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Galatians 1:17

    Galatians 1:17 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    neither went I up to Jerusalem to them that were apostles before me: but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned unto Damascus.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And I went not up to Jerusalem to those who were Apostles before me; but I went away into Arabia, and again I came back to Damascus.

    Webster's Revision

    neither went I up to Jerusalem to them that were apostles before me: but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned unto Damascus.

    World English Bible

    nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia. Then I returned to Damascus.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me: but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned unto Damascus.

    Clarke's Commentary on Galatians 1:17

    Neither went I up to Jerusalem - The aim of the apostle is to show that he had his call so immediately and pointedly from God himself, that he had no need of the concurrence even of the apostles, being appointed by the same authority, and fitted to the work by the same grace and Spirit, as they were.

    But I went into Arabia - That part of Arabia which was contiguous to Damascus, over which Aretas was then king. Of this journey into Arabia we have no other account. As St. Luke was not then with him, it is not inserted in the Acts of the Apostles. See introduction to this epistle. Jerusalem was the stated residence of the apostles; and, when all the other believers were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, we find the apostles still remaining, unmolested, at Jerusalem! Acts 8:1.

    Barnes' Notes on Galatians 1:17

    Neither went I up to Jerusalem - That is, I did not go there at once. I did not go to consult with the apostles there, or to be instructed by them in regard to the nature of the Christian religion. The design of this statement is to show that, in no sense, did he derive his commission from man.

    To them which were apostles before me - This implies that Paul then regarded himself to be an apostle. They were, he admits, apostles before he was; but he felt also that he had original authority with them, and he did not go to them to receive instruction, or to derive his commission from them. Several of the apostles remained in Jerusalem for a considerable time after the ascension of the Lord Jesus, and it was regarded as the principal place of authority; see Acts 15.

    But I went into Arabia - Arabia was south of Damascus, and at no great distance. The line indeed between Arabia Deserta and Syria is not very definitely marked, but it is generally agreed that Arabia extends to a considerable distance into the Great Syrian Desert. To what part of Arabia and for what purpose that Paul went is wholly unknown. Nothing is known of the circumstances of this journey; nor is the time which he spent there known. It is known indeed Galatians 1:18 that he did not go to Jerusalem until three years after his conversion, but how large a part of this time was spent in Damascus, we have no means of ascertaining. It is probable that Paul was engaged during these three years in preaching the gospel in Damascus and the adjacent regions, and in Arabia; compare Acts 9:20, Acts 9:22, Acts 9:27. The account of this journey into Arabia is wholly omitted by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles, and this fact, as has been remarked by Paley (Horae Paulinae, chapter v. No. 2), demonstrates that the Acts and this Epistle were not written by the same author, or that the one is independent of the other; because, "if the Acts of the Apostles had been a forged history made up from the Epistle, it is impossible that this journey should have been passed over in silence; if the Epistle had been composed out of what the author had read of Paul's history in the Acts , it is unaccountable that it should have been inserted."

    As to the reason why Luke omitted to mention the journey into Arabia nothing is known. Various conjectures have been entertained, but they are mere conjectures. It is sufficient to say, that Luke has by no means recorded all that Paul or the other apostles did, nor has he pretended to do it. He has given the leading events in the public labors of Paul; and it is not at all improbable that he has omitted not a few short excursions made by him for the purpose of preaching the gospel. The journey into Arabia, probably, did not furnish any incidents in regard to the success of the gospel there which required particular record by the sacred historian, nor has Paul himself referred to it for any such reason, or intimated that it furnished any incidents, or any facts, that required particularly the notice of the historian. He has mentioned it for a different purpose altogether, to show that he did not receive his commission from the apostles, and that he did not go at once to consult them. He went directly the other way. Since Luke, in the Book of Acts , had no occasion to illustrate this; since he had no occasion to refer to this argument, it did not fall in with the design to mention the fact. Nor is it known why Paul went into Arabia. Bloomfield supposes that it was in order to recover his health after the calamity which he suffered on the way to Damascus. But everything in regard to this is mere conjecture. I should rather think it was more in accordance with the general character of Paul that he made this short excursion for the purpose of preaching the gospel.

    And returned again unto Damascus - He did not go to Jerusalem to consult with the apostles after his visit to Arabia, but returned again to the place where he was converted and preached there, showing that he had not derived his commission from the other apostles.

    Wesley's Notes on Galatians 1:17

    1:17 Neither did I go up to Jerusalem - The residence of the apostles. But I immediately went again into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus - He presupposes the journey to Damascus, in which he was converted, as being known to them all.