Acts 21: Temple Arrest

What value is there in knowing the stopping points in Paul’s travels?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:1 After final goodbyes, Paul, Luke, and the others set sail for Cos, to Rhodes the next day, and then to Patara,
21:2 where they boarded a different ship, bound for Phoenicia.
21:3 They passed the island of Cyprus on the left and docked at the city of Tyre in Syria, where the ship was to unload its cargo.
King James
Acts 21:1 And 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:
21:2 And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth.
21:3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.

We have no record of Paul ministering in Tyre before, so where would he have gone to find believers there?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:4 For a week, Paul stayed with believers there, who warned him by the Holy Spirit that he should not go to Jerusalem.
King James
Acts 21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

If the Holy Spirit brought the warning about Jerusalem, why didn’t Paul change his mind about going?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:4 For a week, Paul stayed with believers there, who warned him by the Holy Spirit that he should not go to Jerusalem.
King James
Acts 21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

How would you describe the prayers at the seashore when Paul was about to leave?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:5 But when the ship was due to depart, Paul and his associates had to be on their way. So the believers—including wives and children—joined the travelers at the shore, where everyone knelt for prayer.
King James
Acts 21:5 And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.

After prayer, what might the believers have anticipated as they returned home?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:6 After all had said their goodbyes, the travelers boarded the ship and the believers returned home.
King James
Acts 21:6 And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.

In what ways might the believers in Ptolemais have differed from those in Tyre?

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Acts 21:7 After Tyre, the ship docked at Ptolemais, where they greeted the believers and spent the day with them.
King James
Acts 21:7 And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.

When Paul arrived at Caesarea, how would he have known about Philip and how to find his house?

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Acts 21:8 The next day, Paul and his company went on to Caesarea, where they stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the seven deacons appointed by the apostles in Jerusalem.
King James
Acts 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 seven; and abode with him.

How would you describe the ministry of Philip’s daughters?

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Acts 21:9 Philip had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.
King James
Acts 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

When Agabus described what would happen in Jerusalem, do you think God was telling Paul not to go? Why or why not?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:12 After hearing these words, everyone begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem.
21:13 “Why are you crying,” Paul said, “breaking my heart? Not only am I ready to be bound in Jerusalem, but I would die for the sake of the Lord Jesus.”
King James
Acts 21:12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

Why did Paul think it was so important for him to go to Jerusalem?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:13 “Why are you crying,” Paul said, “breaking my heart? Not only am I ready to be bound in Jerusalem, but I would die for the sake of the Lord Jesus.”
King James
Acts 21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

How could Paul’s friends have believed his pain and suffering could be God’s will?

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Acts 21:14 When it was clear that he was intent upon going, regardless, the begging ceased and the people said, “The Lord’s will be done.”
21:15 So after that, Paul and his company packed their belongings and left for Jerusalem.
King James
Acts 21:14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
21:15 And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.

Why might some of the believers in Caesarea have joined Paul on his journey?

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Acts 21:16 Some of the believers from Caesarea joined them, escorting them to the house of Mnason, a man originally from Cyprus, to be his guests.
King James
Acts 21:16 There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.

What would have led Paul and his companions to first see believers other than the church leaders?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:17 When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were warmly received by the followers of Jesus.
21:18 The next day, Paul and his company went to see James and the church leaders.
King James
Acts 21:17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
21:18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.

Why would a detailed account of ministry to non-Jews be more important than describing what Paul had accomplished among Jews?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:19 After greeting them, Paul gave a detailed account of all that God had done in his ministry to non-Jews.
King James
Acts 21:19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

What was the church leaders’ response to hearing that so many non-Jews had become followers of Jesus?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:20 After hearing Paul’s story, the leaders glorified God, saying, “Know also, brother, that tens of thousands of Jews have believed, now fully committed to obeying the Law of Moses.
King James
Acts 21:20 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.

What did Jewish Christians think about Paul’s ministry to non-Jews?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:21 They have heard about you, how you teach Jews in other nations to forsake the Law of Moses, saying they don’t have to circumcise their sons and follow Jewish customs.
King James
Acts 21:21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

Why would people be concerned that the simple rules for non-Jewish believers might be acceptable for Jewish believers?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:21 They have heard about you, how you teach Jews in other nations to forsake the Law of Moses, saying they don’t have to circumcise their sons and follow Jewish customs.
21:22 How should we handle this conflict? People are sure to learn of your presence, and a multitude will want to hear what you have to say.
King James
Acts 21:21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
21:22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.

