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Acts 21–27

Paul Goes to Jerusalem

21 And when swe had parted from them and set sail, we tcame by a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.1 And having found a ship crossing to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left we sailed to Syria and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload its cargo. And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And uthrough the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, vaccompanied us until we were outside the city. And wkneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home.

When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted xthe brothers2 and stayed with them for one day. On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of yPhilip zthe evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters, awho prophesied. 10 While we were staying for many days, a prophet named bAgabus came down from Judea. 11 And coming to us, he ctook Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, d“Thus says the Holy Spirit, e‘This is how the Jews3 at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and fdeliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ” 12 When we heard this, we and the people there gurged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, g“What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For hI am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem ifor the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 And since he would not be persuaded, jwe ceased and said, k“Let the will of the Lord be done.”

15 After these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16 And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge.

Paul Visits James

17 When we had come to Jerusalem, lthe brothers received us gladly. 18 On the following day Paul went in with us to mJames, and all nthe elders were present. 19 After greeting them, ohe related one by one pthe things that God had done among the Gentiles through his qministry. 20 And when they heard it, they rglorified God. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all szealous for the law, 21 and they have been told about you that you teach all tthe Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, utelling them vnot to circumcise their children or wwalk according to xour customs. 22 What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men ywho are under a vow; 24 take these men and zpurify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, yso that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law. 25 But as for the Gentiles who have believed, awe have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled,4 and from sexual immorality.” 26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day zhe purified himself along with them and bwent into the temple, giving notice when the days of purification would be fulfilled and cthe offering presented for each one of them.

Paul Arrested in the Temple

27 When cthe seven days were almost completed, dthe Jews from Asia, eseeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who fis teaching everyone everywhere against the people and gthe law and gthis place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and hhas defiled gthis holy place.” 29 For they had previously seen iTrophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and jdragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. 31 jAnd as they were seeking to kill him, word came to the tribune of kthe cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 32 lHe at once took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. And when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the tribune came up and arrested him and ordered him mto be bound nwith two chains. He inquired who he was and what he had done. 34 oSome in the crowd were shouting one thing, some another. And as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into pthe barracks. 35 And when he came to the steps, he was actually carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd, 36 for the mob of the people followed, crying out, q“Away with him!”

Paul Speaks to the People

37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, “May I say something to you?” And he said, “Do you know Greek? 38 Are you not rthe Egyptian, then, who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out sinto the wilderness?” 39 Paul replied, t“I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no obscure city. I beg you, permit me to speak to the people.” 40 And when he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the steps, umotioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great hush, he addressed them in vthe Hebrew language,5 saying:

22 w“Brothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make before you.”

And when they heard that he was addressing them in xthe Hebrew language,1 they became even more quiet. And he said:

y“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated zat the feet of aGamaliel2 baccording to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, cbeing zealous for God das all of you are this day. eI persecuted fthis Way gto the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as hthe high priest and ithe whole council of elders can bear me witness. From them I received letters to jthe brothers, and I journeyed toward Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.

k“As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, I am lJesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ mNow those who were with me saw the light but did not understand3 the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, n‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ 11 And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.

12 “And oone Ananias, a devout man paccording to the law, qwell spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 rcame to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And sat that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, t‘The God of our fathers uappointed you to know his will, vto see wthe Righteous One and xto hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for yyou will be a witness for him to everyone of what zyou have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? aRise and be baptized and bwash away your sins, ccalling on his name.’

17 d“When I had returned to Jerusalem and ewas praying in the temple, I fell into fa trance 18 and saw him saying to me, gMake haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another hI imprisoned and ibeat those who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of Stephen jyour witness was being shed, kI myself was standing by and lapproving and kwatching over the garments of those who killed him.’ 21 And he said to me, Go, for I will send you mfar away to the Gentiles.’ ”

Paul and the Roman Tribune

22 Up to this word they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, n“Away with such a fellow from the earth! For ohe should not be allowed to live.” 23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the tribune ordered him to be brought into pthe barracks, saying that he should be qexamined by flogging, to find out why they were shouting against him like this. 25 But when they had stretched him out for the whips,4 Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to flog ra man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune and said to him, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” 27 So the tribune came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “Yes.” 28 The tribune answered, “I bought this citizenship for a large sum.” Paul said, “But I am a citizen by birth.” 29 So those who were about sto examine him withdrew from him immediately, and the tribune also twas afraid, ufor he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that vhe had bound him.

Paul Before the Council

30 But on the next day, wdesiring to know the real reason why he was being accused by the Jews, he unbound him and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.

23 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, xI have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” And the high priest yAnanias commanded those who stood by him zto strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you

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