Saul escapes in a basket

Paul / Saul escapes Damascus in a basket

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Paul escapes in a basket
ACTS 9 BIBLE STUDY
Acts 9:19-23 Saul in Damascus

Acts 9:24-31 Saul Escapes in a Basket

Acts 9:32-35 Lydda
Acts 9:36-40 Dorcas
ACTS 9:24-25  24 But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. 25 Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.

Who was trying to capture and kill Saul?
The Jews of Damascus had the local governor and his garrison on their side: "In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands" (2 Corinthians 11:32-33).

Why would a city wall have a window big enough to pass a basket big enough to fit a man?
Middle Eastern city walls in those days contained living quarters with windows from which the invaders could be attacked from above during times of war.  

ACTS 9:26  26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.

Why didn't the disciples believe Saul to be a disciple?
The last time they saw Saul, he was arresting and killing Christians. And having escaped from Damascus in a basket, most likely alone, he probably returned to Jerusalem alone, without a witness who could corroborate his claims.

ACTS 9:27  27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

Why isn't it surprising that "Barnabas" (Acts 9:27) was the brave one?
See Barnabas.

ACTS 9:28-29  28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. 29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.

How long did Saul stay in Jerusalem?
"Fifteen days" (Galatians 1:18)

Who were the "Hellenists" who tried to kill Saul?
They could have been the Hellenist Jews from the Synagogue of the Freedmen who had gone after Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

ACTS 9:30  30 When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.

Why did the brethren send Saul to Tarsus from Caesarea?
Tarsus is Saul's home town - "I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city; and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people" (Acts 21:39) - so he probably had family in Tarsus with whom he could stay, away from the murderous plot against his life in Jerusalem, and also because Tarsus, as it becomes apparent later, was where the Lord wanted him to start his ministry. Caesarea is the main port of Israel where they put Saul on a ship to Tarsus, some 250 miles (400 kilometers) to the north.

Is there a need to reconcile Acts 9:27 with Galatians 1:18-19?
Acts 9:27 states that Saul spoke to "apostles," while Galatians 1:18-19 states, "Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother." Peter and James were the "apostles" (plural) whom Saul saw during this time in Jerusalem.

ACTS 9:31  31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

What do "Judea, Galilee, and Samaria" (Acts 9:31) comprise?
All of Israel.

Who were in the "churches" (Acts 9:31) in Israel?
Christians who were Jews: no gentiles yet.

What church growth strategy led to them being "multiplied" (Acts 9:31)?
None. They walked "in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 9:31). Their growth was the work of God, not the strategy of men.

Should it be different today?
 

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