“And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.”
King James Version (KJV)
18:18 Paul continued many days - After the year and six months, to confirm the brethren. Aquila having shaved his head - As was the custom in a vow, #Acts 21:24|; Num 6:18. At Cenchrea - A seaport town, at a small distance from Corinth.
Ac 18:18 [After this]. After the affair before Gallio. Paul tarried [there]. How long Paul remained, whether weeks or months, is not stated. The object is to show that this occurrence did not cause his departure. Sailed thence into Syria. Antioch, the mother Gentile church from whence he started, was his destination. Having shorn [his] head . . . for he had a vow. We know that the Jews were wont to make personal vows. For example, see Ge 28:20 Le 27:2 1Sa 1:11 2Sa 15:7. Paul complied with this custom of his race for some reason not explained. Why he took the vow, for how long, and what the shaving of the head had to do with it, are matters of conjecture. Nazarite vows required the shaving of the head in Jerusalem, and the hair cut off was offered in the temple (Nu 6:18). This could not have been a Nazarite vow. It is probable that he complied with some Jewish custom to aid him in reaching his own people with the gospel. In Cenchrea. Cenchrea was the eastern harbor of Corinth, and received the commerce of Asia. A church was planted here (Ro 16:1).