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Chapter 9

1Now Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest, 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women there who belonged to the Way, he might bring them in chains to Jerusalem. 3But on his journey, as he was approaching Damascus, a sudden light flashed around him from heaven, 4and he fell to the ground. Then he heard a voice saying to him,

“Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?”

5“Who are you, sir?” he asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” said the voice. 6“But get up and go into the city, and there you will be told what you ought to do.”

7Saul’s fellow-travelers stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could not see anyone. 8When he got up from the ground and opened his eyes he could see nothing. They had to take him by the hand and lead him into Damascus, 9and for three days he could not see, and neither ate nor drank.

10There was at Damascus a disciple named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision,

“Ananias!”

And he answered,

“Yes, Lord!”

11The Lord said to him,

“Get up and go to the street called the Straight Street, and ask at the house of Judas for a man named Saul, from Tarsus, for he is there praying. 12He has had a vision and seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, to restore his sight.”

13But Ananias answered,

“Lord, I have heard many people tell of this man, and the harm he has done to your people in Jerusalem. 14He is here with authority to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”

15The Lord said to him,

“Go! This man is the means I have chosen for carrying my name among the heathen and their kings, and among the descendants of Israel. 16For I am going to show him what he will have to endure for my sake.”

17Ananias set out and went to the house, and there he laid his hands upon Saul, and said to him,

“Saul, my brother, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your journey, so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the holy Spirit.”

18Something like scales immediately dropped from his eyes, and his sight was restored, and he got up and was baptized, 19and, after taking some food, regained his strength.

Saul stayed for some time with the disciples at Damascus, 20and began at once to declare in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God. 21Everyone was astonished, and said,

“Is not he the man who made such havoc of the people in Jerusalem who call upon that name, and who came here especially for the purpose of arresting such persons and taking them before the high priests?”

22But Saul grew more and more powerful, and bewildered the Jews who lived in Damascus by his proofs that Jesus was the Christ.

23After some time had passed, the Jews made a plot to kill him, 24but Saul found out about the plot. They watched the city gates day and night, in order to kill him, 25but his disciples took him one night and let him down over the wall, lowering him in a basket.

26When he reached Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, for they could not believe that he was really a disciple. 27But Barnabas got hold of him and introduced him to the apostles, and he told them how on his journey he had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken to him, and how boldly he had spoken for the cause of Jesus at Damascus. 28After that, he associated with them freely in Jerusalem, 29and spoke boldly for the Lord’s cause, talking and debating with the Greek-speaking Jews. But they tried to kill him. 30When the brothers found this out, they took him down to Caesarea, and sent him away to Tarsus.

31So the church all over Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace and became established. It lived in reverence for the Lord and, stimulated by the holy Spirit, it grew steadily in numbers.

32As Peter was traveling about among them all, he happened to visit God’s people at Lydda. 33There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. 34Peter said to him,

“Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you! Get up, and make your bed!”

And he got up immediately. 35And everybody who lived in Lydda or in Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.

36Among the disciples at Joppa there was a woman named Tabitha, which is in Greek Dorcas, that is, gazelle. She had devoted herself to doing good and to acts of charity. 37Just at that time it happened that she had been taken ill and had died, and they had washed her body and laid her out in a room upstairs. 38As Joppa was near Lydda, the disciples heard that Peter was there, and they sent two men to him, urging him to come over without delay. 39Peter went with them at once. When he arrived, they took him up to the room and all the widows stood around him crying and showing him the shirts and coats that Dorcas had made when she was still with them. 40But Peter put them all out of the room. Then he knelt down and prayed, and then turning to the body he said,

“Tabitha, stand up!”

She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. 41He gave her his hand and raised her to her feet, and calling in the believers and the widows, he gave her back to them alive. 42This became known all over Joppa, and many came to believe in the Lord. 43So it came about that Peter stayed for some time in Joppa, at the house of a tanner named Simon.

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