And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)As we tarried there many days . . .—The adjective is in the comparative degree, and implies, accordingly, a longer time than had been intended. Probably the voyage had been quicker than the travellers had expected, and there was therefore time to remain at Cæsarea, and yet to arrive at Jerusalem, as St. Paul purposed, in time for Pentecost (chap 20:16). There was, at any rate, time for the tidings of his arrival to reach Jerusalem, and for Agabus (see Note on Acts 11:28) to come down in consequence.Acts 21:10-14. And as we tarried there many days — There being many disciples in that city, the fruit, as appears, of the ministry and miracles of Philip; there came from Judea a prophet named Agabus — Paul, and some part of his company, had become acquainted with this prophet some years before, at Antioch, where he foretold the famine which afterward happened in the days of Claudius Cesar, Acts 11:28. And when he was come unto us — Several of the disciples of Cesarea and Paul’s friends being together; he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet — In the manner that malefactors were wont to be bound when apprehended; and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost — By whose inspiration I now speak and act; So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle — Thus Agabus, like the prophets of old, accompanied his prediction with a significant prophetic symbol: and thus the nearer the event was, the more express and impressive were the predictions intended to prepare Paul for it. When we — Of Paul’s company; and they of that place — The brethren of Cesarea; heard these things — And believed if he went to Jerusalem the prediction would be fulfilled; we besought him not to go — In the most pressing manner, and with many tears of sincere and fervent affection, Acts 21:13; being ignorant, it appears, that this and the former prediction were intended, not to hinder him from going to Jerusalem, but to make him the more courageous, by signifying to him beforehand what was to befall him, (Acts 20:22-23,) and that he would not be put to death at Jerusalem. Then Paul — Sensibly touched with the concern which they expressed on his account, and yet resolutely bent upon following what he apprehended to be the call of duty, whatever sufferings it might expose him to; answered, What mean ye to weep and break my heart? — By these affectionate salutations? Observe, reader, the admirable mixture of tenderness and firmness of spirit manifested in this answer. I am ready, not to be bound only — And cast into prison; but also to die at Jerusalem — Or wherever else I may be called to it; for the name of the Lord Jesus — For he feared neither sufferings nor death in any form, if he might thereby defend the gospel, and promote the glory of its Author, which were the ends he had chiefly in view in all his labours and sufferings, and which he preferred to all other things whatever. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased — It was not obstinacy in Paul that hindered his yielding to their persuasions, but true Christian resolution, not to relinquish what he believed to be the line of duty. We should never be persuaded either to do what we know to be evil, or to omit what we believe to be good, when it is in our power: saying, The will of the Lord be done — Which they were satisfied Paul knew.Acts 15:1.
Named Agabus - See the notes on Acts 11:28.
days—Finding himself in good time for Pentecost at Jerusalem, he would feel it a refreshing thing to his spirit to hold Christian communion for a few days with such a family.
there came down from Judea—the news of Paul's arrival having spread.
a certain prophet … Agabus—no doubt the same as in Ac 11:28.Acts 11:28; of whose prophecy they could not be ignorant, by reason of the great collection which, on that account, was made for the poor at Jerusalem. Acts 20:6
there came down from Judea a certain prophet named Agabus; of whom mention is made in Acts 11:28 who is there said to come from Jerusalem, to Antioch, and here from Judea to Caesarea; he had been many years going about from place to place prophesying, for between that and this account must be a space of about sixteen or seventeen years.And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 21:10-11. Ἐπιμενόντων] without a subject (see the critical remarks); Matthiae, § 563; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 271 [E. T. 316].
Ἄγαβος] There is no reason against the assumed identity of this person with the one mentioned in Acts 11:28. Luke’s mode of designating him, which does not take account of the former mention of him, admits of sufficient explanation from the special document giving account of this journey, which, composed by himself before his book, did not involve a reference to earlier matters, and was left by him just as it was; nor did it necessarily require any addition on this point for the purpose of setting the reader right.
ἄρας] he took it up, from the ground, or wherever Paul had laid it.
δήσας … πόδας] as also the old prophets often accompanied their prophecies with symbolic actions; Isaiah 20; Jeremiah 13; Ezekiel 4, al. See Grotius; Ewald, Proph. I. p. 38. On the symbol here, comp. John 21:18.
ἑαυτοῦ] his own; for it was not his girdle, but Paul’s. This self-binding is to be conceived as consisting of two separate acts.
τὸ πν. τ. ἅγ.] whose utterance I, namely, as His organ express.Acts 21:10. ἡμέρας πλείους: “many days,” R.V., “some” margin; literally “more days,” the phrase is used vaguely with what Ramsay calls Luke’s usual defective sense of time, cf. Acts 13:31, Acts 25:14. The phrase is also found in Acts 27:20, so that it occurs twice in the “We” sections and twice in the rest of Acts, but nowhere else in N.T., see Hawkins, Horæ Synopticæ, p. 151, Klostermann, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, p. 53. Often in LXX. Weiss thinks that the phrase here, cf. Acts 21:4, shows that Paul had given up all idea of reaching Jerusalem for Pentecost; but see on the other hand Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 297, and Salmon, Introd., p. 300: probably the Apostle had several days to spare when he reached Cæsarea, and he would naturally calculate his time differently when he had made a prosperous voyage, so that there is no contradiction with Acts 20:16.—προφ. ὀνόμ. Ἄ.: probably the same who is mentioned in Acts 11:25, since he too came from Jerusalem. It has seemed strange to Blass and to others that St. Luke mentions Agabus here so indefinitely, but in this “We” section it would seem that St. Luke refers to Agabus in this vague way because this was the first time that he had seen the prophet (unless we accept  in Acts 11:28). It is therefore quite unnecessary to regard the mention of his name in Acts 11:28 as an interpolation. Agabus is evidently enabled not only to declare the will of God, but also to predict the future.
 Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.10. And as we tarried there many days] The word rendered “many” is not the one commonly so translated. It is equal to “some” as Rev. Ver. in margin, and implies that the Apostle made a suitable stay, such as was seemly with a host of such a kind.
there … Agabus] Perhaps the same who (Acts 11:28) at Antioch foretold the coming famine. The prophets mentioned on that occasion had also come up from Jerusalem, and the name being somewhat unusual, makes the identity very probable.Verse 10. - Many days (ἡμέρας πλείους). In Acts 13:31 ἐπὶ ἡμέρας πλείους is applied to the forty days between the Resurrection and the Ascension. In Acts 18:20 πλείονα χρόνον is a longer time - longer, viz. than he had intended. In Acts 25:6 ἡμέρας πλείους η} δέκα is "more than ten days." Here, therefore, it is too strong an expression to say "many days." According to Lewin's calculation, he was only five days at Caesarea - from May 10 to May 15. Howson's "some days," which is the rendering also in the margin of the R.T., is much better than "many." Renan has "quelques jours." Agabus (see Acts 11:28).
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