|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:19-26 Paul ascribed all his success to God, and to God they gave the praise. God had honoured him more than any of the apostles, yet they did not envy him; but on the contrary, glorified the Lord. They could not do more to encourage Paul to go on cheerfully in his work. James and the elders of the church at Jerusalem, asked Paul to gratify the believing Jews, by some compliance with the ceremonial law. They thought it was prudent in him to conform thus far. It was great weakness to be so fond of the shadows, when the substance was come. The religion Paul preached, tended not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. He preached Christ, the end of the law for righteousness, and repentance and faith, in which we are to make great use of the law. The weakness and evil of the human heart strongly appear, when we consider how many, even of the disciples of Christ, had not due regard to the most eminent minister that even lived. Not the excellence of his character, nor the success with which God blessed his labours, could gain their esteem and affection, seeing that he did not render the same respect as themselves to mere ceremonial observances. How watchful should we be against prejudices! The apostles were not free from blame in all they did; and it would be hard to defend Paul from the charge of giving way too much in this matter. It is vain to attempt to court the favour of zealots, or bigots to a party. This compliance of Paul did not answer, for the very thing by which he hoped to pacify the Jews, provoked them, and brought him into trouble. But the all-wise God overruled both their advice and Paul's compliance with it, to serve a better purpose than was intended. It was in vain to think of pleasing men who would be pleased with nothing but the rooting out of Christianity. Integrity and uprightness will be more likely to preserve us than insincere compliances. And it should warn us not to press men to doing what is contrary to their own judgment to oblige us.
Verse 23. - Which have a vow; meaning emphatically the vow of a Nazarite.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Do therefore this that we say to thee,.... This is said not as commanding, but as advising; and not to what was a duty, and necessary to be done as such, but as a point of prudence:
we have four men which have a vow on them; that is, there were four men who were of the church at Jerusalem, believers in Christ, but weak ones, who were zealous of the law, and bigots to it, and who had voluntarily vowed a vow of the Nazarites; see Numbers 6:2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. we have four men—Christian Jews, no doubt.
which have a vow—perhaps kept ready on purpose.
Acts 21:23 Parallel Commentaries
Acts 21:23 NIV
Acts 21:23 NLT
Acts 21:23 ESV
Acts 21:23 NASB
Acts 21:23 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible