1Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.”
So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense: 2“King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews, 3and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4“The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. 5They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest sect of our religion, living as a Pharisee. 6And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our ancestors that I am on trial today. 7This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. King Agrippa, it is because of this hope that these Jews are accusing me. 8Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?
9“I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.
12“On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,26:14 Or Hebrew ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
15“Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’
“ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
19“So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. 21That is why some Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. 22But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”
24At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”
25“I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”
28Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
29Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”
30The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31After they left the room, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.”
32Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
Paulo Ajitetea Mbele Ya Agripa
126:1 Mdo 9:15; 25:22Ndipo Agripa akamwambia Paulo, “Unayo ruhusa kujitetea.”
Hivyo Paulo akawaashiria kwa mkono wake, akaanza kujitetea, akasema: 226:2 Za 119:46; Mdo 24:1, 5; 25:2; 7:11“Mfalme Agripa, najiona kuwa na heri kusimama mbele yako leo ninapojitetea kuhusu mashtaka yote ya Wayahudi, 326:3 Mdo 6:14; 25:19hasa kwa sababu unajua vyema desturi zote za Kiyahudi na ya kuwa wewe unajua kwa undani mila na masuala ya mabishano. Kwa hiyo, nakusihi unisikilize kwa uvumilivu.
426:4 Gal 1:13, 14; Flp 3:5“Wayahudi wote wanajua jinsi nilivyoishi tangu nilipokuwa mtoto, kuanzia mwanzo wa maisha yangu katika nchi yangu na pia huko Yerusalemu. 526:5 Mdo 22:3; 24:15; 28:20; 13:32; Rum 15:8Wao wamefahamu kwa muda mrefu na wanaweza kushuhudia kama wakipenda, ya kwamba kutokana na misimamo mikali sana ya dhehebu letu kwenye dini yetu, niliishi nikiwa Farisayo. 626:6 Mdo 23:6; 24:15; 28:20; 13:32; Rum 15:8Nami sasa ni kwa sababu ya tumaini langu katika kile ambacho Mungu aliwaahidi baba zetu, ninashtakiwa leo. 726:7 Yn 1:1; 1The 3:10; 1Tim 5:5Hii ndiyo ahadi ambayo makabila yetu kumi na mawili yanatarajia kuiona ikitimizwa wanapomtumikia Mungu kwa bidii usiku na mchana. Ee mfalme, ninashtakiwa na Wayahudi kwa ajili ya tumaini hili. 826:8 Mdo 23:6Kwa nini yeyote miongoni mwenu afikiri kwamba ni jambo lisilosadikika Mungu kufufua wafu?
926:9 1Tim 1:13; Yn 16:2; 15:21“Mimi pia nilikuwa nimeshawishika kwamba imenipasa kufanya yote yale yaliyowezekana kupinga Jina la Yesu wa Nazareti. 1026:10 Mdo 9:13; 8:3; 9:2, 14, 21; 22:20Nami hayo ndiyo niliyoyafanya huko Yerusalemu. Kwa mamlaka ya viongozi wa makuhani, niliwatia wengi wa watakatifu gerezani na walipokuwa wakiuawa, nilipiga kura yangu kuunga mkono. 1126:11 Mt 10:17Mara nyingi nilikwenda kutoka sinagogi moja hadi ingine nikiamuru waadhibiwe, nami nilijaribu kuwalazimisha wakufuru. Katika shauku yangu dhidi yao, hata nilikwenda miji ya kigeni ili kuwatesa.
Paulo Aeleza Kuhusu Kuokoka Kwake
(Matendo 9:1-19; 22:6-16)
12“Siku moja nilipokuwa katika mojawapo ya safari hizi nikiwa ninakwenda Dameski, nilikuwa na mamlaka na agizo kutoka kwa kiongozi wa makuhani. 13Ilikuwa yapata adhuhuri, ee mfalme, nilipokuwa njiani, niliona nuru kutoka mbinguni kali kuliko jua, ikingʼaa kunizunguka pande zote mimi na wale niliokuwa pamoja nao. 1426:14 Mdo 9:7Wote tulipokuwa tumeanguka chini, nikasikia sauti ikisema nami kwa lugha ya Kiebrania, ‘Sauli, Sauli, mbona unanitesa? Ni vigumu kwako kuupiga teke mchokoo.’
