Acts 21:39
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Paul answered, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people."

New Living Translation
"No," Paul replied, "I am a Jew and a citizen of Tarsus in Cilicia, which is an important city. Please, let me talk to these people."

English Standard Version
Paul replied, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no obscure city. I beg you, permit me to speak to the people.”

New American Standard Bible
But Paul said, "I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city; and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people."

King James Bible
But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Paul said, "I am a Jewish man from Tarsus of Cilicia, a citizen of an important city. Now I ask you, let me speak to the people."

International Standard Version
Paul replied, "I'm a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. Please let me speak to the people."

NET Bible
Paul answered, "I am a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city. Please allow me to speak to the people."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Paulus said to him, “I am a man, a Jew from Tarsus, the notable city of Qiliqia in which I was born. I beg of you, let me speak to the people.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Paul answered, "I'm a Jew, a citizen from the well-known city of Tarsus in Cilicia. I'm asking you to let me talk to the people."

Jubilee Bible 2000
But Paul said, I am certainly a Jew, a citizen of Tarsus, a city known in Cilicia; and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.

King James 2000 Bible
But Paul said, I am a man who is a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech you, allow me to speak unto the people.

American King James Version
But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech you, suffer me to speak to the people.

American Standard Version
But Paul said, I am a Jew, of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and I beseech thee, give me leave to speak unto the people.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But Paul said to him: I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city. And I beseech thee, suffer me to speak to the people.

Darby Bible Translation
But Paul said, *I* am a Jew of Tarsus, citizen of no insignificant city of Cilicia, and I beseech of thee, allow me to speak to the people.

English Revised Version
But Paul said, I am a Jew, of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and I beseech thee, give me leave to speak unto the people.

Webster's Bible Translation
But Paul said, I am a man who am a Jew of Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and I beseech thee suffer me to speak to the people.

Weymouth New Testament
"I am a Jew," replied Paul, "belonging to Tarsus in Cilicia, and am a citizen of no unimportant city. Give me leave, I pray you, to speak to the people."

World English Bible
But Paul said, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people."

Young's Literal Translation
And Paul said, 'I, indeed, am a man, a Jew, of Tarsus of Cilicia, of no mean city a citizen; and I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.'
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 39. - I am a Jew for I am a man which am a Jew, A.V.; in for a city in, A.V.; give me leave for suffer me, A.V. A citizen of no mean city; οὐκ ἀσήμου πόλεως, an elegant classical expression. Οὐκ ἄσημος Ἐλλήνων πόλις (Euripides, 'Ion.,' 8).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus,.... And not that Egyptian; he was not of that country, much less that man; but a Jew, both by birth and religion; he was born of Jewish parents, and brought up in the Jewish religion; though his native place was Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, where it is placed by Pliny (n), Ptolomy (o), and Mela (p); and is by some thought to be the same with the Tarshish of the Old Testament:

a citizen of no mean city; Pliny (q) calls it a free city, and Solinus (r) says it is the mother, or chief of cities, and Curtius (s) speaks of it as a very opulent one; which when Alexander drew near to with his army, the inhabitants of it set fire to, that he might not possess their riches; which he understanding, sent Parmenio to prevent it: through this city, as the same historian, in agreement with Pliny and others, observes, ran the river Cydnus; and it being summer time when Alexander was here, and very hot weather, and being covered with dust and sweat, he put off his clothes, and cast himself into the river to wash himself; but as soon as he was in, he was seized with such a numbness of his nerves, that had he not been immediately taken out by his soldiers, and for the extraordinary care of his physician, he had at once expired. Josephus (t) calls this city the most famous of the cities in Gallicia; and derives it, and the whole country, from Tarshish, the grandson of Japheth, Genesis 10:4 his words are,

"Tharsus gave name to the Tharsians, for so Cilicia was formerly called, of which this is an evidence; for the most famous of the cities with them, and which is the metropolis, is called Tarsus; Theta being changed into Tau for appellation sake.''

Though some say it was built by Perseus, the son of Jupiter and Danae, and called Tharsus, of the hyacinth stone, which is said to be found about it: others think it was so called, , because the places of this country were first dried up after the flood: it was not only a city of stately buildings, as it was repaired by Sardanapalus, and increased after the times of Alexander; but there was a famous academy in it, which, for men of learning, exceeded Athens and Alexandria (u); though these exceeded that in number of philosophers: here it is thought lived Aratus the poet, from whom the apostle cites a passage, in Acts 17:28 and of this place was the famous Chrysippus, who is called "a Tarsian" (w), as the apostle is here. Hermogenes, a very celebrated rhetorician, some of whose works are still extant, came from hence (x). Jerom (y) reports it as a tradition, that the parents of the Apostle Paul were of Giscalis, a town in Judea; which with the whole province being destroyed by the Romans, they removed to Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, whither Paul when a young man followed them; but certain it is, that the apostle was born there, as he himself says, in Acts 22:3. Ignatius, in (z) the "second" century, writing to the church at Tarsus, calls them citizens and disciples of Paul; citizens, because he was of this city; and disciples, because of the same faith with him; and very likely the first materials of the church in this place were converts of his; since it is evident that he went hither after he was a preacher; see Acts 9:30.

And I beseech thee suffer me to speak unto the people; first he desired to speak with the captain, and that was in order to obtain leave to speak to the people; and which he asks in a very handsome and submissive manner, and hopes to have his request granted him, since he was not the person he took him for, but was a Jew by birth, and a citizen of a very considerable Roman city; and was not a mean, sordid, vagabond creature, nor need he fear that he would sow any discord and sedition among the people.

(n) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 27. (o) Geograph. l. 5. c. 8. (p) De orbis situ, l. 1. c. 13. (q) Ib. ut supra. (Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 27.) (r) Polyhist. c. 51. (s) Hist. l. 3. c. 4. (t) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.((u) Strabo, Geograph. l. 14. (w) Laert. Vit. Philosoph. l. 7. (x) Vid. Fabricii Bibl. Graec. l. 4. c. 31. sect. 4. 5. (y) Catalog. Script. Eccles. sect. 15. fol. 90. G. & Comment. in Philemon. ver. 23. Tom. 9. fol. 116. L. (z) Ep. ad Tarsenses, p. 75.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

39. a citizen of no mean city—(See on [2089]Ac 16:37).

Acts 21:39 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul Speaks to the People
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?" 39But Paul said, "I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city; and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people." 40When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, motioned to the people with his hand; and when there was a great hush, he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, saying,
Cross References
Acts 6:9
Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)--Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia--who began to argue with Stephen.

Acts 9:11
The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.

Acts 22:3
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.

Acts 23:34
The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. Learning that he was from Cilicia,
Treasury of Scripture

But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech you, suffer me to speak to the people.

I am.

Acts 9:11,30 And the Lord said to him, Arise, and go into the street which is …

Acts 22:3 I am truly a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, …

Acts 23:34 And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province …

Cilicia.

Acts 6:9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue …

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

a citizen.

Acts 16:37 But Paul said to them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being …

Acts 22:25-29 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion that …

Acts 23:27 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: …

suffer.

Acts 21:37 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said to the chief captain, …

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts…

1 Peter 4:15,16 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an …

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