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21 When we had said goodbye to them, we left them. We went straight across the water to the island of Cos. The next day we came to the island of Rhodes. Then we went to the city of Patara.

There we found a boat going to the country of Phoenicia, so we went there.

When we saw the island of Cyprus, we went on the right side of it to Syria. We landed at Tyre because they unloaded the boat there.

We found some Christians and stayed for seven days. The Holy Spirit spoke through them to Paul, `Do not go on to Jerusalem.'

When the seven days had passed, we left and went on our way. All of the men, women, and children went with us out of the city. There by the sea we kneeled down and talked to God.

We said goodbye to each other. Then we got on the boat and they went back to their homes.

From Tyre we went to Ptolemais. There we greeted the Christian brothers and stayed with them one day.

The next day we left and came to Caesarea. We went into the house of Philip. He was a man who went out telling the good news. He was one of the seven helpers in the church.

He had four daughters who spoke words from God. They were not married.

10 While we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came from Judea.

11 When he came to us, he took Paul's belt. He tied his own hands and feet with it. Then he said, `The Holy Spirit has told me that in the same way the leaders of the Jews in Jerusalem will tie the man who owns this belt. They will give him over to the people who are not Jews.'

12 When we heard this, both we and the people there talked to Paul and begged him not to go to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul answered, `Why are you crying and making me sad like this? I am ready to be tied and also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.'

14 So when we saw that he would not change his mind, we stopped begging him. We said, `May the Lord do what he wants to be done.'

15 After that, we took our things and went to Jerusalem.

16 Some of the Christians from Caesarea went with us. One of them was Mnason, a man born in Cyprus. He was one of the first Christian believers. We stayed in his house.

17 When we reached Jerusalem, the Christian brothers were glad to see us.

18 The next day Paul went with us to see James. All the church leaders were there.

19 First, Paul greeted them. Then he told them one by one the things God had done as he worked among the people who were not Jews.

20 When they heard it, they praised the Lord. They said to Paul, `Brother, there are many thousands of Jews who believe. They all say we must obey the law of Moses.

21 They have heard that you teach all the Jews who live in other lands. They heard that you tell them not to obey Moses' law: that they need not circumcise their children like the Jews do; and they can leave the Jewish ways of living.

22 What should we do about it? Many people will gather together because they will surely hear that you have come.

23 Now then, do the thing we tell you. We have four men who have made a promise.

24 Take them with you. Make yourself clean with them, the way the law says to do. Pay the cost for having their hair cut. Then all the people will know that all the things they heard about you are not true. They will know that you live the way the law says you should live.

25 We sent a letter to those who are not Jews and have believed. Here is what we told them they must not do. They must not touch things that have been given to idols. They must not taste blood. They must not eat the meat of animals that were killed by choking. And they must not take part in any kind of wrong sexual behaviour between men and women.'

26 Then Paul took the men with him. The next day he made himself clean with them the way the law says to do. Then he went into the temple. He told the priests which day they would finish making themselves clean. On that day a sacrifice would be made for each one of them.

27 The seven days were almost over. The Jewish leaders from Asia Minor saw Paul in the temple. They got all the people there excited. They caught hold of him.

28 They shouted, `All you men of Israel, come and help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere not to respect our people. He says we need not obey the law or respect this temple. And what is more, he has brought Greek people into the temple. He has made this holy place unclean.'

29 They said this because they had seen a man from Ephesus named Trophimus. He was in the city with Paul. And they thought that Paul had brought him into the temple.

30 So all the people in the city were excited. They came running. They caught Paul and took him out of the temple by force. Then the doors were shut behind them.

31 They were trying to kill him. The officer in charge of the soldiers heard that all the people of Jerusalem were making trouble.

32 Right away he took some soldiers and officers with him and ran down to the people. When the people saw them they stopped beating Paul.

33 Then the officer came up and took Paul. He had him tied with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done.

34 Some of the crowd shouted one thing and some of them shouted something else. The captain could not find out what was true. The people were shouting too much. So he told his soldiers to take Paul into their army house.

35 When Paul came to the steps, the soldiers carried him because the people were fighting to get him.

36 They were all following, shouting, `Kill him!'

37-38 ust as the soldiers were going to take Paul into their army house, he said to the officer, `May I tell you something?' `So, you speak the Greek language!' said the officer. `I thought you were the man from the country of Egypt who made trouble a while ago. I thought you were the one who led four thousand bad men into the desert.'

39 Paul said, `I am a Jew. I was born in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia. I belong to a great city. Please let me talk to these people.'

40 So the officer let him talk. Paul stood on the steps and put up his hand. Then all the people were very quiet. He talked to them in the Jews' language.

On to Jerusalem

21 After we(A) 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,(B) went on board and set sail. After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria.(C) We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo. We sought out the disciples(D) there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit(E) 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.(F) After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.

We continued our voyage from Tyre(G) and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters(H) and stayed with them for a day. Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea(I) and stayed at the house of Philip(J) the evangelist,(K) one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.(L)

10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus(M) 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,(N) ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind(O) the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”(P)

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 die(Q) in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”(R) 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up(S) and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”(T)

15 After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem.(U) 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea(V) accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus(W) and one of the early disciples.

Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem

17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters(X) received us warmly.(Y) 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James,(Z) and all the elders(AA) were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles(AB) through his ministry.(AC)

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 zealous(AD) for the law.(AE) 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses,(AF) telling them not to circumcise their children(AG) or live according to our customs.(AH) 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.(AI) 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites(AJ) and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved.(AK) 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.”(AL)

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.(AM)

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,(AN) 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.”(AO) 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus(AP) the Ephesian(AQ) 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,(AR) they dragged him(AS) 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.(AT)

33 The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound(AU) with two(AV) chains.(AW) Then he asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another,(AX) and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.(AY) 35 When Paul reached the steps,(AZ) 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!”(BA)

Paul Speaks to the Crowd(BB)

37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks,(BC) 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 wilderness(BD) some time ago?”(BE)

39 Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus(BF) in Cilicia,(BG) 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 motioned(BH) to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic[a]:(BI)


  1. Acts 21:40 Or possibly Hebrew; also in 22:2