Acts 21 (GOD'S WORD Translation)

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1 When we finally left them, we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we sailed to the island of Rhodes and from there to the city of Patara. 2 In Patara, we found a ship that was going to Phoenicia, so we went aboard and sailed away. 3 We could see the island of Cyprus as we passed it on our left and sailed to Syria. We landed at the city of Tyre, where the ship was to unload its cargo. 4 In Tyre we searched for the disciples. After we found them, we stayed there for seven days. The Spirit had the disciples tell Paul not to go to Jerusalem. 5 When our time was up, we started on our way. All of them with their wives and children accompanied us out of the city. We knelt on the beach, prayed, 6 and said goodbye to each other. Then we went aboard the ship, and the disciples went back home. 7 Our sea travel ended when we sailed from Tyre to the city of Ptolemais. We greeted the believers in Ptolemais and spent the day with them. 8 The next day we went to Philip's home in Caesarea and stayed with him. He was a missionary and one of the seven men who helped the apostles. 9 Philip had four unmarried daughters who had the ability to speak what God had revealed. 10 After we had been there for a number of days, a prophet named Agabus arrived from Judea. 11 During his visit he took Paul's belt and tied his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, "The Holy Spirit says, 'This is how the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man who owns this belt. Then they will hand him over to people who are not Jewish.'" 12 When we heard this, we and the believers who lived there begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul replied, "Why are you crying like this and breaking my heart? I'm ready not only to be tied up in Jerusalem but also to die there for the sake of the Lord, the one named Jesus." 14 When Paul could not be persuaded, we dropped the issue and said, "May the Lord's will be done." 15 After that, we got ready to go to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us. They took us to Mnason's home, where we would be staying. Mnason was from the island of Cyprus and was one of the first disciples. 17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the believers welcomed us warmly. 18 The next day Paul went with us to visit James. All the spiritual leaders were present. 19 After greeting them, Paul related everything God had done through his work with non-Jewish people. 20 When the spiritual leaders heard about everything, they praised God. They said to Paul, "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews are now believers, and all of them are deeply committed to Moses' Teachings. 21 But they have been told that you teach all the Jews living among non-Jewish people to abandon Moses. They claim that you tell them not to circumcise their children or follow Jewish customs. 22 What should we do about this? They will certainly hear that you're in town. 23 So follow our advice. We have four men who have made a vow to God. 24 Take these men, go through the purification ceremony with them, and pay the expenses to shave their heads. Then everyone will know that what they've been told about you isn't true. Instead, they'll see that you carefully follow Moses' Teachings. 25 "[To clarify this matter,] we have written non-Jewish believers a letter with our decision. We told them that they should not eat food sacrificed to false gods, bloody meat, or the meat of strangled animals. They also should not commit sexual sins." 26 The next day, Paul took the men and went through the purification ceremony with them. Then he went into the temple courtyard to announce the time when the purification would be over and the sacrifice would be offered for each of them. 27 When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul in the temple courtyard. They stirred up the whole crowd and grabbed Paul. 28 Then they began shouting, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere to turn against the Jewish people, Moses' Teachings, and this temple. He has even brought Greeks into the temple courtyard and has made this holy place unclean." 29 They had seen Trophimus from Ephesus with him in the city earlier and thought Paul had taken him into the temple courtyard. 30 The whole city was in chaos, and a mob formed. The mob grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the temple courtyard. The courtyard doors were immediately shut. 31 As the people were trying to kill Paul, the officer in charge of the Roman soldiers received a report that all Jerusalem was rioting. 32 Immediately, he took some soldiers and officers and charged the crowd. When the crowd saw the officer and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the officer went to Paul, grabbed him, and ordered him to be tied up with two chains. The officer asked who Paul was and what he had done. 34 Some of the crowd shouted one thing, while others shouted something else. The officer couldn't get any facts because of the noise and confusion, so he ordered Paul to be taken into the barracks. 35 When Paul came to the stairs of the barracks, the crowd was so violent that the soldiers had to carry him. 36 The mob was behind them shouting, "Kill him!" 37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the officer, "May I say something to you?" The officer replied to Paul, "Can you speak Greek? 38 Aren't you the Egyptian who started a revolution not long ago and led four thousand terrorists into the desert?" 39 Paul answered, "I'm a Jew, a citizen from the well-known city of Tarsus in Cilicia. I'm asking you to let me talk to the people." 40 The officer gave Paul permission to speak. So Paul stood on the stairs of the barracks and motioned with his hand for the people to be quiet. When the mob was silent, Paul spoke to them in the Hebrew language.
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