Daily Bible Reading
Paul’s Defense before the Jews
22 “[a]Brothers and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you.”
2 And when they heard that he was addressing them in the [b]Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet; and he *said,
3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated [c]under Gamaliel, [d]strictly according to the Law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today. 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons, 5 as also the high priest and all the Council of the elders [e]can testify. From them I also received letters to the brothers, and started off for Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem [f]as prisoners to be punished.
6 “But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus at about noon, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, 7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 8 And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 And those who were with me saw the light, but did not [g]understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything that has been appointed for you to do.’ 11 But since I could not see because of the [h]brightness of that light, I came into Damascus being led by the hand by those who were with me.
12 “Now a certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing nearby he said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And [i]at that very moment I looked up at him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear a [j]message from His mouth. 15 For you will be a witness for Him to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins by calling on His name.’
17 “It happened when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I fell into a trance, 18 and I saw Him saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another I used to imprison and beat those who believed in You. 20 And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing nearby and approving, and watching over the cloaks of those who were killing him.’ 21 And He said to me, ‘Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
22 They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a man from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!” 23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered that he be brought into the barracks, saying that he was to be interrogated by flogging so that he would find out the reason why they were shouting against him that way. 25 But when they stretched him out [k]with straps, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it [l]lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and told him, saying, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman.” 27 The commander came and said to [m]Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” And he said, “Yes.” 28 The commander answered, “I acquired this citizenship for a large sum of money.” And Paul said, “But I was actually born a citizen.” 29 Therefore, those who were about to interrogate him immediately backed away from him; and the commander also was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had [n]put him in chains.
30 Now on the next day, wanting to know for certain why Paul had been accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the [o]Council to assemble, and he brought Paul down and placed him before them.
- Acts 22:1 Lit Men, brothers
- Acts 22:2 I.e., Jewish Aramaic
- Acts 22:3 Lit at the feet of
- Acts 22:3 Lit according to the strictness of the ancestral law
- Acts 22:5 Lit testifies for me
- Acts 22:5 Lit having been bound
- Acts 22:9 Or hear (with comprehension)
- Acts 22:11 Lit glory
- Acts 22:13 Or instantly; lit at the very hour
- Acts 22:14 Lit voice
- Acts 22:25 Or for the whip
- Acts 22:25 Interrogation by torture was a procedure used with slaves
- Acts 22:27 Lit him
- Acts 22:29 Lit bound him
- Acts 22:30 Or Sanhedrin
Paul Sails from Miletus
21 Now when we had parted from them and had set sail, we ran a straight course to Cos, and on the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara; 2 and having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. 3 When we came in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we kept sailing to Syria and landed at Tyre; for the ship was to unload its cargo there. 4 After looking up the disciples, we stayed there for seven days; and they kept telling Paul, [a]through the Spirit, not to set foot in Jerusalem. 5 When [b]our days there were ended, we left and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another. 6 Then we boarded the ship, and they returned home.
7 When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and after greeting the brothers and sisters, we stayed with them for a day. 8 On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses. 10 As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And he came to us and took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and hand him over to the Gentiles.’” 12 When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 And since he would not be persuaded, we became quiet, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!”
Paul in Jerusalem
15 After these days we got ready and started on our way up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came with us, taking us to Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple of long standing with whom we were to stay.
17 After we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us gladly. 18 And the following day Paul went in with us to [c]James, and all the elders were present. 19 After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard about them, they began glorifying God; and they said to him, “You see, brother, how many [d]thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law; 21 and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to [e]walk according to the customs. 22 So what is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 Therefore, do [f]as we tell you: we have four men who have a [g]vow upon themselves; 24 take them along and purify yourself together with them, and [h]pay their expenses so that they may shave their [i]heads; and then everyone will know that there is nothing to what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also conform, keeping the Law. 25 But regarding the Gentiles who have believed, we sent a letter, having decided that they should abstain from [j]meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and what is [k]strangled, and from sexual immorality.” 26 Then Paul [l]took along the men, and the next day, after purifying himself together with them, he went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.
Paul Seized in the Temple
27 When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from [m]Asia, upon seeing him in the temple, began to stir up all the crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who instructs everyone everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides, he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place!” 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they thought that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 Then the whole city was provoked and [n]the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut. 31 While they were intent on killing him, a report came up to the commander of the Roman [o]cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 32 He immediately took along some soldiers and centurions and ran down to [p]the crowd; and when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the commander came up and took hold of him, and ordered that he be bound with two chains; and he began asking who he was and what he had done. 34 But among the crowd, some were shouting one thing and some another, and when he could not find out the [q]facts because of the uproar, he ordered that [r]Paul be brought into the barracks. 35 When Paul got to the stairs, it came about that he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the [s]mob; 36 for the multitude of people kept following them, shouting, “Away with him!”
