Add parallel Print Page Options

17 After passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, Sha’ul and Sila came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue. According to his usual practice, Sha’ul went in; and on three Shabbats he gave them drashes from the Tanakh, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and that “this Yeshua whom I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah.” Some of the Jews were persuaded and threw in their lot with Sha’ul and Sila, as did a great many of the Greek men who were “God-fearers,” and not a few of the leading women.

But the unbelieving Jews grew jealous; so they got together some vicious men from the riffraff hanging around in the market square, collected a crowd and started a riot in the city. They attacked Jason’s house, hoping to bring Sha’ul and Sila out to the mob. But when they didn’t find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city authorities and shouted, “These men who have turned the whole world upside down have come here too! And Jason has let them stay in his home! All of them are defying the decrees of the Emperor; because they assert that there is another king, Yeshua!” Their words threw the crowd and the authorities into a turmoil, so that only after Jason and the others had posted bond did they let them go. 10 But as soon as night fell, the brothers sent Sha’ul and Sila off to Berea.

As soon as they arrived, they went to the synagogue. 11 Now the people here were of nobler character than the ones in Thessalonica; they eagerly welcomed the message, checking the Tanakh every day to see if the things Sha’ul was saying were true. 12 Many of them came to trust, as did a number of prominent Greek women and not a few Greek men.

13 But when the unbelieving Jews of Thessalonica learned that the word of God had been proclaimed by Sha’ul in Berea as well, they went there too to make trouble and agitate the crowds. 14 The brothers sent Sha’ul away at once to go down to the seacoast, while Sila and Timothy stayed behind. 15 Sha’ul’s escort went with him as far as Athens, then left with instructions for Sila and Timothy to come as quickly as they could.

16 While Sha’ul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit within him was disturbed at the sight of the city full of idols. 17 So he began holding discussions in the synagogue with the Jews and the “God-fearers,” and in the market square every day with the people who happened to be there.

18 Also a group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers started meeting with him. Some asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others, because he proclaimed the Good News about Yeshua and the resurrection, said, “He sounds like a propagandist for foreign gods.” 19 They took and brought him before the High Council, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 Some of the things we are hearing from you strike us as strange, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners living there used to spend their spare time talking or hearing about the latest intellectual fads.)

22 Sha’ul stood up in the Council meeting and said, “Men of Athens: I see how very religious you are in every way! 23 For as I was walking around, looking at your shrines, I even found an altar which had been inscribed, ‘To An Unknown God.’ So, the one whom you are already worshipping in ignorance — this is the one I proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the universe and everything in it, and who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in man-made temples; 25 nor is he served by human hands, as if he lacked something; since it is he himself who gives life and breath and everything to everyone.

26 “From one man he made every nation living on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the limits of their territories and the periods when they would flourish. 27 God did this so that people would look for him and perhaps reach out and find him although in fact, he is not far from each one of us, 28 ‘for in him we live and move and exist.’ Indeed, as some of the poets among you have said, ‘We are actually his children.’ 29 So, since we are children of God, we shouldn’t suppose that God’s essence resembles gold, silver or stone shaped by human technique and imagination.

30 “In the past, God overlooked such ignorance; but now he is commanding all people everywhere to turn to him from their sins. 31 For he has set a Day when he will judge the inhabited world, and do it justly, by means of a man whom he has designated. And he has given public proof of it by resurrecting this man from the dead.”

32 At the mention of a resurrection of dead people, some began to scoff; while others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 So Sha’ul left the meeting. 34 But some men stayed with him and came to trust, including the High Council member Dionysius; there was also a woman named Damaris; and others came to trust along with them.

18 After this, Sha’ul left Athens and went to Corinth, where he met a Jewish man named Aquila, originally from Pontus but having recently come with his wife Priscilla from Italy, because Claudius had issued a decree expelling all the Jews from Rome. Sha’ul went to see them; and because he had the same trade as they, making tents, he stayed on with them; and they worked together.

