201After the uproar died down, Paul called together the believers and with words of encouragement said goodbye to them. Then he left and went on to Macedonia. 2He went through those regions and encouraged the people with many messages. Then he came to Achaia, 3where he stayed three months. He was getting ready to go to Syria when he discovered that there were Jews plotting against him; so he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4Sopater son of Pyrrhus, from Berea, went with him; so did Aristarchus and Secundus, from Thessalonica; Gaius, from Derbe; Tychicus and Trophimus, from the province of Asia; and Timothy. 5They went ahead and waited for us in Troas. 6We sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later we joined them in Troas, where we spent a week.
7On Saturday20.7 Saturday; or Sunday. evening we gathered together for the fellowship meal. Paul spoke to the people and kept on speaking until midnight, since he was going to leave the next day. 8Many lamps were burning in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9A young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window, and as Paul kept on talking, Eutychus got sleepier and sleepier, until he finally went sound asleep and fell from the third storey to the ground. When they picked him up, he was dead. 10But Paul went down and threw himself on him and hugged him. “Don't worry,” he said, “he is still alive!” 11Then he went back upstairs, broke bread, and ate. After talking with them for a long time, even until sunrise, Paul left. 12They took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.
13We went on ahead to the ship and sailed off to Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had told us to do this, because he was going there by land. 14When he met us in Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. 15We sailed from there and arrived off Chios the next day. A day later we came to Samos, and the following day we reached Miletus. 16Paul had decided to sail on past Ephesus, so as not to lose any time in the province of Asia. He was in a hurry to arrive in Jerusalem by the day of Pentecost, if at all possible.
17From Miletus Paul sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. 18When they arrived, he said to them, “You know how I spent the whole time I was with you, from the first day I arrived in the province of Asia. 19With all humility and many tears I did my work as the Lord's servant during the hard times that came to me because of the plots of some Jews. 20You know that I did not hold back anything that would be of help to you as I preached and taught in public and in your homes. 21To Jews and Gentiles alike I gave solemn warning that they should turn from their sins to God and believe in our Lord Jesus. 22And now, in obedience to the Holy Spirit I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit has warned me that prison and troubles wait for me. 24
But I reckon my own life to be worth nothing to me; I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of God.
25“I have gone about among all of you, preaching the Kingdom of God. And now I know that none of you will ever see me again. 26So I solemnly declare to you this very day: if any of you should be lost, I am not responsible. 27For I have not held back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God. 28So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God,20.28 God; some manuscripts have the Lord. which he made his own through the blood of his Son.20.28 through the blood of his Son; or through the sacrificial death of his Son; or through his own blood. 29I know that after I leave, fierce wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. 30The time will come when some men from your own group will tell lies to lead the believers away after them. 31Watch, then, and remember that with many tears, day and night, I taught every one of you for three years.
32“And now I commend you to the care of God and to the message of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you the blessings God has for all his people. 33I have not wanted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. 34You yourselves know that I have worked with these hands of mine to provide everything that my companions and I have needed. 35I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way we must help the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.’ ”
36When Paul finished, he knelt down with them and prayed. 37They were all crying as they hugged him and kissed him goodbye. 38They were especially sad because he had said that they would never see him again. And so they went with him to the ship.
211We said goodbye to them and left. After sailing straight across, we came to Cos; the next day we reached Rhodes, and from there we went on to Patara. 2There we found a ship that was going to Phoenicia, so we went aboard and sailed away. 3We came to where we could see Cyprus, and then sailed south of it on to Syria. We went ashore at Tyre, where the ship was going to unload its cargo. 4There we found some believers and stayed with them a week. By the power of the Spirit they told Paul not to go to Jerusalem. 5But when our time with them was over, we left and went on our way. All of them, together with their wives and children, went with us out of the city to the beach, where we all knelt and prayed. 6Then we said goodbye to one another, and we went on board the ship while they went back home.
7We continued our voyage, sailing from Tyre to Ptolemais, where we greeted the believers and stayed with them for a day. 8
On the following day we left and arrived in Caesarea. There we stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the seven men who had been chosen as helpers in Jerusalem. 9He had four unmarried daughters who proclaimed God's message. 10
We had been there for several days when a prophet named Agabus arrived from Judea. 11He came to us, took Paul's belt, tied up his own feet and hands with it, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: The owner of this belt will be tied up in this way by the Jews in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles.”
12When we heard this, we and the others there begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. 13But he answered, “What are you doing, crying like this and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be tied up in Jerusalem but even to die there for the sake of the Lord Jesus.”
14We could not convince him, so we gave up and said, “May the Lord's will be done.”
15After spending some time there, we got our things ready and left for Jerusalem. 16Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us and took us to the house of the man we were going to stay with21.16 and took us to the house of the man we were going to stay with; or bringing with them the man at whose house we were going to stay. — Mnason, from Cyprus, who had been a believer since the early days.
