12 “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language,[a]‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass:23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.”25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner.27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.”28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”[b]29 And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.”
30 Then the king rose, and the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them.31 And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.”32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
Acts 26:14Or the Hebrew dialect (probably Aramaic)
Acts 26:28Or In a short time you would persuade me to act like a Christian!
17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.[a] 18 Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored. 19 As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man. 20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man. 21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise. 22 Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.
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