Sha’ul also began carrying on discussions every Shabbat in the synagogue, where he tried to convince both Jews and Greeks. But after Sila and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Sha’ul felt pressed by the urgency of the message and testified in depth to the Jews that Yeshua is the Messiah. However when they set themselves against him and began hurling insults, he shook out his clothes and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! For my part, I am clean; from now on, I will go to the Goyim!”

So he left them and went into the home of a “God-fearer” named Titius Justus, whose house was right next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the president of the synagogue, came to trust in the Lord, along with his whole household; also many of the Corinthians who heard trusted and were immersed.

One night, in a vision, the Lord said to Sha’ul, “Don’t be afraid, but speak right up, and don’t stop, 10 because I am with you. No one will succeed in harming you, for I have many people in this city.” 11 So Sha’ul stayed there for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

12 But when Gallio became the Roman governor of Achaia, the unbelieving Jews made a concerted attack on Sha’ul and took him to court, 13 saying, “This man is trying to persuade people to worship God in ways that violate the Torah.” 14 Sha’ul was just about to open his mouth, when Gallio said to the Jews, “Listen, you Jews, if this were a case of inflicted injury or a serious crime, I could reasonably be expected to hear you out patiently. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law, then you must deal with it yourselves. I flatly refuse to judge such matters.” 16 And he had them ejected from the court. 17 They all grabbed Sosthenes, the president of the synagogue, and gave him a beating in full view of the bench; but Gallio showed no concern whatever.

18 Sha’ul remained for some time, then said good-bye to the brothers and sailed off to Syria, after having his hair cut short in Cenchrea, because he had taken a vow; with him were Priscilla and Aquila.

19 They came to Ephesus, and he left them there; but he himself went into the synagogue and held dialogue with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay with them longer, he declined; 21 however, in his farewell he said, “God willing, I will come back to you.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.

22 After landing at Caesarea, he went up to Yerushalayim and greeted the Messianic community. Then he came down to Antioch, 23 spent some time there, and afterwards set out and passed systematically through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the talmidim.

24 Meanwhile, a Jewish man named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent speaker with a thorough knowledge of the Tanakh. 25 This man had been informed about the Way of the Lord, and with great spiritual fervor he spoke and taught accurately the facts about Yeshua, but he knew only the immersion of Yochanan. 26 He began to speak out boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the Way of God in fuller detail. 27 When he made plans to cross over into Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote the talmidim there to welcome him. On arrival, he greatly helped those who through grace had come to trust; 28 for he powerfully and conclusively refuted the unbelieving Jews in public, demonstrating by the Tanakh that Yeshua is the Messiah.

19 While Apollos was in Corinth, Sha’ul completed his travels through the inland country and arrived at Ephesus, where he found a few talmidim. He asked them, “Did you receive the Ruach HaKodesh when you came to trust?” “No,” they said to him, “we have never even heard that there is such a thing as the Ruach HaKodesh.” “In that case,” he said, “into what were you immersed?” “The immersion of Yochanan,” they answered. Sha’ul said, “Yochanan practiced an immersion in connection with turning from sin to God; but he told the people to put their trust in the one who would come after him, that is, in Yeshua.” On hearing this, they were immersed into the name of the Lord Yeshua; and when Sha’ul placed his hands on them, the Ruach HaKodesh came upon them; so that they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. In all, there were about twelve of these men.

Sha’ul went into the synagogue; and for three months he spoke out boldly, engaging in dialogue and trying to persuade people about the Kingdom of God. But some began hardening themselves and refusing to listen; and when these started defaming the Way before the whole synagogue, Sha’ul withdrew, took the talmidim with him, and commenced holding daily dialogues in Tyrannus’s yeshivah. 10 This went on for two years; so that everyone, both Jews and Greeks, living in the province of Asia heard the message about the Lord.

