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Acts 21:1-16

Context
Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem

21:1 After 1  we 2  tore ourselves away 3  from them, we put out to sea, 4  and sailing a straight course, 5  we came to Cos, 6  on the next day to Rhodes, 7  and from there to Patara. 8  21:2 We found 9  a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, 10  went aboard, 11  and put out to sea. 12  21:3 After we sighted Cyprus 13  and left it behind on our port side, 14  we sailed on to Syria and put in 15  at Tyre, 16  because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 21:4 After we located 17  the disciples, we stayed there 18  seven days. They repeatedly told 19  Paul through the Spirit 20  not to set foot 21  in Jerusalem. 22  21:5 When 23  our time was over, 24  we left and went on our way. All of them, with their wives and children, accompanied 25  us outside of the city. After 26  kneeling down on the beach and praying, 27  21:6 we said farewell 28  to one another. 29  Then 30  we went aboard the ship, and they returned to their own homes. 31  21:7 We continued the voyage from Tyre 32  and arrived at Ptolemais, 33  and when we had greeted the brothers, we stayed with them for one day. 21:8 On the next day we left 34  and came to Caesarea, 35  and entered 36  the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, 37  and stayed with him. 21:9 (He had four unmarried 38  daughters who prophesied.) 39 

21:10 While we remained there for a number of days, 40  a prophet named Agabus 41  came down from Judea. 21:11 He came 42  to us, took 43  Paul’s belt, 44  tied 45  his own hands and feet with it, 46  and said, “The Holy Spirit says this: ‘This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man whose belt this is, and will hand him over 47  to the Gentiles.’” 21:12 When we heard this, both we and the local people 48  begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 21:13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking 49  my heart? For I am ready not only to be tied up, 50  but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 21:14 Because he could not be persuaded, 51  we said no more except, 52  “The Lord’s will be done.” 53 

21:15 After these days we got ready 54  and started up 55  to Jerusalem. 21:16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea 56  came along with us too, and brought us to the house 57  of Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple from the earliest times, 58  with whom we were to stay.

1 tn Grk “It happened that when.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Since the action described by the participle ἀποσπασθέντας (apospasqenta", “tearing ourselves away”) is prior to the departure of the ship, it has been translated as antecedent action (“after”).

2 sn This marks the beginning of another “we” section in Acts. These have been traditionally understood to mean that Luke was in the company of Paul for this part of the journey.

3 tn BDAG 120 s.v. ἀποσπάω 2.b has “pass. in mid. sense . ἀπό τινος tear oneself away Ac 21:1”; LSJ 218 gives several illustrations of this verb meaning “to tear or drag away from.”

4 tn BDAG 62 s.v. ἀνάγω 4, “as a nautical t.t. (. τὴν ναῦν put a ship to sea), mid. or pass. ἀνάγεσθαι to begin to go by boat, put out to sea.”

5 tn BDAG 406 s.v. εὐθυδρομέω has “of a ship run a straight course”; L&N 54.3 has “to sail a straight course, sail straight to.”

6 sn Cos was an island in the Aegean Sea.

7 sn Rhodes was an island off the southwestern coast of Asia Minor.

8 sn Patara was a city in Lycia on the southwestern coast of Asia Minor. The entire journey was about 185 mi (295 km).

9 tn Grk “and finding.” The participle εὑρόντες (Jeuronte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun in the translation.

10 sn Phoenicia was the name of an area along the Mediterranean coast north of Palestine.

11 tn Grk “going aboard, we put out to sea.” The participle ἐπιβάντες (epibante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

12 tn BDAG 62 s.v. ἀνάγω 4, “as a nautical t.t. (. τὴν ναῦν put a ship to sea), mid. or pass. ἀνάγεσθαι to begin to go by boat, put out to sea.”

13 sn Cyprus is a large island in the Mediterranean off the south coast of Asia Minor.

14 sn The expression left it behind on our port side here means “sailed past to the south of it” since the ship was sailing east.

15 tn BDAG 531 s.v. κατέρχομαι 2 states, “arrive, put in, nautical t.t. of ships and those who sail in them, who ‘come down’ fr. the ‘high seas’…ἔις τι at someth. a harbor 18:22; 21:3; 27:5.”

16 sn Tyre was a city and seaport on the coast of Phoenicia. From Patara to Tyre was about 400 mi (640 km). It required a large cargo ship over 100 ft (30 m) long, and was a four to five day voyage.

map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

17 tn BDAG 78 s.v. ἀνευρίσκω has “look/search for (w. finding presupposed) τινάτοὺς μαθητάς Ac 21:4.” The English verb “locate,” when used in reference to persons, has the implication of both looking for and finding someone. The participle ἀνευρόντες (aneuronte") has been taken temporally.

18 tn BDAG 154 s.v. αὐτοῦ states, “deictic adv. designating a position relatively near or far…thereAc 21:4.”

19 tn The imperfect verb ἔλεγον (elegon) has been taken iteratively.

20 sn Although they told this to Paul through the Spirit, it appears Paul had a choice here (see v. 14). Therefore this amounted to a warning: There was risk in going to Jerusalem, so he was urged not to go.

