Acts chapter 21

Paul goes to Jerusalem. He visits James. He is arrested in the temple. He speaks to the angry mob.





VERSE 1. When we had departed from them and had set sail, we came with a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.


VERSE 2. Having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard, and set sail.


VERSE 3. When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left hand, we sailed to Syria and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload her cargo.


VERSE 4. Having found disciples, we stayed there seven days. These said to Paul through the Spirit that he should not go up to Jerusalem.


VERSE 5. When those days were over, we departed and went on our journey. They all, with wives and children, brought us on our way until we were out of the city. Kneeling down on the beach, we prayed.


VERSE 6. After saying goodbye to each other, we went on board the ship, and they returned home again.


VERSE 7. When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais. We greeted the brothers and stayed with them one day.


VERSE 8. On the next day, we who were Paul’s companions departed, and came to Caesarea. We entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.

one of the seven. Presumably this means one of the seven deacons. This many be the same Philip who evangelized the Ethiopian eunuch.


VERSE 9. Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.

daughters who prophesied. The Bible names seven female prophets. The Bible and the Jewish tradition and the early Christians accept female prophets:

Female Prophets in the Old Testament

Female Prophets in the New Testament


VERSE 10. As we stayed there some days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.

a certain prophet named Agabus. Sometimes the Holy Spirit prompts people you do not know, with an important message for you.

In this case, the message turned out to be true. And Paul disregarded it.


VERSE 11. Coming to us and taking Paul’s belt, he bound his own feet and hands, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit: ‘So the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt, and will deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ”


VERSE 12. When we heard these things, both we and they of that place begged him not to go up to Jerusalem.

begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. In the Old Testament era, God asked Jonah to GO to Nineveh. But Jonah refused.

Now Paul exhibits the opposite behavior. People beg him to NOT GO to Jerusalem. But he ignores them and goes anyway.

Jonah refused to be God’s messenger; Paul could not be stopped from being God’s messenger.


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

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Acts of the Apostles and from the entire Bible.

I am ready … to die for the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul was ready to be a martyr for the Lord Jesus Christ. Are we?


VERSE 14. When he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The Lord’s will be done.”


VERSE 15. After these days we took up our baggage and went up to Jerusalem.


VERSE 16. Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us, bringing one Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we would stay.




VERSE 17. When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly.


VERSE 18. The day following, Paul went in with us to James; and all the elders were present.


VERSE 19. When he had greeted them, he reported one by one the things which God had worked among the Gentiles through his ministry.


VERSE 20. They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law.


VERSE 21. They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children and not to walk after the customs.


VERSE 22. What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come.


VERSE 23. Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow.

four men who have taken a vow. At this early moment in the Christian movement, the community has already rejected the explicit command of the Lord Jesus Christ. He forbade us from taking vows:

Matthew 5:33-37. “Again you have heard that it was said to the ancient ones, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,’ 34 but I tell you, don’t swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; 35 nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can’t make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.”


VERSE 24. Take them and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads. Then all will know that there is no truth in the things that they have been informed about you, but that you yourself also walk keeping the law.


VERSE 25. But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written our decision that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from food offered to idols, from blood, from strangled things, and from sexual immorality.”




VERSE 26. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purified himself and went with them into the temple, declaring the fulfillment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them.


VERSE 27. When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the multitude and laid hands on him,


VERSE 28. crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place. Moreover, he also brought Greeks into the temple, and has defiled this holy place!”

against the people, and the law, and this place. Their complaints about Paul were not true. Nonetheless, Paul was arrested.


VERSE 29. For they had seen Trophimus, the Ephesian, with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.


VERSE 30. All the city was moved and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple. Immediately the doors were shut.


VERSE 31. As they were trying to kill him, news came up to the commanding officer of the regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.


VERSE 32. Immediately he took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. They, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, stopped beating Paul.


VERSE 33. Then the commanding officer came near, arrested him, commanded him to be bound with two chains, and inquired who he was and what he had done.


VERSE 34. Some shouted one thing, and some another, among the crowd. When he couldn’t find out the truth because of the noise, he commanded him to be brought into the barracks.


VERSE 35. When he came to the stairs, he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd;


VERSE 36. for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!”




VERSE 37. As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he asked the commanding officer, “May I speak to you?” He said, “Do you know Greek?


VERSE 38. Aren’t you then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?”


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


VERSE 40. When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the people. When there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

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