WE STAYED WITH THEM SEVEN DAYS: So as to attend a
breaking of bread?
THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT THEY URGED PAUL NOT TO GO ON TO
JERUSALEM: The Holy Spirit did not COMMAND Paul not to go. Instead, God
(through the Holy Spirit) was telling Paul what to expect. Thus Paul's friends,
acting on this information, sought to dissuade him. In fact, the Holy Spirit
COMPELLED him to go (Acts 19:21; 20:22). (This is finally interpreted as God's
will: v 14.)
FOUR UNMARRIED DAUGHTERS WHO PROPHESIED: Dedicated to a
single life (1Co 7:32)?
AGABUS: Sig "locust": the insect of famine: previously
he had prophesied of a great famine throughout the empire (Act 11:28).
Cp enacted parables of Isa 20:2; Jer 13:1; Eze 5:1. Cp
Christ's words re Peter in John 21:18. Fulfilled at Caesarea (Acts
WILL HAND HIM OVER TO THE GENTILES: Cp Christ in Luk
BUT ALSO TO DIE IN JERUSALEM: "Pray that I may be
rescued from the unbelievers in Judea" (Rom 15:30-32).
Paul's visit to Jerusalem marked a fundamental turning point
in his life. Up to this time he was free to go where he pleased preaching the
gospel. During the time up to this visit to Jerusalem, Paul had been actively
involved in the formation of a number of ecclesias. From this time, however, he
is never a free man again. He is a prisoner of Rome -- though he viewed himself
as a "prisoner of Christ" (Eph 3:1; Phm 1:1); it was during this long
imprisonment that Paul wrote most of his letters.
We can be useful in the service of the Master whatever our
circumstances, though we may need to modify what we think we should be doing
because of our circumstances.
WHEN WE ARRIVED AT JERUSALEM: Bringing the gifts to the
poor (Acts 24:17).
JAMES: This is the last ref in the Bible to James the
brother of Jesus.
An ossuary reportedly from the first century bears the
inscription, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" (CNN, 10/21/02). A
limestone burial box, almost 2,000 years old, may provide the oldest
archeological record of Jesus of Nazareth, according to several experts.
(Previously, the earliest known mention of Jesus was in a papyrus containing a
fragment of John's Gospel, written in Greek, and dated to AD 125.) The ossuary,
as the bone boxes are known, dates to AD 63 and has an inscription in Aramaic,
said Andre Lemaire, an expert in ancient writing who identified the writing on
the box in Jerusalem last spring. At the time of Jesus' life, Aramaic was the
common language of the Jews. Hebrew was the language of government, religion and
the upper classes.
Writing about his findings in the new issue of BAR, Lemaire,
who teaches at the Sorbonne in Paris, called it "very probable" that the box
belonged to Jesus' brother James, who by Christian tradition was the leader of
the early church in Jerusalem.
While most scholars agree that Jesus existed, no physical
evidence from the first century has ever been conclusively tied with his
Two scientists from the Israeli government's geological survey
tested the box last month, inspecting the surface patina and inscription under a
microscope. They concurred that the object is more than 19 centuries old, the
archaeology magazine reported.
"It's hard to avoid the conclusion that these three names
refer to the personages so identified in the NT," said Hershel Shanks, editor of
Many of the conclusions reached by experts relied on the
inscription written on the ossuary. The boxes commonly were used by Jewish
families between 20 BC and AD 70 to store the bones of their loved ones. Lemaire
said out of hundreds of such boxes found with Aramaic writing only two contain
mentions of a brother. From this, scholars infer that the brother was noted only
when he was someone important. The inscription reads, "James, son of Joseph,
brother of Jesus," according to scholars. But it is unlikely there would have
been more than one James who had a brother of such importance that it merited
having him mentioned on his ossuary, Lemaire said.
