Acts 22:6

ESV "As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me.
NIV "About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.
NASB But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus at about noon, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me,
CSB "As I was traveling and approaching Damascus, about noon an intense light from heaven suddenly flashed around me.
NLT As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me.
KJV And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
NKJV “Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me.

What does Acts 22:6 mean?

The crowd which, moments before, tried to rip Paul limb from limb, now listens respectfully. Jews from Asia, the province in southwestern modern-day Turkey, saw Paul in Jerusalem with Trophimus, whom they recognized as a Gentile. When they later saw Paul in the temple, they assumed he'd brought Trophimus with him, despite that being a capital offense according to both the Mosaic and Roman laws.

The Jews from Asia shouted their suspicions in the temple and a mob dragged Paul out of the temple and started pounding him. The Roman tribune sent his soldiers to wade into the riot and pull Paul out. As the tribune arrested Paul, Paul asked if he could address the crowd. The tribune had no idea what was going on, so he allowed it. Paul proceeded to try to explain why he was with Trophimus—a Gentile—in Jerusalem (Acts 21:27–40).

He starts by recounting how he was raised to revere the Mosaic law as strongly as any Pharisee. So strong was his devotion that he initially violently persecuted Jesus followers (Acts 26:9–11). Now, he explains how that while tracking Jesus-followers down in Damascus, he met Jesus, a story first told in Acts 9:1–19.

The great light was the glory of God. From its midst, Jesus appeared and asked Paul why he was persecuting Him—not His followers; Jesus had told the apostles that any who persecuted them did so because they were really against Him (John 15:18–21). Paul, blinded by the light, entered Damascus at the hand of his assistants and fasted for three days before Jesus sent Ananias to return his physical sight and lead him to accept Christ's offer of forgiveness.

The crowd listens politely—until Paul describes how Jesus told him to spread His story to the Gentiles. They entertain the idea that this Jesus of Nazareth may be the Jewish Messiah, but they forget God promised Abraham that He would bless Gentiles through Him.
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