پولس با مردم سخن می‌گوید

۲۱

۳۷هنوز پولس را به درون قلعه نبرده بودند که به فرمانده گفت: اجازه می‌دهید چیزی به شما بگویم؟ فرمانده گفت: تو یونانی می‌دانی؟ ۳۸مگر تو همان مصری نیستی که چندی پیش شورشی بر پا کرد و چهار هزار آدمکش را با خود به بیابان برد؟ ۳۹پولس پاسخ داد: من مردی یهودی از تارسوسِ کیلیکیه‌ام، شهری که بی‌نام و نشان نیست. تمنا دارم اجازه دهید با مردم سخن بگویم. ۴۰چون اجازه داد، پولس بر پله‌ها ایستاد و دست خود را به سوی مردم دراز کرد. وقتی سکوت کامل برقرار شد، به زبان عبرانیان به آنها چنین گفت:

۲۲  

       ای برادران و ای پدران، به دفاعیۀ من که اکنون به عرضتان می‌رسانم، گوش فرا دهید. ۲چون شنیدند که ایشان را به زبان عبرانیان خطاب می‌کند، خاموشتر شدند. آنگاه پولس گفت: ۳من مردی یهودی‌ام، متولّد تارسوسِ کیلیکیه. امّا در این شهر پرورش یافته‌ام. شریعت اجدادی خود را به کمال، در محضر گامالائیل فرا گرفتم و برای خدا غیور بودم، چنانکه همگی شما امروز هستید. ۴من پیروان این ’طریقت‘ را تا سرحد مرگ آزار می‌رساندم و آنان را از مرد و زن گرفتار کرده، به زندان می‌افکندم. ۵کاهن اعظم و همۀ اعضای شورای یهود بر این امر گواهند، زیرا از ایشان نامه‌هایی خطاب به برادرانشان در دمشق گرفتم تا به آنجا بروم و این مردمان را در بند نهاده، برای مجازات به اورشلیم بیاورم. ۶امّا چون در طی راه به دمشق نزدیک می‌شدم، حوالی ظهر، ناگاه نوری خیره کننده از آسمان گرد من تابید. ۷بر زمین افتادم و صدایی شنیدم که به من می‌گفت:  شائول! شائول! چرا مرا آزار می‌رسانی؟ ۸پرسیدم: خداوندا، تو کیستی؟ پاسخ داد: من آن عیسای ناصری هستم که تو بر او آزار روا می‌داری. ۹همراهانم نور را دیدند، امّا صدای آن کس را که با من سخن می‌گفت، نشنیدند. ۱۰گفتم: خداوندا، چه کنم؟ خداوند گفت: برخیز و به دمشق برو. در آنجا هرآنچه انجامش بر عهدۀ توست، به تو گفته خواهد شد.  ۱۱امّا من بر اثر درخشش آن نور، بینایی خود را از دست داده بودم. پس همراهان دستم را گرفتند و به دمشق بردند. ۱۲در دمشق، مردی دیندار و پایبند به شریعت می‌زیست، حَنانیا نام، که در میان همۀ یهودیان، خوشنام بود. ۱۳حَنانیا به دیدارم آمد و گفت: برادر شائول! بینا شو! همان دَم، بینایی خویش بازیافتم و او را دیدم. ۱۴او گفت: خدای پدران ما تو را برگزیده تا ارادۀ او را بدانی و آن پارسا را ببینی و سخنانی از دهانش بشنوی. ۱۵زیرا تو در برابر همۀ مردم، شاهد او خواهی بود و بر آنچه دیده و شنیده‌ای، شهادت خواهی داد.۱۶حال منتظر چه هستی؟ برخیز و تعمید بگیر و نام او را خوانده، از گناهانت پاک شو! ۱۷چون به اورشلیم بازگشتم، در معبد مشغول دعا بودم که به حال خلسه فرو رفتم ۱۸و خداوند را دیدم که می‌گفت: بشتاب و هر چه زودتر اورشلیم را ترک کن، زیرا آنان شهادت تو را دربارۀ من نخواهند پذیرفت. ۱۹گفتم: خداوندا، ایشان می‌دانند که من به کنیسه‌ها می‌رفتم و آنان را که به تو ایمان داشتند، به زندان می‌افکندم و می‌زدم. ۲۰و چون خون شهید تو استیفان را می‌ریختند، من آنجا ایستاده، بر آن عمل صحه گذاشتم و جامه‌های قاتلان او را نگاه داشتم. ۲۱او به من گفت: برو؛ زیرا من تو را به جاهای دوردست، نزد غیریهودیان می‌فرستم.

اعمال رسولان۴۰:۲۱ـ۳۷          اعمال رسولان۲۲: ۲۱ـ۱

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