Acts 21:17
And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
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(17) The brethren received us gladly.—This was, perhaps, an informal welcome, given in Mnason’s house, by those who came there to receive the expected guests.

Acts 21:17-19. The brethren received us gladly — The alms which they brought with them might be one, but certainly were not the only or the chief reason of the welcome reception they met with. The day following, Paul, and those who had attended him in his journey, waited on James — Commonly called James the Less, or the Lord’s brother, the only apostle then presiding over the churches in Judea. See notes on Acts 15:18. And all the elders were present — To receive so important a visitant, of whose arrival and errand they had doubtless been informed. And when he had saluted them — With cordial affection, and presented to them those that were of his company; he declared particularly what God had wrought among the Gentiles — Since he last left Jerusalem, informing them how many of the idolatrous Gentiles, in all the great cities of the Lesser Asia, Macedonia, and Greece, had embraced the gospel through his ministry; that he had planted churches in those cities, and that the gifts of the Holy Ghost had been communicated to many believers in every church; mentioning also his having visited most of them a second time, as well as taken a review of those in Cilicia, Pamphylia, Lystra, and other parts of Asia, with the plantation of which they had formerly been made acquainted, Acts 15:4. Moreover, in this account we may be sure he did not forget to mention the liberal contributions which the churches of the Gentiles through Asia and Europe had made for the poor of the saints in Judea, and which they had sent by his hands as a testimony of their gratitude for the knowledge of the true God, communicated to them by men of their nation. The collection, Paul, no doubt, now delivered, in presence of the messengers of the churches, to James and to the elders, to be by them distributed to the poor of the Jewish Christians, who by that expression of the good-will of the Gentile believers, ought to have been disposed to think favourably of them as their brethren.

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.The brethren - Christians.

Received us gladly - They had been long absent. They had been into distant regions, and had encountered many dangers. It was a matter of joy that they had now returned in safety.

Ac 21:17-40. Paul Reports the Events of His Third Missionary Journey—In the Temple, Purifying Himself from a Jewish Vow, He Is Seized by a Mob and Beaten to the Danger of His Life—The Uproar Becoming Universal, the Roman Commandant Has Him Brought in Chains to the Fortress, from the Stairs of Which He Is Permitted to Address the People.

The apostle was full of anxiety about this visit to Jerusalem, from the numerous prophetic intimations of danger awaiting him, and having reason to expect the presence at this feast of the very parties from whose virulent rage he had once and again narrowly escaped with his life. Hence we find him asking the Roman Christians to wrestle with him in prayer, "for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that he might be delivered from them that believed not in Judea," as well as "that his service which he had for Jerusalem (the great collection for the poor saints there) might be accepted of the saints" (Ro 15:30, 31).

17-19. the brethren received us gladly—the disciples generally, as distinguished from the official reception recorded in Ac 21:18.

It is thought, that by brethren in this place, and Acts 21:7, they are meant, who, being believers, were formed into a church with its several officers, and that they are called disciples only, Acts 21:4, who, living dispersed, and in smaller numbers, could not constitute such a church; but surely whatsoever there is of privilege and happiness in this spiritual fraternity, that truly catholic charity that was in the apostles and other holy men, would not so confine it, as to exelude any from enjoying of it, who did not exclude themselves by greater crimes than their paucity in number, or the consequences of that, could amount unto.

And when we were come to Jerusalem,.... That is, Paul and his companions, attended with the disciples of Caesarea, and Mnason the old disciple with them:

the brethren received us gladly; readily, willingly, and cheerfully; they did not treat them with an air of coldness and indifference, or look shy on them, or show any resentment to them, notwithstanding the various reports which had been brought them, concerning the ministry of the apostle among the Gentiles.

And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
Acts 21:17-19. Γενομ.] having arrived at; Acts 3:5.

οἱ ἀδελφοί] the Christians, to whom we came,

Mnason and others who were with him. It was not until the following day, Acts 21:18, that they, with Paul at their head, presented themselves to the rulers of the church. Accordingly, there is not to be found in this notice, Acts 21:17, any inconsistency with the dissatisfaction towards Paul afterwards reported (Baur); and οἱ ἀδελφ. is not to be interpreted of the apostles and presbyters (Kuinoel).

σὺν ἡμῖν] witnesses to the historical truth of the whole narrative down to Acts 21:26 : those who combat it are obliged to represent this σὺν ἡμῖν as an addition of the compiler, who wished “externally to attach” what follows to the report of an eye-witness (Zeller, p. 522). See, in opposition to this wretched shift, Ewald, Jahrb. IX. p. 66.

πρὸς Ἰάκωβον] the Lord’s brother, Acts 12:17, Acts 15:13. Neither Peter nor any other of the Twelve can at this time have been present in Jerusalem; otherwise they would have been mentioned here and in the sequel of the narrative.[121]

ὧν] τούτων ἅ. Usual attraction.

[121] Nevertheless, on the part of the Catholics (see Cornelius a Lapide), the presence of all the apostles is assumed; Mary having at that time died, and risen, and ascended into heaven. According to other forms of the variously-coloured legend, it occurred twelve years after the death of Jesus. See Sepp, p. 68 ff.

Acts 21:17. There is no good reason to doubt that they were in time for the Feast; it is a legitimate inference from their tarrying at Cæsarea that they were easily able to reach Jerusalem: possibly the presence of Jews from Asia may be taken, as Rendall points out, to indicate that the time of the Feast was near at hand.—ἀσμένως: only here, significantly; omitted in Acts 2:41 (R.V., W.H[358]); 2Ma 4:12; 2Ma 10:33 A, 3Ma 3:15; 3Ma 5:21, so in classical Greek. Even if the welcome only came, as Wendt supposes, from those who were comparatively few amongst many in Jerusalem, St. Paul found himself a brother amongst brethren.—ἐδέξ., see on Acts 18:27, ἀποδέχομαι.

[358] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.

17–36. Arrival at Jerusalem. Paul’s Reception by the Church and by the People

17. And … gladly] The brethren, whose joy is here spoken of, would be those Christians who first learnt of the arrival of Paul at Mnason’s house. It is not the public reception which is here intended, for however welcome Paul may have been to individuals, the heads of the Church were manifestly apprehensive of trouble which might arise from his presence in Jerusalem.

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