What does Acts 26:16 mean?
ESV: But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,
NIV: Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.
NASB: But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you as a servant and a witness not only to the things in which you have seen Me, but also to the things in which I will appear to you,
CSB: But get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.
NLT: Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future.
KJV: But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
Verse Commentary:
This is part of Paul's testimony before the leaders of Caesarea Maritima, giving context for their benefit—specifically King Agrippa II. Paul is describing how he first met Jesus on the road to Damascus as recorded in Acts 9:1–19. We shouldn't expect the wording to be exact. Some of the words were not recorded in Acts 9. Some may be from what Ananias told Paul later. Others are representative.

God telling people to rise is a theme in the Bible. When Ezekiel fell to his face, overwhelmed by God's glory, God told him to stand so he could hear what God had to say (Ezekiel 1:28—2:1). Daniel, often overwhelmed by God's messengers, was told to stand (Daniel 8:18; 10:11). And Jesus had to tell Peter, James, and John to rise when they were overpowered by the voice of God on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:6–7).

"Witness" is from the Greek root word martys. It refers to someone who provides testimony to what he or she has experienced. Often, it refers to the Christ-followers who told others they had seen Jesus after the resurrection. But martys is also the source of the English word martyr. A martyr bears witness to the good news of Jesus not only with words, but with their lives, forfeited at the hands of those who reject that message. When Jesus told Paul he would be a servant and a witness, He's saying Paul will live and die to spread the good news of Jesus to the Gentiles (Acts 26:17; Colossians 1:24).
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.
Accessed 4/13/2024 9:53:22 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.