What does Acts 9:19 mean?
ESV: and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.
NIV: and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.
NASB: and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were in Damascus,
CSB: And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some time.
NLT: Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength. Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days.
KJV: And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
NKJV: So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.
Verse Commentary:
Saul has had his life completely turned around. Four days before, he was on his way to Damascus to arrest Jewish Jesus-followers and return them to Jerusalem for trial for their blasphemy. Now, he himself is a Jesus-follower. After meeting Christ on the road and temporarily going blind, he fasted and prayed for three days. Ananias arrived and baptized Saul, and the Holy Spirit came and filled him. He can see again; now he's hungry (Acts 9:1–18).

In the culture, to eat with someone is to affirm a fealty with them. When Saul accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he was reconciled to God (Romans 5:10). His sins are forgiven, he has no more requirement to fulfill the Mosaic law. But he is also reconciled with other Jesus-followers, and he is on a mission to make more.

Saul's steps over the next few years are unclear. He does stay in Damascus for "some days," but after that, he apparently goes to Arabia and then returns to Damascus (Galatians 1:17). This probably doesn't mean the Arabian Peninsula, which is all desert; he may have just gone east of Damascus into the wilderness, or even toured some of the nearby towns. When he returns to Damascus, we know that he will barely escape from the Jewish leadership and then go to Jerusalem to meet the apostles. Unlike Ananias, however, it doesn't appear that Jesus warned Peter, John, and James that Saul is coming (Acts 9:20–30).
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.
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