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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 9 - Verse 18

Verse 18. As it had been scales. wsei lepidev The word wsei, "as it had been," is designed to qualify the following word. It is not said that scales literally fell from his eyes; but that an effect followed as if scales had been suddenly taken off. Evidently the whole expression is designed to mean no more than this. The effect was such as would take place if some dark, impervious substance had been placed before the eyes, and had been suddenly removed. The cure was as sudden, the sight was as immediate, as if such an interposing substance had been suddenly removed. This is all that the expression fairly implies, and this is all that the nature of the case demands. As the blindness had been caused by the natural effect of the light, probably on the optic nerve, See Barnes "Ac 9:8, See Barnes "Ac 9:9, it is manifest that no literal removing of scales would restore the vision. We are therefore to lay aside the idea of literal scales falling to the earth; no such thing is affirmed, and no such thing would have met the case. The word translated scales is used nowhere else in the New Testament. It means, properly, the small crust or layer which composes a part of the covering of a fish, and also any thin layer or leaf exfoliated or separated; as scales of iron, bone, or a piece of bark, etc.—Webster. An effect similar to this is described in Tobit xi. 8, 13. It is evident that there was a miracle in the healing of Saul. The blindness was the natural effect of the light. The cure was by miraculous power. This is evident,

(1.) because there were no means used that would naturally restore the sight. It may be remarked here, that gutta serena has been regarded by physicians as one of the most incurable of diseases. Few cases are restored; and few remedies are efficacious. (See Edin. Encyc. Art. Surgery, on Amaurosis.)

(2.) Ananias was sent for this very purpose to heal him, Ac 9:17.

(3.) The immediate effect shows that this was miraculous. Had it been a slow recovery, it might have been doubtful; but here it was instantaneous, and thus put beyond a question that it was a miracle.

And was baptized. In this he followed the example of all the early converts to Christianity. They were baptized immediately. See Ac 2:41; 8:12,36-39.

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