Day Fifty Reading – Acts 21-23
1 And when it came to pass that were parted from them and had set sail, we came with a straight course unto Cos, and the next day unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:
2 and having found a ship crossing over unto Phoenicia, we went aboard, and set sail.
3 And when we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left hand, we sailed unto Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unlade her burden.
4 And having found the disciples, we tarried there seven days: and these said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not set foot in Jerusalem.
5 And when it came to pass that we had accomplished the days, we departed and went on our journey; and they all, with wives and children, brought us on our way till we were out of the city: and kneeling down on the beach, we prayed, and bade each other farewell;
6 and we went on board the ship, but they returned home again.
7 And when we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais; and we saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.
8 And on the morrow we departed, and came unto Caesarea: and entering into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we abode with him.
9 Now this man had four virgin daughters, who prophesied.
10 And as we tarried there some days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
11 And coming to us, and taking Paul’s girdle, he bound his own feet and hands, and said, Thus saith the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
12 And when we heard these things, both we and they of that place besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
13 Then Paul answered, What do ye, weeping and breaking my heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
15 And after these days we took up our baggage and went up to Jerusalem.
16 And there went with us also certain of the disciples from Caesarea, bringing with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge.
17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
19 And when he had saluted them, he rehearsed one by one the things which God had wrought among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20 And they, when they heard it, glorified God; and they said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of them that have believed; and they are all zealous for the law:
21 and they have been informed concerning thee, that thou teachest 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 is it therefore? They will certainly hear that thou art come.
23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men that have a vow on them;
24 these take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges for them, that they may shave their heads: and all shall know that there is no truth in the things whereof they have been informed concerning thee; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, keeping the law.
25 But as touching the Gentiles that have believed, we wrote, giving judgment that they should keep themselves from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what is strangled, and from fornication.
26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them went into the temple, declaring the fulfilment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them.
27 And 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 that teacheth all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place; and moreover he brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath defiled this holy place.
29 For they had before seen with him in the city Trophimus the Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.
30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together; and they laid hold on Paul, and dragged him out of the temple: and straightway the doors were shut.
31 And as they were seeking to kill him, tidings came up to the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in confusion.
32 And forthwith he took soldiers and centurions, and ran down upon them: and they, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, left off beating Paul.
33 Then the chief captain came near, and laid hold on him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and inquired who he was, and what he had done.
34 And some shouted one thing, some another, among the crowd: and when he could not know the certainty for the uproar, he commanded him to be brought into the castle.
35 And when he came upon the stairs, so it was that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the crowd;
36 for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, Away with him.
37 And as Paul was about to be brought into the castle, he saith unto the chief captain, May I say something unto thee? And he said, Dost thou know Greek?
38 Art thou not 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, of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and I beseech thee, give me leave to speak unto the people.
40 And when he had given him leave, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with the hand unto the people; and when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew language, saying,
1 Brethren and fathers, hear ye the defence which I now make unto you.
2 And when they heard that he spake unto them in the Hebrew language, they were the more quiet: and he saith,
3 I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as ye all are this day:
4 and I persecuted this Way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and journeyed to Damascus to bring them also that were there unto Jerusalem in bonds to be punished.
6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and drew nigh unto Damascus, about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
9 And they that were with me beheld indeed the light, but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me I came into Damascus.
12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all the Jews that dwelt there,
13 came unto me, and standing by me said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And in that very hour I looked up on him.
14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath appointed thee to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth.
15 For thou shalt be a witness for him unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.
17 And it came to pass, that, when I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance,
18 and saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem; because they will not receive of thee testimony concerning me.
19 And I said, Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
20 and when the blood of Stephen thy witness was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting, and keeping the garments of them that slew him.
21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee forth far hence unto the Gentiles.
22 And they gave him audience unto this word; and they lifted up their voice, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
23 And as they cried out, and threw off their garments, and cast dust into the air,
24 the chief captain commanded him be brought into the castle, bidding that he should be examined by scourging, that he might know for what cause they so shouted against him.
25 And when they had tied him up with the thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?
26 And when the centurion heard it, he went to the chief captain and told him, saying, What art thou about to do? for this man is a Roman.
27 And the chief captain came and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? And he said, Yea.
28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this citizenship. And Paul said, But I am a Roman born.
29 They then that were about to examine him straightway departed from him: and the chief captain also was afraid when he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
30 But on the morrow, desiring to know the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together, and brought Paul down and set him before them.
1 And Paul, looking stedfastly on the council, said, Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day.
2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: and sittest thou to judge me according to the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest?
5 And Paul said, I knew not, brethren, that he was high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of thy people.
6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees: touching the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees; and the assembly was divided.
8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both.
9 And there arose a great clamor: and some of the scribes of the Pharisees part stood up, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: and what if a spirit hath spoken to him, or an angel?
10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the castle.
11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer: for as thou hast testified concerning me at Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
12 And when it was day, the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
13 And they were more than forty that made this conspiracy.
14 And they came to the chief priests and the elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.
15 Now therefore do ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you, as though ye would judge of his case more exactly: and we, before he comes near, are ready to slay him.
16 But Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, and he came and entered into the castle and told Paul.
17 And Paul called unto him one of the centurions, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain; for he hath something to tell him.
18 So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and saith, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and asked me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say to thee.
19 And the chief captain took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, What is it that thou hast to tell me?
20 And he said, The Jews have agreed to ask thee to bring down Paul tomorrow unto the council, as though thou wouldest inquire somewhat more exactly concerning him.
21 Do not thou therefore yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, who have bound themselves under a curse, neither to eat nor to drink till they have slain him: and now are they ready, looking for the promise from thee.
22 So the chief captain let the young man go, charging him, Tell no man that thou hast signified these things to me.
23 And he called unto him two of the centurions, and said, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go as far as Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night:
24 and he bade them provide beasts, that they might set Paul thereon, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.
25 And he wrote a letter after this form:
26 Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix, greeting.
27 This man was seized by the Jews, and was about to be slain of them, when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman.
28 And desiring to know the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him down unto their council:
29 whom I found to be accused about questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.
30 And when it was shown to me that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to thee forthwith, charging his accusers also to speak against him before thee.
31 So the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris.
32 But on the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle:
33 and they, when they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, presented Paul also before him.
34 And when he had read it, he asked of what province he was; and when he understood that he was of Cilicia,
35 I will hear thee fully, said he, when thine accusers also are come: and he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s palace.