"Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense which I now make to you."
When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet. He said,
"I am indeed a Yehudi, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamli'el, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are this day.
I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
As also the Kohen Gadol and all the council of the Zakenim testify, from whom also I received letters to the brothers, and journeyed to Dammesek to bring them also who were there to Yerushalayim in bonds to be punished.
It happened that, as I made my journey, and came close to Dammesek, about noon, suddenly there shone from the sky a great light around me.
I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, 'Sha'ul, Sha'ul, why do you persecute me?'
I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' He said to me, 'I am Yeshua of Natzeret, whom you persecute.'
"Those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they didn't understand the voice of him who spoke to me.
I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' The Lord said to me, 'Arise, and go into Dammesek. There you will be told about all things which are appointed for you to do.'
When I couldn't see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Dammesek.
One Hananyah, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all the Yehudim who lived there,
came to me, and standing by me said to me, 'Brother Sha'ul, receive your sight!' In that very hour I looked up at him.
He said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth.
For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard.
Now why do you wait? Arise, be immersed, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
"It happened that, when I had returned to Yerushalayim, and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance,
and saw him saying to me, 'Hurry and get out of Yerushalayim quickly, because they will not receive testimony concerning me from you.'
I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you.
When the blood of Stephen, your witness, was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting to his death, and guarding the cloaks of those who killed him.'
"He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you out far from here to the Goyim.'"
They listened to him until he said that, then they lifted up their voice, and said, "Rid the eretz of this fellow, for he isn't fit to live!"
As they cried out, and threw off their cloaks, and threw dust into the air,
the commanding officer commanded him to be brought into the barracks, ordering him to be examined by scourging, that he might know for what crime they shouted against him like that.
When they had tied him up with thongs, Sha'ul asked the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and not found guilty?"
When the centurion heard it, he went to the commanding officer and told him, "Watch what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman!"
The commanding officer came and asked him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" He said, "Yes."
The commanding officer answered, "I bought my citizenship for a great price." Sha'ul said, "But I was born a Roman."
Immediately those who were about to examine him departed from him, and the commanding officer also was afraid when he realized that he was a Roman, because he had bound him.
But on the next day, desiring to know the truth about why he was accused by the Yehudim, he freed him from the bonds, and commanded the chief Kohanim and all the council to come together, and brought Sha'ul down and set him before them.