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Acts 21 (Lexham English Bible)

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Paul Travels on to Jerusalem

1 And it happened that after we tore ourselves awaya from them, we put out to sea, [and]b running a straight course we came to Cos and on the next [day] to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2 And finding a ship that was crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard [and]c put out to sea. 3 And [after we]d sighted Cyprus and left it behind {on the port side},e we sailed to Syria and arrived at Tyre, because the ship was to unload [its]f cargo there. 4 And we stayed there seven days [after we]g found the disciples, who kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem. 5 And it happened that when our days were over, we departed [and]h went on our way, [while]i all [of them] accompanied us, together with [their]j wives and children, as far as outside the city. And [after]k falling to our knees on the beach [and]l praying, 6 we said farewell to one another and embarked in the ship, and they returned to their own [homes]. 7 And [when]m we had completed the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais. And [after we]n greeted the brothers, we stayed one day with them. 8 And on the next day we departed [and]o came to Caesarea, and entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was [one] of the seven, [and]p stayed with him. 9 ({Now this man had}q four virgin daughters who prophesied.) 10 And [while we]r were staying [there]s many days, a certain prophet {named}t Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And he came to us and took Paul's belt. Tying up his own feet and hands, he said, "This is what the Holy Spirit says: 'In this way the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man whose belt this is, and will deliver [him]u into the hands of the Gentiles.'" 12 And when we heard these [things], both we and the local residents urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul replied, "What are you doing weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be tied up, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus!" 14 And [because]v he would not be persuaded, we remained silent, saying, "The will of the Lord be done." 15 So after these days we got ready [and]w went up to Jerusalem. 16 And [some] of the disciples from Caesarea also traveled together with us, bringing [us]x to a certain Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple of long standing,y with whom we were to be entertained as guests.

Paul Visits the Leaders of the Jerusalem Church

17 And [when]z we came to Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly. 18 And on the next [day] Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19 And [after]aa greeting them, he began to relatebb {one after the other}cc [the things] which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And [when]dd they heard [this],ee they began to glorifyff God. And they said to him, "You see, brother, how many ten thousands there are among the Jews who have believed, and they are all zealous adherents of the law. 21 And they have been informed about you that you are teaching all the Jews [who are] among the Gentiles [the] abandonment of Moses, telling them not to circumcise [their]gg children or to live according to [our]hh customs. 22 What then {is to be done}?ii Doubtless they will all hear that you have come! 23 Therefore do this that we tell you: {we have}jj four men who have [taken] a vow upon themselves.kk 24 Take these [men] [and]ll purify yourself along with them and {pay their expenses}mm so that they can shave [their]nn heads, and everyone will know that [the things] which they had been informed about you are nothing, but you yourself also agree with observing the law. 25 But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter [after]oo deciding they should avoid food sacrificed to idols and blood and [what has been] strangled and sexual immorality." 26 Then Paul took along the men on the next day, [and]pp [after he]qq had purified himself together with them, he entered into the temple [courts],rr announcing the completion of the days of purification until {the time}ss the offering would be presented on behalf of each one of them.

Paul Arrested in the Temple Courts

27 But when the seven days were about to be completed, the Jews from Asiatt who had seen him in the temple [courts]uu stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 shouting, "Israelite men, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place! And furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple, and has defiled this holy place!" 29 (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, whom they thought that Paul had brought into the temple.) 30 And the whole city was stirred up, and the people came running together, and they seized Paul [and]vv dragged him outside of the temple [courts],ww and immediately the doors were shut. 31 And [as they]xx were seeking to kill him, a report came up to the military tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 32 {He}yy immediately took along soldiers and centurions [and]zz ran down to them. And [when]52 they saw the military tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the military tribune came up [and]53 arrested him and ordered [him]54 to be bound with two chains, and inquired who he was and what it was that he had done. 34 But some in the crowd were shouting one thing [and] others [another], and [because]55 he was not able to find out the truth on account of the commotion, he gave orders to bring him into the barracks.56 35 And when he came to the steps, it happened that he had to be carried by the soldiers on account of the violence of the crowd, 36 for the crowd of people was following [them],57 shouting, "Away with him!"

Paul Permitted to Address the Crowd

37 And [as he]58 was about to be brought into the barracks,59 Paul said to the military tribune, "Is it permitted for me to say something to you?" And he said, "Do you know Greek? 38 Then you are not the Egyptian who before these days raised a revolt and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?"60 39 But Paul said, "I am a Jewish man from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no unimportant city. Now I ask you, allow me to speak to the people." 40 So [when]61 he permitted [him],62 Paul, standing there on the steps, motioned with [his]63 hand to the people. And [when there]64 was a great silence, he addressed [them]65 in the Aramaic language, saying,
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