Acts 21:38
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Aren't you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wilderness some time ago?"

New Living Translation
"Aren't you the Egyptian who led a rebellion some time ago and took 4,000 members of the Assassins out into the desert?"

English Standard Version
Are you not the Egyptian, then, who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness?”

Berean Study Bible
"Aren't you the Egyptian who incited a rebellion some time ago and led four thousand members of the 'Assassins' into the wilderness?"

Berean Literal Bible
Are you not, then, the Egyptian, the one before these days having led a revolt and having led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the 'Assassins?'"

New American Standard Bible
"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?"

King James Bible
Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Aren't you the Egyptian who raised a rebellion some time ago and led 4,000 Assassins into the wilderness?"

International Standard Version
You're not the Egyptian who started a revolt some time ago and led 4,000 assassins into the desert, are you?"

NET Bible
Then you're not that Egyptian who started a rebellion and led the four thousand men of the 'Assassins' into the wilderness some time ago?"

New Heart English Bible
Are you not then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Are you not that Egyptian who before these days made a disturbance and led four thousand criminal men to the wilderness?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Aren't you the Egyptian who started a revolution not long ago and led four thousand terrorists into the desert?"

New American Standard 1977
“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?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Art not thou that Egyptian, who before these days made an uproar and led four thousand men out into the wilderness that were murderers?

King James 2000 Bible
Are not you that Egyptian, who before these days made an uproar, and led out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

American King James Version
Are not you that Egyptian, which before these days made an uproar, and led out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

American Standard Version
Art thou not then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Art not thou that Egyptian who before these days didst raise a tumult, and didst lead forth into the desert four thousand men that were murderers?

Darby Bible Translation
Thou art not then that Egyptian who before these days raised a sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the assassins?

English Revised Version
Art thou not then the Egyptian, which before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?

Webster's Bible Translation
Art not thou that Egyptian, who before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

Weymouth New Testament
"Are you not the Egyptian who some years ago excited the riot of the 4,000 cut-throats, and led them out into the Desert?"

World English Bible
Aren't you then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?"

Young's Literal Translation
art not thou, then, the Egyptian who before these days made an uprising, and did lead into the desert the four thousand men of the assassins?'
Study Bible
Paul Speaks to the People
37As they were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?” “Do you speak Greek?” he replied. 38“- Aren’t you the Egyptian who incited a rebellion some time ago and led four thousand members of the ‘Assassins’’” into the wilderness? 39But Paul answered, “I am a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Now I beg you to allow me to speak to the people.”…
Cross References
Matthew 24:26
So if they tell you, 'There He is in the wilderness,' do not go out; or, 'Here He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it.

Mark 15:7
And a man named Barabbas was imprisoned with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection.

Luke 23:19
(Barabbas had been imprisoned for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

Acts 5:36
Some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing.
Treasury of Scripture

Are not you that Egyptian, which before these days made an uproar, and led out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

that. 'This Egyptian rose A.D.

Acts 5:36,37 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; …

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and …

1 Corinthians 4:13 Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, …

(38) Art not thou that Egyptian?--The Greek has an illative particle which is wanting in the English: Art not thou then that Egyptian? This was the inference drawn by the chief captain from the fact that his prisoner spoke in Greek. The Egyptian was a false prophet, who a short time before this, under the procuratorship of Felix, had led 30, 000 men (?) to the Mount of Olives, promising them that they should see Jerusalem destroyed (Jos. Ant. xx. 8, 6; Wars, ii. 13, 5). His followers were routed by Felix, but he himself escaped; and the chief captain infers from the tumult raised by a Greek-speaking Jew, that the Egyptian must have reappeared. Probably this was one of the vague reports in the confused clamour of the multitude. The words of the question have, however, been taken, on grammatical grounds, in a different sense: Thou art not, then, that Egyptian? as though his speaking Greek had changed the chiliarch's previous impression. Against this, however, there is the fact that an Egyptian Jew, coming from the very land of the Septuagint, would naturally speak Greek, and the inference that St. Paul was not the Egyptian because he knew that language would hardly be intelligible.

Four thousand men that were murderers.--Josephus, as has been said, gives a much larger number, but his statistics, in such cases, are never to be relied on. The word for murderer (sicarii, literally, dagger-bearers) was applied to the cut-throat bands who about this period infested well-nigh every part of Palestine, and who differed from the older robbers in being, like the Thugs in India, more systematically murderous (Jos. Wars, ii. 13, 3). In the siege of Jerusalem, their presence, sometimes in alliance with the more fanatic of the zealots, tended to aggravate all its horrors.

