saul heard the thunder, but they could not understand the words of Jesus.

The word translated “voice” is the Greek phone. In most cases, phone does mean “voice,” but it is also translated “sound.” Let us consider three other Scriptures. The “sound of a millstone” that will be heard no more in Babylon is not an intelligible conversation, and neither is the “sound of many waters” (Rev. 1:15; 18:22). “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8). The point is that those with Saul heard only a noise or a sound and not distinct words, whereas Saul heard Jesus’ words very clearly. Chapters 9, 22, and 26 of the Book of Acts provide considerable detail on how the Lord commissioned Saul to be used in various ways, but first, he had to go to Damascus, where he would receive further instruction.

It was not the privilege of those who accompanied Saul to understand the message of Jesus. The message and experience were unique to Paul, as he tried to say later in his ministry when others questioned his apostleship for not having seen or heard Jesus during the First Advent.

On different occasions, Paul had to defend himself and his ministry by calling attention to the fact that he was the only apostle to have seen the glorified Jesus.

The light was so bright that it had a blinding effect at noontime, and the net effect was that those with Saul were in a stupor, being astonied (astonished, like stone). Acts 9:4 and 22:7 state that Saul fell to the ground; Acts 26:14 says that all of them fell down. The account in Chapter 9 zeros in on the light about Saul, whereas the other two accounts state that the light also shone on those who accompanied him. There is no contradiction in the three accounts. All saw the light and all fell to the ground, but the accounts sometimes discuss only what happened to Saul.

“Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Verse 4 is a proof text that persecuting the Lord’s true people is like persecuting him. Jesus and the Father are sensitive to the persecution. Such little ones are like the apple of God’s eye, meaning that just as we are sensitive to a speck of dust in our eye, so the Father is sensitive to the persecution of His true children (Psa. 17:8). Elsewhere, the Apostle Paul reasoned that anyone who demeans a true disciple of the Lord is in serious danger. And we should be especially careful not to demean a person’s motive, unless the motive is very apparent by the nature of the act, which is usually not the case. For example, the intent is obvious in the case of premeditated murder.

Saul saw Jesus as one born before the due time (1 Cor. 15:8). Although this incident occurred at noon, the brightness of Jesus’ glory as a divine being was so great that it not only blinded Saul but shone above the brightness of the noonday sun and seared, or burned, the surface of his eyes. Saul saw something but not the delineation of the risen Lord’s features. Proof of the searing is that three days later scales fell off his eyes when his sight was partially restored. Moses’ face shone with glory just by hearing and speaking with God (actually the Logos) on Mount Sinai and seeing an appearance. For Paul to have such an unusual experience shows he was somewhat on a par with Moses.

Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

The last clause, “it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks,” is spurious, but since this clause appears later in the Book of Acts, there is nothing wrong with its insertion here (Acts 26:14).

“Pricks” are goads, or prods (sticks with a sharp point), that were used to guide oxen when plowing a field. If the oxen kicked the goads, they experienced pain. Jesus was saying that Saul’s conscience was affected, even though his heart was set on persecution. Therefore, these were “pricks” against his conscience.

Saul was so intent on persecution that God had to slap him down to wake him up. Incidentally, the old treatment for a nervous breakdown, in which the same thoughts keep repeating and repeating, was to use an electric shock. The treatment was so painful and startling that when the patient awoke, the troubling thoughts were gone. The inference here is that the Lord had been trying to get through to Saul for a while in various ways and finally resorted to a stronger method when Saul did not repent. Saul had seen Stephen’s face and composure and had heard his reasonable talk. No doubt there were other things as well, but Saul was so blinded with prejudice that shock treatment was needed to change his thinking. The persecution was so on his mind that he was even muttering it aloud in his fury (Acts 9:1).

Comment: The principle of Revelation 3:15,16 comes to mind where Jesus said, “I would rather have you cold or hot than lukewarm.” Saul was so zealous in his coldness that when his eyes were opened, he was very zealous for the gospel.

Reply: First, he was cold to the truth and hot in his zeal of misunderstanding. Then the situation reversed. He became cold to his former understanding and hot and zealous as a Christian.

Comment: Saul’s conversion is an example of the “Shimei” attitude of a segment of the Holy Remnant (Zech. 12:11-13). Those Jews may be vitriolic toward Jesus and his followers at present, but because God can see that their heart is right, He will open their eyes in Jacob’s Trouble to see the truth that Jesus is their Messiah.

Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

The first part of verse 6 is spurious (“And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”), but other accounts show that the thought is accurate. He certainly trembled and was astonished. The men with Saul also fell down, but even when they got to their feet, they were speechless like zombies. The experience shocked them into a trauma for 30 seconds or so while the Lord told Saul his responsibilities and instructed him what he should do (Acts 22:10; 26:16-18).

Acts 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

Acts 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

When Saul arose, he was blind and had to be led. For three days, he did not eat or drink, for he was extremely upset with himself for having murdered so many Christians. He now knew that Jesus was the true Messiah! Being a very intelligent person and requiring some substance for his belief, he subsequently went to the Scriptures with an unprejudiced mind to receive instruction to buttress his experience. And he would go even further, for he wanted to get as much information as possible—and as fast as possible—as we will find out later. No doubt Saul prayed a lot during the three days and nights.

Acts 9:10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

Jesus appeared in a vision to Ananias, who dwelled in Damascus. Ananias was “a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there [in Damascus]” (Acts 22:12). Because of his character, he was chosen by the Lord to have the honor of communicating with Saul.

Acts 9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

Ananias was told to go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and inquire there for Saul of Tarsus. Judas would have been well known as a local resident, so his house would not be difficult to find.

Comment: Reprint No. 4356 says that Straight Street was an aristocratic street. It was unusual for a street to be not only straight but also very wide—100 feet wide.

“For, behold, he prayeth.” Saul had been fasting and praying for three days and nights, and he was still in prayer at this time. This fact helped to allay the fears of Ananias, who was aware of Saul’s zealous persecutions of Christians.

Acts 9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

Ananias was told that preparation had already been made, for Saul, through prayer and a vision, had been informed that Ananias was approaching to restore his sight (partially). In other words, Saul’s prayer was answered by his being told that someone was on the way to help him. Proof that his eyesight was only partially restored is that others recorded his epistles, and the ones he wrote were done in large letters (Gal. 6:11).

Saul had been led by the hand to the house of Judas (verse 8), where he remained for three days. Since Saul was totally blind at this point, his blindness enhanced the vision that he saw out of total blackness.

Acts 9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

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

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Ananias was told that Saul was specially chosen to bear Jesus’ name before Gentiles, kings, and the Jews. This was quite a commission! The Apostle Peter was given the key to open the door to the Gentiles (namely, Cornelius), but the Apostle Paul had the ongoing commission. Of the two, Paul’s ministry was more extensive.

Comment: Ananias offered a gentle objection in verses 13 and 14 paraphrased thus: “Lord, I have heard from many how much evil Saul has done to your saints at Jerusalem, and now he has authority from the chief priests to seize all Christians.” Then, after one statement from the Lord, Ananias submitted fully to the Lord’s instruction.

Acts 9:16 For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

Jesus said that because Saul had caused other Christians to suffer, he would have to suffer “great things” as retribution for past deeds. Because of circumstances, he later had to recount his sufferings, which included the following agonies: “… in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” (2 Cor. 11:23-28).

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Comment: The first words of Ananias to Saul were tender and comforting: “Brother Saul.”

Reply: “Saul” (the Hebrew form) is “Paul” in the Greek. Both names mean “little one.”

Comment: Only Jesus received the Spirit without measure, so for Saul to be “filled” with the Holy Spirit shows the depth and the sincerity of his consecration.

Reply: Paul was blessed progressively with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but he had to suffer much. Note that he got the Holy Spirit when Ananias, who was not an apostle, put his hands on him. This case was an important exception to the general rule. Saul also received a partial restoration of his eyesight, which was his circumstance the rest of his life; that is, he had poor eyesight but was able to see with difficulty.

Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

The fact that scales fell from Saul’s eyes proves his eyes had been burned, or seared, by the bright light of the Lord’s glory. The crust flaked off, and he could see (partially).

Saul was baptized at this point. In the early Church, baptism usually preceded the begetting of the Holy Spirit. With Saul, however, baptism followed the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Here was another exception. With Cornelius also, baptism followed the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-48).

Q: Many have the thought that Paul received John’s baptism, but that would not be appropriate, especially after the Holy Spirit had been given. Also, Acts 22:16 states that he was told, “Be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” It is true that sins were washed away, but that was done in “the name of the Lord.” Doesn’t Jesus’ baptism include the washing away of sins?