37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he *said to the commander, “May I say something to you?” And he said, “Do you know Greek? 38 Then you are not the Egyptian who some [t]time ago stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness?” 39 But Paul said, “I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city; and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.” 40 When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, motioned to the people with his hand; and when there [u]was a great silence, he spoke to them in the [v]Hebrew dialect, saying,
- Acts 21:4 I.e., because of impressions made by the Spirit
- Acts 21:5 Lit we had completed the days
- Acts 21:18 Or Jacob
- Acts 21:20 Lit ten thousands
- Acts 21:21 I.e., observe or live by
- Acts 21:23 Lit this which we
- Acts 21:23 I.e., a sacred duty to fulfill
- Acts 21:24 Lit spend on them
- Acts 21:24 Lit head (a requirement of the vow)
- Acts 21:25 Lit the thing
- Acts 21:25 I.e., to retain the blood
- Acts 21:26 Or took along the men the next day, and after purifying himself
- Acts 21:27 I.e., west coast province of Asia Minor
- Acts 21:30 Lit a running together of the people occurred
- Acts 21:31 Normally 600 men (the number varied)
- Acts 21:32 Lit them
- Acts 21:34 Lit certainty
- Acts 21:34 Lit he
- Acts 21:35 Lit crowd
- Acts 21:38 Lit days
- Acts 21:40 Lit occurred
- Acts 21:40 I.e., Jewish Aramaic
Paul in Macedonia and Greece
20 After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had [a]encouraged them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia. 2 When he had gone through those regions and had given them much [b]encouragement, he came to Greece. 3 And there he spent three months, and when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. 4 And [c]he was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of [d]Asia. 5 Now these had gone on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas. 6 We sailed from Philippi after [e]the days of Unleavened Bread, and reached them at Troas within five days; and we stayed there for seven days.
7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his [f]message until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were gathered together. 9 And there was a young man named [g]Eutychus sitting [h]on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, Eutychus was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor, and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, “[i]Do not be troubled, for [j]he is still alive.” 11 When Paul had gone back up and had broken the bread and [k]eaten, he talked with them a long while until daybreak, and then left. 12 They took away the boy alive, and were [l]greatly comforted.
Troas to Miletus
13 But we went ahead to the ship and set sail for Assos, intending from there to take Paul on board; for that was what he had arranged, intending himself to go [m]by land. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. 15 Sailing from there, we arrived the following day opposite Chios; and the next day we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day we came to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so that he would not have to lose time in [n]Asia; for he was hurrying, if it might be possible for him to be in Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.
Farewell to Ephesus
17 From Miletus he sent word to Ephesus and called to himself the elders of the church. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them,
“You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in [o]Asia, how I was with you the whole time, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and trials which came upon me [p]through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was beneficial, and teaching you publicly and [q]from house to house, 21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, bound by the [r]Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that chains and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of God’s grace.
25 “And now behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. 26 Therefore, I [s]testify to you this day that I am [t]innocent of the blood of all people. 27 For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you [u]overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He [v]purchased [w]with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore, be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32 And now I entrust you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34 You yourselves know that these hands served my own needs and the men who were with me. 35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this way you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
36 When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And [x]they all began to weep aloud and [y]embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, 38 [z]grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.
- Acts 20:1 Or exhorted
- Acts 20:2 Or exhortation
- Acts 20:4 Lit there accompanied him
- Acts 20:4 I.e., west coast province of Asia Minor
- Acts 20:6 I.e., Passover week
- Acts 20:7 Lit word, speech
- Acts 20:9 Eutychus means good fortune; i.e., “Lucky”
- Acts 20:9 Or at the window
- Acts 20:10 Or Stop being troubled
- Acts 20:10 Lit his soul is in him
- Acts 20:11 Lit tasted
- Acts 20:12 Lit not moderately
- Acts 20:13 Or on foot
- Acts 20:16 I.e., west coast province of Asia Minor
- Acts 20:18 See note v 16
- Acts 20:19 Lit by
- Acts 20:20 Or in the various private homes
- Acts 20:22 Or in spirit
- Acts 20:26 Or call you to witness
- Acts 20:26 Lit pure from
- Acts 20:28 Or bishops
- Acts 20:28 Lit acquired
- Acts 20:28 Lit through
- Acts 20:37 Lit a considerable weeping of all occurred
- Acts 20:37 Lit threw themselves on Paul’s neck
- Acts 20:38 Lit suffering pain