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Barnabas and Saul Are Chosen

13 In the church at Antioch there were these prophets and teachers: Barnabas [4:36], Simeon (also called Niger [C meaning “Black”; Luke 23:26]), Lucius (from the city of Cyrene [C a city in North Africa]), Manaen (who ·had grown up with Herod [or was a close friend of Herod; or was a member of Herod’s court], the ·ruler [L tetrarch; C a Roman political title; see Luke 3:1]), and Saul. They were all ·worshiping [or serving] the Lord and fasting [C giving up eating for spiritual purposes]. During this time the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul to do ·a special [L the] work for which I have ·chosen [called] them.”

So after they fasted and prayed, they laid their hands on [C a ritual of blessing and/or conferring of authority] Barnabas and Saul and sent them out.

Barnabas and Saul in Cyprus

Barnabas and Saul, sent out by the Holy Spirit, went to the city of Seleucia [C a Syrian city 15 miles from Antioch]. From there they sailed to the island of Cyprus [C an island off the coast of Syria, and Barnabas’ homeland; 4:36]. When they came to Salamis [C the main city of Cyprus], they preached the ·Good News [Gospel; L word] of God in the synagogues [L of the Jews]. John Mark was ·with them to help [their assistant].

They went across the whole island to Paphos [C the capital city of Cyprus, on the southwest coast] where they met a ·magician [sorcerer] named Bar-Jesus [C meaning “son of Jesus/Joshua”]. He was a Jewish false prophet who ·always stayed close to [L was with; C perhaps an assistant or advisor] Sergius Paulus, the ·governor [proconsul] and a ·smart [intelligent; discerning] man. He asked Barnabas and Saul to come to him, because he wanted to hear the ·message [L word] of God. But Elymas, the magician (that is what his name means), was against them [C Elymas probably comes either from an Arabic word meaning “wise man” or an Aramaic word meaning “interpreter of dreams”—hence a “magician”]. He tried to ·stop [turn away] the ·governor [proconsul] from ·believing in Jesus [L the faith]. But Saul, who was also called Paul [C Saul was his Jewish name; Paul his Roman name (both probably given at birth)], was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked ·straight [intently] at Elymas 10 and said, “You son of the devil! You are an enemy of ·everything that is right [all righteousness]! You are full of ·lies [deceit] and ·evil tricks [fraud; evil schemes], ·always trying to change the Lord’s truths into lies [L will you never stop making crooked/perverting the straight paths of the Lord?]. 11 Now [L look; T behold] the [L hand of the] Lord will touch you, and you will be blind. For a time you will not be able to see anything—not even the light from the sun.”

Then ·everything became dark for [L mist and darkness fell upon] Elymas, and he walked around, trying to find someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the ·governor [proconsul] saw this, he believed because he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

Paul and Barnabas Leave Cyprus

13 Paul and ·those with him [his companions] sailed from Paphos [v. 6] and came to Perga, in Pamphylia [C a Roman province in southern Turkey; Perga was a major city]. There John Mark left them to return to Jerusalem [15:38]. 14 They continued their trip from Perga and went to Antioch, a city in Pisidia [C a Roman province in southcentral Turkey; this Antioch should not be confused with Antioch in Syria (11:19–20)]. On the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets were read [C part of the traditional synagogue service], the leaders of the synagogue sent a message to Paul and Barnabas: “Brothers, if you have any ·message that will encourage the people [L word of encouragement/exhortation; C they are invited to give the homily, or sermon], please speak.”

16 Paul stood up, ·raised [or motioned with] his hand, and said, “·You Israelites [Men, Israelites] and you who ·worship [L fear] God [C Gentiles who worshiped the God of Israel; 10:2], please listen! 17 The God of the Israelites chose our ·ancestors [L fathers; C Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Gen. 12—36]. He made the people great during the time they lived [as foreigners/aliens] in Egypt, and he brought them out of that country with ·great power [L a raised/uplifted arm]. 18 And he ·was patient with [put up with] them[a] for forty years in the ·desert [wilderness; Ex. 16—Deut. 34]. 19 God destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and gave the land to his people [L as an inheritance]. 20 All this happened in about four hundred fifty years [C a round number of the time Israel was in Egypt, wandering in the wilderness, and conquering the land].

“After this, God gave them judges [Judg. 1—21] until the time of Samuel the prophet [1 Sam. 1:1—25:1; 28]. 21 Then the people asked for a king, so God gave them Saul son of Kish. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin and was king for forty years [1 Sam. 8—2 Sam. 1]. 22 After God ·took him away [removed/deposed him], God ·made David [L raised up David as] their king [2 Sam. 2—7]. God ·said [witnessed; testified] about him: ‘I have found in David son of Jesse ·the kind of man I want [a man whose heart is like mine; T a man after my own heart; 1 Sam. 13:14; Ps. 89:20]. He will ·do [or accomplish] all ·I want him to do [L my will].’ 23 So God has brought Jesus, one of David’s ·descendants [L seed], to Israel to be its Savior, as he promised [2 Sam. 7:12–16; Is. 11:1–16]. 24 Before Jesus came, John [C the Baptist] preached to all the people of Israel about a baptism of ·changed hearts and lives [L repentance; Matt. 3; Mark 1:2–8; Luke 3]. 25 When he was finishing his ·work [race; course; mission], he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not ·the Christ [the Messiah; L he; C the anointed king from David’s line]. He is coming later, and I am not worthy to untie his sandals [C a gesture of subservience fit for a slave].’

