13 The church at Antioch had several prophets and teachers. They were Barnabas, Simeon, also called Niger, Lucius from Cyrene, Manaen, who was Herod’s close friend, and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and going without eating, the Holy Spirit told them, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul to do the work for which I have chosen them.” 3 Everyone prayed and went without eating for a while longer. Next, they placed their hands on Barnabas and Saul to show that they had been appointed to do this work. Then everyone sent them on their way.
4 After Barnabas and Saul had been sent by the Holy Spirit, they went to Seleucia. From there they sailed to the island of Cyprus. 5 They arrived at Salamis and began to preach God’s message in the Jewish meeting places. They also had John as a helper.
6 Barnabas and Saul went all the way to the city of Paphos on the other end of the island, where they met a Jewish man named Bar-Jesus. He practiced witchcraft and was a false prophet. 7 He also worked for Sergius Paulus, who was very smart and was the governor of the island. Sergius Paulus wanted to hear God’s message, and he sent for Barnabas and Saul. 8 But Bar-Jesus, whose other name was Elymas, was against them. He even tried to keep the governor from having faith in the Lord.
9 Then Saul, better known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked straight at Elymas 10 and said, “You son of the devil! You are a liar, a crook, and an enemy of everything that is right. When will you stop speaking against the true ways of the Lord? 11 The Lord is going to punish you by making you completely blind for a while.”
Suddenly the man’s eyes were covered by a dark mist, and he went around trying to get someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the governor saw what had happened, he was amazed at this teaching about the Lord. So he put his faith in the Lord.
13 Paul and the others left Paphos and sailed to Perga in Pamphylia. But John left them and went back to Jerusalem. 14 The rest of them went on from Perga to Antioch in Pisidia. Then on the Sabbath they went to the Jewish meeting place and sat down.
15 After the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the leaders sent someone over to tell Paul and Barnabas, “Friends, if you have anything to say that will help the people, please say it.”
16 Paul got up. He motioned with his hand and said:
People of Israel, and everyone else who worships God, listen! 17 The God of Israel chose our ancestors, and he let our people prosper while they were living in Egypt. Then with his mighty power he led them out, 18 and for about forty years he took care of them in the desert. 19 He destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and gave their land to our people. 20 All this happened in about 450 years.
Then God gave our people judges until the time of the prophet Samuel, 21 but the people demanded a king. So for forty years God gave them King Saul, the son of Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. 22 Later, God removed Saul and let David rule in his place. God said about him, “David the son of Jesse is the kind of person who pleases me most! He does everything I want him to do.”