on Acts 9 :15
Go thy way - He was thus prevented from going farther in his reasoning on this subject.
He is a chosen vessel unto me - The word σκευος in Greek, and כלי Keley in Hebrew, though they literally signify a vessel, yet they are both used to signify any kind of instrument, or the means by which an act is done. In the Tract. Sohar Exod. fol. 87, on these words of Boaz to Ruth, Ruth 2:9, When thou art athirst, go unto the vessels and drink, etc., there are these remarkable words. "כלי keley, vessels; that is, the righteous, who are called the vessels or instruments of Jehovah; for it is decreed that the whole world shall bring gifts to the King Messiah; and these are the vessels of the Lord: vessels, I say, which the holy and blessed God uses, although they be brittle; but they are brittle only in this world, that they may establish the law and the worship with which the holy and blessed God is worshipped in this world; neither can this ministry be exercised but by vessels or instruments."
This mode of speech was common also among the Greek and Roman writers. So Polybius, speaking of Damocles, Excerpta, vol. iii. lib. 13, [Edit. Ernesti], says, Ην ὑπηρετικον σκευος, και πολλας εχων εφορμας εις πραγματων οικονομιαν. "He was a useful instrument, and fit for the management of affairs." We find Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 4:4, using the same word, σκευος, for the body, agreeable to the expression of Lucretius, iii. 441, Corpus, quod Vas quasi constitit ejus. "The Body, which is the Vessel or instrument of the soul." See Bp. Pearce on this passage.
Chosen vessel. - Σκευος εκλογης is properly a Hebraism, for an excellent or well-adapted instrument. Every reader of the Bible must have noticed how often the word chosen is used there to signify excelling or eminent: so we use the word choice, "choice men," eminent persons; "choice things," excellent articles. So in Jeremiah 22:7 : They shall cut down the choice cedars, וכרתו מבחר ארזיך vecaretu Mibchar arazeyca; και εκκοψουσι τας εκλεκτας κεδρους σου, Sept. They shall cut the most Excellent of thy cedars; or thy cedar trees, which are the most excellent of their kind, they will cut down. Whoever considers the character of St. Paul, his education, attainments in natural knowledge, the distinguished part he took - first against Christianity, and afterwards, on the fullest conviction, the part he took in its favor - will at once perceive how well he was every way qualified for the great work to which God had called him.
To bear my name before the Gentiles - To carry the ensign of the cross among the Greeks and Romans; and, by the demonstration of the Spirit, to confound their wisdom and learning, and prove that neither salvation nor happiness could be found in any other. Hence he was emphatically called, the apostle of the Gentiles, 1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11. See also Galatians 2:7, Galatians 2:8, and Ephesians 3:8.
on Acts 9 :15
Go thy way - This is often the only answer that we obtain to the suggestion of our doubts and hesitations about duty. God tells us still to do what he requires, with an assurance only that his commands are just, and that there are good reasons for them.
A chosen vessel - The usual meaning of the word "vessel" is well known. It commonly denotes a "cup or basin," such as is used in a house. It then denotes "any instrument which may be used to accomplish a purpose, perhaps particularly with the notion of conveying or communicating." In the Scriptures it is used to denote the "instrument" or "agent" which God employs to convey his favors to mankind, and is thus employed to represent the ministers of the gospel, 2 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:4. Compare Isaiah 10:5-7. Paul is called "chosen" because Christ had "selected" him, as he did his other apostles, for this service. See the notes on John 15:16.
To bear my name - To communicate the knowledge of me.
Before the Gentiles - The nations; all who were not Jews. This was the principal employment of Paul. He spent his life in this, and regarded himself as especially called to be the apostle of the Gentiles, Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; Galatians 2:8.
And kings - This was fulfilled, Acts 25:23, etc.; Acts 26:32; Acts 27:24.
And the children of Israel - The Jews. This was done. He immediately began to preach to them, Acts 9:20-22. Wherever he went, he preached the gospel first to them, and then to the Gentiles, Acts 13:46; Acts 28:17.
on Acts 9 :15
9:15 He is a chosen vessel to bear my name - That is, to testify of me. It is undeniable, that some men are unconditionally chosen or elected, to do some works for God