21
Going to Jerusalem Despite Warnings
1After tearing ourselves away from them and setting sail, we set a straight course to Cos, the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.
2Finding a ship crossing to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail.
3When we came in sight of Cyprus, passing it by on the left, we kept sailing to Syria and landed at Tyre—for there the ship was to unload the cargo.
4We looked up the disciples and stayed there seven days. They kept telling Paul through the Ruach not to set foot in Jerusalem.
5When our days there were over, we departed and went on our journey. They all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. After kneeling down on the shore and praying,
6we said farewell to one another. Then we boarded the ship, and they returned home.
7When we had finished the trip from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais. We greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed with them for one day.
8On the next day, we departed and came to Caesarea. We entered the home of Philip, the proclaimer of Good News, who was one of the seven, and we stayed with him.
9Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.
10While we stayed there for a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
11He came to us, took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet, and said, “The Ruach ha-Kodesh says this: ‘In this way shall the Jewish people in Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”
12When we heard these things, both we and the local people urged Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.
13Then Paul responded, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but to die for the name of the Lord Yeshua!”
14Since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, saying only, “May the Lord’s will be done.”
15After these days, we packed and started going up to Jerusalem.
16Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us, bringing us to Mnason of Cyprus—one of the early disciples by whom we might be hosted.
Advice from Jacob and the Elders
17When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters welcomed us gladly.
18On the next day, Paul went in with us to Jacob; all the elders were present.
19After greeting them, he reported to them in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his service.
20And when they heard, they began glorifying God. They said, “You see, brother, how many myriads there are among the Jewish people who have believed—and they are all zealous for the Torah.
21They have been told about you—that you teach all the Jewish people among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or to walk according to the customs.
22What’s to be done then? No doubt they will hear that you have come.
23“So do what we tell you. We have four men who have a vow on themselves.
24Take them, and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. That way, all will realize there is nothing to the things they have been told about you, but that you yourself walk in an orderly manner, keeping the Torah.
25“As for Gentiles who have believed, however, we have written by letter what we decided—for them to abstain from what is offered to idols, and from blood, and from what is strangled, and from immorality.”
26The next day Paul took the men, purifying himself along with them. He went into the Temple, announcing when the days of purification would be completed and the sacrifice would be offered for each one of them.
Trouble at the Temple
27When the seven days were about to be completed, the Jewish leaders from Asia saw Paul in the Temple and began stirring up the whole crowd. They grabbed him,
28shouting, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching all men everywhere against our people and the Torah and this place. Besides, he has even brought Greeks into the Temple and defiled this holy place!”
29For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they assumed that Paul had brought him into the Temple.
30The whole city was stirred up, and the people rushed together. They grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the Temple, and the gates were shut at once.
31As they were trying to kill him, news came to the commander of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in chaos.
32Immediately he took soldiers and centurions and rushed down to them. Upon seeing the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33Then the commander came up, arrested Paul, ordered him to be bound with two chains, and began investigating what he had done.
34Some in the crowd shouted one thing, and some another. As he could not determine the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into headquarters.
35When he came to the steps, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd.
36For the multitude of people that followed kept shouting, “Away with him!”
37As Paul was about to be brought into the headquarters, he said to the commander, “Can I say something to you?” The commander said, “You know Greek?
38Then you’re not the Egyptian who stirred up a rebellion some time ago—and led four thousand men of the Assassins out into the desert?”
39Paul said, “I am a Jewish man from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, let me speak to the people.”
40When the commander had given him permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the people with his hand. When there was a great hush, he spoke to them in Aramaic, saying:
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Messianic Jewish Family Bible Project