What was the value in Paul following Jewish tradition?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:23 Here’s what we want you to do. We have four men who have taken a purification vow.
21:24 Join them in our practice of the Law, sharing their obligation for sacrifice and shaving your heads. Then everyone will know you are keepers of the Law and the rumors about you are false.
King James
Acts 1:6 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
1:7 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and 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.

Why do you think the church leaders held to their judgment that Jews must keep the Law of Moses but non-Jews didn’t have to?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:25 Concerning the non-Jews who have become followers of Jesus, we have already written our judgment: they are free from Jewish customs but must abstain from idolatry, sexual immorality, and bloodshed. They are not to eat meat from strangled animals.”
King James
Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

Was Paul being hypocritical in following the church leaders’ request? Why or why not?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:26 So Paul joined the men in purifying himself, going with them to the Temple to fulfill the required days and the sacrifice to be offered for each of them.
King James
Acts 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

How would Jews from Asia have recognized Paul in the Temple?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:27 Near the end of the seven days, Jews from Asia saw Paul in the Temple, stirred a mob, and seized him.
King James
Acts 21:27 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.

Upon what authority would the accusing Jews have based their claim against Paul?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:28 Men of Israel,” they shouted, “this man preaches everywhere against our Jewish customs, saying we should not obey the Law. And he has brought Greeks with him, defiling this holy place.”
King James
Acts 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.)

Why did the Jews object to having Greeks in the Temple when they had not been excluded before?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 12:20 Some Greeks were among those who had come to worship during Passover.
Acts 21:28 “Men of Israel,” they shouted, “this man preaches everywhere against our Jewish customs, saying we should not obey the Law. And he has brought Greeks with him, defiling this holy place.”
21:29 They had seen Trophimus in the city earlier, an Ephesian, and assumed that Paul had brought him into the Temple.
King James
John 12:20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast.
Acts 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
21:29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)

While the mob dragged Paul out of the Temple, what would his supporters have been doing?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:30 The men’s accusations put the city into an uproar. Unified in their purpose, the angry crowd grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the Temple. The priests closed the doors behind them.
King James
Acts 21:30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.

In what ways might news of the riot have reached Roman authorities? Which one do you think is most likely?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:31 The mob intended to kill Paul, but word reached the captain of the Roman regiment that Jerusalem was rioting.
King James
Acts 21:31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.

The Jews had stoned Stephen. Why were they unsuccessful in killing Paul?

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Acts 7:58 After dragging him out of the city, they stoned him. Stephen’s accusers left their coats under the watchful eye of a young man named Saul.
21:32 Immediately, he gathered his officers and soldiers and marched to the disturbance. As soon as the people saw the captain and his solders, they stopped beating Paul.
King James
Acts 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.
21:32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.

Why would the Roman captain have had trouble discovering the cause of the riot?

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Acts 21:33 The captain ordered Paul to be bound in chains and demanded answers to who this man was and what he had done.
21:34 Out of the crowd, some cried one thing while others were saying something else. Unable to determine what the disturbance was all about, he ordered Paul taken to the fortress.
King James
Acts 21:33 Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done.
21:34 And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle.

For his protection, the soldiers carried Paul on their shoulders. What does that say about the passion of the mob?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:35 When Paul reached the stairs, the soldiers carried him on their shoulders to protect him from the violence of the crowd,
21:36 because they were all shouting, “Get rid of him.”
King James
Acts 21:35 And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people.
21:36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him.

Why was the captain surprised to hear Paul ask him a question in Greek?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:37 When Paul was about to be led into the fortress, he said to the captain, “May I speak with you.” The captain said, “How is it that you know Greek?
21:38 I thought you were the Egyptian who stirred up the people and harbored four thousand terrorists in the wilderness.”
King James
Acts 21:37 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?
21:38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

Why do you think Paul wanted to speak to the people who had tried to kill him?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:39 “No,” Paul said, “I am a Jew from Tarsus in Cicilia, a citizen of a distinguished community. Please, would you permit me to speak to these people?”
King James
Acts 21:39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.

Why did Paul choose to address the people in Hebrew instead of Greek or Aramaic?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 21:40 Given permission, Paul stood on the stairs and raised his hand, asking for silence. He then addressed the crowd in Hebrew.
King James
Acts 21:40 And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue.