What does Acts 9:25 mean?
ESV: but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.
NIV: But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
NASB: but his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket.
CSB: but his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the wall.
NLT: So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.
KJV: Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
NKJV: Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.
Verse Commentary:
Saul came to Damascus to arrest the Jesus-followers and either force them to blaspheme the man they consider their Messiah or extradite them so he could vote for their execution (Acts 26:10–11). Before he reached the city, however, Jesus met him. Saul realized he was completely in the wrong—Jesus is the Messiah from the Jewish Scriptures. Saul converted and used his religious training to try to reach other Jews with the news that the Messiah had come. He will soon be known by his Greek name, Paul, and become the early church's greatest missionary (Acts 13:9).

Not all the Jews in the city care to listen to Saul's perspective. The Jewish leadership in Damascus conspire to kill him (Acts 9:23). Saul hears about the plot and makes his escape through the city wall (Acts 9:24).

Walls in cities at this time are so deep some families have their homes built into the wall (Joshua 2:15). "Basket" is from the Greek root word spyris; it is the same word used in Matthew 15:37 when Jesus fed more than four thousand people. The timeframe is uncertain; apparently after his conversion, Saul went into the Arabian wilderness for three years before returning (Galatians 1:15–17). It's unclear if this is the first or second time he leaves Damascus.

In Damascus, Saul flees Jewish rulers who had been ready to help him complete his mission of eradicating the Jesus-followers. Now, he is on his way to Jerusalem to meet the apostles who started the movement. Because of his reputation, they will not be any more comfortable with him than the people of Damascus (Acts 9:26).
Verse Context:
Acts 9:20–25 describes what happens right after Saul, the mortal enemy of the young church, becomes a follower of Jesus Christ. He had come to Damascus to arrest Christians; now he is a Christian. Immediately upon his conversion, he goes to the synagogues and explains how Jesus of Nazareth fits the prophecies of the Jewish Messiah. At some point, he will spend time in Arabia, then return to Damascus (Galatians 1:17–18). Finally, he will return to Jerusalem and attempt to introduce himself to a very wary church. Fortunately, although the apostles will be skeptical, Barnabas will take him under his wing (Acts 9:26–27).
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 5/28/2024 12:35:59 AM
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