15“Nikauliza, ‘Ni nani wewe, Bwana?’
“Naye Bwana akajibu, ‘Ni Mimi Yesu unayemtesa. 1626:16 Eze 2:1; Dan 10:11; Mdo 22:14, 15Sasa inuka usimame kwa miguu yako. Nimekutokea ili nikuteue uwe mtumishi na shahidi wa mambo ambayo umeyaona, na yale nitakayokuonyesha. 1726:17 Yer 1:8, 19; Mdo 9:15Nitakuokoa kutoka kwa watu wako na watu wa Mataifa ambao ninakutuma kwao, 1826:18 Isa 35:5; Za 18:29; Kol 1:13; Lk 24:27; Mdo 2:38; 20:21-32uyafumbue macho yao ili wageuke kutoka gizani waingie nuruni, na kutoka kwenye nguvu za Shetani wamgeukie Mungu, ili wapate msamaha wa dhambi na sehemu miongoni mwa wale waliotakaswa kwa kuniamini mimi.’
1926:19 Isa 50:5“Hivyo basi, Mfalme Agripa, sikuacha kuyatii yale maono yaliyotoka mbinguni, 2026:20 Mdo 9:19-25; 9:26-29; 22:18-20; 9:15; 13:46; 3:19; Yer 18:11; Mt 3:8bali niliyatangaza kwanza kwa wale wa Dameski, kisha Yerusalemu na katika vijiji vyote vya Uyahudi na pia kwa watu wa Mataifa, kwamba inawapasa kutubu na kumgeukia Mungu na kuthibitisha toba yao kwa matendo yao. 2126:21 Mdo 21:27, 30; 21:31Ni kwa sababu hii Wayahudi walinikamata nilipokuwa Hekaluni, wakataka kuniua. 2226:22 Lk 24:27, 44; Mdo 10:43Hadi leo nimepata msaada kutoka kwa Mungu, na hivyo nasimama hapa nikishuhudia kwa wakubwa na wadogo. Sisemi chochote zaidi ya yale ambayo manabii na Mose walisema yatatukia: 2326:23 Kol 1:18; Ufu 1:5; Lk 2:32kwamba Kristo26:23 Kristo maana yake ni Masiya, yaani Aliyetiwa mafuta. atateswa, na kwamba yeye atakuwa wa kwanza kufufuka kutoka kwa wafu, na atatangaza nuru kwa watu wake na kwa watu wa Mataifa.”
Paulo Aeleza Juu Ya Kuhubiri Kwake
2426:24 Yn 10:20Paulo alipokuwa akifanya utetezi huu, Festo akasema kwa sauti kubwa, “Paulo, wewe umerukwa na akili! Kusoma kwingi kunakufanya uwe kichaa!”
2526:25 Mdo 23:26Lakini Paulo akajibu, “Mimi sijarukwa na akili, mtukufu sana Festo, bali nanena kweli nikiwa na akili zangu timamu. 2626:26 Mdo 26:3Naam, Mfalme anajua kuhusu mambo haya yote, nami nasema naye kwa uhuru. Kwa sababu nina hakika kwamba hakuna hata mojawapo ya mambo haya asilolijua, kwa kuwa hayakufanyika mafichoni. 27Mfalme Agripa, je, unaamini manabii? Najua kuwa unaamini.”
2826:28 Mdo 11:26Agripa akamwambia Paulo, “Je, unanishawishi kwa haraka namna hii niwe Mkristo?”
2926:29 Mdo 21:33Paulo akasema, “Ikiwa ni kwa haraka au la, namwomba Mungu, si wewe peke yako bali pia wale wote wanaonisikiliza leo, wawe kama mimi nilivyo, kasoro minyororo hii.”
3026:30 Mdo 25:23Baada ya kusema hayo, mfalme akainuka pamoja na mtawala na Bernike na wale waliokuwa wameketi pamoja nao. 3126:31 Mdo 23:9Walipokuwa wakiondoka, wakaambiana, “Mtu huyu hafanyi jambo lolote linalostahili kufa au kufungwa.”
3226:32 Mdo 28:18; 25:11Agripa akamwambia Festo, “Mtu huyu angeachwa huru kama hangekuwa amekata rufaa kwa Kaisari.”