21:27 When the seven days were almost over, 1 the Jews from the province of Asia 2 who had seen him in the temple area 3 stirred up the whole crowd 4 and seized 5 him, 21:28 shouting, “Men of Israel, 6 help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, 7 and this sanctuary! 8 Furthermore 9 he has brought Greeks into the inner courts of the temple 10 and made this holy place ritually unclean!” 11 21:29 (For they had seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him previously, and 12 they assumed Paul had brought him into the inner temple courts.) 13 21:30 The whole city was stirred up, 14 and the people rushed together. 15 They seized 16 Paul and dragged him out of the temple courts, 17 and immediately the doors were shut. 21:31 While they were trying 18 to kill him, a report 19 was sent up 20 to the commanding officer 21 of the cohort 22 that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 23
2 tn Grk “Asia”; in the NT this always refers to the Roman province of Asia, made up of about one-third of the west and southwest end of modern Asia Minor. Asia lay to the west of the region of Phrygia and Galatia. The words “the province of” are supplied to indicate to the modern reader that this does not refer to the continent of Asia.
sn Note how there is a sense of Paul being pursued from a distance. These Jews may well have been from Ephesus, since they recognized Trophimus the Ephesian (v. 29).
4 tn Or “threw the whole crowd into consternation.” L&N 25.221 has “συνέχεον πάντα τὸν ὄχλον ‘they threw the whole crowd into consternation’ Ac 21:27. It is also possible to render the expression in Ac 21:27 as ‘they stirred up the whole crowd.’”
5 tn Grk “and laid hands on.”
6 tn Or “Israelite men,” although this is less natural English. The Greek term here is ἀνήρ (anhr), which only exceptionally is used in a generic sense of both males and females. In this context, it is conceivable that this is a generic usage since “the whole crowd” is mentioned in v. 27, although it can also be argued that these remarks were addressed primarily to the men present, even if women were there.
7 sn The law refers to the law of Moses.
8 tn Grk “this place.”
9 tn BDAG 400 s.v. ἔτι 2.b has “ἔ. δὲ καί furthermore…al. ἔ. τε καί…Lk 14:26; Ac 21:28.” This is a continuation of the same sentence in Greek, but due to the length and complexity of the Greek sentence and the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences, a new sentence was begun here in the translation.
10 tn Grk “into the temple.” The specific reference is to the Court of the Sons of Israel (see the note following the term “unclean” at the end of this verse). To avoid giving the modern reader the impression that they entered the temple building itself, the phrase “the inner courts of the temple” has been used in the translation.
11 tn Or “and has defiled this holy place.”
sn Has brought Greeks…unclean. Note how the issue is both religious and ethnic, showing a different attitude by the Jews. A Gentile was not permitted to enter the inner temple precincts (contrast Eph 2:11-22). According to Josephus (Ant. 15.11.5 [15.417]; J. W. 5.5.2 [5.193], cf. 5.5.6 [5.227]), the inner temple courts (the Court of the Women, the Court of the Sons of Israel, and the Court of the Priests) were raised slightly above the level of the Court of the Gentiles and were surrounded by a wall about 5 ft (1.5 m) high. Notices in both Greek and Latin (two of which have been discovered) warned that any Gentiles who ventured into the inner courts would be responsible for their own deaths. See also Philo, Embassy 31 (212). In m. Middot 2:3 this wall was called “soreq” and according to m. Sanhedrin 9:6 the stranger who trespassed beyond the soreq would die by the hand of God.
12 tn Grk “whom.”
sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. The note explains the cause of the charge and also notes that it was false.
14 tn On this term see BDAG 545 s.v. κινέω 2.b.
16 tn Grk “and seizing.” The participle ἐπιλαβόμενοι (epilabomenoi) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was begun in the translation, and καί (kai) has not been translated here.
18 tn Grk “seeking.”
19 tn Or “information” (originally concerning a crime; BDAG 1050 s.v. φάσις).
20 tn Grk “went up”; this verb is used because the report went up to the Antonia Fortress where the Roman garrison was stationed.
21 tn Grk “the chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). In Greek the term χιλίαρχος (ciliarco") literally described the “commander of a thousand,” but it was used as the standard translation for the Latin tribunus militum or tribunus militare, the military tribune who commanded a cohort of 600 men.
22 sn A cohort was a Roman military unit of about 600 soldiers, one-tenth of a legion.