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Acts 21:27-36

Context
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  21:32 He 24  immediately took 25  soldiers and centurions 26  and ran down to the crowd. 27  When they saw 28  the commanding officer 29  and the soldiers, they stopped beating 30  Paul. 21:33 Then the commanding officer 31  came up and arrested 32  him and ordered him to be tied up with two chains; 33  he 34  then asked who he was and what 35  he had done. 21:34 But some in the crowd shouted one thing, and others something else, 36  and when the commanding officer 37  was unable 38  to find out the truth 39  because of the disturbance, 40  he ordered Paul 41  to be brought into the barracks. 42  21:35 When he came to the steps, Paul 43  had to be carried 44  by the soldiers because of the violence 45  of the mob, 21:36 for a crowd of people 46  followed them, 47  screaming, “Away with him!”

1 tn BDAG 975 s.v. συντελέω 4 has “to come to an end of a duration, come to an end, be overAc 21:27.”

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).

3 tn Grk “in the temple.” See the note on the word “temple” in v. 28.

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.”

sn This sanctuary refers to the temple. The charges were not new, but were similar to those made against Stephen (Acts 6:14) and Jesus (Luke 23:2).

9 tn BDAG 400 s.v. ἔτι 2.b has “. δὲ καί furthermore…al. . τε καίLk 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.”

13 tn On the phrase “inner temple courts” see the note on the word “temple” in v. 28.

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.

15 tn Or “the people formed a mob.” BDAG 967 s.v. συνδρομή has “formation of a mob by pers. running together, running togetherἐγένετο σ. τοῦ λαοῦ the people rushed together Ac 21:30.”

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.

17 tn Grk “out of the temple.” See the note on the word “temple” in v. 28.

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.

23 tn BDAG 953 s.v. συγχέω has “Pass. w. act.force be in confusionὅλη συγχύννεται ᾿Ιερουσαλήμ 21:31.”

24 tn Grk “who.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence and the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences, the relative pronoun (“who”) was translated as a pronoun (“he”) and a new sentence was begun here in the translation.

25 tn Grk “taking…ran down.” The participle κατέδραμεν (katedramen) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

26 sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1.

27 tn Grk “to them”; the referent (the crowd) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

28 tn Grk “seeing.” The participle ἰδόντες (idonte") has been taken temporally.

29 tn Grk “the chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). See note on the term “commanding officer” in v. 31.

30 sn The mob stopped beating Paul because they feared the Romans would arrest them for disturbing the peace and for mob violence. They would let the Roman officials take care of the matter from this point on.

31 tn Grk “the chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). See note on the term “commanding officer” in v. 31.

32 tn Grk “seized.”

33 tn The two chains would be something like handcuffs (BDAG 48 s.v. ἅλυσις and compare Acts 28:20).

34 tn Grk “and he.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was begun in the translation, and καί (kai) has been replaced with a semicolon. “Then” has been supplied after “he” to clarify the logical sequence.

35 tn Grk “and what it is”; this has been simplified to “what.”

36 tn L&N 33.77 has “ἄλλοι δὲ ἄλλο τι ἐπεφώνουν ἐν τῷ ὄχλῳ ‘some in the crowd shouted one thing; others, something else’ Ac 21:34.”

37 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the commanding officer) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

38 tn This genitive absolute construction has been translated temporally; it could also be taken causally: “and since the commanding officer was unable to find out the truth.”

39 tn Or “find out what had happened”; Grk “the certainty” (BDAG 147 s.v. ἀσφαλής 2).

40 tn Or “clamor,” “uproar” (BDAG 458 s.v. θόρυβος).

41 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

42 tn Or “the headquarters.” BDAG 775 s.v. παρεμβολή 2 has “barracks/headquarters of the Roman troops in Jerusalem Ac 21:34, 37; 22:24; 23:10, 16, 32.”

43 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

44 sn Paul had to be carried. Note how the arrest really ended up protecting Paul. The crowd is portrayed as irrational at this point.

45 tn This refers to mob violence (BDAG 175 s.v. βία b).

46 tn Grk “the multitude of people.” While πλῆθος (plhqo") is articular, it has been translated “a crowd” since it was probably a subset of the larger mob that gathered in v. 30.

47 tn The word “them” is not in the Greek text but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.



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