Acts 21:26

Took the men (paralabwn tou andra). The very phrase used in verse Acts 24 to Paul. The next day (th ecomenh). One of the phrases in Acts 20:15 for the coming day. Locative case of time. Purifying himself with them (sun autoi agnisqei, first aorist passive participle of agnizw). The precise language again of the recommendation in verse Acts 24 . Paul was conforming to the letter. Went into the temple (eishei ei to ieron). Imperfect active of eiseimi as in verse Acts 18 which see. Went on into the temple, descriptive imperfect. Paul joined the four men in their vow of separation. Declaring (diaggellwn). To the priests what day he would report the fulfilment of the vow. The priests would desire notice of the sacrifice. This verb only used by Luke in N.T. except Romans 11:17 (quotation from the LXX). It is not necessary to assume that the vows of each of the five expired on the same day (Rackham). Until the offering was offered for every one of them (ew ou proshnecqh uper eno ekastou autwn h prospora). This use of ew ou (like ew, alone) with the first aorist passive indicative proshnecqh of prosperw, to offer, contemplates the final result (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 974) and is probably the statement of Luke added to Paul's announcement. He probably went into the temple one day for each of the brethren and one for himself. The question arises whether Paul acted wisely or unwisely in agreeing to the suggestion of James. What he did was in perfect harmony with his principle of accommodation in 1 Corinthians 9:20 when no principle was involved. It is charged that here on this occasion Paul was unduly influenced by considerations of expediency and was willing for the Jewish Christians to believe him more of a Jew than was true in order to placate the situation in Jerusalem. Furneaux calls it a compromise and a failure. I do not so see it. To say that is to obscure the whole complex situation. What Paul did was not for the purpose of conciliating his opponents, the Judaizers, who had diligently spread falsehoods about him in Jerusalem as in Corinth. It was solely to break the power of these "false apostles" over the thousands in Jerusalem who have been deluded by Paul's accusers. So far as the evidence goes that thing was accomplished. In the trouble that comes in Jerusalem and Caesarea the Judaizers cut no figure at all. The Jewish Christians do not appear in Paul's behalf, but there was no opportunity for them to do so. The explosion that came on the last day of Paul's appearance in the temple was wholly disconnected from his offerings for the four brethren and himself. It must be remembered that Paul had many kinds of enemies. The attack on him by these Jews from Asia had no connexion whatever with the slanders of the Judaizers about Paul's alleged teachings that Jewish Christians in the dispersion should depart from the Mosaic law. That slander was put to rest forever by his following the advice of James and justifies the wisdom of that advice and Paul's conduct about it.