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Sha’ul. 12 For instance, handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were brought to sick people; they would recover from their ailments; and the evil spirits would leave them.

13 Then some of the Jewish exorcists who traveled from place to place tried to make use of the name of the Lord Yeshua in connection with people who had evil spirits. They would say, “I exorcise you by the Yeshua that Sha’ul is proclaiming!” 14 One time, seven sons of a Jewish cohen gadol named Skeva were doing this; 15 and the evil spirit answered them. It said, “Yeshua I know. And Sha’ul I recognize. But you? Who are you?” 16 Then the man with the evil spirit fell upon them, overpowered them and gave them such a beating that they ran from the house, naked and bleeding.

17 When all this became known to the residents of Ephesus, fear fell on all of them, Jews and Greeks alike; and the name of the Lord Yeshua came to be held in high regard. 18 Many of those who had earlier made professions of faith now came and admitted publicly their evil deeds; 19 and a considerable number of those who had engaged in occult practices threw their scrolls in a pile and burned them in public. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, it came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 Thus the message about the Lord continued in a powerful way to grow in influence.

21 Some time later, Sha’ul decided by the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and then go to Yerushalayim. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome.” 22 So he dispatched two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia; but he himself remained in the province of Asia for awhile.

23 It was at this time that a major furor arose concerning the Way. 24 There was a silversmith named Demetrius who manufactured from silver, objects connected with the worship of the goddess Artemis; and he provided no small amount of work for the craftsmen. 25 He called a meeting of them and of those engaged in similar trades, and said, “Men, you understand that this line of business provides us our living. 26 And you can see and hear for yourselves that not only here in Ephesus, but in practically the whole province of Asia, this Sha’ul has convinced and turned away a considerable crowd by saying that man-made gods aren’t gods at all. 27 Now the danger is not only that the reputation of our trade will suffer, but that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will come to be taken lightly. It could end up with the goddess herself, who is worshipped throughout the province of Asia and indeed throughout the whole world, being ignominiously brought down from her divine majesty!”

28 Hearing this, they were filled with rage and began bellowing, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. As one man, the mob rushed into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Sha’ul’s traveling companions from Macedonia. 30 Sha’ul himself wanted to appear before the crowd, but the talmidim wouldn’t let him. 31 Even some of the officials of the province, friends of his, sent a message begging him not to risk entering the theater. 32 Meanwhile, some were shouting one thing and others something else, because the assembly was in complete confusion, and the great majority didn’t even know why they were there. 33 Some of the crowd explained the situation to Alexander, whom the Jews had pushed to the front. So Alexander motioned for silence, hoping to make a defense speech to the people. 34 But as soon as they recognized that he was a Jew, they began bellowing in unison, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” and they kept it up for about two hours.

35 At last, the city clerk was able to quiet the crowd. “Men of Ephesus!” he said, “Is there anyone who doesn’t know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone which fell from the sky? 36 Since this is beyond dispute, you had better calm down and not do anything rash. 37 For you have brought these men here who have neither robbed the temple nor insulted your goddess. 38 So if Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open and the judges are there — let them bring charges and counter-charges. 39 But if there is something more you want, it will have to be settled in a lawful assembly. 40 For we are in danger of being accused of rioting on account of what has happened today. There is no justification for it; and if we are asked, we will be unable to give any reasonable explanation for this disorderly gathering.” 41 And with these words, he dismissed the assembly.

20 After the furor died down, Sha’ul sent for the talmidim and encouraged them, then took his leave and set out on his way to Macedonia. He went through that area, and, after saying much to encourage them, passed on to Greece, where he spent three months. As he was preparing to set sail for Syria, he discovered a plot against him by the unbelieving Jews; so he changed his mind and decided to return by way of Macedonia. Sopater from Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; as did Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. These men went on and waited for us in Troas, while we sailed from Philippi after the Days of Matzah. Five days later, we met them in Troas, where we spent a week.

