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Chapter 21

1When the parting was over and we had sailed, we made a straight run to Cos and the next day to Rhodes and from there to Patara. 2There we found a ship bound for Phoenicia, and we went on board and sailed on it. 3After sighting Cyprus and leaving it on our left, we sailed for Syria, and put in at Tyre, for the ship was to unload her cargo there. 4So we looked up the disciples there and stayed a week with them. Instructed by the Spirit, they warned Paul not to set foot in Jerusalem. 5But when our time was up, we left there and went on, and all of them with their wives and children escorted us out of the town. There we knelt down on the beach and prayed; 6then we bade one another goodbye, and we went on board the ship, and they went home.

7After making the run from Tyre, we landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and spent a day with them. 8The next day we left there and went on to Caesarea, where we went to the house of Philip the missionary, who was one of the Seven, and stayed with him. 9He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy. 10We spent a number of days there, and in the course of them a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11He came to see us and took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands with it, and said,

“This is what the holy Spirit says: ‘The Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt like this, and will hand him over to the heathen!’ ”

12When we heard this, we and the people there all begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13Then Paul answered,

“What do you mean by crying and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound at Jerusalem but to die there for the sake of the Lord Jesus.”

14So as he would not yield, we gave up urging him, and said,

“The Lord’s will be done!”

15After this we made our preparations and started for Jerusalem. 16Some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us and took us to the house of Mnason, a man from Cyprus, one of the early disciples, to spend the night. 17When we reached Jerusalem, the brothers there gave us a hearty welcome. 18On the next day we went with Paul to see James, and all the elders came in. 19Paul greeted them warmly and gave a detailed account of what God had done among the heathen through his efforts. 20They praised God when they heard it, and they said to him,

“You see, brother, how many thousand believers there are among the Jews, all of them zealous upholders of the Law. 21They have been told that you teach all Jews who live among the heathen to turn away from Moses, and that you tell them not to circumcise their children nor to observe the old customs. 22What then? They will be sure to hear that you have come. 23So do what we tell you. We have four men here who are under a vow. 24Join them, undergo the rites of purification with them, and pay their expenses so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will understand that there is no truth in the stories about you, but that you yourself observe the Law. 25As for the heathen who have become believers, we have written them our decision that they must avoid anything that has been contaminated by idols, the tasting of blood, the meat of strangled animals, and immorality.”

26Then Paul joined the men and went through the rites of purification with them and the next day went to the Temple to give notice of the time when, upon the offering of the sacrifice for each one of them, their days of purification would be over.

27The seven days were almost over when the Jews from Asia caught sight of him in the Temple, and stirred up all the crowd and seized him, 28shouting,

“Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everybody everywhere against our people and the Law and this place, and besides he has actually brought Greeks into the Temple and desecrated this sacred place.”

29For they had previously seen Trophimus of Ephesus with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the Temple. 30The whole city was thrown into confusion, and the people hurried together, and seized Paul and dragged him outside of the Temple, the gates of which were immediately shut. 31They were trying to kill him when the news reached the colonel of the regiment that all Jerusalem was in a tumult. 32He immediately got some officers and men and hurried down among them, and when they saw the colonel and the soldiers they stopped beating Paul. 33Then the colonel came up and seized him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains, and then inquired who he was and what he had been doing. 34Some of the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and as he could not find out the facts on account of the confusion, he ordered him to be taken into the barracks. 35When Paul got to the steps, he was actually carried by the soldiers, on account of the violence of the mob, 36for the mass of people followed them shouting,

“Kill him!”

37Just as they were going to take him into the barracks, Paul said to the colonel,

“May I say something to you?”

“Do you know Greek?” the colonel asked. 38“Are you not the Egyptian who some time ago raised the four thousand cut-throats and led them out into the desert?”

39“I am a Jew,” Paul answered, “from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you to let me speak to the people.”

40He gave him permission, and Paul standing on the steps made a gesture to the people, and when they had become quiet he spoke to them in Hebrew.

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