Why are you persecuting me? (Acts 22:7)

“I fell to the ground.

I heard a voice

Say to me.

‘Saul!

Saul!

Why are you

Persecuting me?’”

ἔπεσά τε εἰς τὸ ἔδαφος καὶ ἤκουσα φωνῆς λεγούσης μοι Σαοὺλ Σαούλ, τί με διώκεις;

The author of Acts indicated that Paul said that he fell (ἔπεσά τε) to the ground (εἰς τὸ ἔδαφος).  He heard (καὶ ἤκουσα) a voice (φωνῆς) say to him (λεγούσης μοι).  “Saul (Σαοὺλ)!  Saul (Σαοὺλ)!  Why are you persecuting me (τί με διώκεις)?”  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word ἔδαφος, that means bottom, ground, or base.  This was similar to chapter 9:4.  Saul fell (καὶ πεσὼν) to the ground (καὶ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν).  He heard (ἤκουσεν) a voice (φωνὴν) saying to him (λέγουσαν αὐτῷ).  “Saul!  Saul (Σαοὺλ Σαούλ)!  Why do you persecute me? (τί με διώκεις).”  There was no mention of a horse or camel, so that Saul might have been walking, but he probably was riding since this was about 170 miles of traveling.  Here it is almost exactly the same.  The only difference was that it was in the first person singular and there was a unique use of the word ἔπεσά that means ground, base, or bottom.  However, there was a more elaborate description in Acts, chapter 26:14.  Saul mentioned that all the people with him fell to the ground, not just himself.  Light and falling to the ground were typical of divine appearances.  However, he added that the voice was in Hebrew and asked him why was he was resisting with a Greek proverb.  The meaning was about useless and harmful resistance, like the ox that kicks against the plowing farmer.  These oxen only hurt themselves when they went against the sharp stick or the goads on the plow.  Saul said.  “When we had all fallen (πάντων τε καταπεσόντων ἡμῶν) to the ground (εἰς τὴν γῆν), I heard (ἤκουσα) a voice (φωνὴν) saying to me (λέγουσαν πρός με) in the Hebrew language (τῇ Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ), ‘Saul!  Saul (Σαοὺλ Σαούλ)!  Why do you persecute me (τί με διώκεις)?  It hurts you (σκληρόν σοι) to kick (λακτίζειν) against the goads (πρὸς κέντρα)!’”  Thus, God was speaking in Hebrew to Saul, but citing a Greek proverb to tell him to stop wasting his time persecuting him and his growing Christian community.  Saul’s name was repeated twice to indicate God calling him.  Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin, so that is probably why he was named for its great king and leader Saul.  Has anyone ever called your name out twice?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.