Acts 18:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken.

New Living Translation
Paul stayed in Corinth for some time after that, then said good-bye to the brothers and sisters and went to nearby Cenchrea. There he shaved his head according to Jewish custom, marking the end of a vow. Then he set sail for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him.

English Standard Version
After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow.

New American Standard Bible
Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow.

King James Bible
And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So Paul, having stayed on for many days, said good-bye to the brothers and sailed away to Syria. Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He shaved his head at Cenchreae because he had taken a vow.

International Standard Version
After staying there for quite a while longer, Paul said goodbye to the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. He had his hair cut in Cenchrea, since he was under a vow.

NET Bible
Paul, after staying many more days in Corinth, said farewell to the brothers and sailed away to Syria accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because he had made a vow.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And when Paulus had been there for many days, he bade farewell to the brethren and he journeyed by sea to go to Syria, and Priscilla and Aqilaus came with him when he shaved his head in Qenkreos, because he had vowed a vow for himself.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
After staying in Corinth quite a while longer, Paul left [for Ephesus]. Priscilla and Aquila went with him. In the city of Cenchrea, Aquila had his hair cut, since he had taken a vow. From Cenchrea they took a boat headed for Syria

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while and then took his leave of the brethren and sailed from there into Syria and with him Priscilla and Aquila, having shorn his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow.

King James 2000 Bible
And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed from there into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shaved his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

American King James Version
And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brothers, and sailed there into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

American Standard Version
And Paul, having tarried after this yet many days, took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila: having shorn his head in Cenchreae; for he had a vow.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But Paul, when he had stayed yet many days, taking his leave of the brethren, sailed thence into Syria (and with him Priscilla and Aquila), having shorn his head in Cenchrae: for he had a vow.

Darby Bible Translation
And Paul, having yet stayed [there] many days, took leave of the brethren and sailed thence to Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila, having shorn his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow;

English Revised Version
And Paul, having tarried after this yet many days, took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchreae: for he had a vow.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

Weymouth New Testament
After remaining a considerable time longer in Corinth, Paul took leave of the brethren and set sail for Syria; and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had shaved his head at Cenchreae, because he was bound by a vow.

World English Bible
Paul, having stayed after this many more days, took his leave of the brothers, and sailed from there for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head in Cenchreae, for he had a vow.

Young's Literal Translation
And Paul having remained yet a good many days, having taken leave of the brethren, was sailing to Syria -- and with him are Priscilla and Aquilas -- having shorn his head in Cenchera, for he had a vow;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

