The Meaning of Acts 9:9 Explained

Acts 9:9

KJV: And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

YLT: and he was three days without seeing, and he did neither eat nor drink.

Darby: And he was three days without seeing, and neither ate nor drank.

ASV: And he was three days without sight, and did neither eat nor drink.

What does Acts 9:9 Mean?

Context Summary

Acts 9:1-9 - Winning A Persecutor
A year had passed since Acts 8:3. "The Way" had become the accepted phrase for the infant Church and its presentation of the truth, Acts 19:9; Acts 22:4. It may refer to the course of life the Christians pursued, or to their method of getting right with God-not by the deeds of the Law, but by their faith in Christ, Romans 10:5-10. Compare with this narrative Acts 26:13; Acts 22:6. Saul's companions saw the light and heard a noise, but did not see the Lord or distinguish what was said.
Mark how the Lord Jesus identifies Himself with His suffering ones. Their sufferings are His, Acts 9:5. To hurt them is to hurt Him. The pricks are the ox-goad. The more the ox resists, the deeper the wound. Even from heaven the Master speaks in parables. Evidently for a long time-perhaps from the death of Stephen-the persecutor had been fighting against conviction. When God needs captains for His army, He not unseldom takes them from the ranks of the enemy. The foremost persecutor became the foremost leader of the Church. The conversion of Saul was due to the personal interposition of the living Christ. It was the pierced hand that arrested and apprehended him. [source]

Chapter Summary: Acts 9

1  Saul, going toward Damascus, is stricken down to the earth,
8  and led blind to Damascus;
10  is called to the apostleship;
18  and is baptized by Ananias
20  He preaches Christ boldly
23  The Jews lay wait to kill him;
29  so do the Grecians, but he escapes both
31  The church having rest, Peter heals Aeneas;
36  and restores Tabitha to life

Greek Commentary for Acts 9:9

Not seeing [μη βλεπων]
The usual negative μη — mē of the participle. It was a crisis for Saul, this sudden blindness for three days Later (Galatians 4:15) Paul has an affection of the eyes which may have been caused by this experience on the road to Damascus or at least his eyes may have been predisposed by it to weakness in the glare of the Syrian sun in the land where today so much eye trouble exists. He neither ate nor drank anything, for his appetite had gone as often happens in a crisis of the soul. These must have been days of terrible stress and strain. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Acts 9:9

Acts 12:23 Because [αντ ων]
Αντι — Anti with the genitive of the relative pronoun, “in return for which things.” He accepted the impious flattery (Hackett) instead of giving God the glory. He was a nominal Jew. He was eaten of worms (γενομενος σκωληκοβρωτος — genomenos skōlēkobrōtos). Ingressive aorist middle participle, “becoming worm-eaten.” The compound verbal adjective (σκωληχ — skōlēx worm, βρωτος — brōtos eaten, from βιβρωσκω — bibrōskō) is a late word (II Macc. Acts 9:9) of the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, used also of a tree (Theophrastus), here only in the N.T. The word σκωληχ — skōlēx was used of intestinal worms and Herodotus (IV. 205) describes Pheretima, Queen of Cyrene, as having swarms of worms which ate her flesh while still alive. Josephus (Ant. XIX. 8, 2) says that Herod Agrippa lingered for five days and says that the rotting of his flesh produced worms, an item in harmony with the narrative in Luke. Josephus gives further details, one a superstitious sight of an owl sitting on one of the ropes of the awning of the theatre while the people flattered him, an omen of his death to him. Luke puts it simply that God smote him. Gave up the ghost Effective aorist active of εκπσυχω — ekpsuchō to breathe out, late verb, medical term in Hippocrates, in the N.T. only in Acts 5:5, Acts 5:10; Acts 12:23. Herod was carried out of the theatre a dying man and lingered only five days. [source]
Acts 12:23 He was eaten of worms [γενομενος σκωληκοβρωτος]
Ingressive aorist middle participle, “becoming worm-eaten.” The compound verbal adjective (σκωληχ — skōlēx worm, βρωτος — brōtos eaten, from βιβρωσκω — bibrōskō) is a late word (II Macc. Acts 9:9) of the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, used also of a tree (Theophrastus), here only in the N.T. The word σκωληχ — skōlēx was used of intestinal worms and Herodotus (IV. 205) describes Pheretima, Queen of Cyrene, as having swarms of worms which ate her flesh while still alive. Josephus (Ant. XIX. 8, 2) says that Herod Agrippa lingered for five days and says that the rotting of his flesh produced worms, an item in harmony with the narrative in Luke. Josephus gives further details, one a superstitious sight of an owl sitting on one of the ropes of the awning of the theatre while the people flattered him, an omen of his death to him. Luke puts it simply that God smote him. [source]

What do the individual words in Acts 9:9 mean?

And he was days three without seeing neither did he eat nor drink
καὶ ἦν ἡμέρας τρεῖς μὴ βλέπων οὐκ ἔφαγεν οὐδὲ ἔπιεν

ἦν  he  was 
Parse: Verb, Imperfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
ἡμέρας  days 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: ἡμέρα  
Sense: the day, used of the natural day, or the interval between sunrise and sunset, as distinguished from and contrasted with the night.
τρεῖς  three 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: τρεῖς 
Sense: three.
μὴ  without 
Parse: Adverb
Root: μή 
Sense: no, not lest.
βλέπων  seeing 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: βλέπω  
Sense: to see, discern, of the bodily eye.
οὐκ  neither 
Parse: Adverb
Root: οὐ  
Sense: no, not; in direct questions expecting an affirmative answer.
ἔφαγεν  did  he  eat 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἐσθίω  
Sense: to eat.
οὐδὲ  nor 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: οὐδέ  
Sense: but not, neither, nor, not even.
ἔπιεν  drink 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: πίνω  
Sense: to drink.