Acts 22 – Before the Sanhedrin & Mohenjo-Daro in Peril

Finger Pointing Up

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It makes no sense to me, to rebury the city.  What would be the purpose of that?

That would  be like these storage sheds.  I understand if you are moving and you need to store your furniture until you are fully moved into your new home.  But some people keep their storage in the shed for years and years.  This makes no sense at all.

If you’re not using what you have you should sell or better yet, give it to the poor, instead of spending money on something that you don’t even use.

Just like the millionaires and billionaires keep their money in the bank, they should take it out and help the poor.

That was the second lost city of our study here and we’ll finish it during the Book of Acts, but tomorrow we’ll look at…

Acts 22
Before the Sanhedrin

2 Euripĭdes
Euripĭdes was a celebrated Athenian tragic poet, son of Mnesarchus and Clito. He was born B.C. 480, in Salamis, on the very day of the Grecian victory near that island.

His mother, Clito, had been sent over to Salamis, with the other Athenian women, when Attica was given up to the invading army of Xerxes; and the name of the poet, which is formed like a patronymic from the Euripus, the scene of the first successful resistance to the Persian navy, shows that the minds of his parents were full of the stirring events of that momentous crisis.

1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense which I make now unto you.

2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)

3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

“Born in Tarsus” – Paul had citizenship in Tarsus as well as being a Roman citizen.  “No mean city’ was used by Euripides to describe Athens. 

Tarsus was 10 miles inland on the Cydnus River and 30 miles from the mountains, which were cut by a deep, narrow gorge called the Cilician Gates.  It was an important commercial center, university city and crossroads of travel.

“Gamaliel” – the most honored rabbi of the 1st century.  Possibly he was the grandson of Hillel.

4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.

6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.

7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

3 The Berdan River
The Berdan River, also called the Tarsus River (Latin:Cydnus), is a river in Mersin Province, south Turkey. The historical city of Tarsus is by the river.

11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.

12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,

13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.

14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.

15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;

18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

4 The Cilician Gates
The Cilician Gates in the Taurus Mountains, located about 1000m above sea level and connecting the Cilician coast with the Central Anatolian Plateau, are one of history’s most frequented corridors. In 333 BC, Alexander and his Army of Ten Thousand passed through here on the way to the battle of Issus.

19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:

20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.

21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.

23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,

24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.

25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?

5 Gamaliel the Elder
Gamaliel the Elder or Rabban Gamaliel I was a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the early-1st century CE. He was son of Simeon ben Hillel, and grandson of the great Jewish teacher Hillel the Elder, and died twenty years before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE).

He fathered a son, whom he called Simeon, after his father,[2] and a daughter, whose daughter (i.e., Gamaliel’s granddaughter) married a priest named Simon ben Nathanael.

26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.

27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.

28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.

30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.

Mohenjo-Daro in Peril

Tragically, having lasted intact for so many millennia, Mohenjo-daro is currently at severe risk. Exposure to the elements, floodwaters from the Indus and most of all poorly controlled salinity in the soils of the region, exacerbated by wasteful irrigation techniques, threaten to eat away at the bricks of the ancient city.

6 Mohenjo daro
Mohenjo-daro, the great Indus Valley city which flourished from circa 2,600-1,500bce.
Mohenjo-daro means “Mound of the Dead”, and is an archeological site situated in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Built around 2600 BC.

It was one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, and one of the world’s earliest major urban settlements, existing at the same time as the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete. Mohenjo-daro was abandoned in the 19th century BC, and was not rediscovered until 1922.

Some of the oldest excavated areas have already crumbled into dust. Pakistani and UNESCO supported projects have spent millions of dollars on conservation and research, but so far have not been successful in preserving the city.

The solution long proposed by archaeologists has been to rebury most of the city and only leave a small area exposed for tourists.

At present, the Department of Archaeology, Government of Pakistan has experimented with partial reburial and intensive conservation that has seen some positive results.

Future plans include extensive coring and subsurface survey of the surrounding area to find the true limits of the site, followed by selective excavations to better understand the chronology of the settlement.

In the course of new excavations at Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, as well as the many sites being excavated in other regions of Pakistan and India, it is possible that many mysteries of this civilization will gradually be revealed.

…Paul’s third journey.

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