Acts 21
Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:
Acts 21:1. Ἀποσπασθέντας, after we had torn ourselves from them) not without much of longing regret, and with difficulty.—Κῶ) Gaza writes that this is the Attic expression for Κῶν.

And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth.
Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.
Acts 21:3. Τύρον, Tyre) Where it was foretold in Psalm 87:4. Comp. with that psalm, concerning the people of Philistia and the Ethiopians, Acts 8:40, Acts 21:27.—[τὸν γόμον, her burden) So frequently does the kingdom of GOD accommodate itself to the external opportunities of (i.e. afforded by) the world: but GOD directs worldly things by a secret influence to further the progress of His kingdom.—V. g.]

And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
Acts 21:4. Ἀνευρόντες) finding again, when we bad sought them. At one time they were alone, at another time with the brethren.—ἑπτὰ, seven) so that they enjoyed even a Sabbath there. Paul was in haste, but in a good way.—ἔλεγον, said) The Spirit was signifying that bonds awaited Paul: in consequence of this the disciples begged him not to go.

And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
Acts 21:5. Ἐγένετο ἡμᾶς ἐξαρτίσαι) This is more than if he were to say, ἐξηρτίσαμεν, we accomplished or fulfilled. It came to pass that without hindrance we stayed at Tyre.—τὰς ἡμέρας) the days, which we had determined.—σὺν γυναιξὶ καὶ τἑκνοις, with wives and children) a great number, differently from the custom of the world.—ἔξω, outside) a long way, through so great a city.—[ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν, on or at the shore) not by way of pageant or escort, but in order to bid farewell.—V. g.

And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.
Acts 21:6. Ἀσπασάμενοι having mutually taken leave) With this word are connected both ἀνέβημεν. we embarked, and ὑπέστρεψαν, they returned.

And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.
Acts 21:7. Τὸν πλοῦν, our course or voyage) Our whole voyage from Macedonia, ch. Acts 20:6.—τοὺς) the brethren whom we knew there.

And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.
Acts 21:8. Εἰς Καισάρειαν, to Cesarea) It is here especially that Paul’s imprisonment is foretold to him; and this was the place, moreover, where he was about to go as a prisoner: ch. Acts 23:33.—τοῦ εὐαγγελιστοῦ, the Evangelist) ch. Acts 8:5; Acts 8:35; Acts 8:40.—ὄντος) who was one of the Seven: ch. Acts 6:5. It is probable that Paul had some communications (dealings) with Philip as to the care of the poor, Acts 21:15 (ἐπισκευασάμενοι referring to the alms, with which they were entrusted for Jerusalem): although there was no community of goods, except at Jerusalem: nor did it last, save only until the scattering abroad, of which ch. Acts 8:1 treats; at which time, we may suppose that whatever resources were ready to their hand were divided among those who departed from Jerusalem and those who remained in it, according to the extent of their distress (need). Otherwise Philip would not have been able to have departed from it [his services as a deacon for distributing the alms would have been still needed at Jerusalem]: Acts 8:5; Acts 8:40.

And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
Acts 21:9. Προφητεύουσαι, who prophesied) On the part of these women, however, the prediction and representation of the imprisonment (bonds) of Paul would not have been so becoming, as on the part of Agabus. Philip was an Evangelist: his daughters prophesied. A prophet is greater than an Evangelist: Ephesians 4:11.

And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
Acts 21:11. Αὐτοῦ) his own, not Paul’s. The nearer that Paul comes to what awaited him, the more express is the prediction that prepares him.—λέγει) נְאֻם, saith.

And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
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.

Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Acts 21:13. Συνθρύπτοντες, breaking, afflicting) The apostles were not altogether void of human affections (feelings).—δεθῆναι) to be bound: Acts 21:11.—ἑτοίμως ἔχω, I am ready, I am in a state of readiness) The burden is light to him who is ready.

