"Thither went afterwards the Chosen Vessel"

(Canto 2, line 28)

The phrase "Chosen Vessel" appears in Acts 9:15, "But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel", referring to Saint Paul. In 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, Paul, speaking in third person of a vision he experienced himself, says "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." Though Dante simply says "thither", it does seem as if he suddenly speaks of Heaven, not the Underworld or Inferno where Aeneas, mentioned in the preceding lines, travelled.