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Acts 21

Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem

1 After we had torn ourselves away from them, we sailed directly to Cos, and the next day on to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2 Finding a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we boarded it and set sail. 3 After sighting Cyprus and passing south of it, we sailed on to Syria and landed at Tyre, where the ship was to unload its cargo.

4 We sought out the disciples in Tyre and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they kept telling Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 5 But when our time there had ended, we set out on our journey. All the disciples, with their wives and children, accompanied us out of the city and knelt down on the beach to pray with us. 6 And after we had said our farewells, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.

7 When we had finished our voyage from Tyre, we landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for a day.

Paul Visits Philip the Evangelist

8 Leaving the next day, we went on to Caesarea and stayed at the home of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven. a  9 He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.

10 After we had been there several days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own feet and hands, and said, “The Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and hand him over to the Gentiles.’ ” 12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we fell silent and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

15 After these days, we packed up and went on to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us, and they took us to stay at the home of Mnason the Cypriot, an early disciple.

Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem

17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us joyfully. 18 The next day Paul went in with us to see James, and all the elders were present. 19 Paul greeted them and recounted one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.

20 When they heard this, they glorified God. Then they said to Paul, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 But they are under the impression that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or observe our customs. 22 What then should we do? They will certainly hear that you have come.

23 Therefore do what we advise you. There are four men with us who have taken a vow. 24 Take these men, purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is no truth to these rumors about you, but that you also live in obedience to the law.

25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they must abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality.”

26 So the next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he entered the temple to give notice of the date when their purification would be complete and the offering would be made for each of them.

Paul Seized at the Temple

27 When the seven days were almost over, some Jews from the province of Asia b saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches everywhere against our people and against our law and against this place. Furthermore, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.” 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.

30 The whole city was stirred up, and the people rushed together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. 31 While they were trying to kill him, the commander of the Roman regiment c received a report that all Jerusalem was in turmoil. 32 Immediately he took some soldiers and centurions and ran down to the crowd. When the people saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

33 The commander came up and arrested Paul, ordering that he be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done.

34 Some in the crowd were shouting one thing, and some another. And since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be brought into the barracks. 35 When Paul reached the steps, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob. 36 For the crowd that followed him kept shouting, “Away with him!”

Paul Addresses the Crowd

37 As they were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?”

“Do you speak Greek?” he replied. 38 “Aren’t you the Egyptian who incited a rebellion some time ago and led four thousand members of the ‘Assassins’ into the wilderness?”

39 But Paul answered, “I am a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Now I beg you to allow me to speak to the people.”

40 Having received permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. A great hush came over the crowd, and he addressed them in Hebrew: d 



8 a See Acts 6:5.
27 b Literally from Asia ; Asia was a Roman province in what is now western Turkey.
31 c Literally the commander of the cohort
40 d Or in Aramaic ; literally in the Hebrew language

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