Acts 21:12
And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, sought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) Both we, and they of that place . . .—For the first time the courage even of the Apostle’s companions began to fail, and St. Luke admits that he himself had joined in the entreaty. Could not they, who were less known, and therefore in less danger, go up without him, pay over the fund that had been collected among the Gentiles to St. James and the elders, and return to him at Cæsarea? “They of that place” would of course include Philip and his daughters, and possibly, if he were still there, Cornelius and his friends, or, at any rate, those of the latter who were still residing in the city. They besought him, it will be noted, even with tears.

21:8-18 Paul had express warning of his troubles, that when they came, they might be no surprise or terror to him. The general notice given us, that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God, should be of the same use to us. Their weeping began to weaken and slacken his resolution Has not our Master told us to take up our cross? It was a trouble to him, that they should so earnestly press him to do that in which he could not gratify them without wronging his conscience. When we see trouble coming, it becomes us to say, not only, The will of the Lord must be done, and there is no remedy; but, Let the will of the Lord be done; for his will is his wisdom, and he doeth all according to the counsel of it. When a trouble is come, this must allay our griefs, that the will of the Lord is done; when we see it coming, this must silence our fears, that the will of the Lord shall be done; and we ought to say, Amen, let it be done. It is honourable to be an old disciple of Jesus Christ, to have been enabled by the grace of God to continue long in a course of duty, stedfast in the faith, growing more and more experienced, to a good old age. And with these old disciples one would choose to lodge; for the multitude of their years shall teach wisdom. Many brethren at Jerusalem received Paul gladly. We think, perhaps, that if we had him among us, we should gladly receive him; but we should not, if, having his doctrine, we do not gladly receive that.He took Paul's girdle - The loose, flowing robes, or outer garments, which were worn in Eastern countries, were bound by a girdle, or sash, around the body when they ran, or labored, or walked. Such a girdle was therefore an indispensable part of dress.

And bound his own hands and feet - As emblematic of what would be done by the Jews to Paul. It was common for the prophets to perform actions which were emblematic of the events which they predicted. The design was to make the prediction more forcible and impressive by representing it to the eye. Thus, Jeremiah was directed to bury his girdle by the Euphrates, to denote the approaching captivity of the Jews, Jeremiah 13:4. Thus, he was directed to make bands and yokes, and to put them around his neck, as a sign to Edom and Moab, etc., Jeremiah 27:2-3. Thus, the act of the potter was emblematic of the destruction that was coming upon the nation of the Jews, Jeremiah 18:4. So Isaiah walked naked and barefoot as a sign of the captivity of Egypt and Ethiopia, Isaiah 20:3-4. Compare Ezekiel 4:12, etc.

So shall the Jews ... - This was fulfilled. See Acts 21:33, and Acts 24.

Into the hands of the Gentiles - To be tried; for the Romans then had jurisdiction over Judea.

12. we and they at that place—the Cæsarean Christians.

besought him—even with tears, Ac 21:13.

not to go to Jerusalem.

They of that place; the converts or believers that were in Caesarea, pitying him, and having a tender affection for him: See Poole on "Acts 21:4".

Besought him with tears, so earnest were they, as in the following verse. {see Acts 21:13} And when we heard these things,.... These prophecies, concerning the binding of the apostle by the Jews, and the delivery of him to the Romans, and saw the symbolical representations of these things:

both we; the companions of the apostle, Luke and the rest:

and they of that place; of Caesarea, Philip and his daughters, and the disciples that lived there:

besought him not to go up to Jerusalem; which was an instance of weakness in them, though an expression of their affection to the apostle; in the disciples of Caesarea it might arise from pure love to him, and a concern for his safety, and the continuance of his useful life; and in his companions it might be owing partly to their sincere love to him, and partly to the fear of danger which they themselves might conclude they should be exposed to; and this request was made with tears, as is evident from what follows.

And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 21:12-14. Οἱ ἐντόπιοι] the natives (the Christians of Caesarea), only here in the N.T., but classical.

τί ποιεῖτε κλαίοντες;] What do ye, that ye weep? Certainly essentially the same in sense with τί κλαίετε, but the form of the conception is different. Comp. Mark 11:5, also the classical οἷον ποιεῖς with the participle (Heind. ad Plat. Charm. p. 166 C).

κ. συνθρ. μ. τ. καρδ.] and break my heart, make me quite sorrowful and disconsolate. The συνθρύπτειν had actually commenced on the part of those assembled, but the firm ἑτοίμως ἔχω κ.τ.λ. of the apostle had immediately retained the upper hand over the enervating impressions which they felt. “Vere incipit actus, sed ob impedimenta caret eventu.” Schaefer, ad Eur. Phoen., Pors. 79. Comp. on Romans 2:4. The verb itself is not preserved elsewhere, yet comp. θρύπτειν τὴν ψυχήν, and the like, in Plutarch and others.

γάρ] refers to the direct sense lying at the foundation of the preceding question: “do not weep and break my heart,” for I, I for my part, etc. Observe the holy boldness of consciousness in this ἐγώ.

εἰς Ἱερουσ.] Having come to Jerusalem. Comp. Acts 8:40. Isaeus, de Dicaeog. hered. p. 55: πολέμου, εἰς ὃνἀποθνήσκουσι. Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 287 [E. T. 334]. ὑπὲρ τοῦ ὀν.] See on Acts 5:41, Acts 9:16.

ἡσυχάσαμεν] we left off further address. Comp. Acts 11:18.

τ. Κυρίου] not “quod Deus de te decrevit” (Kuinoel and de Wette, following Chrysostom, Calvin, and others), hut the will of Christ. The submission of his friends expresses itself with reference to the last words of the apostle, Acts 21:13, in which they recognised his consciousness of the Lord’s will.Acts 21:12. παρεκ. ἡμεῖς: St. Luke joins in the entreaty.—ἐντόπ., i.e., the Christians of Cæsarea, including of course the inmates of Philip’s house; not in LXX or Apocr., but in classical Greek.—τοῦ μὴ ἀναβ., Burton, p. 159.12. we, and they of that place] We (i.e. St Luke and the rest who were his fellow-travellers) and the Christians of Cæsarea. The act of Agabus was in all probability done with some publicity.Acts 21:12. Παρεκαλοῦμεν, we besought) Paul knew that in that prediction there was the force of a precept: his companions and the people of that place did not know it.Verse 12. - They of that place; οἱ ἐντόπιοι, a word found only here in the New Testament, and not found in the LXX. or the Apocrypha, but good classical Greek (for the sentiment, see ver. 4). Besought him not to go up

This suggests the case of Luther when on his journey to the Diet of Worms, and the story of Regulus the Roman, who, being permitted to return to Rome with an embassy from the Carthaginians, urged his countrymen to reject the terms of peace, and to continue the war, and then, against the remonstrances of his friends, insisted on fulfilling his promise to the Carthaginians to return in the event of the failure of negotiations, and went back to certain torture and death.

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