WHAT GOD HAD DONE AMONG THE GENTILES THROUGH HIS
MINISTRY: Since he had last "greeted the ecclesia" at Jerusalem (Act 18:22),
Paul had (1) consolidated his labors in Galatia and Phrygia; (2) established a
flourishing center for the Truth in Ephesus; (3) strengthened the brethren in
Asia, Macedonia, and Achaia; (4) vigorously corrected heresy and wrong conduct;
(5) taken up alms for Jewish brethren; and (6) helped the ecclesias at Miletus,
Tyre, Acre, and Caesarea -- all in the face of bitter opposition and
THEY HAVE BEEN INFORMED: Gr "katacheo" = to be
systematically instructed, ie as by a catechism. "Indoctrinated": sw Luk 1:4;
Act 18:25; 21:21,24; Rom 2:18; Gal 6:6.
JOIN IN THEIR PURIFICATION RITES: Apparently, Paul
submitted himself to a Nazarite vow of 7 days duration (v 26).
AND PAY THEIR EXPENSES: It was customary that a wealthy
Jew become the sponsor of poor brethren when the time came to offer sacrifices
at the completion of a vow (Josephus in SB 14:69). Paul was able to do this,
using a part of the gift provided by the Gentile brethren. (See Num 6:13-21; cp
Temple 370). James the brother of Jesus was supposed to have been a
Nazarite-for-life (Eusebius 2:23:3).
The last 7 days of this vow were spent in the precincts of the
Vv 27,28: The sharp distinction between Jew and Gentile in
matters of worship was based upon the law given through Moses. In the temple at
Jerusalem there was an area which was strictly 'out of bounds' to all but Jews,
and one of the accusations made against the Apostle Paul was that he had brought
Greeks into the temple. The Bible record is illustrated by a white limestone
notice found in Jerusalem, and dating from about 30 AD. The inscription reads:
"Whoever is caught doing so (ie entering the forbidden area) will have himself
to blame that his death ensues." This find gives point to the Apostle's teaching
that "in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood
of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the
middle wall of partition between us" (Eph 2:13,14). That is, in Christ the
barrier that separates Jew and Gentile has been removed -- "For ye are all one
in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:28).
THEY STIRRED UP THE WHOLE CROWD: Probably a planned
Cp the charges in Act 6:11-14, when Paul was on the other
AGAINST... OUR LAW: But THEY were preventing him from
keeping the Law!
HE HAS BROUGHT GREEKS INTO THE TEMPLE: In a figurative
and spiritual sense, this is exactly what Paul was doing: Eph 2:14!
THEY DRAGGED HIM FROM THE TEMPLE: The only concern of
the Levitical guard was to avoid defilement.
AND IMMEDIATELY THE GATES WERE SHUT: So Paul, like
Christ, suffered "outside the camp" (Heb 13:12).
AND RAN DOWN TO THE CROWD: This confirms details of the
layout of the Temple Mount and the Antonia Fortress. The fortress was at the
northern end of Temple Mount, elevated up on a rock escarpment. From the castle
the largest part of Temple Mount could be observed. Steps ran down to the paved
area. It is these steps which the soldiers ran down and upon which Paul spoke to
the people (v 37).
BOUND WITH TWO CHAINS: And prob held betw two
THE VIOLENCE OF THE MOB WAS SO GREAT HE HAD TO BE CARRIED
BY THE SOLDIERS: Paul was knocked from his feet by the crowd, and then
dragged up the steps by the two soldiers.
The crowd was insistently pressing at him, trying to lay hands
TERRORISTS: Gr "sikarios": lit, dagger-men; Zealots,
HAVING RECEIVED THE COMMANDER'S PERMISSION...: Why
would the commander allow a prisoner to speak? "The Roman commander may well
have been impressed by Paul's courteous composure under such trying
circumstances. He may also have thought that by letting him speak, he might gain
some insight into the cause of the riot. As for the crowd, they may also have
been momentarily impressed by Paul's composure and their attentiveness
encouraged by gestures of the commander and his soldiers for them to be quiet.
Moreover, Paul's use of Aramaic (the lingua franca of Palestine) -- though
probably frustrating for the commander -- would have been appreciated by the
crowd and elicited for him a temporary measure of good will" (EBC).
ARAMAIC: "Hebrew" in KJV, but that would be understood
only very imperfectly by many Jews.
"Paul spoke to the crowd in Aramaic (lit 'in the Hebrew
dialect,' which throughout the NT means 'in Aramaic,' except at Rev 9:11;