Acts 21 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)
21 After we[a] tore ourselves away from them and set sail, we headed straight to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2 When we found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went on board and set sail. 3 After sighting Cyprus and passing by on its south side, we sailed to Syria and put in to port at Tyre, because there the ship was to unload its cargo.
4 We located the disciples and stayed there seven days. Through the Spirit, they kept telling Paul not to go to Jerusalem. 5 When our time there came to an end, we left and went on our way. All of them, with their wives and children, accompanied us out of the city. We knelt down on the beach and prayed. 6 After saying good-bye to each other, we went on board the ship, and they returned home.
7 When we completed our voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais. There we greeted the brothers[b] and stayed with them for one day. 8 The next day, we left and came to Caesarea. We entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven, and stayed with him. 9 He had four virgin daughters, who prophesied. 10 After we had stayed there for a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 When he came to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own feet and hands with it, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘This is the way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and will deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”
12 When we heard this, both we and the local residents urged Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 Since he could not be persuaded, we said nothing more except, “May the Lord’s will be done.”
15 After those days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us and brought us to Mnason, with whom we were to stay. He was from Cyprus and was one of the first disciples.
17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers gave us a warm welcome. 18 The next day, Paul went with us to see James, and all the elders were present. 19 After greeting them, he reported in detail each of the things God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 When they heard this, they praised God.[c]
Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews who have believed, and all of them are zealous observers of the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, since you are telling them not to circumcise their children or follow our customs. 22 So what is to be done?[d] They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 So do what we are going to tell you.
“We have four men who have taken a vow. 24 Take them with you, go through the ceremony of purification with them, and pay their expenses so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is nothing to the reports that have been made about you, but that you yourself are carefully following the law. 25 As for the Gentiles who believe, we have sent them a letter about the resolution[e] that they should avoid food sacrificed to idols, blood, the meat of strangled animals, and sexual immorality.”
26 The next day, Paul took the men and went through the ceremony of purification with them. He entered the temple to announce the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.
Paul Is Arrested
27 When the seven days were almost over, Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul in the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 shouting, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law, and against this place. And now he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.)
30 The whole city was stirred up, and the people rushed together as a mob. They seized Paul, dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31 While they were looking for a way to kill him, a report went up to the commander of the cohort[f] that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He immediately took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. When they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33 Then the commander approached Paul, arrested him, and gave an order that he should be bound with two chains. He asked who Paul was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd were shouting one thing and some another. Since the commander could not find out the truth because of the uproar, he ordered his men to take Paul away to the barracks. 35 When he came to the steps, Paul had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob. 36 The large number of people that was following kept shouting, “Away with him!”
Paul Makes His Defense
37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?”
He replied, “Do you know Greek? 38 Are you not the Egyptian who started a revolt some time ago and led four thousand men of the Assassins[g] into the wilderness?”
39 Paul said, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.”
40 When the commander had given him permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned with his hand to the people. When they were all silent, Paul addressed them in the Hebrew dialect.[h]