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Acts 8:3

    Acts 8:3 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But Saul laid waste the church, entering into every house, and dragging men and women committed them to prison.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But Saul was burning with hate against the church, going into every house and taking men and women and putting them in prison.

    Webster's Revision

    But Saul laid waste the church, entering into every house, and dragging men and women committed them to prison.

    World English Bible

    But Saul ravaged the assembly, entering into every house, and dragged both men and women off to prison.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But Saul laid waste the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

    Definitions for Acts 8:3

    Church - Assembly of "called out" ones.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 8:3

    Saul made havoc of the Church - The word ελυμαινετο, from λυμαινω, to destroy, devastate, ravage, signifies the act of ferocious animals, such as bears, wolves, and the like, in seeking and devouring their prey. This shows with what persevering rancour this man pursued the harmless Christians; and thus we see in him what bigotry and false zeal are capable of performing.

    Entering into every house - For, however it might be to others, a Christian man's house was not his castle.

    Haling men and women - Neither sparing age nor sex in the professors of Christianity. The word συρων signifies dragging them before the magistrates, or dragging them to justice.

    Committed them to prison - For, as the Romans alone had the power of life and death, the Sanhedrin, by whom Saul was employed, Acts 26:10, could do no more than arrest and imprison, in order to inflict any punishment short of death. It is true, St. Paul himself says that some of them were put to death, see Acts 26:10; but this was either done by Roman authority, or by what was called the judgment of zeal, i.e. when the mob took the execution of the laws into their own hands, and massacred those whom they pretended to be blasphemers of God: for these sanctified their murderous outrage under the specious name of zeal for God's glory, and quoted the ensample of Phineas as a precedent. Such persons as these formed a sect among the Jews; and are known in ecclesiastical history by the appellation of Zealots or Sicarii.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 8:3

    As for Saul - But Saul. He took no interest or part in the pious attentions shown to Stephen, but engaged with zeal in the work of persecution.

    He made havoc - ἐλυμαίνετο elumaineto. This word is commonly applied to wild beasts, to lions, wolves, etc., and denotes the "devastations" which they commit. Saul raged against the church like a wild beast - a strong expression, denoting the zeal and fury with which he engaged in persecution.

    Entering into every house - To search for those who were suspected of being Christians.

    Haling - Dragging, or compelling them.

    Committed them to prison - The Sanhedrin had no power to put them to death, John 18:31. But they had power to imprison; and they resolved, it seems, to exercise this power to the utmost. Paul frequently refers to his zeal in persecuting the church, Acts 26:10-11; Galatians 1:13. It may be remarked here that there never was a persecution commenced with more flattering prospects to the persecutors. Saul, the principal agent, was young, zealous, learned, and clothed with power. He showed afterward that he had talents suited for any station, and zeal that tired with no exertion, and that was appalled by no obstacle. With this talent and this zeal he entered on his work. The Christians were few and feeble. They were scattered and unarmed. They were unprotected by any civil power, and exposed, therefore, to the full blaze and rage of persecution. That the church was not destroyed was owing to the protection of God a protection which not only secured its existence, but which extended its influence and power by means of this very persecution far abroad on the earth.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 8:3

    8:3 Saul made havoc of the Church - Like some furious beast of prey. So the Greek word properly signifies. Men and women - Regarding neither age nor sex.
    Book: Acts