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Acts 20; Acts 21; Acts 22

1 After the uproar was over, Paul sent for the disciples, encouraged them, and after saying good-bye, departed to go to Macedonia. 2 And when he had passed through those areas and exhorted them at length, he came to Greece 3 and stayed three months. When he was about to set sail for Syria, a plot was devised against him by the Jews, so a decision was made to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater, son of Pyrrhus, from Beroea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia. 5 These men went on ahead and waited for us in Troas, 6 but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread. In five days we reached them at Troas, where we spent seven days. 7 On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread. Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he extended his message until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were assembled, 9 and a young man named Eutychus was sitting on a window sill and sank into a deep sleep as Paul kept on speaking. When he was overcome by sleep he fell down from the third story, and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down, threw himself on him, embraced him, and said, "Don't be alarmed, for his life is in him!" 11 After going upstairs, breaking the bread, and eating, he conversed a considerable time until dawn. Then he left. 12 They brought the boy home alive and were greatly comforted. 13 Then we went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, from there intending to take Paul on board. For these were his instructions, since he himself was going by land. 14 When he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. 15 Sailing from there, the next day we arrived off Chios. The following day we crossed over to Samos, and the day after, we came to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so he would not have to spend time in the province of Asia, because he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible, for the day of Pentecost. 17 Now from Miletus, he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time- 19 serving the Lord with all humility, with tears, and with the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews- 20 and that I did not shrink back from proclaiming to you anything that was profitable, or from teaching it to you in public and from house to house. 21 I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus. 22 "And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there, 23 except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me. 24 But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God's grace. 25 "And now I know that none of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will ever see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of everyone's blood, 27 for I did not shrink back from declaring to you the whole plan of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 And men from among yourselves will rise up with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears. 32 "And now I commit you to God and to the message of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands have provided for my needs, and for those who were with me. 35 In every way I've shown you that by laboring like this, it is necessary to help the weak and to keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, for He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' " 36 After he said this, he knelt down and prayed with all of them. 37 There was a great deal of weeping by everyone. And embracing Paul, they kissed him, 38 grieving most of all over his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.
1 After we tore ourselves away from them and set sail, we came by a direct route to Cos, the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2 Finding a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we boarded and set sail. 3 After we sighted Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we sailed on to Syria and arrived at Tyre, because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 4 So we found some disciples and stayed there seven days. They said to Paul through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem. 5 When our days there were over, we left to continue our journey, while all of them, with their wives and children, escorted us out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach to pray, 6 we said good-bye to one another. Then we boarded the ship, and they returned home. 7 When we completed our voyage from Tyre, we reached Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and stayed with them one day. 8 The next day we left and came to Caesarea, where we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven, and stayed with him. 9 This man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. 10 While we were staying there many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 He came to us, took Paul's belt, tied his own feet and hands, and said, "This is what the Holy Spirit says: 'In this way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into Gentile hands.' " 12 When we heard this, both we and the local people begged 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 bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." 14 Since he would not be persuaded, we stopped talking and simply said, "The Lord's will be done!" 15 After these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us and brought us to Mnason, a Cypriot and an early disciple, with whom we were to stay. 17 When we reached Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly. 18 The following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19 After greeting them, he related one by one what God did among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 When they heard it, they glorified God and said, "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law. 21 But they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, by telling them not to circumcise their children or to walk in our customs. 22 So what is to be done? They will certainly hear that you've come. 23 Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have obligated themselves with a vow. 24 Take these men, purify yourself along with them, and pay for them to get their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that what they were told about you amounts to nothing, but that you yourself are also careful about observing the law. 25 With regard to the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter containing our decision that they should keep themselves from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality." 26 Then the next day, Paul took the men, having purified himself along with them, and entered the temple, announcing the completion of the purification days when the offering for each of them would be made. 27 As the seven days were about to end, the Jews from the province of Asia saw him in the temple complex, stirred up the whole crowd, and seized him, 28 shouting, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this place. What's more, he also brought Greeks into the temple and has profaned this holy place." 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple complex. 30 The whole city was stirred up, and the people rushed together. They seized Paul, dragged him out of the temple complex, and at once the gates were shut. 31 As they were trying to kill him, word went up to the commander of the regiment that all Jerusalem was in chaos. 32 Taking along soldiers and centurions, he immediately ran down to them. Seeing the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the commander came up, took him into custody, and ordered him to be bound with two chains. He asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the mob were shouting one thing and some another. Since he was not able to get reliable information because of the uproar, he ordered him to be taken into the barracks. 35 When Paul got to the steps, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the mob's violence, 36 for the mass of people were following and yelling, "Kill him!" 37 As he was about to be brought into the barracks, Paul said to the commander, "Am I allowed to say something to you?" He replied, "Do you know Greek? 38 Aren't you the Egyptian who raised a rebellion some time ago and led 4,000 Assassins, a Lat loanword from sica , dagger; compare "cut-throats" or daggermen. into the desert?" 39 Paul said, "I am a Jewish man from Tarsus of Cilicia, a citizen of an important city. Now I ask you, let me speak to the people." 40 After he had given permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned with his hand to the people. When there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language:
1 "Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense before you." 2 When they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew language, they became even quieter. 3 He continued, "I am a Jewish man, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and educated according to the strict view of our patriarchal law. Being zealous for God, just as all of you are today, 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women in jail, 5 as both the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify about me. Having received letters from them to the brothers, I was traveling to Damascus to bring those who were prisoners there to be punished in Jerusalem. 6 "As I was traveling and near Damascus, about noon an intense light from heaven suddenly flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?' 8 "I answered, 'Who are You, Lord?' "He said to me, 'I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting!' 9 Now those who were with me saw the light, but they did not hear the voice of the One who was speaking to me. 10 "Then I said, 'What should I do, Lord?' "And the Lord told me, 'Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything that is assigned for you to do.' 11 "Since I couldn't see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus. 12 Someone named Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good reputation with all the Jews residing there, 13 came to me, stood by me, and said, 'Brother Saul, regain your sight.' And in that very hour I looked up and saw him. 14 Then he said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of His voice. 15 For you will be a witness for Him to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now, why delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins by calling on His name.' 17 "After I came back to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple complex, I went into a visionary state 18 and saw Him telling me, 'Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me!' 19 "But I said, 'Lord, they know that in synagogue after synagogue I had those who believed in You imprisoned and beaten. 20 And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I myself was standing by and approving, and I guarded the clothes of those who killed him.' 21 "Then He said to me, 'Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.' " 22 They listened to him up to this word. Then they raised their voices, shouting, "Wipe this person off the earth-it's a disgrace for him to live!" 23 As they were yelling and flinging aside their robes and throwing dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, directing that he be examined with the scourge, so he could discover the reason they were shouting against him like this. 25 As they stretched him out for the lash, Paul said to the centurion standing by, "Is it legal for you to scourge a man who is a Roman citizen and is uncondemned?" 26 When the centurion heard this, he went and reported to the commander, saying, "What are you going to do? For this man is a Roman citizen." 27 The commander came and said to him, "Tell me-are you a Roman citizen?" "Yes," he said. 28 The commander replied, "I bought this citizenship for a large amount of money." "But I myself was born a citizen," Paul said. 29 Therefore, those who were about to examine him withdrew from him at once. The commander too was alarmed when he realized Paul was a Roman citizen and he had bound him. 30 The next day, since he wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews, he released him and instructed the chief priests and all the Sanhedrin to convene. Then he brought Paul down and placed him before them.
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