26 “·Brothers, [L Men, brothers] ·sons [or descendants] of the family of Abraham, and others who ·worship [fear; 13:16] God, listen! The ·news [word; message] about this salvation has been sent to us. 27 Those who live in Jerusalem and their leaders ·did not realize that Jesus was the Savior [L were ignorant of this; or did not recognize him]. They did not understand the ·words that the prophets wrote [L voices of the prophets], which are read every Sabbath day. But they ·made them come true [L fulfilled them] when they ·said Jesus was guilty [L condemned him]. 28 They could not find any real ·reason [cause; basis] for Jesus to be put to death, but they asked Pilate to have him ·killed [executed]. 29 When they had done to him all that ·the Scriptures had said [L was written about him], they took him down from the ·cross [L tree; 5:30; 10:39; Deut. 21:23; Gal. 3:13] and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him up from the dead! 31 After this, for many days, ·those who had gone with Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem saw him [or he appeared to those…Jerusalem]. They are now his witnesses to the people. 32 We tell you the ·Good News [Gospel] about the promise God made to our ·ancestors [forefathers; fathers; Gen. 12:1–3; 2 Sam. 7:12–16]. 33 ·God has made this promise come true [He has fulfilled this promise] for us, their ·children [descendants], by raising Jesus from the dead. We read about this also in the second psalm:

‘You are my Son.
    Today I have ·become your Father [fathered you; T begotten you; Ps. 2:7].’

34 God raised Jesus from the dead, and he will never go back to ·the grave and become dust [L corruption; decay]. So God said:

‘I will give you the holy and ·sure blessings [L faithful things]
    that I promised to David [Is. 55:3].’

35 But in another place God says:

‘You will not let your Holy One ·experience [L see] ·decay [corruption; Ps. 16:10].’

36 [L For; Now] David ·did God’s will [served God’s purpose] during his ·lifetime [L generation]. Then he ·died [L slept; C a euphemism for death] and was ·buried [L placed] beside his ·ancestors [L fathers], and his body ·experienced [L saw] ·decay [corruption] in the grave. 37 But the One God raised from the dead did not ·experience [L see] ·decay [corruption]. 38 [L Therefore] ·Brothers [L Men, brothers], ·understand what we are telling you [know this]: ·You can have forgiveness of your sins [L Forgiveness of sins is announced to you] through ·Jesus [L this man]. 39 The law of Moses could not ·free you from your sins [justify you; make you righteous]. But through Jesus everyone who believes is ·free from all sins [justified; made/declared righteous]. 40 [L So; Therefore] ·Be careful [Watch out]! Don’t let what the prophets said happen to you:

41 ‘·Listen [L Look; T Behold], you ·people who doubt [scoffers; mockers]!
    ·You can wonder [Be amazed], and then ·die [L perish; vanish].
I ·will do something [L am working a work] in your ·lifetime [L days]
    that you won’t believe even when you are told about it [Hab. 1:5]!’”

42 While ·Paul and Barnabas [L they] were leaving the synagogue, the people ·asked [urged; encouraged] them to tell them more about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the meeting was over, many of the Jews and devout ·converts to Judaism [L proselytes] followed Paul and Barnabas from that place. Paul and Barnabas were persuading them to continue trusting in God’s grace.

44 On the next Sabbath day, almost everyone in the city ·came [gathered] to hear the word of the Lord. 45 Seeing the crowd, the Jewish people became very jealous and said ·insulting [blasphemous] things and ·argued against [contradicted] what Paul said. 46 But Paul and Barnabas spoke very ·boldly [fearlessly; courageously], saying, “·We must [It was necessary for us to] speak the ·message [word] of God to you first. But [L since] you ·refuse to listen [or reject it]. You are judging yourselves not worthy of having eternal life! So we will now ·go [L turn] to the ·people of other nations [Gentiles]. 47 [L For] This is what the Lord ·told us to do [commanded us], saying:

‘I have ·made [appointed] you a light for the ·nations [Gentiles];
    ·you will show people all over the world the way to be saved [L to bring salvation to the ends of the earth; Is. 42:6; 49:6; Acts 1:8].’”

48 When the Gentiles heard Paul say this, they ·were happy [rejoiced] and ·gave honor to [praised] the ·message [word] of the Lord. And the people who were ·chosen [destined; appointed] to have life forever ·believed the message [L believed].

49 So the ·message [word] of the Lord was spreading through the whole ·country [area; region]. 50 But the Jewish people ·stirred up [incited] some of the ·important religious women [devout/God-fearing women of high social status] and the ·leaders [or prominent men] of the city. They ·started trouble [stirred up persecution] against Paul and Barnabas and forced them out of their ·area [region]. 51 So Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet [C a sign of rejection and protest] and went to Iconium [C a city in the interior of south central Asia Minor, present-day Turkey]. 52 But the ·followers [disciples] were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.


  1. Acts 13:18 And … them Some Greek copies read “And he cared for them.”