18:18-23 While Paul found he laboured not in vain, he continued labouring. Our times are in God's hand; we purpose, but he disposes; therefore we must make all promises with submission to the will of God; not only if providence permits, but if God does not otherwise direct our motions. A very good refreshment it is to a faithful minister, to have for awhile the society of his brethren. Disciples are compassed about with infirmity; ministers must do what they can to strengthen them, by directing them to Christ, who is their Strength. Let us earnestly seek, in our several places, to promote the cause of Christ, forming plans that appear to us most proper, but relying on the Lord to bring them to pass if he sees good.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 18. - Having tarried after this yet many days for after this tarried there yet a good while, and then, A.V.; for for into, A.V.; Cenchreae for Cenchrea, A.V. Took his leave; ἀποταξάμενος, here and again in ver. 21. This is a somewhat peculiar use of the word, which occurs also in Luke 9:61 and 2 Corinthians 2:13 (see too Mark 6:46). It is used in the same sense in Josephus ('Ant. Jud.,' 11. 8:6). In a metaphorical sense it means" to renounce," "to bid adieu to" (Luke 14:23). Of the six times it occurs in the New Testament, four are in St. Luke's writings and one in St. Paul's. With him Priscilla and Aquila, having shorn his head in Cenchreae, etc. There is great diversity of opinion as to whether it was St. Paul or Aquila who had the vow. Meyer thinks that the mention of Priscilla before Aquila, contrary to the order in ver. 2 and in ver. 26 (where, however, the R.T. reads "Priscilla and Aquila), is a clear indication that Luke meant the words κειράμενος κ.τ.λ., to refer to Aquila, not to St. Paul, and Howson takes the same view. But this is a very weak argument, refuted at once by Romans 16:3 and 2 Timothy 4:19, as well as by the whole run of the passage, in which Paul is throughout the person spoken of; or, as Alford puts it, in the consecutive narrative from ver. 18 to ver. 25, there are nine aorist participles, of which eight apply to Paul, as the subject of the section, making it scarcely doubtful that the ninth applies to him likewise. Moreover, there is no conceivable reason why the vow should be mentioned if it was taken by Aquila, and, what is still more conclusive, the person who went to Jerusalem, i.e. Paul, must be the one who had the vow, not the person who stayed behind, i.e. Aquila. In fact, nobody would ever have thought of making Aquila the subject if it were not for the thought that there is an incongruity with Paul's character in his making a vow of that kind. But we must take what we find in Scripture, and not force it to speak our own thoughts. As regards the nature of the vow, it is not quite clear what it was. It was not the simple Nazaritic vow described in Numbers 6:18-21; nor is the word here used by St. Luke (κειράμενος) the one which is there and elsewhere employed by the LXX., and by St. Luke himself in Acts 21:24, of that final shaving of the hair of the Nazarite for the purpose of offering it at the door of the tabernacle (ξυράω). It seems rather to have been of the nature of that vow which Josephus speaks of as customary for persons in any affliction, viz. to make a vow that, for thirty days previous to that on which they intend to offer sacrifice, they will abstain from wine and will shave off (ξυρήσασθαι) their hair, adding that Bernice was now at Jerusalem in order to perform such a vow ('Bell. Jud.,' it. 15:1). But it further appears, from certain passages in the Mishna, that, if any one had a Nazarite vow upon him outside the limits of the Holy Land, he could not fulfill such vow till he was come to the Holy Laud, to Jerusalem; but it was allowable in such case to cut his hair short (κείρεσθαι τὴν κεφαλήν), and as some say to take it with him to Jerusalem, and there offer it at the same time that he offered his sacrifice and shaved his head (ξυρήσασθαι). It would seem, therefore, that either in a severe illness or under some great danger (ἀνάγκη) St. Paul had made such a vow; that he had been unwilling to cut his hair short at Corinth, where he was thrown so much into the society of Greeks, and therefore did so at Cenchreae just before he embarked for Syria; and that he made all haste to reach Jerusalem in time for the Passover, that he might there accomplish his vow (see Bishop Wordsworth's note on Acts 18:18; and Farrar's ' Life of St. Paul,' 2. p. 2). His motives for the vow may have been partly those described on another occasion (Acts 21:24), and partly his own Jewish feelings of piety showing themselves in the accustomed way. Cenchreae. The eastern port of Corinth; a considerable place. There was a Church there, doubtless founded by St. Paul during his stay at Corinth (Romans 16:1).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while,.... A year and a half, as in Acts 18:11 for this insurrection might follow immediately upon the vision the apostle had; and who by that was encouraged to continue in this city, notwithstanding the treatment he met with; he not doubting of the promise of God, and of his power and faithfulness to fulfil it, though this was a trial of his faith and constancy:

and then took his leave of the brethren; whom he had been instrumental in the conversion of, and had established and confirmed in the faith; and having now done his work in this place, at least for the time present, he takes his leave of them and departs:

and sailed thence into Syria; or towards Syria, for he took Ephesus by the way, which was in Asia, and stopped there a little while:

and with him Priscilla and Aquila; whom he had met with at Corinth, and with whom he had lodged and wrought at his trade, Acts 18:2

Having shorn his head in Cenchrea; which some understand not of Paul, but of Aquila, who is the last person spoken of; and the Ethiopic version reads in the plural number, referring this to both Priscilla and Aquila, "and they had shaved their heads, for they had a vow"; and so it was read in a manuscript of Baronius, and Bede observes, that it was read in like manner in some copies in his time; but the more authentic reading is in the singular number, and is more generally understood of the Apostle Paul; who being about to go into Judea, to the Jew became a Jew, that he might gain some: Cenchrea, where this was done, was a sea port belonging to the Corinthians, on the east of the Isthmus, as Lechea was on the west; according to Pliny (x), there were two gulfs, or bays, to the Isthmus, the one he calls the Corinthian bay, and others the Crissean and Alcyonian bay, and Golfo de Petras; the other the Saronic bay, now called Golfo de Engia; Lechea was in the Corinthian bay, and Cenchrea in the Saronic bay; and both belonged to Corinth, and were the bounds of the Straights; the space between them was the Isthmus, which consisted of about five miles; and so Pausanias says (y), the Isthmus of the Corinthians is washed on both sides by the sea; on one side at Cenchrea, and on the other at Lechea, and this makes the island a continent; and likewise Philo (z) giving an account of a voyage of Flaccus says, that passing over the Ionian gulf, he came to the sea (or shore) of Corinth ------- and going over the Isthmus from Lechea, to the opposite sea, he came down to Cenchrea, a seaport of the Corinthians; of which Apuleius (a) gives this account:

"this town is a most noble colony of the Corinthians, it is washed by the Aegean and Saronic sea, where there is a port, a most safe receptacle for ships, and very populous.''

