Acts 21:20
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, "You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law;

King James Bible
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:

Darby Bible Translation
And they having heard it glorified God, and said to him, Thou seest, brother, how many myriads there are of the Jews who have believed, and all are zealous of the law.

World English Bible
They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, "You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law.

Young's Literal Translation
and they having heard, were glorifying the Lord. They said also to him, 'Thou seest, brother, how many myriads there are of Jews who have believed, and all are zealous of the law,

Acts 21:20 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

They glorified the Lord - They gave praise to the Lord for what he had done. They saw new proofs of his goodness and mercy, and they rendered him thanks for all that had been accomplished. There was no jealousy that it had been done by the instrumentality of Paul. True piety will rejoice in the spread of the gospel, and in the conversion of sinners, by whatever instrumentality it may be effected.

Thou seest, brother - The language of tenderness in this address, recognizing Paul as a fellow-laborer and fellow-Christian, implies a wish that Paul would do all that could be done to avoid giving offence, and to conciliate the favor of his countrymen.

How many thousands - The number of converts at this time must have been very great. Twenty-five years before this, 3,000 had been converted at one time Acts 2, and afterward the number had swelled to some more thousands, Acts 4:4. The assertion that there were then "many thousands," implies that the work so signally begun on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem had not ceased, and that many more had been converted to the Christian faith.

Which believe - Who are Christians. They are spoken of as believers, or as having faith in Christ, in contradistinction from those who rejected him, and whose characteristic trait it was that they were unbelievers.

And they are all zealous of the law - They still observe the Law of Moses. The reference here is to the law respecting circumcision, sacrifices, distinctions of meats and days, festivals, etc. It may seem remarkable that they should still continue to observe those rites, since it was the manifest design of Christianity to abolish them. But we are to remember:

(1) That those rites had been appointed by God, and that they were trained to their observance.

(2) that the apostles conformed to them while they remained at Jerusalem, and did not deem it best to set themselves violently against them, Acts 3:1; Luke 24:53.

(3) that the question about their observance had never been agitated at Jerusalem. It was only among the Gentile converts that the question had risen, and there it must arise, for if they were to be observed, they must have been imposed upon them by authority.

(4) the decision of the council Acts 15 related only to the Gentile converts. It did not touch the question whether those rites were to be observed by the Jewish converts.

(5) it was to be presumed that as the Christian religion became better understood - that as its large, free, and catholic nature became more and more developed, the special institutions of Moses would be laid aside of course, without agitation and without tumult. Had the question been agitated at Jerusalem, it would have excited tenfold opposition to Christianity, and would have rent the Christian church into factions, and greatly retarded the advance of the Christian doctrine. We are to remember also:

(6) That, in the arrangement of Divine Providence, the time was drawing near which was to destroy the temple, the city, and the nation, which was to put an end to sacrifices, and effectually to close forever the observance of the Mosaic rites. As this destruction was so near, and as it would be so effectual an argument against the observance of the Mosaic rites, the Great Head of the church did not suffer the question of their obligation to be needlessly agitated among the disciples at Jerusalem.

Acts 21:20 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Drawing Nearer to the Storm
'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: 2. And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth. 3. 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. 4. And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Parting.
"What mean ye to weep, and to break mine heart!"--Acts 21:13 "Was macht ihr, dass ihr weinet." [32]Spitta. transl., Sarah Findlater, 1855 What mean ye by this wailing To break my bleeding heart? As if the love that binds us Could alter or depart! Our sweet and holy union Knows neither time nor place; The love that God has planted Is lasting as His grace. Ye clasp these hands at parting, As if no hope could be; While still we stand for ever In blessed unity! Ye gaze, as on a vision Ye never could
Jane Borthwick—Hymns from the Land of Luther

Whether the Grace of the Word of Wisdom and Knowledge is Becoming to Women?
Objection 1: It would seem that the grace of the word of wisdom and knowledge is becoming even to women. For teaching is pertinent to this grace, as stated in the foregoing Article. Now it is becoming to a woman to teach; for it is written (Prov. 4:3,4): "I was an only son in the sight of my mother, and she taught me [*Vulg.: 'I was my father's son, tender, and as an only son in the sight of my mother. And he taught me.']." Therefore this grace is becoming to women. Objection 2: Further, the grace
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

From Antioch to the Destruction of Jerusalem.
Acts 13-28 and all the rest of the New Testament except the epistles of John and Revelation. The Changed Situation. We have now come to a turning point in the whole situation. The center of work has shifted from Jerusalem to Antioch, the capital of the Greek province of Syria, the residence of the Roman governor of the province. We change from the study of the struggles of Christianity in the Jewish world to those it made among heathen people. We no longer study many and various persons and their
Josiah Blake Tidwell—The Bible Period by Period

Cross References
Matthew 9:8
But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

Acts 15:1
Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."

Acts 22:3
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today.

Romans 10:2
For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

Galatians 1:14
and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.

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