Acts 21:17-40 - Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)
King James and other versions... [http://bibleabc.net/bible/kjv/act21-17.htm]
Paul Visits James
17In Jerusalem the believers were very happy to see us. 18The next day, Paul went
with us to visit James. All the elders* (church leaders) were there too. 19Paul
greeted all of them. Then he told them about how God used him to do many things
among the non-Jewish people. He told them all the things that God did through him.
20When the leaders heard these things, they praised God. Then they said to Paul,
"Brother, you can see that thousands of Jews have become believers. But they think
it is very important to obey the law of Moses. 21These Jews have heard about your
teaching. They heard that you tell the Jews who live in other countries among non-Jews
to leave the law of Moses. They heard that you tell those Jews not to circumcise*
their children and not to obey Jewish customs. 22What should we do? The Jewish believers
here will learn that you have come. 23So we will tell you what to do: Four of our
men have made a vow* (promise) to God. 24Take these men with you and share in their
cleansing (washing) ceremony.* Pay their expenses. Then they can shave their heads.*
Do this and it will prove to everyone that the things they have heard about you
are not true. They will see that you obey the law of Moses in your own life. 25We
have already sent a letter to the non-Jewish believers. The letter said: 'Don't
eat food that has been given to idols.* Don't eat meat from animals that have been
strangled (choked) or any meat that still has the blood in it. Don't do any kind
of sexual sin.'" 26So Paul took the four men with him. The next day, Paul shared
in their cleansing (washing) ceremony.* Then he went to the temple* area. He announced
the time when the days of the cleansing ceremony would be finished. On the last
day an offering would be given for each of the men.
27The seven days were almost finished. But some Jews from Asia* saw Paul in the
temple* area. They caused all the people to be upset, and they grabbed Paul. 28They
shouted, "You Jewish men, help us! This is the man who is teaching things that are
against the law of Moses, against our people, and against this place (the temple).
This man is teaching these things to all people everywhere. And now he has brought
some Greek (non-Jewish) men into the temple yard! He has made this holy place unclean!"
29(The Jews said this because they had seen Trophimus with Paul in Jerusalem. Trophimus
was a [Greek] man from Ephesus. The Jews thought that Paul had taken him into the
holy area of the temple.) 30All the people in Jerusalem became very upset. They
all ran and grabbed Paul. They dragged him out of the holy area of the temple.*
The temple gates were closed immediately. 31The people were trying to kill Paul.
The commander of the Roman army in Jerusalem learned that there was trouble in
the whole city. 32Immediately the commander went to the place where the people were.
He brought some army officers* and soldiers with him. The people saw the commander
and his soldiers. So they stopped beating Paul. 33The commander went to Paul and
arrested him. The commander told his soldiers to tie Paul with two chains. Then
the commander asked, "Who is this man? What has he done wrong?" 34Some people there
were yelling one thing and other people were yelling other things. Because of all
this confusion and shouting, the commander could not learn the truth about what
had happened. So the commander told the soldiers to take Paul to the army building.
35-36All the people were following them. When the soldiers came to the steps, they
had to carry Paul. They did this [to protect Paul], because the people were ready
to hurt him. The people shouted, "Kill him!"
37The soldiers were ready to take Paul into the army building. But Paul spoke to
the commander. Paul asked, "Do I have the right to say something to you?" The commander
said, "Oh, you speak Greek? 38Then you are not the man I thought you were? I thought
you were the Egyptian man who started some trouble against the government not long
ago. That Egyptian man led 4,000 killers out to the desert." 39Paul said, "No, I
am a Jewish man from Tarsus. Tarsus is in the country of Cilicia. I am a citizen
of that important city. Please, let me speak to the people." 40The commander let
Paul speak to the people. So Paul stood on the steps. He made signs with his hands
so that the people would be quiet. The people became quiet and Paul spoke to them.
He used the Jewish language.*
Footnotes: elders A group of men chosen to lead a church. Also called "overseers"
and "pastors" ("shepherds"), they have the work of caring for God's people (Acts
20:28; Eph. 4:11; Tit. 1:7,9). circumcise To cut off the foreskin. This was done
to every Jewish baby boy. It was a mark of the agreement God made with Abraham (Gen.
17:9-14). vow Probably a Nazirite vow, a time of special service that Jews promised
to give to God. cleansing ceremony The special things the Jews did to end the Nazirite
vow. shave their heads To show their vow was finished. idols The false gods that
the non-Jewish people worshiped. cleansing ceremony The special things the Jews
did to end the Nazirite vow. temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish
worship. Asia The western part of Asia Minor. army officers Centurions, Roman army
officers who had authority over 100 soldiers. Jewish language Probably Aramaic,
a language like Hebrew that was spoken by the Jews in the first century.
"Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation
Center, Inc. and used by permission."
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