Bible: Acts 21:1-22:29

Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem

21:1 After 1  we 2  tore ourselves away 3  from them, we put out to sea, 4  and sailing a straight course, 5  we came to Cos, 6  on the next day to Rhodes, 7  and from there to Patara. 8  21:2 We found 9  a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, 10  went aboard, 11  and put out to sea. 12  21:3 After we sighted Cyprus 13  and left it behind on our port side, 14  we sailed on to Syria and put in 15  at Tyre, 16  because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 21:4 After we located 17  the disciples, we stayed there 18  seven days. They repeatedly told 19  Paul through the Spirit 20  not to set foot 21  in Jerusalem. 22  21:5 When 23  our time was over, 24  we left and went on our way. All of them, with their wives and children, accompanied 25  us outside of the city. After 26  kneeling down on the beach and praying, 27  21:6 we said farewell 28  to one another. 29  Then 30  we went aboard the ship, and they returned to their own homes. 31  21:7 We continued the voyage from Tyre 32  and arrived at Ptolemais, 33  and when we had greeted the brothers, we stayed with them for one day. 21:8 On the next day we left 34  and came to Caesarea, 35  and entered 36  the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, 37  and stayed with him. 21:9 (He had four unmarried 38  daughters who prophesied.) 39 

21:10 While we remained there for a number of days, 40  a prophet named Agabus 41  came down from Judea. 21:11 He came 42  to us, took 43  Paul’s belt, 44  tied 45  his own hands and feet with it, 46  and said, “The Holy Spirit says this: ‘This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man whose belt this is, and will hand him over 47  to the Gentiles.’ 21:12 When we heard this, both we and the local people 48  begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 21:13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking 49  my heart? For I am ready not only to be tied up, 50  but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 21:14 Because he could not be persuaded, 51  we said no more except, 52 The Lord’s will be done.” 53 

21:15 After these days we got ready 54  and started up 55  to Jerusalem. 21:16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea 56  came along with us too, and brought us to the house 57  of Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple from the earliest times, 58  with whom we were to stay. 21:17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly. 59  21:18 The next day Paul went in with us to see James, and all the elders were there. 60  21:19 When Paul 61  had greeted them, he began to explain 62  in detail 63  what God 64  had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 21:20 When they heard this, they praised 65  God. Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews 66  there are who have believed, and they are all ardent observers 67  of the law. 68  21:21 They have been informed about you – that you teach all the Jews now living 69  among the Gentiles to abandon 70  Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children 71  or live 72  according to our customs. 21:22 What then should we do? They will no doubt 73  hear that you have come. 21:23 So do what 74  we tell you: We have four men 75  who have taken 76  a vow; 77  21:24 take them and purify 78  yourself along with them and pay their expenses, 79  so that they may have their heads shaved. 80  Then 81  everyone will know there is nothing in what they have been told 82  about you, but that you yourself live in conformity with 83  the law. 84  21:25 But regarding the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter, having decided 85  that they should avoid 86  meat that has been sacrificed to idols 87  and blood and what has been strangled 88  and sexual immorality.” 21:26 Then Paul took the men the next day, 89  and after he had purified himself 90  along with them, he went to the temple and gave notice 91  of the completion of the days of purification, 92  when 93  the sacrifice would be offered for each 94  of them. 21:27 When the seven days were almost over, 95  the Jews from the province of Asia 96  who had seen him in the temple area 97  stirred up the whole crowd 98  and seized 99  him, 21:28 shouting, “Men of Israel, 100  help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, 101  and this sanctuary! 102  Furthermore 103  he has brought Greeks into the inner courts of the temple 104  and made this holy place ritually unclean! 105  21:29 (For they had seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him previously, and 106  they assumed Paul had brought him into the inner temple courts.) 107  21:30 The whole city was stirred up, 108  and the people rushed together. 109  They seized 110  Paul and dragged him out of the temple courts, 111  and immediately the doors were shut. 21:31 While they were trying 112  to kill him, a report 113  was sent up 114  to the commanding officer 115  of the cohort 116  that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 117  21:32 He 118  immediately took 119  soldiers and centurions 120  and ran down to the crowd. 121  When they saw 122  the commanding officer 123  and the soldiers, they stopped beating 124  Paul. 21:33 Then the commanding officer 125  came up and arrested 126  him and ordered him to be tied up with two chains; 127  he 128  then asked who he was and what 129  he had done. 21:34 But some in the crowd shouted one thing, and others something else, 130  and when the commanding officer 131  was unable 132  to find out the truth 133  because of the disturbance, 134  he ordered Paul 135  to be brought into the barracks. 136  21:35 When he came to the steps, Paul 137  had to be carried 138  by the soldiers because of the violence 139  of the mob, 21:36 for a crowd of people 140  followed them, 141  screaming, “Away with him! 21:37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, 142  he said 143  to the commanding officer, 144 May I say 145  something to you?” The officer 146  replied, 147 Do you know Greek? 148  21:38 Then you’re not that Egyptian who started a rebellion 149  and led the four thousand men of the ‘Assassins 150  into the wilderness 151  some time ago? 152  21:39 Paul answered, 153 I am a Jew 154  from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city. 155  Please 156  allow me to speak to the people.” 21:40 When the commanding officer 157  had given him permission, 158  Paul stood 159  on the steps and gestured 160  to the people with his hand. When they had become silent, 161  he addressed 162  them in Aramaic, 163 

