Jerusalem to Damascus

Open Door Baptist Church

And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

(Acts 9:1) KJV

– Jerusalem to Damascus

The Distance

  • Jerusalem to Damascus is 324 km
  • 1 km is 0.62 miles
  • 324 km / 0.62 = 201 miles

The Time

  • Normal walking speed is 3 to 4 miles per hour
  • 201 miles / 4 miles per hour = 50.25 hours.
  • 50.25 hours / 8 hours walking per day = 6.28 days

Given that a walking route 2,000 years ago may be much more direct than a modern driving route, and consider that Saul was young, fit and motivated, plus may have walked more than 8 hours in a day, then the journey probably took 5 days.

If Saul was in a hot blooded pursuit of Christians, and the evangelistic revival at Pentecost started in Jerusalem then spread to the surrounding cities (of which there were many close by), then why did Saul want to drop out of the fight and spend 5 days on the road?

The clue is: “kick against the pricks”.

  • κέντρα kentra
  • goads; sting, stings, a sharp point

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

(1 Corinthians 15:55) KJV

Do you really want to kick a sharp spike? Imagine a kicker in football taking a big run up and giving a full swing kick against a metal spike. That would hurt. Let’s not forget Gamaliel’s counsel in Acts 5, or Paul’s testimony of studying under him:

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.

(Acts 22:3) KJV

Paul’s conscience was bothering him because he knew that persecuting Christianity was wrong, but he was trying his best to be a pharisee of the pharisees and prove his devotion to the Lord by being the most zealous. He hit the eject button and spent 5 days walking to get his head straight.

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