On to Jerusalem
21 1 When we had finally taken leave of them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2 There we found a ship that made for Phoenicia; we went aboard and set sail. 3 We caught sight of Cyprus but passed it by on our left, as we continued on towards Syria. We landed at Tyre, where the ship had to unload cargo. 4 There we found the disciples and stayed a week. Warned by the Spirit, they told Paul not to go to Jerusalem.
• 5 But when it was time, we departed and continued on our journey. All of them, wives and children included, came out of the city with us, and on the beach we knelt down and prayed. 6 After that we said good-bye to one another; we boarded the ship and they returned home.
7 We continued our journey, sailing from Tyre to Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and spent a day with them. 8 On the following day we left and came to Caesarea. There we entered the house of Philip the evangelist and we stayed with him. He was one of the Seven 9 and had four unmarried daughters who were gifted with prophecy.
10 We were there some days when a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands with it, saying, 11 “Thus speaks the Holy Spirit: This is how the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and hand him over to the foreign power.”
12 When we heard this, we, together with these people of Caesarea, begged Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then he answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be persuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”
15 After this we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16 With us were some of the disciples of Caesarea who brought us to the house of a Cypriot where we were to stay. He was called Mnason and was one of the early disciples.
Paul is received by the Church of Jerusalem
• 17 When we arrived in Jerusalem the brothers welcomed us warmly. 18 The next day Paul went with us to James’ house where all the elders had gathered. 19 After greeting them, Paul began telling them in detail everything God had done among the non-Jews through his ministry.
20 After hearing this, they all praised God, but they said, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews of Judea have come to believe, and all of them are zealous for the Law. 21 Yet they have heard that you teach the Jews who live in pagan nations to depart from Moses, telling them not to have their sons circumcised and to renounce Jewish customs. 22 We shall gather the assembly for, in any case, they will hear that you have arrived. 23 Then do as we tell you.
There are four men among us who have made a vow. 24 Take them and purify yourself along with them and pay the sacrifice for them to shave their heads. In that way everyone will know that there is nothing true in what they have been told about you, but that you go on keeping the Law.
25 As for the non-Jews who have become believers, we sent them a letter to tell them that they are only obliged not to eat meat offered to idols, or blood, or flesh of strangled animals; and also to avoid prohibited sexual union.”
26 So the next day Paul took the men; he purified himself with them and entered the Temple to give notice of what day the sacrifice would be offered for each of them to end his time of purification.
Paul is arrested in the Temple
• 27 When the seven days were almost over, some Jews from Asia, who saw Paul in the Temple, began to stir up the whole crowd. They seized him 28 shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help! This is the man who is spreading his teaching everywhere against our people, our law and this Sanctuary. And now he has even brought non-Jews into the Temple area, defiling this Holy Place.” 29 They said this because earlier they had seen Trophimus, an Ephesian, with Paul in the city and they thought that Paul had taken him into the Temple.
30 Then turmoil spread through the whole city. People came running from all sides. They seized Paul and dragged him outside the Temple. At once the gates were shut.
31 They would have killed him, had not a report reached the commander of the Roman troops that all of Jerusalem was rioting. 32 At once the commander took some officers and soldiers and rushed down to the crowd.
On seeing him with the soldiers, the crowd stopped beating Paul. 33 The commander went over to Paul, arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains; then he inquired who he was and what he had done. 34 But some in the crowd shouted one thing and others another. As the commander was unable to find out the facts because of the uproar, he ordered Paul to be brought to the fortress. 35 When Paul reached the steps, he actually had to be carried up by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob, 36 for a multitude of people followed shouting, “Kill him!”
37 Just as he was about to be taken inside, Paul said to the commander, “May I say something to you?” He replied, “So you speak Greek! 38 Are you not the Egyptian, then, who caused a riot some time ago and let a band of four thousand terrorists out into the desert?” Paul answered, 39 “I am a Jew, a citizen of Tarsus, a well-known city in Cilicia. I beg you, let me address these people.”
The commander agreed. 40 So Paul standing on the steps, motioned to the people with his hand and, when they were silent, he began to speak to them in Hebrew.