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1 And it came to passe, that after wee were gotten frō them, and had lanched, wee came with a straight course vnto Choos, and the day following vnto Rhodes, and from thence vnto Patara.

2 And finding a ship sailing ouer vnto Phenicea, wee went abroad, and set foorth.

3 Now when wee had discouered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the shippe was to vnlade her burden.

4 And finding disciples, wee taried there seuen dayes: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that hee should not goe vp to Hierusalem.

5 And when we had accomplished those dayes, we departed, and went our way, and they all brought vs on our way, with wiues and children, till wee were out of the citie: and wee kneeled downe on the shore, and prayed.

6 And when we had taken our leaue one of another, we tooke ship, and they returned home againe.

7 And when wee had finished our course from Tyre, wee came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.

8 And the next day we that were of Pauls company, departed, and came vnto Cesarea, and wee entred into the house of Philip the Euangelist (which was one of the seuen) & abode with him.

9 And þe same man had foure daughters, virgins, which did prophesie.

10 And as wee taried there many dayes, there came downe from Iudea a certaine Prophet, named Agabus.

11 And when he was come vnto vs, he tooke Pauls girdle, and bound his owne hands and feete, and said, Thus sayth the holy Ghost, So shall the Iewes at Hierusalem binde the man that oweth this girdle, and shall deliuer him into the hands of the Gentiles.

12 And when we heard these things, both we and they of that place, besought him not to goe vp to Hierusalem.

13 Then Paul answered, What meane ye to weepe and to breake mine heart? for I am ready, not to bee bound onely, but also to die at Hierusalem for the Name of the Lord Iesus.

14 And when he would not bee perswaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

15 And after those dayes we tooke vp our cariages, & went vp to Hierusalem.

16 There went with vs also certaine of the disciples of Cesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whō we should lodge.

17 And when we were come to Hierusalem, the brethren receiued vs gladly

18 And the day following Paul went in with vs vnto Iames, and all the Elders were present.

19 And when hee had saluted them, hee declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministerie.

20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, & said vnto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Iewes there are which beleeue, and they are all zealous of the Law.

21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Iewes which are among the Gentiles, to forsake Moses, saying, that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walke after the customes.

22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will heare that thou art come.

23 Doe therefore this that we say to thee: Wee haue foure men which haue a vow on them,

24 Then take, and purifie thy selfe with them, & bee at charges with them, that they may shaue their heads: and all may know that those things wherof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing, but that thou thy selfe also walkest orderly, and keepest the Law.

25 As touching the Gentiles which beleeue, wee haue written and concluded, that they obserue no such thing, saue onely that they keepe themselues from things offered to idoles, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

26 Then Paul tooke the men, and the next day purifying himselfe with them, entred into the Temple, to signifie the accomplishment of the dayes of purification, vntill that an offering should be offered for euery one of them:

27 And when the seuen dayes were almost ended, the Iewes which were of Asia, when they saw him in the Temple, stirred vp all the people, and laide hands on him,

28 Crying out, Men of Israel, helpe: this is þe man that teacheth al men euery where against the people, and the law, and this place: and farther brought Greeks also into the Temple, and hath polluted this holy place.

29 (For they had seene before with him in the citie, Trophimus an Ephesian, whome they supposed that Paul had brought into the Temple.)

30 And all the citie was moued, and the people ran together: and they tooke Paul, and drew him out of the Temple: and forthwith the doores were shut.

31 And as they went about to kil him, tidings came vnto the chiefe captaine of the band, that all Hierusalem was in an vprore.

32 Who immediatly tooke souldiers, and Centurions, and ran downe vnto them: and when they saw the chiefe captaine and the souldiers, they left beating of Paul.

33 Then the chiefe captain came neere, and tooke him, & commanded him to be bound with two chains, and demanded who he was, and what hee had done.

34 And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certaintie for the tumult, he commanded him to be caried into the castle.

35 And when he came vpon þe staires, so it was that he was borne of the souldiers, for the violence of the people.

36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him.

37 And as Paul was to bee led into the castle, hee saide vnto the chiefe captaine, May I speake vnto thee? Who saide, Canst thou speake Greeke?

38 Art not thou that Egyptian which before these daies madest an vprore, and leddest out into the wildernesse foure thousand men that were murtherers?

39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Iew of Tarsus, a citie in Cilicia, a citizen of no meane citie: & I beseech thee suffer me to speake vnto the people.

40 And when he had giuen him licence, Paul stood on the staires, and beckened with the hand vnto the people: and when there was made a great silence, he spake vnto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying.

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Commentary for Acts 21

Paul's voyage towards Jerusalem. (1-7) Paul at Cesarea. The prophecy of Agabus, Paul at Jerusalem. (8-18) He is persuaded to join in ceremonial observances. (19-26) Being in danger from the Jews, he is rescued by the Romans. (27-40)1-7 Providence must be acknowledged when our affairs go on well. Wherever Paul came, he inquired what disciples were there, and found them out. Foreseeing his troubles, from love to him, and concern for the church, they wrongly thought it would be most for the glory of God that he should continue at liberty; but their earnestness to dissuade him from it, renders his pious resolution the more illustrious. He has taught us by example, as well as by rule, to pray always, to pray without ceasing. Their last farewell was sweetened with prayer.

