Acts 21:27-40 (web)

Paul's Arrest

21:27 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, 
when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the multitude and laid hands on him, 
21:28 crying out, "Men of Israel, help!
This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, 
and the law, and this place.
Moreover, he also brought Greeks into the temple, and has defiled this holy place!
21:29 For they had seen Trophimus, the Ephesian, with him in the city, 
and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 
21:30 All the city was moved, and the people ran together. 
They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple.
Immediately the doors were shut. 
21:31 As they were trying to kill him,
news came up to the commanding officer of the regiment 
that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 
21:32 Immediately he took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. 
They, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, stopped beating Paul. 
21:33 Then the commanding officer came near, 
arrested him, commanded him to be bound with two chains, 
and inquired who he was and what he had done. 
21:34 Some shouted one thing, and some another, among the crowd. 
When he couldn't find out the truth because of the noise, 
he commanded him to be brought into the barracks. 
21:35 When he came to the stairs,
it happened that he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd; 
21:36 for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, "Away with him!" 
21:37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, 
he asked the commanding officer, "May I speak to you?" 
He said, "Do you know Greek? 
21:38 Aren't you then the Egyptian, 
who before these days stirred up to sedition 
and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?" 
21:39 But Paul said, 
"I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city.
I beg you, allow me to speak to the people." 
21:40 When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs,
beckoned with his hand to the people. When there was a great silence, 
he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying, 


vs 28 Notes the slanderous accusations made against Paul reflective of the irrational hatred the Jews held towards him. Strangely enough in denouncing Paul this man who appeared zealous for the Law actually violated the 9th commandment, bearing false witness against his neighbor. Thus we see as is so common that one's religious zeal is not necessarily reflective of one's religious practice. For hypocrisy is common among the religious elite.

Where was James and the apostles in all this? They abandoned Paul. Note that they themselves had been in Jerusalem for years yet they weren't persecuted in this fashion. Why? Because they didn't involve themselves with Gentiles and avoided rhetoric that conflicted with the legalists. (Even Peter and John tolerated the fact that among their own leadership in the church were those who insisted that justification was by one's compliance to the law of Moses.)

vs 31,32 Here again we see the benefit of Israel being under enemy occupation at the time. For the Romans were more impartial concerning these religious matters and their priority was simply to keep order. 

vs 35 mentions of the violence of these religiously zealous people. One might liken them to Muslims today who while reckoning themselves religiously superior show themselves to be inferior even to atheists in their actual practice as they persecute God's people.

vs 38 It is apparent that this commander is out of touch with the people. He can't imagine that people would get so violent over religious issues and we have seen elsewhere a similar attitude among the Roman authorities. 

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jan 28,2022