The New Testament
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Acts 21:27Acts 23:15

9. The Ultimate Persecution of the Jews

a. An Uproar against Paul

(1) Seized by the Jews

27 And when the seven days were about to be concluded, the aJews from bAsia saw him in the temple and cthrew all the crowd into confusion; and they dlaid their hands on him,

28 Crying out, 1Men of Israel, help! This is the man who ateaches all men everywhere bagainst the 2people and the law and 3this place; and further, he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has 4cprofaned this 5holy place.

29 For they had previously seen aTrophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, whom they supposed Paul had brought into the temple.

30 And the whole city was stirred, and the people ran together; and they alaid hold of Paul and bdragged him coutside the temple; and immediately the doors were shut.

(2) The Intervention of the Roman Commander

31 And as they were seeking to akill him, a report came up to the 1bcommander of the 2cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion.

32 And he at once took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

33 Then the commander drew near and laid hold of him and ordered him to be abound with two bchains. And he inquired who he might be and what he had done.

34 And some among the crowd were ashouting one thing, and some another. And since he could not find out the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the bbarracks.

35 And when Paul came to the stairs, it so happened that he was being carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd;

36 For the multitude of the people were following and crying out, aAway with him!

37 And when he was about to be brought into the barracks, Paul said to the commander, Am I allowed to say anything to you? And he said, You know Greek?

38 You are not then the Egyptian who some days ago revolted and led out the four thousand men of the Assassins into the wilderness?

39 But Paul said, I am a aJewish man of bTarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city, and I beg you, permit me to speak to the people.

(3) Defending Himself before the Rioting Jews

40 And when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and amotioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he addressed them in the bHebrew 1dialect, saying,


1 1Men, abrothers and fathers, hear my 2bdefense which I now make to you.

2 And when they heard that he addressed them in the Hebrew 1dialect, they became more quiet. And he said,

3 I am 1a aJew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia but brought up in this city and trained at the feet of bGamaliel, according to the cstrictness of the law of our fathers, being dzealous efor God, even as you all are today.

4 And I apersecuted this 1Way unto death, binding and delivering to bprisons both men and women,

5 As also the ahigh priest and all the 1assembly of the elders testify for me; from whom I also received bletters to the brothers and went to cDamascus to bring those also who were there bound to Jerusalem that they might be punished.

6 And as I journeyed and adrew near to Damascus about midday, suddenly a great light flashed out of heaven around me;

7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting 1Me?

8 And I answered, Who are You, 1Lord? And He said to me, I am Jesus the aNazarene, whom you persecute.

9 And those who were with me beheld the light, but did not 1hear the voice of the One who was speaking to me.

10 And I said, aWhat shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Rise up and go into Damascus, and there it 1will be told to you concerning all the things which have been appointed to you to do.

11 And as I could 1not see because of the glory of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus.

12 And a certain 1aAnanias, a devout man according to the law, bwell attested to by all the Jews dwelling there,

13 Came to me, and standing by, said to me, Brother Saul, 1areceive your sight! And in that very hour I looked up at him.

14 And he said, The aGod of our fathers has previously bappointed you to know His cwill and to see the drighteous One and to hear the voice from His mouth;

15 For you will be a awitness to Him unto all men of the things which you have bseen and heard.

16 And now, why do you delay? Rise up and 1be abaptized and wash away your sins, 2bcalling on 3His cname.

17 And when I returned to aJerusalem and was praying in the btemple, I went into a 1trance;

18 And I saw Him saying to me, Hurry, and go quickly out of Jerusalem, because they will not accept your atestimony concerning Me.

19 And I said, Lord, they know that I was aimprisoning and beating from bsynagogue to synagogue those who believe on You;

20 And when the ablood of Your bwitness Stephen was being cshed, I myself also was standing by and dapproving and keeping the garments of those who did away with him.

21 And He said to me, Go, for I will send you forth afar away to the bGentiles.

(4) Bound by the Romans

22 And they listened to him up to this word, and then they lifted up their voice, saying, aAway from the earth with such a man, for it is bnot fitting for him to live!

23 And as they were crying out and casting off their garments and throwing dust in the air,

24 The 1commander ordered him to be brought into the abarracks, saying that he should be bexamined by scourging in order that he might cascertain for what cause they were shouting against him so.

25 But as they stretched him out 1with the thongs, Paul 2said to the centurion standing by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a aRoman and uncondemned?

26 And when the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported, saying, What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman.

27 And the commander came and said to him, Tell me, are you a Roman? And he said, Yes.

28 And the commander answered, With a large sum of money I acquired this citizenship. And Paul said, But I was even born a Roman.

29 Immediately therefore those who were about to aexamine him withdrew from him; and the bcommander also was cafraid, realizing that he was a dRoman and that he had ebound him.

(5) Defending Himself before the Sanhedrin

30 And on the next day he, intending to find out for certain why he was accused by the Jews, released him and ordered the chief priests and all the 1aSanhedrin to come together; and having brought Paul down, he had him stand before them.


1 And Paul, looking intently at the 1aSanhedrin, said, 2Men, brothers, I have conducted myself in all good 3bconscience before God until this day.

2 And the high priest aAnanias commanded those who stood by him to bstrike him on the mouth.

3 Then Paul 1said to him, God is going to strike you, you awhitewashed bwall. And do you sit to 2cjudge me according to the law, and contrary to the law you order me to be struck?

4 And those standing by said, Do you revile the ahigh priest of God?

5 And Paul said, I did not know, brothers, that he is the high priest; for it is written, a"You shall not bspeak evilly of the ruler of your people.''

6 And Paul, knowing that one part was 1aSadducees and the other 2Pharisees, 3cried out in the bSanhedrin, 4Men, brothers, I am a cPharisee, a son of Pharisees; concerning the dhope and eresurrection of the dead I am being 5judged!

7 And when he spoke this, a dissension took place between the Pharisees and Sadducees; and the multitude was divided.

8 For the Sadducees say that there is ano resurrection, neither angel nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both.

9 And there was a great outcry; and some of the ascribes of the Pharisees' party rose up and contended, saying, We find bnothing evil in this man. And what if a spirit has spoken to him, or an cangel?

10 And when much adissension had taken place, the 1commander, fearing that Paul might be torn to pieces by them, 2ordered the detachment of soldiers to go down and seize him from their midst and bring him into the bbarracks.

(6) Encouraged by the Lord

11 But in the anight 1following, the Lord 2bstood by him and said, Take ccourage, for as you have 3solemnly dtestified to the things concerning Me in Jerusalem, so also you must 4testify in 5Rome.

(7) The Plot of the Jews

12 And when it became day, the aJews formed a 1bplot and 2put themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had ckilled Paul.

13 And there were more than forty who swore to this conspiracy.

14 They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, 1We have bound ourselves with a curse to taste nothing until we kill Paul.

15 Now therefore you, with the Sanhedrin, notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to 1determine more accurately the things concerning him; and we, before he draws near, are ready to ado away with him.