Verse 38. - Art thou not then the for art not thou that, A.V.; stirred up to sedition for madest an uproar, A.V.; led for leddest, A.V.; the four thousand men of the Assassins for four thousand men that were murderers, A.V. Art thou not then, etc.? or as Meyer, "Thou art not then;" either way implying that Lysias had concluded that he was the Egyptian, but had now discovered his mistake. The Egyptian, etc. He whom Josephus calls (' Bell. Jud.,' it. 13:5) "the Egyptian false prophet," and relates that, having collected above thirty thousand followers, he advanced from the desert to the Mount of Olives, intending to overpower the Roman garrison and make himself tyrant of Jerusalem, with the help of his δορυφόροι, or body-guard, who might very probably be composed of the Assassins or Sicarii, mentioned in the text. Stirred up to sedition (ἀναστατώσας) The difference between the A.V. and the R.V. is that the former takes the verb in an intransitive sense, "to make an Uproar," the latter in a transitive sense, governing the "four thousand men." In the only two other places were it occurs in the New Testament (Acts 17:6; Galatians 5:12) it is transitive. It is not a classical word. The four thousand men. Josephus, in the above-cited passage, reckons the followers of the Egyptian impostor at above thirty thousand. But such discrepancies are of no account, partly because of the known looseness with which numbers are stated, and Josephus's disposition to exaggerate; partly because of the real fluctuation in the numbers of insurgents at different periods of an insurrection; and partly because it is very possible that a soldier like Lysias would take no count of the mere rabble, but only of the disciplined and armed soldiers such as these Sicarii were. It may be added that Josephus himself seems to distinguish between the rabble and the fighting men, because, though in the 'Bell. Jud.,' it. 13:5 he says that Felix attacked or took prisoners "most of his followers," in the 'Ant. Jud.,' 20. 8:6 he makes the number of slain "four hundred," and of prisoners "two hundred" - a very small proportion of thirty thousand. The Egyptian had premised his deluded followers that the walls of Jerusalem would fall down like those of Jericho. It is not known exactly in what year the insurrection took place, but it was, as Renan says, "pen de temps auparavant" ('St. Paul,' p. 525). The Egyptian himself contrived to run away and disappear; hence the thought that he was the author of this new tumult at Jerusalem. The Sicarii were a band of fanatical murderers, who, in the disturbed times preceding the destruction of Jerusalem, went about armed with daggers, and in broad daylight and in the public thoroughfares murdered whoever was obnoxious to them. Among others they murdered the high priest Jonathan at the instigation of Felix (Josephus, 'Ant. Jud.,' 20. 6:7; 'Bell. Jud.,' 2, 13:3). Art thou not that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar,.... Josephus speaks (i) of one that came out of Egypt to Jerusalem, and gave out that he was a prophet, and deceived the people, whom he persuaded to follow him to the Mount of Olives, where they should see the walls of the city fall at his command, and so through the ruins of it they might enter into the city; but Felix the Roman governor fell upon them, killed four hundred, and took two hundred prisoners, and the Egyptian fled: the account which he elsewhere (k) gives of him, and Eusebius (l) from him, is this; a certain Egyptian false prophet did much more mischief to the Jews; for he being a magician, and having got himself to be believed as a prophet, came into the country (of Judea), and gathered together about thirty thousand persons, whom he had deceived: these he brought out of the wilderness to the Mount of Olives, from thence designing to take Jerusalem by force, and seize the Roman garrison, and take the government of the people but Felix prevented his design, meeting him with the Roman soldiers, assisted by all the people; so that when they engaged, the Egyptian fled with a few, and most of those that were with him were destroyed or taken: now it was some little time before this, that this affair happened; and by these accounts of Josephus, though the Egyptian was discomfited, yet he was not taken; he had made his escape, so that he might be yet in being; and therefore the captain could not tell but Paul might be he, who had privately got into the city, and was upon some bad designs:

and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers? Josephus says, that he brought them out of the wilderness, or led them through it to the Mount of Olives, from thence to rush into Jerusalem, when the walls should fall down at his command; but he says, the number of men that he led out were about thirty thousand; it may be at first there were no more than four thousand, but afterwards were joined by others, and increased to thirty thousand; or among these thirty thousand, he had four thousand "murderers, or sicarii": so called from the little swords which they carried under their clothes, and with them killed men in the daytime, in the middle of the city, especially at the feasts, when they mingled themselves with the people (m).

(i) Antiqu. l. 20. c. 7. sect. 6. (k) De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 13. sect. 5. (l) Eccl. Hist. l. 2. c. 21. (m) Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 13. sect. 3.38. madest an uproar, etc.—The narrative is given in Josephus [Wars of the Jews, 2.8.6; 13.5], though his two allusions and ours seem to refer to different periods of the rebellion.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.
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