And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
Acts 21:14. Μὴ πειθομένου, when he would not be persuaded) Often a person is moved for the sake of others, who is not moved on his own account. Hence we may perceive the stedfastness of Paul.—ἡσυχάσαμεν, we acquiesced) With pious modesty.—τὸ θέλημα, the will) This, they acknowledged hereby, was known to Paul.

And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.
Acts 21:15. Ἐπισκευασάμενοι, having made our preparations) The inferior reading, ἀποσκευασάμενοι, would be appropriate to their arrival. But they were then departing, and carrying alms to Jerusalem: ch. Acts 24:17. This was the ἐπισκευή. Hesychius explains ἐπισκευασάμενοι as εὐτρεπισθέντες, made ready, equipped with all things necessary.

There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.
Acts 21:16. Καὶ) viz. τινές.—παρʼ ᾧ) Resolve the words thus, ἄγοντες ἡμᾶς πρὸς Μνάσωνα, παρʼ ᾧ, κ.τ.λ.—ἀρχαίῳ, an ancient disciple) A beautiful eulogium.

And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
Acts 21:18. Ἐπιούσῃ, on the following day) without delay.—σὺν ἡμῖν, with us) so that the fact of our consent (accordance with him) might be certain: Galatians 1:2.

And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
Acts 21:20. Πόσαι μυριάδες) how many myriads) Comp. Jeremiah 3:14, etc. Among all those by degrees circumcision expired; and of these, without doubt, a great part was mixed up with the Gentiles who believed. Wherefore the seed of Abraham has not perished in so great numbers as you would suppose, during the lapse of so many ages[viz. the centuries of the Jews’ unbelief since their rejection of Jesus when He was on earth].

And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
Acts 21:21. Κατηχήθησαν, they have been informed, they have heard it said) not merely by rumour, but owing to exaggerated statements, exceeding the real state of the case, they are persuaded of this.—τοῖς ἔθεσι, the customs) of the Jews.

What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
Acts 21:22. Τί οὖν ἐστι; what is it therefore?) A frequent formula.—συνελθεῖν, come together) to hear what God hath done through thee, [and of what kind is thy doctrine.—V. g.]: Acts 21:19; ch. Acts 14:27.

Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
Acts 21:23. Λέγομεν, we say This counsel originated from spiritual prudence, not from carnal policy. Paul himself had adopted a somewhat similar course already: ch. Acts 18:18.—ἡμῖν, there are with us) Those four men therefore were Christians.

Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
Acts 21:24. Παραλαβὼν, having taken to thee) as though thou wert the principal one of them.—δαπάνησον ἐπʼ αὐτοῖς, be at the necessary expenses for them) It was accounted a great act of goodness, and a proof of great zeal, to defray the expense of the sacrifices for needy Nazarites.—ἵνα, that) By this is implied in respect to what Paul ought to do in like manner as those men (be at charges with them, as one of them). Those men, when they had obtained the expenses, and not till then, were able to have their heads shaven for such an end [that they might fulfil their vow, and also that all might know the charge against Paul had no foundation].—γνώσονται, shall know) from a ceremony so conspicuous to all.—πάντες, all) Acts 21:22, “the multitude.”—οὐδέν ἐστιν) that there is nothing in those things and, i.e. they are false. [There are manifest antitheses between the words of Acts 21:21 and those of Acts 21:25.—V. g.]—καὶ αὐτὸς, thyself also) not merely not deterring others from keeping the law. The Gentiles were not compelled, the Jews were not forbidden, to circumcise. Construe these words with φυλάσσων, keeping.

As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
Acts 21:25. Ἐθνῶν, the Gentiles) In antithesis to the Jews and Paul himself. By parity of reasoning, this equally appertained to the Jews, excepting the condition of that time [i.e. the Jews had always observed these precepts, whereas they were then for the first time imposed on the Gentiles].—ἡμεῖς) we ourselves.—κρίναντες φυλάσσεσθαι) The intervening words, μηδὲν τοιοῦτον τηρεῖν αὐτοὺς, εἰ μὴ, savour of a paraphrase. The old authorities have not the words.[125]

[125] Hence the shorter reading, although declared in the larger Ed. to be the weaker reading, is reckoned by the margin of Ed. 2 among those better established; and the Germ. Vers. expresses, no doubt, that paraphrase, but encloses it in brackets.—E. B.

