Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The Speech on the Stairs

When Paul and his friends came to Jerusalem, they met with the church in that city, and gave the money which had been gathered among the Gentiles to help those of the Jewish believers in Christ who were poor. The Apostle James, the Lord's brother, who was at the head of the church in Jerusalem, gave Paul and his friends a glad welcome, and praised God for the good work wrought among the Gentiles.

About a week after Paul had come to Jerusalem, he was worshipping in the Temple, when some Jews from the lands around Ephesus saw him. They at once stirred up a crowd, and took hold of Paul, crying out:

"Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people, and against our laws, and against this Temple. Besides, he has brought Gentiles into the Temple and thus has made the holy house unclean!"

They had seen with Paul, walking in the city, one of his friends from Ephesus who was not a Jew, and they started the false report that Paul had taken him into the Temple. When the Jews set up this cry against Paul, all the city was stirred up, and a great crowd gathered around Paul. They dragged Paul out of the Temple into the outer court, and were about to kill him, in their rage.

But in the castle on the north of the Temple was a Roman guard of soldiers, a thousand men under the command of an officer whom we should call a colonel, but who they called "the chief captain." Word came to this officer that all Jerusalem was in a riot, and that a wild mob had seized the Temple. He called out companies of soldiers and their centurions, or captains, and rushed quickly into the Temple and into the midst of the crowd who were beating and trampling upon Paul. The chief captain took Paul from their hands, and, thinking that he must have done something very wicked to call forth such a riot, ordered him to be fastened with two chains.

Then he asked who this man was and what he had done. All began to answer at once, some shouting one thing and some another, and as the chief captain could understand nothing in the confusion, he commanded the soldiers to take him into the castle. The crowd made a rush to seize Paul and take him away from the soldiers, but they carried him through the throng and up the stone steps that led into the castle, while all around, at the foot of the stairs, was the multitude of angry Jews, crying out, "Away with him! Kill him!"

Just as they reached the platform at the door of the castle, Paul in a quiet manner, spoke to the chief captain in his own language, which was the Greek tongue. He said, "May I say something to you?" The officer was surprised, and he answered Paul, "Do you know Greek? Are you not that man from Egypt who some time ago rose up against the rulers, and let out into the wilderness four thousand men who were murderers?"

But Paul said, "I am a Jew, of Tarsus in Cilicia. I belong to no mean city. I pray you, give me leave to speak to the people."

The chief captain thought that if this man should speak to the people he might learn something about him, so he gave him leave. Then Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the crowd to show that he wished to speak. Soon everybody became quiet, for all wanted to hear; and then Paul began to speak to the people. But he did not speak in Greek, as he had spoken to the chief captain. He spoke in the Hebrew tongue, their own language, which they loved to hear. And when they heard him speak in Hebrew, their own tongue, they were all the more ready to listen to him. And this was what Paul said:

"Brethren and fathers, hear the words that I speak to you. I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city in the law of our fathers; and I was earnest for God, as all of you are this day. And I was a bitter enemy of the way of Christ, binding and putting in prison both men and women who believed in Jesus. The high-priest himself knows this, and all the council of the elders; for they gave me letters to our people In Damascus. And I went on a journey to that place to bring in chains from Damascus to Jerusalem those who followed Jesus, to punish them.

"And it came to pass as I made my journey and drew nigh to Damascus, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are thou fighting against me and doing me harm?' And I answered, 'Who art thou, Lord?' And he said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are trying to destroy!'

"Those who were with me saw the light, but they did not hear the voice that spoke to me. And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Rise up, and go into Damascus, and it shall be told thee what things are given to thee to do.'

"When I stood up I could not see, from the glory of that light, and I was led by the hands of those who were with me into Damascus. And a man named Ananias, a man who worshipped God and kept the law, of whom all the Jews in the city spoke well, came to me, and standing by me, said 'Brother Saul, receive the sight.'

"And in that very hour I looked up and saw him. And he said to me, 'The God of our fathers hath chosen thee to know his will, and to see the Holy One, and to hear his voice. For thou shalt speak in his name to all men, telling them what thou hast seen and heard.'

"And afterward, when I come back to Jerusalem, and was praying in the Temple, I saw the Lord again, and he spoke to me, 'Go forth, and I will send thee far hence to the Gentiles.' "

The Jews listened to Paul quietly until he spoke that word "Gentiles," which roused up all their wrath. They began to cry out, 'Away with such a fellow from the earth! It is not fit that he should live!"

And as they flung off their garments, and threw dust into the air in their rage, the chief captain ordered that Paul should be taken into the castle and beaten with rods until he should tell what dreadful thing he had done to arouse such anger. For the chief captain, not knowing the Jew's language, had not understood what Paul had said.

They took Paul into the castle, and were tying him up to beat him, when Paul said to the centurion who stood by, "Have you any right to beat a Roman citizen who has not been tried before a judge?"

When the centurion heard this he went in haste to the chief captain, and said to him, "Take care what you do to that man, for he is a Roman citizen!"

Then the chief captain came and said to Paul, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?"

And Paul answered, "Yes, I am."

The chief captain said, "I bought this right to be a citizen with a great sum of money."

And Paul said to him, "But I am a free-born citizen."

When those who were about to beat Paul knew that he was a Roman citizen, they went away from him in haste, and the chief captain was afraid, because he had bound Paul; for no one might place a chain on a Roman citizen until he had been tried before a Roman judge.

They took Paul into the castle, but were careful not to do him an harm.