Paul’s Defense

22:1Brothers and fathers, listen to my defense 164  that I now 165  make to you.” 22:2 (When they heard 166  that he was addressing 167  them in Aramaic, 168  they became even 169  quieter.) 170  Then 171  Paul said, 22:3 I am a Jew, 172  born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up 173  in this city, educated with strictness 174  under 175  Gamaliel 176  according to the law of our ancestors, 177  and was 178  zealous 179  for God just as all of you are today. 22:4 I 180  persecuted this Way 181  even to the point of death, 182  tying up 183  both men and women and putting 184  them in prison, 22:5 as both the high priest and the whole council of elders 185  can testify about me. From them 186  I also received 187  letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way 188  to make arrests there and bring 189  the prisoners 190  to Jerusalem 191  to be punished. 22:6 As 192  I was en route and near Damascus, 193  about noon a very bright 194  light from heaven 195  suddenly flashed 196  around me. 22:7 Then I 197  fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 22:8 I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ 22:9 Those who were with me saw the light, but did not understand 198  the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 22:10 So I asked, 199 What should I do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up 200  and go to Damascus; there you will be told about everything 201  that you have been designated 202  to do.’ 22:11 Since I could not see because of 203  the brilliance 204  of that light, I came to Damascus led by the hand of 205  those who were with me. 22:12 A man named Ananias, 206  a devout man according to the law, 207  well spoken of by all the Jews who live there, 208  22:13 came 209  to me and stood beside me 210  and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ 211  And at that very moment 212  I looked up and saw him. 213  22:14 Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors 214  has already chosen 215  you to know his will, to see 216  the Righteous One, 217  and to hear a command 218  from his mouth, 22:15 because you will be his witness 219  to all people 220  of what you have seen and heard. 22:16 And now what are you waiting for? 221  Get up, 222  be baptized, and have your sins washed away, 223  calling on his name.’ 224  22:17 When 225  I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 226  22:18 and saw the Lord 227  saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 22:19 I replied, 228 Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues 229  who believed in you. 22:20 And when the blood of your witness 230  Stephen was shed, 231  I myself was standing nearby, approving, 232  and guarding the cloaks 233  of those who were killing him.’ 234  22:21 Then 235  he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’

The Roman Commander Questions Paul

22:22 The crowd 236  was listening to him until he said this. 237  Then 238  they raised their voices and shouted, 239 Away with this man 240  from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live! 241  22:23 While they were screaming 242  and throwing off their cloaks 243  and tossing dust 244  in the air, 22:24 the commanding officer 245  ordered Paul 246  to be brought back into the barracks. 247  He told them 248  to interrogate Paul 249  by beating him with a lash 250  so that he could find out the reason the crowd 251  was shouting at Paul 252  in this way. 22:25 When they had stretched him out for the lash, 253  Paul said to the centurion 254  standing nearby, “Is it legal for you to lash a man who is a Roman citizen 255  without a proper trial? 256  22:26 When the centurion 257  heard this, 258  he went to the commanding officer 259  and reported it, 260  saying, “What are you about to do? 261  For this man is a Roman citizen.” 262  22:27 So the commanding officer 263  came and asked 264  Paul, 265 Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” 266  He replied, 267 Yes.” 22:28 The commanding officer 268  answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.” 269 But I was even 270  born a citizen,” 271  Paul replied. 272  22:29 Then those who were about to interrogate him stayed away 273  from him, and the commanding officer 274  was frightened when he realized that Paul 275  was 276  a Roman citizen 277  and that he had had him tied up. 278 

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