Acts 9:23

When many days were fulfilled (Hw eplhrounto hmerai ikanai). Imperfect passive indicative of plhrow, old and common verb, were in process of being fulfilled. How "many" (considerable, ikanai, common word for a long period) Luke does not say nor does he say that Saul spent all of this period in Damascus, as we know from Galatians 1:16-18 was not the case. Paul there states definitely that he went away from Damascus to Arabia and returned there before going back to Jerusalem and that the whole period was about "three years" which need not mean three full years, but at least portions of three. Most of the three years was probably spent in Arabia because of the two explosions in Damascus (before his departure and on his return) and because he was unknown in Jerusalem as a Christian on his arrival there. It cannot be argued from the frequent lacunae in the Acts that Luke tells all that was true or that he knew. He had his own methods and aims as every historian has. We are at perfect liberty to supplement the narrative in the Acts with items from Paul's Epistles. So we must assume the return of Saul from Arabia at this juncture, between verses Galatians 22 23 , when Saul resumed his preaching in the Jewish synagogues with renewed energy and grasp after the period of mature reflection and readjustment in Arabia. Took counsel together (sunebouleusanto). First aorist (effective) middle indicative of sunbouleuw, old and common verb for counselling (bouleuw) together (sun). Things had reached a climax. It was worse than before he left for Arabia. Paul was now seeing the fulfilment of the prophecy of Jesus about him ( Galatians 9:16 ). To kill him (anelein auton). Second aorist (effective) active infinitive of anairew, to take up, to make away with, to kill ( Luke 23:32 ; Acts 12:1 , etc.). The infinitive expresses purpose here as is done in verse Acts 9:24 by opw and the aorist active subjunctive of the same verb (anelwsin). Saul now knew what Stephen had suffered at his hands as his own life was in peril in the Jewish quarter of Damascus. It was a picture of his old self. He may even have been scourged here ( 2 Corinthians 11:24 ).