8-18 Paul had express warning of his troubles, that when they came, they might be no surprise or terror to him. The general notice given us, that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God, should be of the same use to us. Their weeping began to weaken and slacken his resolution Has not our Master told us to take up our cross? It was a trouble to him, that they should so earnestly press him to do that in which he could not gratify them without wronging his conscience. When we see trouble coming, it becomes us to say, not only, The will of the Lord must be done, and there is no remedy; but, Let the will of the Lord be done; for his will is his wisdom, and he doeth all according to the counsel of it. When a trouble is come, this must allay our griefs, that the will of the Lord is done; when we see it coming, this must silence our fears, that the will of the Lord shall be done; and we ought to say, Amen, let it be done. It is honourable to be an old disciple of Jesus Christ, to have been enabled by the grace of God to continue long in a course of duty, stedfast in the faith, growing more and more experienced, to a good old age. And with these old disciples one would choose to lodge; for the multitude of their years shall teach wisdom. Many brethren at Jerusalem received Paul gladly. We think, perhaps, that if we had him among us, we should gladly receive him; but we should not, if, having his doctrine, we do not gladly receive that.

19-26 Paul ascribed all his success to God, and to God they gave the praise. God had honoured him more than any of the apostles, yet they did not envy him; but on the contrary, glorified the Lord. They could not do more to encourage Paul to go on cheerfully in his work. James and the elders of the church at Jerusalem, asked Paul to gratify the believing Jews, by some compliance with the ceremonial law. They thought it was prudent in him to conform thus far. It was great weakness to be so fond of the shadows, when the substance was come. The religion Paul preached, tended not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. He preached Christ, the end of the law for righteousness, and repentance and faith, in which we are to make great use of the law. The weakness and evil of the human heart strongly appear, when we consider how many, even of the disciples of Christ, had not due regard to the most eminent minister that even lived. Not the excellence of his character, nor the success with which God blessed his labours, could gain their esteem and affection, seeing that he did not render the same respect as themselves to mere ceremonial observances. How watchful should we be against prejudices! The apostles were not free from blame in all they did; and it would be hard to defend Paul from the charge of giving way too much in this matter. It is vain to attempt to court the favour of zealots, or bigots to a party. This compliance of Paul did not answer, for the very thing by which he hoped to pacify the Jews, provoked them, and brought him into trouble. But the all-wise God overruled both their advice and Paul's compliance with it, to serve a better purpose than was intended. It was in vain to think of pleasing men who would be pleased with nothing but the rooting out of Christianity. Integrity and uprightness will be more likely to preserve us than insincere compliances. And it should warn us not to press men to doing what is contrary to their own judgment to oblige us.

27-40 In the temple, where Paul should have been protected as in a place of safety, he was violently set upon. They falsely charged him with ill doctrine and ill practice against the Mosaic ceremonies. It is no new thing for those who mean honestly and act regularly, to have things laid to their charge which they know not and never thought of. It is common for the wise and good to have that charged against them by malicious people, with which they thought to have obliged them. God often makes those a protection to his people, who have no affection to them, but only have compassion for sufferers, and regard to the public peace. And here see what false, mistaken notions of good people and good ministers, many run away with. But God seasonably interposes for the safety of his servants, from wicked and unreasonable men; and gives them opportunities to speak for themselves, to plead for the Redeemer, and to spread abroad his glorious gospel.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Acts 21

  • Bruce
    Marlo: Not Sure what You're Saying. Jews Today Don't Believe in Jesus as The Savior. They're Still Waiting for Elijah to Show-Up. We Know that was John The Baptist. All that have Been Circumcised in Their Heart are Now Jews(Romans 2:28- 29) I Think that's what You're Saying.
  • Marlo
    Also note, these were believing Jews who were zealous for the Law. The body of Christ has always been made up of both the natural and spiritual seed even unto our present day. One cannot call themselves a Jew and not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. This is who and what the Church started with on the day of Pentecost.
  • Marlo
    Awesome scriptures that highlight the disagreements coming from the Jews of Asia not fully understanding the ministry laid upon the Apostle Paul. The law of circumcision was a perpetual covenant laid upon the children of Israel. Paul's teaching on circumcision was not to do away the mandate for the Jews, but to show it was not a burden to be placed upon the Gentiles to receive the faith of Jesus
  • Steve morrow
    NOAH : PROPHESY / CONFUSION ACTS2:9and the same man had four daughters which did prophesy TITUS 2:4 that they may teach the young women to be sober to love their husbands to love their children2:5to be discreet chaste keepers at home good obedient to their own husbands that the word of god be not blasphemed TITUS 1:2 IN HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE WHICH GOD-THAT CANNOT LIE PROMISED BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN
  • BSP
    Verses 23,24~Paul was here willing to go a long way so as not to stumble the Jews. We want to do all we can not to become a cause for stumbling others.
  • Sky
    LOVE GOD SO MUCH

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