Acts 21:27–25:22

Paul Seized in the Temple

27 When athe seven days were almost over, bthe Jews from 1cAsia, upon seeing him in the temple, began to stir up all the crowd and laid hands on him,

28 crying out, “Men of Israel, come to our aid! aThis is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has bdefiled this holy place.”

29 For they had previously seen aTrophimus the bEphesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.

30 Then all the city was provoked, and 1the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul they adragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut.

31 While they were seeking to kill him, a report came up to the 1commander of the aRoman 2cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion.

32 At once he atook along some soldiers and centurions and ran down to them; and when they saw the 1commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

33 Then the 1commander came up and took hold of him, and ordered him to be abound with btwo chains; and he began asking who he was and what he had done.

34 But among the crowd asome were shouting one thing and some another, and when he could not find out the 1facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into bthe barracks.

35 When he got to athe stairs, he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the 1mob;

36 for the multitude of the people kept following them, shouting, “aAway with him!”

37 As Paul was about to be brought into athe barracks, he said to the 1commander, “May I say something to you?” And he * said, “Do you know Greek?

38 “Then you are not athe Egyptian who some 1time ago stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out binto the wilderness?”

39 But Paul said, “aI am a Jew of Tarsus in bCilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city; and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.”

40 When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on athe stairs, bmotioned to the people with his hand; and when there 1was a great hush, he spoke to them in the 2cHebrew dialect, saying,

Chapter 22

Paul’s Defense before the Jews

1 aBrethren and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you.”

2 And when they heard that he was addressing them in the 1aHebrew dialect, they became even more quiet; and he * said,

3 aI am ba Jew, born in cTarsus of dCilicia, but brought up in this city, educated 1under eGamaliel, 2fstrictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as gyou all are today.

4 aI persecuted this bWay to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons,

5 as also athe high priest and all bthe Council of the elders 1can testify. From them I also creceived letters to dthe brethren, and started off for cDamascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem 2as prisoners to be punished.

6 aBut it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me,

7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’

8 “And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, I am aJesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’

9 “And those who were with me asaw the light, to be sure, but bdid not 1understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.

10 “And I said, ‘aWhat shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.’

11 “But since I acould not see because of the 1brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus.

12 “A certain aAnanias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and bwell spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,

13 came to me, and standing near said to me, ‘aBrother Saul, receive your sight!’ And 1bat that very time I looked up at him.

14 “And he said, ‘aThe God of our fathers has bappointed you to know His will and to csee the dRighteous One and to hear an 1utterance from His mouth.

15 ‘For you will be aa witness for Him to all men of bwhat you have seen and heard.

16 ‘Now why do you delay? aGet up and be baptized, and bwash away your sins, ccalling on His name.’

17 “It happened when I areturned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I bfell into a trance,

18 and I saw Him saying to me, aMake haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.’

19 “And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another aI used to imprison and bbeat those who believed in You.

20 ‘And awhen the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.’

21 “And He said to me, Go! For I will send you far away ato the Gentiles.’ ”

22 They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, “aAway with such a fellow from the earth, for bhe should not be allowed to live!”

23 And as they were crying out and athrowing off their cloaks and btossing dust into the air,

24 the 1commander ordered him to be brought into athe barracks, stating that he should be bexamined by scourging so that he might find out the reason why they were shouting against him that way.

25 But when they stretched him out 1with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it 2lawful for you to scourge aa man who is a Roman and uncondemned?”

26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the 1commander and told him, saying, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman.”

27 The 1commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” And he said, “Yes.”

28 The 1commander answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.” And Paul said, “But I was actually born a citizen.

29 Therefore those who were about to aexamine him immediately 1let go of him; and the 2commander also bwas afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had 3cput him in chains.

30 But on the next day, awishing to know for certain why he had been accused by the Jews, he breleased him and ordered the chief priests and all cthe 1Council to assemble, and brought Paul down and set him before them.

Chapter 23

Paul before the Council

1 Paul, looking intently at athe 1Council, said, “bBrethren, cI have 2lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.”

2 The high priest aAnanias commanded those standing beside him bto strike him on the mouth.

3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, ayou whitewashed wall! Do you bsit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?”

4 But the bystanders said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?”

5 And Paul said, “I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, ‘aYou shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ”

6 But perceiving that one group were aSadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in bthe 1Council, “cBrethren, dI am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for ethe hope and resurrection of the dead!”

7 As he said this, there occurred a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.

8 For athe Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.

9 And there occurred a great uproar; and some of athe scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “bWe find nothing wrong with this man; csuppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”

10 And as a great dissension was developing, the 1commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into athe barracks.

11 But on athe night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, bTake courage; for cas you have dsolemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.”

A Conspiracy to Kill Paul

12 When it was day, athe Jews formed a 1conspiracy and bbound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul.

13 There were more than forty who formed this plot.

14 They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have abound ourselves under a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.

15 “Now therefore, you 1and athe 2Council notify the 3commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case by a more thorough investigation; and we for our part are ready to slay him before he comes near the place.

16 But the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, 1and he came and entered athe barracks and told Paul.

17 Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Lead this young man to the 1commander, for he has something to report to him.”

18 So he took him and led him to the 1commander and * said, “Paul athe prisoner called me to him and asked me to lead this young man to you since he has something to tell you.”

19 The 1commander took him by the hand and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, “What is it that you have to report to me?”

20 And he said, “aThe Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to bthe 1Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him.

21 “So do not 1listen to them, for more than forty of them are alying in wait for him who have bbound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they slay him; and now they are ready and waiting for the promise from you.”

22 So the 1commander let the young man go, instructing him, “Tell no one that you have notified me of these things.”

Paul Moved to Caesarea

23 And he called to him two of the centurions and said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready by 1the third hour of the night to proceed to aCaesarea, 2with seventy horsemen and two hundred 3spearmen.”

24 They were also to provide mounts to put Paul on and bring him safely to aFelix the governor.

25 And he wrote a letter having this …

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