The words are supported by CDEde as well as by the Rec. Text. But AB Vulg. Memph. Theb. Syr. omit them.—E. and T.

Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
Acts 21:26. Τότε, then) Great yieldingness (complaisance).—διαγγέλλων) signifying, professing or declaring.—τὴν ἐκπλήρωσιν, the fulfilment) about to be: Acts 21:27, the seven days; Numbers 6:9; Numbers 6:13.

And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
Acts 21:27. Αἱ ἑπτὰ) The αἱ has a relative force in relation to those days of which Acts 21:26 treats.

Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
(For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
Acts 21:29. Σὐν αὐτῷ, with him) We ought to be anxious, but not too much so, in maintaining our converse with the saints, although likely thereby not to please the ungodly. Paul did not introduce Trophimus into the temple: and yet he did not wholly shun him on account of the Jews.—ἐνόμιζον, they supposed) Zealots are often mistaken in their suppositions.

And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.
Acts 21:30. Αἱ θύραι, the doors) Lest Paul should avail himself of the protection of the temple.

And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
Acts 21:31. Ἀποκτεῖναι, to kill) with strokes and blows: Acts 21:32.—ἀνέβη, came up) to the Antonian tower, where there was wont to be a garrison and camp of the Romans.—φάσις, a report) sudden.

Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.
Acts 21:32. Ἐξαυτῆς, immediately) He supposed that delay is dangerous: Acts 21:38.

Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done.
Acts 21:33. Ἐπελάβετο, apprehended him) This captivity of Paul both was the means of his protection, and afforded him the opportunity of preaching the Gospel in the greater safety, in spite of every tumult, ch. Acts 22:22, and that too in places to which he otherwise could not possibly have had access: Acts 21:40, ch. Acts 28:31.—ἐπυνθάνετο, he inquired) of the crowd, indiscriminately, as being upon his first approach: Acts 21:34.—τίς, τί who, what) Two heads of inquiry, both concerning the saints and concerning the ungodly.

And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle.
Acts 21:34. Παρεμβολὴν) the castle, which the Roman guards (garrison) were holding possession of.

And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people.
Acts 21:35. Συνέβη, it occurred, so it was, that) An auxiliary verb, akin to ἐγένετο, it came to pass.

For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him.
Acts 21:36. Γὰρ, for) The violence and impetuosity of the people is evidenced by their cries.

And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?
Acts 21:37. Μέλλων, when he was about to be led) By a most immediate guidance of Divine wisdom, Paul takes this most suitable place for speaking [for making his address to the people],—εἰ ἔξεστί μοι; may I he allowed?) He addresses him modestly.

Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?
Acts 21:38. Οὐκ ἄρα; art thou not?) The captain (tribune) of the soldiers drew his inference thus: Paul speaks Greek; therefore he is the Egyptian. [All along from the times of Alexander the Great, the Greek tongue flourished in Egypt.—V. g.]

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.
Acts 21:39. Μὲν) Μὲν imparts ἦθος to the beginning of a speech: ch. Acts 22:3, ἐγὼ μέν εἰμι ἀνήρ.—[λαλῆσαι, to speak) With what great prudence did the apostle forthwith avail himself of the opportunity afforded by circumstances! Wheresoever he beheld a multitude, the desire of speaking took possession of him: ch. Acts 19:30.—V. g.]

And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,
[40. Ἐπὶ τῶν ἀναβαθμῶν, upon the steps) What an advantage did Paul’s captivity obtain for him, even at the very beginning of it!—V. g.]

Gnomon of the New Testament by Johann Bengel

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

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