Hither the apostle came from Corinth to take shipping, and from hence he sailed to Syria, as before observed: it has its name either from millet, for "Cenchros" signifies "millet"; and "Cenchrias" is "bread made of millet"; or from the bird "Cenchris", which is a kind of hawk; See Gill on Romans 16:1.

For he had a vow; this, some think, could not be the vow of the Nazarites, for then he should have stayed till he came to Jerusalem, and have shaved his head at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and cast the hair into the fire, under the pot in which the peace offerings were boiled (b); though he that vowed in the country, was not obliged to this: others think it was such an one as the Jews in travelling used, that they would not shave till they came to such a place; and so the apostle had made a vow that he would shave at Cenchrea; and accordingly did; but this is not likely, that the apostle should make a vow upon so light an occasion: others that it refers to his going to Jerusalem, to keep the feast there, Acts 18:21 and so these think the words are a reason, not of his shaving of his head, but of his sailing to Syria; the first is most probable, that it was a Nazarite's vow; see Acts 21:24.

(x) Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 4. (y) Corinthiaca sive, l. 2. p. 86. (z) In Flaccum, p. 987. (a) Metamorphos. l. 10. in fine. (b) Misn. Nazir, c. 6. sect. 8. Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 10. fol. 201. 3.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

18. Paul … tarried … yet a good while—During his long residence at Corinth, Paul planted other churches in Achaia (2Co 1:1).

then took … leave of the brethren, and sailed … into—rather, "for"

Syria—to Antioch, the starting-point of all the missions to the Gentiles, which he feels to be for the present concluded.

with him Priscilla and Aquila—In this order the names also occur in Ac 18:26 (according to the true reading); compare Ro 16:3; 2Ti 4:19, which seem to imply that the wife was the more prominent and helpful to the Church. Silas and Timotheus doubtless accompanied the apostle, as also Erastus, Gaius, and Aristarchus (Ac 19:22, 29). Of Silas, as Paul's associate, we read no more. His name occurs last in connection with Peter and the churches of Asia Minor [Webster and Wilkinson].

having shorn his head in Cenchrea—the eastern harbor of Corinth, about ten miles distant, where a church had been formed (Ro 16:1).

for he—Paul.

had a vow—That it was the Nazarite vow (Nu 6:1-27) is not likely. It was probably one made in one of his seasons of difficulty or danger, in prosecution of which he cuts off his hair and hastens to Jerusalem to offer the requisite sacrifice within the prescribed thirty days [Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 2.15.1]. This explains the haste with which he leaves Ephesus (Ac 18:21), and the subsequent observance, on the recommendation of the brethren, of a similar vow (Ac 21:24). This one at Corinth was voluntary, and shows that even in heathen countries he systematically studied the prejudices of his Jewish brethren.

Acts 18:18 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul Returns to Antioch
18Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow. 19They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.…
Cross References
Numbers 6:2
"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the LORD as a Nazirite,

Numbers 6:5
"'During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the LORD is over; they must let their hair grow long.

Matthew 4:24
News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.

Mark 6:46
After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

Acts 1:15
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)

Acts 18:2
There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,

Acts 18:26
He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

Acts 18:27
When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.

Acts 21:23
so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow.

Acts 21:24
Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.

Romans 16:1
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae.
Treasury of Scripture

And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brothers, and sailed there into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

Syria.

Acts 15:23,41 And they wrote letters by them after this manner…

Acts 21:3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and …

Galatians 1:21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;

Priscilla.

Acts 18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come …

having.

Acts 21:24 Them take, and purify yourself with them, and be at charges with …

Numbers 6:5-9,18 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come …

1 Corinthians 9:20 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to …

Cenchrea. Cenchrea, now Kenkri, was the port of Corinth, on the east side of the isthmus, and about nine miles from the city.

Romans 16:1 I commend to you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church …

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