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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 8 - Verse 3

Verse 3. As for Saul. But Saul. He had no concern in the pious attentions shown to Stephen, but engaged with zeal in the work of persecution.

He made havoc. elumaineto. This word is commonly applied to wild beasts, to lions, wolves, etc., and denotes the devastations which they commit. Saul raged against the church like a wild beast—a strong expression, denoting the zeal and fury with which he engaged in persecution.

Entering into every house. To search for those who were suspected of being Christians.

Haling. Dragging, or compelling them.

Committed them to prison. The sanhedrim had not power to put them to death, Joh 18:31, but they had power to imprison; and they resolved, it seems, to exercise this power to the utmost. Paul frequently refers to his zeal in persecuting the church, Ac 26:10,11; Ga 1:13.

It may be remarked here, that there never was a persecution commenced with more flattering prospects to the persecutors. Saul, the principal agent, was young, zealous, learned, and clothed with power. He showed afterwards that he had talents fitted for any station; and zeal that tired with no exertion, and that was appalled by no obstacle. With this talent he entered on his work. Christians were few and feeble. They were scattered and unarmed. They were unprotected by any civil power, and exposed, therefore, to the full blaze and rage of persecution. That the church was not destroyed, was owing to the protection of God—a protection that not only secured its existence, but which extended its influence and power, by means of this very persecution, far abroad on the earth.

{a} "he made havoc" Ac 26:10,11; Ga 1:13

{*} "haling" "Dragging forth"

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