21 tn BDAG 367 s.v. ἐπιβαίνω places Ac 21:4 under 1, “go up/upon, mount, boardπλοίῳAc 27:2…Abs. go on board, embark21:1 D, 2. – So perh. also . εἰς ᾿Ιεροσόλυμα embark for Jerusalem (i.e. to the seaport of Caesarea) vs. 4.” BDAG notes, however, “But this pass. may also belong to 2. to move to an area and be there, set foot in.” Because the message from the disciples to Paul through the Holy Spirit has the character of a warning, the latter meaning has been adopted for this translation.

22 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

23 tn Grk “It happened that when.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

24 tn Grk “When our days were over.” L&N 67.71 has “ὅτε δὲ ἐγένετο ἡμᾶς ἐξαρτίσαι τὰς ἡμέρας ‘when we brought that time to an end’ or ‘when our time with them was over’ Ac 21:5.”

25 tn Grk “accompanying.” Due to the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was begun in the translation and the participle προπεμπόντων (propempontwn) translated as a finite verb.

26 tn Grk “city, and after.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.

27 sn On praying in Acts, see 1:14, 24; 2:47; 4:23; 6:6; 10:2; 12:5, 12; 13:3; 16:25.

28 tn BDAG 98 s.v. ἀπασπάζομαι has “take leave of, say farewell to τινά someoneἀπησπασάμεθα ἀλλήλους we said farewell to one another Ac 21:6.”

29 sn These words are part of v. 5 in the standard critical Greek text.

30 tn Grk “and.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was begun in the translation, and καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the logical sequence.

31 tn Grk “to their own”; the word “homes” is implied.

32 sn Tyre was a city and seaport on the coast of Phoenicia.

33 sn Ptolemais was a seaport on the coast of Palestine about 30 mi (48 km) south of Tyre.

34 tn Grk “On the next day leaving, we came.” The participle ἐξελθόντες (exelqonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

35 sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi). See the note on Caesarea in Acts 10:1. This was another 40 mi (65 km).

map For location see Map2 C1; Map4 B3; Map5 F2; Map7 A1; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

36 tn Grk “and entering…we stayed.” The participle εἰσελθόντες (eiselqonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

37 sn Philip was one of the seven deacons appointed in the Jerusalem church (Acts 6:1-7).

38 tn Grk “virgin.” While the term παρθένος (parqeno") can refer to a woman who has never had sexual relations, the emphasis in this context seems to be on the fact that Philip’s daughters were not married (L&N 9.39).

39 sn This is best taken as a parenthetical note by the author. Luke again noted women who were gifted in the early church (see Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.31; 3.39).

40 tn BDAG 848 s.v. πολύς 1.b.α has “ἐπὶ ἡμέρας πλείους for a (large) number of days, for many daysAc 13:31. – 21:10…24:17; 25:14; 27:20.”

41 sn Agabus also appeared in Acts 11:28. He was from Jerusalem, so the two churches were still in contact with one another.

42 tn Grk “And coming.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here. The participle ἐλθών (elqwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

43 tn Grk “and taking.” This καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more. The participle ἄρας (aras) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

44 sn The belt was a band or sash used to keep money as well as to gird up the tunic (BDAG 431 s.v. ζώνη).

45 tn The participle δήσας (dhsas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

46 tn The words “with it” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

47 tn Grk “and will deliver him over into the hands of” (a Semitic idiom).

sn The Jews…will tie up…and will hand him over. As later events will show, the Jews in Jerusalem did not personally tie Paul up and hand him over to the Gentiles, but their reaction to him was the cause of his arrest (Acts 21:27-36).

48 tn Or “the people there.”

49 tn The term translated “breaking” as used by Josephus (Ant. 10.10.4 [10.207]) means to break something into pieces, but in its only NT use (it is a hapax legomenon) it is used figuratively (BDAG 972 s.v. συνθρύπτω).

50 tn L&N 18.13 has “to tie objects together – ‘to tie, to tie together, to tie up.’” The verb δέω (dew) is sometimes figurative for imprisonment (L&N 37.114), but it is preferable to translate it literally here in light of v. 11 where Agabus tied himself up with Paul’s belt.

51 tn The participle πειθομένου (peiqomenou) in this genitive absolute construction has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.

52 tn Grk “we became silent, saying.”

53 sn “The Lord’s will be done.” Since no one knew exactly what would happen, the matter was left in the Lord’s hands.

54 tn Or “we made preparations.”

55 tn Grk “were going up”; the imperfect verb ἀνεβαίνομεν (anebainomen) has been translated as an ingressive imperfect.

sn In colloquial speech Jerusalem was always said to be “up” from any other location in Palestine. The group probably covered the 65 mi (105 km) in two days using horses. Their arrival in Jerusalem marked the end of Paul’s third missionary journey.

56 sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi). See the note on Caesarea in Acts 10:1.

map For location see Map2 C1; Map4 B3; Map5 F2; Map7 A1; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

57 tn Grk “to Mnason…”; the words “the house of” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by the verb ξενισθῶμεν (xenisqwmen).

58 tn Or perhaps, “Mnason of Cyprus, one of the original disciples.” BDAG 137 s.v. ἀρχαῖος 1 has “. μαθητής a disciple of long standing (perh. original disc.) Ac 21:16.”



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