What does Acts 9:10 mean?
ESV: Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
NIV: In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, 'Ananias!' 'Yes, Lord,' he answered.
NASB: Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, 'Ananias.' And he said, 'Here I am, Lord.'
CSB: There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias.""Here I am, Lord," he replied.
NLT: Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, 'Ananias!' 'Yes, Lord!' he replied.
KJV: And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
Verse Commentary:
Although it was rarely under Jewish control, Damascus was an important city at this time. It is located about 133 miles north and a little east of Jerusalem, right at the crossroads of the trading routes from the east, down through Israel, and on into Egypt.

Ananias is a common name in the book of Acts. This Ananias is neither the husband of Sapphira (Acts 5:1–6) nor the future high priest (Acts 23:2; 24:1). Nor is he the Aeneas who is healed from paralysis (Acts 9:32–34). Later, Saul will describe him as "a devout man according to the law, well-spoken of by all the Jews who lived [in Damascus]" (Acts 22:12).

The man is called "devout" and has a positive reputation among the Jews. He's likely a Gentile who worships the Jewish God. If so, it's appropriate that God calls him to lead the future "apostle to the Gentiles" to Christ.

God contacts Ananias in a "vision," meaning a prophetic experience while he's awake. This is different from a dream, which happens when the person is sleeping. Several people in the New Testament had visions, but since the compilation of the New Testament, they have become much rarer. Today, it seems God sends visions to those who are looking for Him but do not have access to the Bible—this has been mentioned in some Muslims' testimony of their conversion to Christianity.
Verse Context:
Acts 9:10–19 explains how the greatest earthly enemy of the early church experienced a change of heart. Saul is a Pharisee-trained, Greek-speaking Jew and zealous persecutor of Christians (Acts 8:1–3). He asked for permission to hunt Jesus-followers in Damascus, but found Jesus, instead (Acts 9:1–9). Blinded by Jesus' glory, he has been waiting in Damascus for Ananias, a Jesus-follower. Ananias arrives and participates as as Jesus heals Saul from both physical and spiritual blindness. Saul is baptized and takes physical nourishment. Saul stays in Damascus for some time and immediately takes his extensive training in Jewish Scripture to argue that Jesus is indeed the Messiah. The Sanhedrin's hitman is now a target of his former allies.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 9 sets the stage for the spread of the gospel to the Gentiles. Saul continues the persecution of the church by traveling to Damascus to arrest Jesus-followers. Before he reaches the city, Jesus confronts him. Saul realizes Jesus is the Messiah and immediately starts spreading the news, first in Damascus and later in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Peter travels to modern-day Tel Aviv to heal a paralyzed man and bring a dead woman back to life. The miracles aren't unusual, but the story leaves him in Joppa, poised to take the next step in Jesus' mandate to be His witness (Acts 1:8).
Chapter Context:
The murder of the Jesus-follower Stephen has ignited a fierce persecution against the church, led by a young Pharisee-trained man named Saul (Acts 7:54—8:3; 9:1–2). When he realizes Jesus truly is the Messiah, that fervor fuels his own evangelism (Acts 9:3–30). Meanwhile, Peter travels to the coast of Judea. Soon, he will teach a prominent Gentile household about Jesus and discover that Gentiles can be saved (Acts 10). The stage will be set for Saul to spread the saving news of Jesus to ''the end of the earth'' (Acts 1:8) under the Greek version of his name: Paul.
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 3/1/2024 3:19:45 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com