Acts 21:18-40 World English Bible

18  The day following, Paul went in with us to James; and all the elders were present. 19  When he had greeted them, he reported one by one the things which God had worked among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20  They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law. 21  They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs. 22  What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come. 23  Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow. 24  Take them, and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads. Then all will know that there is no truth in the things that they have been informed about you, but that you yourself also walk keeping the law. 25  But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written our decision that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from food offered to idols, from blood, from strangled things, and from sexual immorality.” 26  Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purified himself and went with them into the temple, declaring the fulfillment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them.

27  When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the multitude and laid hands on him, 28  crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place. Moreover, he also brought Greeks into the temple, and has defiled this holy place!” 29  For they had seen Trophimus, the Ephesian, with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30  All the city was moved, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple. Immediately the doors were shut. 31  As they were trying to kill him, news came up to the commanding officer of the regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32  Immediately he took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. They, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, stopped beating Paul. 33  Then the commanding officer came near, arrested him, commanded him to be bound with two chains, and inquired who he was and what he had done. 34  Some shouted one thing, and some another, among the crowd. When he couldn’t find out the truth because of the noise, he commanded him to be brought into the barracks. 35  When he came to the stairs, it happened that he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd; 36  for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!”

Paul's Defense before the People

37  As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he asked the commanding officer, “May I speak to you?”

He said, “Do you know Greek? 38  Aren’t you then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?” 39  But Paul said, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.” 40  When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the people. When there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,


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