Acts 21:37
Parallel Verses
New International Version
As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, "May I say something to you?" "Do you speak Greek?" he replied.

New Living Translation
As Paul was about to be taken inside, he said to the commander, "May I have a word with you?" "Do you know Greek?" the commander asked, surprised.

English Standard Version
As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, “May I say something to you?” And he said, “Do you know Greek?

New American Standard Bible
As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commander, "May I say something to you?" And he said, "Do you know Greek?

King James Bible
And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
As he was about to be brought into the barracks, Paul said to the commander, "Am I allowed to say something to you?" He replied, "Do you know Greek?

International Standard Version
Just as Paul was about to be taken into the barracks, he asked the tribune, "May I say something to you?" The tribune asked, "Oh, do you speak Greek?

NET Bible
As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commanding officer, "May I say something to you?" The officer replied, "Do you know Greek?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And when he approached to enter the encampment, Paulus said to the Chiliarch, “If you allow me, I shall speak with you”, but he said to him, “Do you know Greek?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the officer, "May I say something to you?" The officer replied to Paul, "Can you speak Greek?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And as Paul was to be led into the fortress, he said unto the tribunal, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?

King James 2000 Bible
And as Paul was to be led into the barracks, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto you? Who said, Can you speak Greek?

American King James Version
And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said to the chief captain, May I speak to you? Who said, Can you speak Greek?

American Standard Version
And as Paul was about to be brought into the castle, he saith unto the chief captain, May I say something unto thee? And he said, Dost thou know Greek?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And as Paul was about to be brought into the castle, he saith to the tribune: May speak something to thee? Who said: Canst thou speak Greek?

Darby Bible Translation
But as he was about to be led into the fortress, Paul says to the chiliarch, Is it allowed me to say something to thee? And he said, Dost thou know Greek?

English Revised Version
And as Paul was about to be brought into the castle, he saith unto the chief captain, May I say something unto thee? And he said, Dost thou know Greek?

Webster's Bible Translation
And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said to the chief captain, May I speak to thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?

Weymouth New Testament
When he was about to be taken into the barracks, Paul said to the Tribune, "May I speak to you?" "Do you know Greek?" the Tribune asked.

World English Bible
As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he asked the commanding officer, "May I speak to you?" He said, "Do you know Greek?

Young's Literal Translation
And Paul being about to be led into the castle, saith to the chief captain, 'Is it permitted to me to say anything unto thee?' and he said, 'Greek dost thou know?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

21:27-40 In the temple, where Paul should have been protected as in a place of safety, he was violently set upon. They falsely charged him with ill doctrine and ill practice against the Mosaic ceremonies. It is no new thing for those who mean honestly and act regularly, to have things laid to their charge which they know not and never thought of. It is common for the wise and good to have that charged against them by malicious people, with which they thought to have obliged them. God often makes those a protection to his people, who have no affection to them, but only have compassion for sufferers, and regard to the public peace. And here see what false, mistaken notions of good people and good ministers, many run away with. But God seasonably interposes for the safety of his servants, from wicked and unreasonable men; and gives them opportunities to speak for themselves, to plead for the Redeemer, and to spread abroad his glorious gospel.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 37. - About to be brought for to be led, A.V.; saith for said, A.V.; say something for speak, A.V,; and he for who, A.V.; dost thou know for canst thou speak, A.V. About to be brought into the castle. He had nearly reached the top of the stairs, and there was, perhaps, a brief halt while the gates of the castle-yard were being opened. Paul seized the opportunity to address Lysias in Greek. Dost thou know Greek? (Ἑλληνιστὶ γινώσκεις;). According to some, λαλεῖν is to be understood, "Dost thou know how to speak Greek?" after the analogy of Λαλοῦντες Ἀζωτιστί, and Οὐκ εἰσὶν ἐπιγινώσκοντες λαλεῖν Ιουδαι'στί, in Nehemiah 13:24. But others (Meyer, Alford, etc.) say that there is no ellipse of λαλεῖν, but that Ἐλληνιστὶ γινώσκειν Συριστὶ ἐπισταμένους (Xenophon), "Graece nescire" (Cicero), mean to know or not to know the Greek and Syrian languages.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And as Paul was to be led into the castle,.... Just as he was got up to the top of the steps, or stairs, that led up to the castle, and was about to go into the door of it:

he said unto the chief captain, may I speak unto thee? the apostle was one that had had a good education, and was a man of address, and this his modest and respectful way of speaking to the chief captain shows; and the question he put to him, was in the Greek language: hence it follows,

who said to him, canst thou speak Greek? or "dost thou know the Hellenistic language?" which the Jews who were born and lived in Greece spoke; hence such were called Hellenists; see Acts 6:1 of this language we read in the Talmud (h);

"R. Levi bar Chajethah went to Caesarea, and heard them reading "Shema", (hear O Israel), &c. Deuteronomy 6:4 Nytoynwla in the Hellenistic language; he sought to hinder them; R. Rose heard of it, and was angry; and said, he that knows not to read in the Hebrew language, must he not read at all? yea, he may read in whatsoever language he understands.''

The nearest to this language spoken by the Jews dispersed in Greece, must be the Greek language, in which Jews have written; as the books of the Old Testament translated by the "seventy" interpreters, who were Jews; and indeed it was this Bible which the Jews called Hellenists made use of; and the writings of Josephus, and Philo the Jew of Alexandria, and even the books of the New Testament, which are written by Jews; and Paul being a Jew of Tarsus, and so an Hellenist, could speak this language; as he did, when he disputed against the Hellenists, in Acts 9:29. This the chief captain said, either as wondering to hear him speak Greek, when he thought he had been a Jerusalem Jew, or rather an Egyptian, as in the next verse; or it may be he put this question to him, as choosing rather that he should speak in Greek, it being the language he might best understand himself, and was the least known to the people, who he might not care should hear what he had to say; since if he took him for the Egyptian, the Greek tongue was what was chiefly spoken by such.

(h) T. Hieros. Sota, fol. 21. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

37-40. Art not thou that Egyptian, &c.—The form of the question implies that the answer is to be in the negative, and is matter of some surprise: "Thou art not then?" &c.

Acts 21:37 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul Speaks to the People
37As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commander, "May I say something to you?" And he said, "Do you know Greek? 38"Then you are not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness?"…
Cross References
Acts 21:34
Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.

Acts 22:24
the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this.

Acts 23:10
The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.

Acts 23:16
But when the son of Paul's sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.
Treasury of Scripture

And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said to the chief captain, May I speak to you? Who said, Can you speak Greek?

Acts 21:19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things …

Acts 19:30 And when Paul would have entered in to the people, the disciples …

Matthew 10:18-20 And you shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, …

Luke 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries …

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