Acts 21:1–26:32

On to Jerusalem

21 After wep had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Kos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara. We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia,q went on board and set sail. After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria.r We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo. We sought out the discipless there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spiritt they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray.u After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.

We continued our voyage from Tyrev and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sistersw and stayed with them for a day. Leaving the next day, we reached Caesareax and stayed at the house of Philipy the evangelist,z one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.a

10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabusb came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says,c ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bindd the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’ ”e

12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to dief in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”g 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave uph and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”i

15 After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem.j 16 Some of the disciples from Caesareak accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprusl and one of the early disciples.

Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem

17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sistersm received us warmly.n 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James,o and all the eldersp were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentilesq through his ministry.r

20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealouss for the law.t 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses,u telling them not to circumcise their childrenv or live according to our customs.w 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow.x 24 Take these men, join in their purification ritesy and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved.z Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”a

26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.b

Paul Arrested

27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him,c 28 shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.”d 29 (They had previously seen Trophimuse the Ephesianf in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.)

30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul,g they dragged himh from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31 While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.i

33 The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be boundj with twok chains.l Then he asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another,m and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.n 35 When Paul reached the steps,o the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. 36 The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Get rid of him!”p

Paul Speaks to the Crowd

22:3–16pp—Ac 9:1–22; 26:9–18

37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks,q he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?”

“Do you speak Greek?” he replied. 38 “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wildernessr some time ago?”s

39 Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsust in Cilicia,u a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”

40 After receiving the commander’s permission, Paul stood on the steps and motionedv to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaica:w

22 “Brothers and fathers,x listen now to my defense.”

When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic,y they became very quiet.

Then Paul said: “I am a Jew,z born in Tarsusa of Cilicia,b but brought up in this city. I studied underc Gamalield and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors.e I was just as zealousf for God as any of you are today. I persecutedg the followers of this Wayh to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,i as the high priest and all the Councilj can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associatesk in Damascus,l and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.m I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’

“ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.

“ I am Jesus of Nazareth,n whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light,o but they did not understand the voicep of him who was speaking to me.

10 “ ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.

“ Get up,’ the Lord said, and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’q 11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.r

12 “A man named Ananias came to see me.s He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.t 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.

14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestorsu has chosen you to know his will and to seev the Righteous Onew and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witnessx to all people of what you have seeny and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptizedz and wash your sins away,a calling on his name.’b

17 “When I returned to Jerusalemc and was praying at the temple, I fell into a tranced 18 and saw the Lord speaking to me. Quick!’ he said. Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’

19 “ ‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprisone and beatf those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyra Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’g

21 “Then the Lord said to me, Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”h

Paul the Roman Citizen

22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him!i He’s not fit to live!”j

23 As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaksk and flinging dust into the air,l 24 the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.m He directedn that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. 25 As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”o

26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”

27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”

“Yes, I am,” he answered.

28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.”

“But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.

29 Those who were about to interrogate himp withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen,q in chains.r

Paul Before the Sanhedrin

30 The commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews.s So the next day he released himt and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrinu to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them.

23 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrinv and said, “My brothers,w I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good consciencex to this day.” At this the high priest Ananiasy ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.z Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall!a You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”b

Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult God’s high priest!”

Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was

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