17When we arrived in Jerusalem, the believers welcomed us warmly. 18The next day Paul went with us to see James; and all the church elders were present. 19Paul greeted them and gave a complete report of everything that God had done among the Gentiles through his work. 20After hearing him, they all praised God. Then they said, “Brother Paul, you can see how many thousands of Jews have become believers, and how devoted they all are to the Law. 21They have been told that you have been teaching all the Jews who live in Gentile countries to abandon the Law of Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or follow the Jewish customs. 22They are sure to hear that you have arrived. What should be done, then? 23
This is what we want you to do. There are four men here who have taken a vow. 24Go along with them and join them in the ceremony of purification and pay their expenses; then they will be able to shave their heads.21.24 shave their heads: See 18.18. In this way everyone will know that there is no truth in any of the things that they have been told about you, but that you yourself live in accordance with the Law of Moses. 25
But as for the Gentiles who have become believers, we have sent them a letter telling them we decided that they must not eat any food that has been offered to idols, or any blood, or any animal that has been strangled, and that they must keep themselves from sexual immorality.”
26So Paul took the men and the next day performed the ceremony of purification with them. Then he went into the Temple and gave notice of how many days it would be until the end of the period of purification, when a sacrifice would be offered for each one of them.
27But just when the seven days were about to come to an end, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul in the Temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized Paul. 28“Men of Israel!” they shouted. “Help! This is the man who goes everywhere teaching everyone against the people of Israel, the Law of Moses, and this Temple. And now he has even brought some Gentiles into the Temple and defiled this holy place!” 29
(They said this because they had seen Trophimus from Ephesus with Paul in the city, and they thought that Paul had taken him into the Temple.)
30Confusion spread through the whole city, and the people all ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the Temple. At once the Temple doors were closed. 31The mob was trying to kill Paul, when a report was sent up to the commander of the Roman troops that all Jerusalem was rioting. 32At once the commander took some officers and soldiers and rushed down to the crowd. When the people saw him with the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33The commander went over to Paul, arrested him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked, “Who is this man, and what has he done?” 34Some in the crowd shouted one thing, others something else. There was such confusion that the commander could not find out exactly what had happened, so he ordered his men to take Paul up into the fort. 35They got as far as the steps with him, and then the soldiers had to carry him because the mob was so wild. 36They were all coming after him and screaming, “Kill him!”
37As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the fort, he spoke to the commander: “May I say something to you?”
“You speak Greek, do you?” the commander asked. 38“Then you are not that Egyptian fellow who some time ago started a revolution and led 4,000 armed terrorists out into the desert?”
39Paul answered, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city. Please let me speak to the people.”
40The commander gave him permission, so Paul stood on the steps and motioned with his hand for the people to be silent. When they were quiet, Paul spoke to them in Hebrew:
221“My fellow-Jews, listen to me as I make my defence before you!” 2When they heard him speaking to them in Hebrew, they became even quieter; and Paul went on:
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up here in Jerusalem as a student of Gamaliel. I received strict instruction in the Law of our ancestors and was just as dedicated to God as are all of you who are here today. 4
I persecuted to the death the people who followed this Way. I arrested men and women and threw them into prison. 5The High Priest and the whole Council can prove that I am telling the truth. I received from them letters written to fellow-Jews in Damascus, so I went there to arrest these people and bring them back in chains to Jerusalem to be punished.
6“As I was travelling and coming near Damascus, about midday a bright light from the sky flashed suddenly round me. 7I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ 8‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute,’ he said to me. 9The men with me saw the light, but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10I asked, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ and the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything that God has determined for you to do.’ 11I was blind because of the bright light, and so my companions took me by the hand and led me into Damascus.
12“In that city was a man named Ananias, a religious man who obeyed our Law and was highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13He came to me, stood by me, and said, ‘Brother Saul, see again!’ At that very moment I saw again and looked at him. 14He said, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see his righteous Servant, and to hear him speaking with his own voice. 15For you will be a witness for him to tell everyone what you have seen and heard. 16And now, why wait any longer? Get up and be baptized and have your sins washed away by praying to him.’
17“I went back to Jerusalem, and while I was praying in the Temple, I had a vision, 18in which I saw the Lord, as he said to me, ‘Hurry and leave Jerusalem quickly, because the people here will not accept your witness about me.’ 19‘Lord,’ I answered, ‘they know very well that I went to the synagogues and arrested and beat those who believe in you. 20
And when your witness Stephen was put to death, I myself was there, approving of his murder and taking care of the cloaks of his murderers.’ 21‘Go,’ the Lord said to me, ‘for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”
22The people listened to Paul until he said this; but then they started shouting at the top of their voices, “Away with him! Kill him! He's not fit to live!” 23They were screaming, waving their clothes, and throwing dust up in the air. 24The Roman commander ordered his men to take Paul into the fort, and he told them to whip him in order to find out why the Jews were screaming like this against him. 25But when they had tied him up to be whipped, Paul said to the officer standing there, “Is it lawful for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasn't even been tried for any crime?”
26When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and asked him, “What are you doing? That man is a Roman citizen!”
27So the commander went to Paul and asked him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”
“Yes,” answered Paul.
28The commander said, “I became one by paying a large amount of money.”
“But I am one by birth,” Paul answered.
29At once the men who were going to question Paul drew back from him; and the commander was frightened when he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had put him in chains.
30The commander wanted to find out for certain what the Jews were accusing Paul of; so the next day he had Paul's chains taken off and ordered the chief priests and the whole Council to meet. Then he took Paul and made him stand before them.