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Acts 9:18

    Acts 9:18 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight immediately, and arose, and was baptized.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And straightway there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and he arose and was baptized;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And straight away it seemed as if a veil was taken from his eyes, and he was able to see; and he got up, and had baptism;

    Webster's Revision

    And straightway there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and he arose and was baptized;

    World English Bible

    Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he received his sight. He arose and was baptized.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And straightway there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and he arose and was baptized;

    Definitions for Acts 9:18

    Forthwith - Immediately.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 9:18

    There fell from his eyes as it had been scales - This was real: he had been so dazzled with the brightness of the light that we may suppose the globe of the eye, and particularly the cornea, had suffered considerable injury. The structure of the cornea was doubtless much disturbed, and the whole of that humor would be rendered opaque, and incapable of permitting the rays of light to pass through the different humours to the retina, where all the images of things transmitted through the lenses, or humours, are distinctly painted. In the miraculous cure the membrane was restored to its primitive state, and the opaque matter separated from the cornea, in the form of thin laminae or scales. This being done, the light would have as free a passage as formerly, and the result would be distinct vision.

    And arose, and was baptized - That he was baptized by Ananias there is every reason to believe; as he appears to have been the chief Christian at Damascus. As baptism implied, in an adult, the public profession of that faith into which he was baptized, this baptism of Saul proved, at once, his own sincerity, and the deep and thorough conviction he had of the truth of Christianity.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 9:18

    As it had been scales - ὡσεὶ λεπίδες hōsei lepides. The word ὡσεὶ hōsei, "as it had been," is designed to qualify the following word. It is not said that scales literally fell from his eyes, but that an effect followed as if scales had been suddenly taken off. Evidently, the expression is deigned to mean no more than this. The effect was such as would take place if some dark, imperious substance had been placed before the eyes, and had been suddenly removed. The cure was as sudden, the restoration to sight was as immediate, as if such an interposing substance had been suddenly removed. This is all that the expression fairly implies, and this is all that the nature of the case demands. As the blindness had been caused by the natural effect of the light, probably on the optic nerve (Acts 9:8-9, note), it is manifest that no literal removing of scales would restore the vision. We are therefore to lay aside the idea of literal scales falling to the earth. No such thing is affirmed, and no such thing would have met the case. The word translated "scales" is used nowhere else in the New Testament. It means properly "the small crust or layer which composes a part of the covering of a fish, and also any thin layer or leaf exfoliated or separated, as scales of iron, bone, or a piece of bark, etc." (Webster). An effect similar to this is described in Tobit 11:8, 13. It is evident that there was a miracle in the healing of Saul. The "blindness" was the natural effect of the light. The "cure" was by miraculous power. This is evident:

    (1) Because there were no means used that would naturally restore the sight. It may be remarked here that "gutta serena" has been regarded by physicians as one of the most incurable of diseases. Few cases are restored, and few remedies are efficacious (See the Edinburgh Encyclopedia's "Surgery" on Amaurosis.)

    (2) Ananias was sent for this very purpose to heal him, Acts 9:17.

    (3) the immediate effect shows that this was miraculous. Had it been a slow recovery, it might have been doubtful; but here it was instantaneous, and it was thus put beyond a question that it was a miracle.

    And was baptized - In this he followed the example of all the early converts to Christianity. They were baptized immediately. See Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12, Acts 8:36-39.
    Book: Acts
    Topic: Baptism