And he said, who art thou, Lord?
&c.] For he knew not whether it was God, or an angel, or who it was that spake to him; he knew not Christ by his form or voice, as Stephen did, when he saw him standing at the right hand of God; he was in a state of ignorance, and knew neither the person, nor voice of Christ, and yet his heart was so far softened and wrought upon, that he was desirous of knowing who he was;
and the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest.
The Alexandrian copy, and the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, "read Jesus of Nazareth"; and one of Beza's copies, and another of Stephens', as in ( Acts 22:8 ) whose name thou art doing many things against, and whose people thou art destroying:
it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks;
or "to resist me", as the Arabic version renders it; and which is the sense of the phrase; it is a proverbial expression, taken from beasts that are goaded, who kick against the goads or pricks, and hurt themselves the more thereby; and Christ uses it, suggesting hereby, that should Saul go on to persecute him and his people, to oppose his Gospel, and the strong evidence of it, in doctrine and miracles, and notwithstanding the present remonstrances made in such an extraordinary manner; he would find himself in the issue greatly hurt by it, and could not rationally expect to succeed against so powerful a person. This clause in the Syriac version is placed at the end of the fourth verse.