What does Acts 26:13 mean?
ESV: At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
NIV: About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.
NASB: at midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who were journeying with me.
CSB: King Agrippa, while on the road at midday, I saw a light from heaven brighter than the sun, shining around me and those traveling with me.
NLT: About noon, Your Majesty, as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions.
KJV: At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
NKJV: at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me.
Verse Commentary:
Paul is giving his testimony before Governor Festus, King Agrippa II, Agrippa's sister/lover Bernice, and the civil and military leaders of Caesarea Maritima (Acts 25:23–27). But Paul is most interested in Agrippa. His great-grandfather was Herod the Great. His father was King Agrippa I who murdered the apostle James, brother of John, and was struck by God when he accepted the praise only due to God (Acts 12:1–2, 20–23). Unlike Festus, Agrippa knows and believes the Jewish Scriptures—the Old Testament—as well as the basics of Christianity (Acts 26:2–3, 26–27).

The Sanhedrin has accused Paul of breaking the Mosaic and Roman laws. Paul counters that their real issue is he teaches Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead (Acts 24:5–6, 21). His defense is largely comprised of his conversion to follow Jesus and his work as an evangelist. This verse echoes Acts 9:3.

Paul had been authorized by the Sanhedrin to hunt Jesus-following Jews in Damascus. He intended to visit the synagogues, weed out the Christians, arrest them, and take them to Jerusalem (Acts 9:2). The autonomy the emperor gave Jews included authorization to judge all Jews, no matter where they lived, according to their religion. Once in Jerusalem, Paul would try to force them to deny Christ and, if they refused, cast his vote that they may be executed as blasphemers (Acts 26:10–11).

Before Paul reached the city, however, Jesus confronted him. Jesus revealed Paul's sin of persecuting Him by persecuting His followers and claimed Paul as His evangelist to "Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15). It is Paul's loyalty to this commission that angers the Sanhedrin. But it is King Agrippa's presence that fulfills it.
Verse Context:
Acts 26:12–23 is Paul's testimony to King Agrippa II, Governor Festus, and the leaders of Caesarea Maritima, of how he started following Jesus. The audience wants to determine if Paul broke a law. Paul wants to offer reconciliation with God. Paul describes how he met Jesus on his way to persecute Christians in Damascus and accepted Jesus' commission to spread His offer of forgiveness to Jews and Gentiles. It is for this reason that the Sanhedrin wants him dead, not because he committed a crime. Paul's conversion is recorded in Acts 9:1–19.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 26 records Paul's testimony before the noblemen of Caesarea Maritima, as well as their reactions. He explains that Jewish leaders want him dead because he once persecuted the church, but now believes Jesus rose from the dead and has been spreading that message. Governor Festus thinks Paul has gone mad. King Agrippa II, however, finds his story compelling. They realize that had Paul not appealed to a higher Roman court, they could have let him go.
Chapter Context:
After being held in custody for two years and, again, hassled by the Sanhedrin who want to kill him, Paul appeals his case to Caesar (Acts 25:7–12). Before he travels to Rome, however, Governor Festus has Paul give his testimony before King Agrippa II and the noblemen of Caesarea Maritima (Act 25:23–27). When Paul is finished, they realize they should have set him free before he appealed to Caesar (Acts 26:30–32). But he must go to Rome, surviving a violent storm and a shipwreck along the way (Acts 27—28).
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
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