1 Vindicate me,(A) Lord,
for I have led a blameless life;(B)
I have trusted(C) in the Lord
and have not faltered.(D)
2 Test me,(E) Lord, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind;(F)
3 for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love(G)
and have lived(H) in reliance on your faithfulness.(I)
4 I do not sit(J) with the deceitful,
nor do I associate with hypocrites.(K)
5 I abhor(L) the assembly of evildoers
and refuse to sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence,(M)
and go about your altar, Lord,
7 proclaiming aloud your praise(N)
and telling of all your wonderful deeds.(O)
8 Lord, I love(P) the house where you live,
the place where your glory dwells.(Q)
9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners,
my life with those who are bloodthirsty,(R)
10 in whose hands are wicked schemes,(S)
whose right hands are full of bribes.(T)
11 I lead a blameless life;
deliver me(U) and be merciful to me.
2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.(AB)
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;(AC)
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.(AD)
4 One thing(AE) I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,(AF)
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble(AG)
he will keep me safe(AH) in his dwelling;
he will hide me(AI) in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.(AJ)
7 Hear my voice(AQ) when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.(AR)
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!(AS)”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face(AT) from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;(AU)
you have been my helper.(AV)
Do not reject me or forsake(AW) me,
God my Savior.(AX)
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way,(AY) Lord;
lead me in a straight path(AZ)
because of my oppressors.(BA)
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses(BB) rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
1 To you, Lord, I call;
you are my Rock,
do not turn a deaf ear(BG) to me.
For if you remain silent,(BH)
I will be like those who go down to the pit.(BI)
2 Hear my cry for mercy(BJ)
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands(BK)
toward your Most Holy Place.(BL)
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who do evil,
who speak cordially with their neighbors
but harbor malice in their hearts.(BM)
4 Repay them for their deeds
and for their evil work;
repay them for what their hands have done(BN)
and bring back on them what they deserve.(BO)
5 Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord
and what his hands have done,(BP)
he will tear them down
and never build them up again.
6 Praise be to the Lord,(BQ)
for he has heard my cry for mercy.(BR)
7 The Lord is my strength(BS) and my shield;
my heart trusts(BT) in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,(BU)
and with my song I praise him.(BV)
22 1 “Brothers and fathers,(A) listen now to my defense.”
2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic,(B) they became very quiet.
Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew,(C) born in Tarsus(D) of Cilicia,(E) but brought up in this city. I studied under(F) Gamaliel(G) and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors.(H) I was just as zealous(I) for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted(J) the followers of this Way(K) to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,(L) 5 as the high priest and all the Council(M) can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates(N) in Damascus,(O) and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.(P) 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’
8 “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.
10 “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.
“ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’(T) 11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.(U)
12 “A man named Ananias came to see me.(V) He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.(W) 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.
14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors(X) has chosen you to know his will and to see(Y) the Righteous One(Z) and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness(AA) to all people of what you have seen(AB) and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized(AC) and wash your sins away,(AD) calling on his name.’(AE)
17 “When I returned to Jerusalem(AF) and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance(AG) 18 and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’
19 “‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison(AH) and beat(AI) those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyr[a] Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’(AJ)
21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”(AK)
Paul the Roman Citizen
23 As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks(AN) and flinging dust into the air,(AO) 24 the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.(AP) He directed(AQ) that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. 25 As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”(AR)
26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”
27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”
“Yes, I am,” he answered.
28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.”
“But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.
Paul Before the Sanhedrin
30 The commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews.(AV) So the next day he released him(AW) and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin(AX) to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them.