Acts 21

Warnings on the Journey to Jerusalem

1 After a we tore ourselves away from them and set sail, we came by a direct route to Cos, the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2 Finding a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we boarded and set sail. 3After we sighted Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we sailed on to Syria and arrived at Tyre, because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 4 So we found some disciples and stayed there seven days. Through the Spirit they told Paul not to go to Jerusalem. b 5 When our days there were over, we left to continue our journey, while all of them, with their wives and children, escorted us out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach to pray, 6we said good-bye to one another. Then we boarded the ship, and they returned home.

7When we completed our voyage from Tyre, we reached Ptolemais, where we greeted the
brother(s): The Greek word adelphoi can be used as a reference to males only or to groups that include males and females. It is the context of each usage that determines the proper meaning.
brothers and stayed with them one day. d
8 The next day we left and came to Caesarea, where we entered the house of Philip e the evangelist, f who was one of the Seven, and stayed with him. 9 This man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. g

10While we were staying there many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11He came to us, took Paul’s belt, tied his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into Gentile hands.’” h 12 When we heard this, both we and the local people begged him not to go up to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” i

14Since he would not be persuaded, we stopped talking and simply said, “The Lord’s will be done!” j

Conflict over the Gentile Mission

15 After these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us and brought us to Mnason, a Cypriot and an early disciple, with whom we were to stay. k

17When we reached Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly. l 18 The following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. m 19After greeting them, he related in detail what God did among the Gentiles through his ministry. n

20When they heard it, they glorified God and said, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous o for the law. 21 But they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, by telling them not to circumcise their children or to walk in our customs. p 22 So what is to be done?
Other mss add A multitude has to come together, since
They will certainly hear that you’ve come.
23 Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have obligated themselves with a vow. 24 Take these men, purify yourself along with them, and pay for them to get their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that what they were told about you amounts to nothing, but that you yourself are also careful about observing the law. r 25With regard to the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter containing our decision that
Other mss add they should observe no such thing, except that
they should keep themselves from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality.”

The Riot in the Temple Complex

26 Then the next day, Paul took the men, having purified himself along with them, and entered the temple, announcing the completion of the purification days when the offering for each of them would be made. t 27 As the seven days were about to end, the Jews from
Asia: A Roman province that is now part of modern Turkey; it did not refer to the modern continent of Asia.
Asia saw him in the
temple complex: In the Jerusalem temple, the complex included the sanctuary (the holy place and the holy of holies), at least 4 courtyards (for priests, Jewish men, Jewish women, and Gentiles), numerous gates, and several covered walkways.
temple complex, stirred up the whole crowd, and seized him, w
28 shouting, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this place. What’s more, he also brought Greeks into the temple and has profaned this holy place.” x 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple complex.
The inner temple court for Jewish men

30 The whole city was stirred up, and the people rushed together. They seized Paul, dragged him out of the temple complex, and at once the gates were shut. aa 31As they were trying to kill him, word went up to the commander of the
company/ regiment: Or cohort, a Roman military unit that numbered as many as 600 men
regiment that all Jerusalem was in chaos.
32Taking along soldiers and
centurion: A Roman officer who commanded about 100 soldiers
centurions, he immediately ran down to them. Seeing the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33 Then the commander came up, took him into custody, and ordered him to be bound with two chains. ad He asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the mob were shouting one thing and some another. Since he was not able to get reliable information because of the uproar, he ordered him to be taken into the barracks. ae 35 When Paul got to the steps, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the mob’s violence, 36 for the mass of people followed, yelling, “Take him away!” af

Paul’s Defense before the Jerusalem Mob

37 As he was about to be brought into the barracks, Paul said to the commander, “Am I allowed to say something to you?”He replied, “Do you know Greek? 38 Aren’t you the Egyptian who raised a rebellion some time ago and led 4,000 Assassins
Lit 4,000 men of the Assassins
In Lat, the word Sicarii is similar to the Eng word “cut-throats.”
into the wilderness?” ai

39 Paul said, “I am a Jewish man from Tarsus of Cilicia, aj a citizen of an important city.
Lit of no insignificant city
Now I ask you, let me speak to the people.”

40After he had given permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned with his hand to the people. When there was a great hush, he addressed them in the
Hebrew: Or Aramaic; the translation of this word is debated since some claim Aramaic was commonly spoken in Palestine during NT times. More recently others claim that Hebrew was the spoken language.
Hebrew language: am
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