A: Yes, but that subject would be a whole talk. For now, we should just note these details in Scripture. When Saul was fasting for three days, he was in a penitent mood, reflecting on Jesus’ words, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.” Nevertheless, Saul was expected to have the symbol of water baptism so that his sins would be figuratively washed away.

Acts 9:19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

To show a time lapse, a paragraph mark should have been inserted after the word “strengthened.” The next verse would then read, “Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.” It is necessary to understand the time lapse in order to see that Paul became an apostle in AD 33, the same year Jesus died. This statement can be proven by using certain texts from the Book of Acts and the first chapter of Galatians (1:15-22).

Like Jesus, Paul fled to the wilderness after he was baptized. He went to “Arabia,” that is, Sinai, for part of three years to meditate and pray. Then he returned to Damascus. In other words, Paul did not confer with the brethren after being baptized but was driven of the Spirit to the desert of Sinai to be in isolation. While there, he no doubt reviewed and reconciled how all of the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus.

On his return from the wilderness, Paul remained at Damascus for a while, that is, until the authorities sought to kill him and the disciples let him down in a basket over the wall. Three years elapsed from the time of his conversion to this dramatic exit from Damascus. (He went from Damascus to Sinai, back to Damascus, and then to Jerusalem.) Acts Chapter 9 omits many details that Paul had to explain later in his Epistle to the Galatians because the disciples had gotten the wrong message and were criticizing him. For instance, when Paul got to Jerusalem after fleeing Damascus, he went to see James and Peter, and he stayed in Peter’s home for 15 days (Gal. 1:18,19).

Acts 9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

On Paul’s return to Damascus, he “straightway preached Christ in the synagogues.” There were many synagogues in the city, and he was very active—so much so that the Jews wanted to kill him (Acts 9:23). They even sealed the city, trying to prevent his escape.

Jesus began his ministry after only 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness, but being a perfect man and having a preexistence, he was far, far ahead of Paul. Having been mistaught, Paul required much of a three-year period in the wilderness. It is difficult to discard or change thinking when one is cultured under another doctrine.

The three years are important in proving that Paul’s conversion took place in AD 33. Since  Cornelius was not converted yet (see Acts Chapter 10) and would not be converted until theyear AD 36, and since three years elapsed while Paul was in Damascus and Sinai before the first Gentile conversion, we know that Paul was baptized in AD 33.

Our calculation of AD 36 is based on the 70 weeks’ prophecy of Daniel Chapter 9. Jesus was cut off in the midst of the seventieth week, or 3 1/2 years before the expiration of the 490 years beginning in 454 BC. With the expiration, the Jews no longer had exclusive favor, and the gospel was opened to the Gentiles.

Acts 9:21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

Acts 9:22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

Paul proved to the Jews that Jesus was “very Christ” (the Messiah, the Anointed) by using Old  Testament prophecies and Scriptures and showing that he was the fulfillment. Paul personally realized that Jesus was the Messiah when Jesus appeared to him initially, but now he used Old Testament reasoning with the Jews.

In later epistles, Paul tried to explain his background and conversion and early experiences in becoming a Christian, but the brethren had difficulty accepting his explanation. That is why Paul said, “I do not lie!” (Gal. 1:20). He had gone to Arabia (Sinai) following his conversion, so his conversion had to occur in AD 33. However, the brethren did not become aware of his conversion until after he had returned from Sinai, so his conversion seemed much later to them.

Moreover, there was a communication problem between Damascus and Jerusalem. A wall existed with the civil power and commerce, and even with the brethren to some extent. There was enmity because Herod was the chief influence in Jerusalem and the adultery of Herodias affected her relatives in Damascus. Thus a rift developed between the Syrian house and the Herodian house, Damascus and Jerusalem being the centers, respectively.

Verse 21 throws a little light on what Ananias said earlier: “We heard that you have a permit to persecute us here in Damascus” (Acts 19:13,14 paraphrase). Saul had letters of intent and authority from the chief priest to hale into prison and persecute unto death those who, in his judgment, were part of the Christian cult. Evidently, that news preceded Saul’s arrival in Damascus.

Notice that the more Paul was opposed, the stronger he got in the Lord. He met every challenge head-on, proving that Jesus was Messiah. What a wonderful commendation!

Comment: The term “very Christ” is Scriptural. However, Trinitarians use the expression “very God,” and there is no such term in the Bible.

Reply: Yes. A similar expression is in the Nicene Creed.