On Motza’ei-Shabbat, when we were gathered to break bread, Sha’ul addressed them. Since he was going to leave the next day, he kept talking until midnight. Now there were many oil lamps burning in the upstairs room where we were meeting, and there was a young fellow named Eutychus sitting on the window-sill. As Sha’ul’s drash went on and on, Eutychus grew sleepier and sleepier; until finally he went sound asleep and fell from the third story to the ground. When they picked him up, he was dead. 10 But Sha’ul went down, threw himself onto him, put his arms around him and said, “Don’t be upset, he’s alive!” 11 Then he went back upstairs, broke the bread and ate. He continued talking with them till daylight, then left. 12 So, greatly relieved, they brought the boy home alive.

13 We went on ahead to the ship and set sail for Assos, where we were planning to take Sha’ul aboard — he had arranged this because he wanted to go there by land. 14 After he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. 15 The next day, we sailed from there and arrived off Chios; the following day, we crossed over to Samos; and the day after that, we reached Miletus. 16 For Sha’ul had decided to bypass Ephesus on his voyage, in order to avoid losing time in the province of Asia, because he was hurrying to get to Yerushalayim, if possible in time to celebrate Shavu‘ot.

17 But he did send from Miletus to Ephesus, summoning the elders of the Messianic community. 18 When they arrived, he said to them, “You yourselves know how, from the first day I set foot in the province of Asia, I was with you the whole time, 19 serving the Lord with much humility and with tears, in spite of the tests I had to undergo because of the plots of the unbelieving Jews. 20 You know that I held back nothing that could be helpful to you, and that I taught you both in public and from house to house, 21 declaring with utmost seriousness the same message to Jews and Greeks alike: turn from sin to God; and put your trust in our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.

22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Yerushalayim. I don’t know what will happen to me there, 23 other than that in every city the Ruach HaKodesh keeps warning me that imprisonment and persecution await me. 24 But I consider my own life of no importance to me whatsoever, as long as I can finish the course ahead of me, the task I received from the Lord Yeshua — to declare in depth the Good News of God’s love and kindness.

25 “Now, listen! I know that none of you people among whom I have gone about proclaiming the Kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I testify on this day that I am innocent of the blood of all. 27 For I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the whole plan of God.

28 “Watch out for yourselves, and for all the flock in which the Ruach HaKodesh has placed you as leaders, to shepherd God’s Messianic community, which he won for himself at the cost of his own Son’s blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you; and they won’t spare the flock. 30 Even from among your own number, men will arise and teach perversions of the truth, in order to drag away the talmidim after themselves. 31 So stay alert! Remember that for three years, night and day, with tears in my eyes, I never stopped warning you!

32 “And now I entrust you to the care of the Lord and to the message of his love and kindness, for it can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who have been set apart for God.

33 “I have not wanted for myself anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have provided not only for my own needs, but for the needs of my co-workers as well. 35 In everything I have given you an example of how, by working hard like this, you must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Yeshua himself, ‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.’”

36 When he had finished speaking, Sha’ul kneeled down with them all and prayed. 37 They were all in tears as they threw their arms around his neck and kissed him farewell. 38 What saddened them the most was his remark that they would never see him again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.

21 After we had torn ourselves away from the Ephesian elders, we set sail and made a straight run to Cos. The next day we went to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. On finding a ship that was crossing over to Phoenicia, we embarked and set sail. After sighting Cyprus, we passed it on the left, sailed to Syria and landed at Tzor, because that was where the ship was unloading its cargo. Having searched out the talmidim there, we remained for a week. Guided by the Spirit, they told Sha’ul not to go up to Yerushalayim; but when the week was over, we left to continue our journey. All of them, with their wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the town. Kneeling on the beach and praying, we said good-bye to each other. Then we boarded the ship, and they returned home.

