Acts 21 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Acts 21)
21:1 And 1 it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the [day] following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:

(1) Not only ordinary men, but even our friends, and such as are endued with the Spirit of God, sometimes go about to hinder the course of our calling: but it is our part to go forward without any stopping or staggering, after we are sure of our calling from God.

21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the a Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

(a) They foretold through the Spirit what dangers were about to befall Paul, and this they did as prophets: but they misdirected him away from Jerusalem because of a fleshly affection.

21:8 And the next [day] we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was [one] of the b seven; and abode with him.

(b) He speaks of the seven deacons which he mentioned before in (Acts 6:1-7).

21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did c prophesy.

(c) They had a peculiar gift of foretelling things to come.

21:14 2 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

(2) The will of God bridles all affections in those who earnestly seek the glory of God.

21:19 3 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

(3) God is to be praised, who is the author of all good sayings and deeds.

21:20 4 And when they heard [it], they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:

(4) In things indifferent (of which sort the traditions of the Pharisees were not, but rather the ceremonies of the Law, until the time when Christian liberty was more fully revealed to the Jews) charity exhorts us to conform or apply ourselves willingly so far as we may, to our brethren who do not stubbornly and maliciously resist the truth (but are not thoroughly instructed), especially if the question pertains to a whole multitude.

21:24 Them take, and d purify thyself with them, and e be at charges with them, that they may shave [their] heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but [that] thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

(d) That is, consecrate thyself: for he does not speak here of the unclean, but of those who are subject to the vow of the Nazarites.
(e) That it may be known that you were not only present at the vow, but also a main participator in it: and therefore it is said afterwards that Paul declared the days of purification: for although the offerings for the Nazarites offerings were appointed, yet they might add somewhat unto them; see (Numbers 6:21).

21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, f to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

(f) The priests were to be informed of the accomplishment of the days of the purification, because there were sacrifices to be offered the same day that their vow was ended.

21:27 5 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,

(5) A preposterous zeal is the cause of great confusion and great troubles.

21:31 6 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.

(6) God finds some even amongst the wicked and profane themselves, to hinder the endeavours of the rest.

21:38 Art not thou that g Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

(g) Concerning this Egyptian who assembled thirty thousand men, read Josephus, book 2, chap. 12.