Acts 9:23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

Acts 9:24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.

Acts 9:25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

Damascus was sealed for several days and nights in an effort to apprehend Paul, but one night the disciples put Paul in a basket and lowered him down over the wall. Obviously, a Christian household was on or against the wall but between gates to facilitate the escape. By going up on the roof, the disciples could walk right over to the wall and look down. Since the wall was too high for Paul to jump, the disciples effectively let him down in a basket on a rope.

Just as the Lord providentially had the sycamore tree planted years in advance for Zacchaeus to climb, so the Lord arranged in advance that the home of one who would become a Christian was against the wall so that Paul could escape. The account of Rahab and the two Israelite spies is similar in this respect, for her house was also “upon the town wall” (Josh. 2:15).

Acts 9:26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.

When Paul got to Jerusalem, the disciples were afraid of him. The fact they did not believe he was a disciple proves there was not much communication between Damascus and Jerusalem.

The testimony of Ananias had carried weight in Damascus, for God had chosen him as a devout and outstanding man. Moreover, Paul’s sincerity was manifested by his zealous reasoning in the synagogues about Jesus’ being the Messiah. But Jerusalem lacked these proofs, and because Paul was unknown except as Saul the persecutor, he was feared as a spy.

Acts 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

In Jerusalem, Barnabas vouchsafed for Paul. The Scriptures do not say how Barnabas got this information, but apparently, he was a man of means and, as a traveler, may have seen Paul in Damascus.

Acts 9:28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.

Acts 9:29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

The “coming in and going out at Jerusalem” was probably during the 15 days that Paul abode with Peter, and Paul also saw James, the Lord’s brother (Gal. 1:18,19). Paul was so active and zealous during the 15 days that the Grecian (Hellenist) Jews wanted to slay him. He could dispute with them on their own terms and refute their reasoning.

Like Paul, many are zealous when they first get the truth, but unlike Paul, their zeal diminishes in time. Paul’s zeal continued for his whole life.

Acts 9:30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.

Because of the persecution threat, the brethren escorted Paul to Caesarea and then sent him on to Tarsus, Paul’s hometown. The implication is that Paul left Caesarea by boat.

Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

The great persecution in Israel now ceased. Two contributing factors, occurring about the same time, were that the Emperor Caligula was no longer ordering persecutions and that Paul had stopped preaching in Israel. A considerable period of peace followed, and the Church multiplied. The regions affected—Judea, Galilee, and Samaria—were all in Israel.

Acts 9:32 And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.

Acts 9:33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.

Acts 9:34 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.

Acts 9:35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.

This one event—Peter’s healing of Aeneas—led “all” in Lydda and Saron to consecrate.

Presumably Aeneas was a believer or had some faith for Peter, out of the blue, to heal him of a steadily deteriorating sickness. Peter told Aeneas not only to “arise” but also to “make [straighten out] thy bed.”

Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

Acts 9:37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.

Acts 9:38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.

Joppa is Jaffa today. That Dorcas was “full of good works and almsdeeds” is a fine commendation. The names Dorcas (Greek) and Tabitha (Hebrew) both mean “beautiful” and “gazelle.” The double name was like Cephas and Peter, Silas and Silvanus, Timothy and Timotheus, Saul and Paul, etc. Dorcas died and was laid in an upper chamber.

Comment: The account does not say that the disciples expected Peter to raise Dorcas from death. They may have wanted Peter there for his leadership qualities and consolation and to conduct a funeral service.

Reply: Yes, and this is the first case where an apostle raised one from the dead.

Acts 9:39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.

Acts 9:40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

Acts 9:41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.

The weeping widows showed Peter the garments and coats that Dorcas had made for them by hand. Making these heavy garments for the brethren was a nice service.

“Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning … to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.” Then he lifted her up further to a standing position and brought her out to those who were grieving. What a dramatic scene to behold! This resuscitation was similar to the raising of Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5:22-24,35-42). Peter took an example of a miracle from Jesus.

Acts 9:42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.

Acts 9:43 And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.

As with the raising of Lazarus, this miracle helped to spread the gospel. Tabitha’s resuscitation led many in Joppa to believe. Peter remained in Joppa for many days, staying with Simon the tanner. Verse 43 shows the setting was being prepared for the conversion of Cornelius. As instructed by vision, Cornelius would subsequently send men to Simon’s house to find Peter.

(1991–1992 Study)

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