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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.”

13 Now in the church at Antioch(A) there were prophets(B) and teachers:(C) Barnabas,(D) Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,(E) Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod(F) the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,(G) “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work(H) to which I have called them.”(I) So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them(J) and sent them off.(K)

On Cyprus

The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit,(L) went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.(M) When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God(N) in the Jewish synagogues.(O) John(P) was with them as their helper.

They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer(Q) and false prophet(R) named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul,(S) Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer(T) (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul(U) from the faith.(V) Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit,(W) looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil(X) and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?(Y) 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you.(Z) You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”(AA)

Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul(AB) saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

In Pisidian Antioch

13 From Paphos,(AC) Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia,(AD) where John(AE) left them to return to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch.(AF) On the Sabbath(AG) they entered the synagogue(AH) and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law(AI) and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”

16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand(AJ) and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country;(AK) 18 for about forty years he endured their conduct[a](AL) in the wilderness;(AM) 19 and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan,(AN) giving their land to his people(AO) as their inheritance.(AP) 20 All this took about 450 years.

“After this, God gave them judges(AQ) until the time of Samuel the prophet.(AR) 21 Then the people asked for a king,(AS) and he gave them Saul(AT) son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin,(AU) who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul,(AV) he made David their king.(AW) God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;(AX) he will do everything I want him to do.’(AY)

23 “From this man’s descendants(AZ) God has brought to Israel the Savior(BA) Jesus,(BB) as he promised.(BC) 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.(BD) 25 As John was completing his work,(BE) he said: ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for.(BF) But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’(BG)

26 “Fellow children of Abraham(BH) and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation(BI) has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus,(BJ) yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets(BK) that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.(BL) 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him,(BM) they took him down from the cross(BN) and laid him in a tomb.(BO) 30 But God raised him from the dead,(BP) 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.(BQ) They are now his witnesses(BR) to our people.

32 “We tell you the good news:(BS) What God promised our ancestors(BT) 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.(BU) As it is written in the second Psalm:

“‘You are my son;
    today I have become your father.’[b](BV)

34 God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said,

“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’[c](BW)

35 So it is also stated elsewhere:

“‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’[d](BX)

36 “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep;(BY) he was buried with his ancestors(BZ) and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead(CA) did not see decay.

38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.(CB) 39 Through him everyone who believes(CC) is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.(CD) 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:

41 “‘Look, you scoffers,
    wonder and perish,
for I am going to do something in your days
    that you would never believe,
    even if someone told you.’[e](CE)

42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue,(CF) the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.(CG)

44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying(CH) and heaped abuse(CI) on him.

46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first.(CJ) Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.(CK) 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us:

“‘I have made you[f] a light for the Gentiles,(CL)
    that you[g] may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’[h](CM)

48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord;(CN) and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

49 The word of the Lord(CO) spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.(CP) 51 So they shook the dust off their feet(CQ) as a warning to them and went to Iconium.(CR) 52 And the disciples(CS) were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.(CT)


  1. Acts 13:18 Some manuscripts he cared for them
  2. Acts 13:33 Psalm 2:7
  3. Acts 13:34 Isaiah 55:3
  4. Acts 13:35 Psalm 16:10 (see Septuagint)
  5. Acts 13:41 Hab. 1:5
  6. Acts 13:47 The Greek is singular.
  7. Acts 13:47 The Greek is singular.
  8. Acts 13:47 Isaiah 49:6