The little narrative of Paul's flight from Damascus in 2 Cor 11:32-33 holds a promise to the ear of the historian. In the first place, Aretas is the only figure of political history mentioned in an authentic letter of Paul. This fact alone indicates the importance of this text for the chronology of the apostle's life. Second, there is the remarkable parallel provided by the account in Acts 9:23–25. The extent of the agreement is impressive: it consists not only of the general course of events, but extends to the wording, which is partly identical and partly synonymous. The correspondence appears more extraordinary in light of the fact that Acts otherwise exhibits no verbal connections with the letters of Paul. Third, there is the vivid manner in which Paul relates the experience: the mention of a place and a particular person, the detailed description of the circumstances, and the concentrated account of the action, together create a living image of a dramatic event. The clarity and strength of representation suggest that the experience had a special significance. Perhaps, as Calvin postulated, haec persecutio fuit quasi primum tirocinium Pauli (“this persecution was, as it were, Paul's first military service”). The incident left a deep trace in the memory of the early church,9 one that time has not erased: the Damascenes still point to an opening in the wall as the window through which the apostle was let down.