Acts 9:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 9:8, NIV: Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.

Acts 9:8, ESV: Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.

Acts 9:8, KJV: And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

Acts 9:8, NASB: Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.

Acts 9:8, NLT: Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus.

Acts 9:8, CSB: Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus.

What does Acts 9:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The road to Damascus has proved to be more than Saul bargained for. He had been on a mission to enter Damascus armed with the paperwork that authorizes him to search for Jewish Jesus-followers. Upon finding them, he would try to force them to abandon their belief in Jesus and declare He is not the Son of God. If they refused, he would take them to Jerusalem where they would be tried for blasphemy, convicted, and Saul would join others in voting for their execution (Acts 26:9–11).

But something happened he did not expect. Jesus, Himself, appeared, surrounded by the glorious light of heaven. He has ordered Saul to continue his journey to Damascus and wait for further instruction. Saul's traveling companions are confused: they see the light and hear a noise, but they can't distinguish any words (Acts 9:1–7).

Meanwhile, Saul is physically blinded because of the brightness of the light (Acts 22:11). Later, when relating Israel's rejection of Christ, Saul will quote Isaiah 6:10—a passage Jesus quoted in Matthew 13:15: "For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them" (see Romans 11:8). Saul had been spiritually blind before his encounter with Christ. Now, unable to see the material world, he will begin to see and understand the truth of who Jesus is.