Acts 21
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

Paul in Tyre

1When we had torn ourselves away from those brothers,a we sailed straight to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.b 2There we found a ship going across to Phoenicia, so we went aboard and sailed on. 3We came in sight of Cyprus, and leaving it on our left, we sailed on to Syria and landed at Tyre because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 4So we located some disciples and stayed there for seven days. Through the Spirit, they kept telling Paul not to go to Jerusalem, 5but when our time there came to an end, we left and proceeded on our journey. All of them accompanied us with their wives and children out of the city. We knelt on the beach, prayed, 6and said goodbye to each other. Then we reboarded the ship, and they went back home.

Paul in Caesarea

7When we completed our voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, greeted the brothers there, and stayed with them for one day. 8The next day, we left and came to Caesarea. We went to the home of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven, and stayed with him. 9He had four unmarried daughters who could prophesy. 10After we had been there for a number of days, a prophet named Agabus arrived from Judea. 11He came to us, took Paul’s belt, and tied his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘This is how the Jewish leadersc in Jerusalem will tie up the man who owns this belt. Then they will hand him over to the gentiles.’” 12When we heard this, we and the people who lived there begged Pauld not to go up to Jerusalem.

13At this Paul replied, “What do you mean by crying and breaking my heart? I’m ready not only to be tied up in Jerusalem but even to die for the name of the Lord Jesus!”

14When he could not be persuaded otherwise, we remained silent except to say, “May the Lord’s will be done.”

Paul in Jerusalem

15When our time there ended,e we got ready to go up to Jerusalem. 16Some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us. They took us to the home of Mnason to be his guests. He was from Cyprus and had beenf an early disciple. 17When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers there welcomed us warmly.

18The next day, Paul went with us to visit James, and all the elders were present. 19After greeting them, Paulg related one by one the things that God had done among the gentiles through his ministry. 20When they heard about it, they praised God and told him, “You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and all of them are zealous for the Law. 21But they have been told about you—that you teach all the Jews living among the gentiles to forsake the Law of Moses, and that you tell them not to circumcise their children or observe the customs. 22What is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23So do what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow. 24Take these men, go through the purification ceremony with them, and pay their expenses to shave their heads. Then everyone will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you are carefully observing and keeping the Law. 25As for the gentiles who have become believers, we have sent a letter with our decision that they should keep away from food that has been sacrificed to idols, from blood,h from anything strangled,i and from sexual immorality.”

Paul is Arrested in the Temple

26Then Paul took those men and the next day purified himself with them. Then he went into the Temple to announce the time when their days of purification would end and when the sacrifice would be offered for each of them. 27When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from Asia, seeing Paulj in the Temple, stirred up a large crowd. They grabbed Paul,k 28yelling, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere to turn against our people, the Law, and this place. More than that, he has even brought Greeks into the Temple and desecrated this Holy Place.” 29For they had earlier seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him and assumed that Paul had taken him into the Temple. 30The whole city was in chaos. The people rushed together, grabbed Paul, dragged him out of the Temple, and at once the doors were sealed shut.

31The crowdl was trying to kill Paulm when a report reached the tribune of the cohortn that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32Immediately the tribuneo took some soldiers and officers and ran down to the crowd.p When the peopleq saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33Then the tribune came up, grabbed Paul,r and ordered him to be tied up with two chains. He then asked who Pauls was and what he had done. 34Some of the crowd shouted this and some that. Since the tribunet couldn’t learn the facts due to the confusion, he ordered Paulu to be taken into the barracks. 35When Paulv got to the steps, he had to be carried by the soldiers because the mob had become so violent. 36The crowd of people kept following him and shouting, “Kill him!”

Paul Speaks in His Own Defense

37Just as Paul was about to be taken into the barracks, he asked the tribune, “May I say something to you?”

The tribunew asked, “Oh, do you speak Greek? 38You’re not the Egyptian who started a revolt some time ago and led 4,000 assassins into the desert, are you?”

39Paul replied, “I’m a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. Please let me speak to the people.” 40The tribunex gave him permission, and Paul, standing on the steps, motioned for the people to be silent. When everyone had quieted down, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language:

a 21:1 Lit. from them
b 21:1 Other mss. read Patara and Myra
c 21:11 i.e. Judean leaders; lit. the Jews
d 21:12 Lit. him
e 21:15 Lit. After those days
f 21:16 The Gk. lacks had been
g 21:19 Lit. he
h 21:25 i.e. uncooked meat
i 21:25 Other mss. lack from anything strangled
j 21:27 Lit. him
k 21:27 Lit. him
l 21:31 Lit. They
m 21:31 Lit. him
n 21:31 i.e. perhaps as many as 600 soldiers
o 21:32 Lit. Immediately he
p 21:32 Lit. them
q 21:32 Lit. When they
r 21:33 Lit. him
s 21:33 Lit. he
t 21:34 Lit. Since he
u 21:34 Lit. him
v 21:35 Lit. he
w 21:37 Lit. He
x 21:40 Lit. He

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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