When the voyage from Tzor was over, we arrived at Ptolemais. There we greeted the brothers and stayed with them overnight. The following day, we left and came to Caesarea, where we went to the home of Philip the proclaimer of the Good News, one of the Seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters with the gift of prophecy.

10 While we were staying there, a prophet named Agav came down from Y’hudah 11 to visit us. He took Sha’ul’s belt, tied up his own hands and feet and said, “Here is what the Ruach HaKodesh says: the man who owns this belt — the Judeans in Yerushalayim will tie him up just like this and hand him over to the Goyim.” 12 When we heard this, both we and the people there begged him not to go up to Yerushalayim; 13 but Sha’ul answered, “What are you doing, crying and trying to weaken my resolve? I am prepared not only to be tied up, but even to die in Yerushalayim for the name of the Lord Yeshua.” 14 And when he would not be convinced, we said, “May the Lord’s will be done,” and kept quiet.

15 So at the end of our stay, we packed and went up to Yerushalayim; 16 and with us went some of the talmidim from Caesarea. They brought us to the home of the man with whom we were to stay, Mnason from Cyprus, who had been a talmid since the early days.

17 In Yerushalayim, the brothers received us warmly. 18 The next day Sha’ul and the rest of us went in to Ya‘akov, and all the elders were present. 19 After greeting them, Sha’ul described in detail each of the things God had done among the Gentiles through his efforts.

20 On hearing it, they praised God; but they also said to him, “You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Judeans, and they are all zealots for the Torah. 21 Now what they have been told about you is that you are teaching all the Jews living among the Goyim to apostatize from Moshe, telling them not to have a b’rit-milah for their sons and not to follow the traditions.

22 “What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 So do what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow. 24 Take them with you, be purified with them, and pay the expenses connected with having their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is nothing to these rumors which they have heard about you; but that, on the contrary, you yourself stay in line and keep the Torah.

25 “However, in regard to the Goyim who have come to trust in Yeshua, we all joined in writing them a letter with our decision that they should abstain from what had been sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled and from fornication.”

26 The next day Sha’ul took the men, purified himself along with them and entered the Temple to give notice of when the period of purification would be finished and the offering would have to be made for each of them. 27 The seven days were almost up when some unbelieving Jews from the province of Asia saw him in the Temple, stirred up all the crowd and grabbed him. 28 “Men of Isra’el, help!” they shouted. “This is the man who goes everywhere teaching everyone things against the people, against the Torah and against this place! And now he has even brought some Goyim into the Temple and defiled this holy place!” 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus from Ephesus in the city with him and assumed that Sha’ul had brought him into the Temple.)

30 The whole city was aroused, and people came running from all over. They seized Sha’ul and dragged him out of the Temple, and at once the gates were shut. 31 But while they were attempting to kill him, word reached the commander of the Roman battalion that all Yerushalayim was in turmoil. 32 Immediately he took officers and soldiers and charged down upon them. As soon as they saw the commander, they quit beating Sha’ul.

33 Then the commander came up, arrested him and ordered him to be tied up with two chains. He asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Everyone in the crowd shouted something different; so, since he couldn’t find out what had happened because of the uproar, he ordered him brought to the barracks. 35 When Sha’ul got to the steps, he actually had to be carried by the soldiers, because the mob was so wild — 36 the crowd kept following and screaming, “Kill him!”

37 As Sha’ul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commander, “Is it all right if I say something to you?” The commander said, “You know Greek! 38 Say, aren’t you that Egyptian who tried to start a revolution a while back, and led four thousand armed terrorists out into the desert?” 39 Sha’ul said, “I am a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city; and I ask your permission to let me speak to the people.”

40 Having received permission, Sha’ul stood on the steps and motioned with his hand to the people. When they finally became still, he addressed them in Hebrew:

Bible Gateway Recommends

The Complete Jewish Study Bible
The Complete Jewish Study Bible
Retail: $49.95
Our Price: $29.99
Save: $19.96 (40%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars

Bible Gateway Sponsors