The Gift New Testament

A free online Bible study resource


21:1After we had torn ourselves away from them, we set out and made a straight run for Cos. The next day we reached Rhodes, and then went on to Patara.21:2We found a ship crossing all the way over to Phoenicia, so we got on board and set out.21:3We sighted Cyprus but passed it by on the left. We sailed on to Syria, then down to Tyre where the ship was to unload its cargo.21:4Discovering that there were disciples there, we stayed for seven days. But through the Spirit they told Paul not to get on board for Jerusalem.

21:5When we were fully prepared we went away again. We were sent off by everyone, including the women and children, who accompanied us to the city limits. We all knelt on the beach and prayed,21:6then said our goodbyes and boarded the ship, with the others returning to their homes.21:7At the end of our voyage we went down from Tyre to Ptolemais, where we greeted the fellow believers and stayed with them for a day.

21:8The next day we left again and came to Caesarea, where we entered the home of Philip, the Gospel proclaimer who was one of The Seven, and stayed with him.21:9He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.21:10And after we had stayed a few days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Jerusalem.21:11He came to us, took Paul’s belt and bound his own hands and feet with it, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: The owner of this belt will be bound in this manner by the Judeans in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the non-Judeans.”

21:12When we heard this, we and the locals pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.21:13But Paul responded, “Why are you doing this to me, crying and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem, for the sake of the name of Master Jesus!”21:14When we could not dissuade him, we quieted down and said, “May the will of the Master be done.”

21:15After that we packed our bags and went to Jerusalem,21:16and some disciples from Caesarea came along with us. They took us to stay with Mnason, a Cyprian, who had been a disciple from the beginning.21:17We were warmly greeted by the believers in Jerusalem.21:18The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders came as well.21:19After greeting them, Paul retold each detail in order concerning all the things God had done among the non-Judeans through his service.

21:20Those who heard this gave honor to God, but then they said, “You are aware, brother, that tens of thousands of Judeans have believed, yet they are all still very dedicated to the Law.21:21They have heard about you, that you teach all the Judeans in other nations to depart from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or keep the traditions.

21:22“What are we to do about this, since they will surely find out you have come?21:23Follow our instructions: There are four men here who have taken a vow.21:24Take them along and join in their purification ritual, and pay to have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there’s nothing to what they’ve heard about you, since you strictly observe the Law.21:25As for the non-Judean believers, we have written them a letter instructing them to stay away from idol sacrifice, from eating animals with blood still in them or that had been strangled, and from promiscuity.”

21:26So Paul took the men the next day and purified himself along with them. Then he entered the temple compound to record the completion date of the purification period, and he made an offering for each one of them.21:27When the seven days were nearly over, Judeans from the province of Asia spotted him in the temple compound. They agitated the crowd by taking hold of Paul21:28and yelling, “People of Israel, help us! This is the one who spreads teachings to everyone everywhere against our people, the Law, and this place. And what’s more, he brought non-Judeans into the temple compound and has contaminated this sacred place!”21:29(Earlier they had seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they presumed Paul had taken him into the temple compound.)

21:30The whole city was in an uproar, and the people formed a mob. They seized Paul and removed him from the temple compound, then quickly locked the gates.21:31While they were trying to kill him, a report reached the commander of the garrison that all of Jerusalem was in turmoil.21:32So he took soldiers and legion commanders down to them immediately. When the mob saw them, they stopped beating Paul.

21:33Then the legion commander approached Paul and took custody of him, having him bound with two chains. He demanded to know who he was and what he had done,21:34but the mob shouted conflicting things. So because he couldn’t figure out what was going on, he ordered Paul to be taken to the citadel.21:35When he reached the stairway the soldiers had to carry him because the mob had become too violent,21:36and they followed along shouting, “Put him to death!”1

21:37As he was about to be taken into the citadel, Paul asked the legion commander, “May I have a word with you?”

“You speak Greek,” he responded.21:38“So you must not be the Egyptian who led an insurrection some time ago and took four thousand men of the Assassins into the wilderness.”

21:39“I am in fact a Judean from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city,” Paul replied. “So please let me speak to the people.”

21:40He granted permission, so Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. When they had completely settled down, he began his speech to them in the Hebrew dialect:

  1. 1“Away with him” means to have him executed.