Acts 9:2

Asked (hthsato). First aorist middle indicative, the indirect middle, asked for himself (as a favour to himself). Felten notes that "Saul as a Pharisee makes request of a Sadducee" (the high priest) either Caiaphas if before A.D. 35, but if in 36 Jonathan, son of Caiaphas or if in 37 Theophilus, another son of Caiaphas. Letters (epistola). Julius Ceasar and Augustus had granted the high priest and Sanhedrin jurisdiction over Jews in foreign cities, but this central ecclesiastical authority was not always recognized in every local community outside of Judea. Paul says that he received his authority to go to Damascus from the priests ( Acts 26:10 ) and "the estate of the elders" ( Acts 22:5 ), that is the Sanhedrin. To Damascus (ei Damaskon). As if no disciples of importance (outside the apostles in Jerusalem) were left in Judea. Damascus at this time may have been under the rule of Aretas of Arabia (tributary to Rome) as it certainly was a couple of years later when Saul escaped in a basket ( 2 Corinthians 11:32 ). This old city is the most enduring in the history of the world (Knowling). It is some 150 miles Northeast from Jerusalem and watered by the river Abana from Anti-Lebanon. Here the Jews were strong in numbers (10,000 butchered by Nero later) and here some disciples had found refuge from Saul's persecution in Judea and still worshipped in the synagogues. Paul's language in Acts 26:11 seems to mean that Damascus is merely one of other "foreign cities" to which he carried the persecution. If he found (ean eurh). Third class condition with aorist subjunctive retained after secondary tense (asked). The Way (th odou). A common method in the Acts for describing Christianity as the Way of life, absolutely as also in Acts 19:9 Acts 19:23 ; Acts 22:4 ; Acts 24:14 Acts 24:22 or the way of salvation ( Acts 16:17 ) or the way of the Lord ( Acts 18:25 ). It is a Jewish definition of life as in Isaiah 40:3 "the way of the Lord," Psalms 1:6 "the way of the righteous," "the way of the wicked." Jesus called himself "the way" ( John 14:6 ), the only way to the Father. The so-called Epistle of Barnabas presents the Two Ways. The North American Indians call Christianity the Jesus Road. That he might bring them bound (opw dedemenou agagh). Final clause with opw (less common than ina) and aorist (effective) subjunctive (agagh, reduplicated aorist of agw, common verb) and perfect passive participle (dedemenou) of dew, in a state of sheer helplessness like his other victims both men and women. Three times ( Acts 8:3 ; Acts 9:2 ; Acts 22:4 ) this fact of persecuting women is mentioned as a special blot in Paul's cruelty (the third time by Paul himself) and one of the items in his being chief of sinners ( 1 Timothy 1:15 ).