1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:
Paul is defending himself, but the power of God is with him.
2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
He is there before king Agrippa because of the accusations of the kenites.
3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
King Agrippa was learned in many religions of the day and Paul wants him to listen with the same interest about Christianity.
4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
Paul's life was kept in the high priests office. They all knew who he was.
5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
They knew he knew all the law, Jewish traditions and customs. They knew he was under the teachings of Gamaliel so he was on knowledgeable of it all.
6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers:
This "hope of the promise made of God" was the promise of a coming Messiah, Christ Jesus Yahshua. First recorded in Genesis 3:15.
7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
He is stating that it is because of The Word of God, they have accused him.
8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
They hated the fact Paul said God could raise you from death.
9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
In the past, Paul did things contrary to Christianity.
10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
He imprisoned Christians and even put some of them to death, having the authority of the chief priests.
11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
He hunted them everywhere they were.
12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
He had legal authority by the chief priests to go down to Damascus to gather Christians up.
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
The Glory of God pouring over him.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
The tongue of Christ and the angels is the Hebrew tongue and Paul is teaching king Agrippa about Christ, just as any Christian would be doing. He is letting us know we only hurt ourselves when we ignore Christ or go against Him. It's as if we are kicking a cactus, we hurt only ourselves in the process.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
Paul is letting this "king" know he knew the laws and traditions but Jesus set him straight, redirecting him.
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
God sent Paul where He wanted Paul to go. When God sends you, you feel compelled to go.
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
This is what a REAL Christian will do without fear.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
Paul did what God told him to do.
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
Paul is telling this "king" he went throughout the city's telling all of Christ and The Way to life everlasting.
21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
Because Paul was teaching the things of Christ, the kenites sought to kill him.
22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
Paul had taught nothing but what was written and bold in doing so. Many then, as today, want to throw in the world, conforming to their version of peace.
23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
He taught the death on the cross of Christ and His resurrection. Teaching also on all the things of Christ that brings peace of mind in this flesh.
24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
Festus has had enough. He didn't want to hear anymore about Christ. If you have ever tried teaching Christ to a doubter, you know what is happening here.
25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
Festus believes Paul has gone crazy, but Paul is letting him know it's The Truth he speaks.
26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
The Truth is there and even king Agrippa knows of it. Nothing is hidden from anyone. All we have to do is open The Word.
27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
The things Paul has said almost converted Agrippa to becoming a Christian. Many hear The Truth and like it, but love the world more.
29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
Paul wishes all would come to Christ.
30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
King Agrippa, his wife Bernice and all the people of the court left Paul so he couldn't hear their conversation.
31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.
Paul had 420 men protecting him as he left Jerusalem, now he is going to have protection back to Rome from those that want him dead.