Kapitel 26 -
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2 Paul, in the presence of Agrippa, declareth his life from his childhood, 12 and how miraculously he was conuerted, and called to his Apostleship. 24 Festus chargeth him to be mad, whereunto he answereth modestly. 28 Agrippa is almost perswaded to be a christian. 31 The whole company pronounce him innocent.
1 Then Agrippa said vnto Paul, Thou art permitted to speake for thy selfe. Then Paul stretched foorth the hand, and answered for himselfe,
2 I thinke my selfe happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answere for my selfe this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Iewes:
3 Especially, because I know thee to be expert in all customes and questions which are among the Iewes: wherefore I beseech thee to heare mee patiently.
4 My maner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine owne nation at Hierusalem, know all the Iewes,
5 Which knew me from the beginning, (if they would testifie) that after the most straitest sect of our religion, I liued a Pharisee.
6 And now I stand, and am iudged for the hope of the promise made of God vnto our fathers:
7 Vnto which promise our twelue tribes instantly seruing God day and night, hope to come: For which hopes sake, King Agrippa, I am accused of the Iewes.
8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
9 I verily thought with my selfe, that I ought to doe many things contrary to the name of Iesus of Nazareth:
10 *Which thing I also did in Hierusalem, and many of the Saints did I shut vp in prison, hauing receiued authoritie from the chiefe Priests, and when they were put to death, I gaue my voyce against them. [ *Chap. 8.3. ]
11And I punished them oft in euery Synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme, and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them euen vnto strange cities.
12 *Whereupon, as I went to Damascus, with authoritie and commission from the chiefe Priests: [ *Chap.9.2. ]
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heauen, aboue the brightnes of the Sunne, shining round about mee, and them which iourneyed with me.
14 And when wee were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking vnto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kicke against the prickes.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And hee said, I am Iesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand vpon thy feete, for I haue appeared vnto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witnesse, both of these things which thou hast seene, & of those things in the which I will appeare vnto thee,
17 Deliuering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, vnto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turne them from darknesse to light, and from the power of Satan vnto God, that they may receiue forgiuenesse of sinnes, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient vnto the heauenly vision:
20 But shewed first vnto them of Damascus, and at Hierusalem, and thorowout all the coasts of Iudea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turne to God, and do works meete for repentance.
21 For these causes the Iewes caught mee in the Temple, and went about to kill me.
22 Hauing therefore obteined helpe of God, I continue vnto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things then those which the Prophets and Moses did say should come:
23 That Christ should suffer, and that hee should be the first that should rise from the dead, & should shew light vnto the people, and to the Gentiles.
24 And as hee thus spake for himselfe, Festus saide with a lowd voyce, Paul, thou art beside thy selfe, much learning doeth make thee mad.
25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speake foorth the words of trueth and sobernesse.
26 For the King knoweth of these things, before whom also I speake freely: for I am perswaded, that none of these things are hidden from him, for this thing was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, beleeuest thou the Prophets? I know that thou beleeuest.
28 Then Agrippa saide vnto Paul, Almost thou perswadest mee to bee a Christian.
29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not onely thou, but also all that heare mee this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
30 And when hee had thus spoken, the king rose vp, and the gouernour, and Bernice, & they that sate with them.
31 And when they were gone aside, they talked betweene themselues, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death, or of bonds.
32 Then said Agrippa vnto Festus, This man might haue bene set at libertie, if he had not appealed vnto Cesar.