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Bible Commentaries
Acts 21

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

Them ; the Ephesian elders at Miletus.

Coos ; a small island near the south-west corner of Asia Minor.

Rhodes ; an island not far from Coos.

Patara ; a seaport in the province of Lycia.

Verse 2

Phenicia ; a country on the north-west border of Canaan, of which Tyre and Sidon were principal cities. Chap Acts 11:19 .

Verse 3

Cyprus ; an island in the north-east part of the Mediterranean sea. Chap Acts 13:4 .

Verse 4

Said to Paul through the Spirit ; the Holy Spirit made known to them the dangers to which Paul would be exposed, and led them to express to him their strong desire that he should not go up to Jerusalem. But he did not communicate by them to Paul, who himself went up to Jerusalem "bound in the Spirit," any authoritative command to desist from his purpose. It is delightful to Christians when travelling to find disciples of Christ in places which they visit, and to tarry with them, when convenient. The more they love Christ and are like him, the more they will love one another. But their stay together on earth must be short, and when called to part, it is a great privilege to commend one another to God, and beseech him, that if they meet not again on earth, they may meet, to part no more, in heaven.

Verse 7

Ptolemais ; a city south of Tyre, and near mount Carmel.

Verse 8

Cesarea ; a city still farther south, about sixty miles from Jerusalem.

Evangelist ; a preacher of the gospel and founder of churches, but not a settled pastor.

The seven ; Acts 6:1-9 .

Verse 9

Did prophesy ; see note to chap Acts 11:27 .

Verse 10

Agabus ; chap Acts 11:27-28 .

Verse 11

Gentiles ; the Romans, who then governed Judea.

Verse 12

We and they ; Paul’s companions and the disciples at Cesarea.

Verse 13

Affection for friends should not be so manifested or indulged as to unfit us or them for the performance of duty.

Verse 15

Carriages ; not vehicles to carry them, but things which they carried, their baggage.

Verse 16

Mnason of Cyprus ; formerly of Cyprus, but now living in Jerusalem, with whom Paul and his companions lodged.

Verse 18

James ; see note to chapter Acts 12:17 .

Verse 20

Zealous of the law ; though they believed in Christ, they still observed the ceremonial law.

Verse 21

The Jews which are among the Gentiles ; who lived in heathen countries.

Moses ; the ceremonial law which he enjoined.

The customs ; the religious practices of the Jews. To excite opposition to the gospel, its enemies often misrepresent it. They slander those who preach it, and in various ways show themselves to be followers of him who, from the beginning, abode not in the truth, but was a liar, and the father of it. John 8:44 .

Verse 22

What is it ; what is to be done?

Verse 24

Purify thyself with them ; perform the ceremonies required for purification in the Mosaic law. Numbers 6:1-20 .

Be at charges ; by bearing the expense of the offerings made in such cases.

Shave their heads ; cut their hair, which during the continuance of their vow had been suffered to grow; and which, when cut, showed that they were released. Chap Acts 18:18 .

Are nothing ; are not as they have been represented.

Verse 25

Touching the Gentiles which believe ; chap Acts 15:19-29 .

Verse 26

Entered into the temple ; to make known to the priest when the vow would end, and thus prepare the way for the customary sacrifices to be offered. Some things are in themselves indifferent; if we do them we are not the better, and if we neglect them we are not the worse: if our doing them would tend to injure others, we should not do them; if it would tend to benefit others, we should not neglect them; but we should not do wrong to conciliate bad men, or for any other purpose.

Verse 27

Seven days ; the time the vow was to last.

Verse 28

Greeks ; Gentiles, who were considered as unclean, and were forbidden to enter that part of the temple appropriated to the Jews, lest they should defile it.

Verse 29

Trophimus ; he had come with Paul from Ephesus. Acts 20:4 .

They supposed ; they inferred this from having seen him in the city with Paul.

Verse 31

Chief captain ; the Roman officer in command of the military forces at Jerusalem.

Verse 33

Bound with two chains ; a fulfilment of the prophecy, Acts 21:11 .

Verse 34

The castle ; the fortress of Antonia, where the soldiers were stationed.

Verse 35

The stairs ; which led from the temple to the castle.

Verse 36

The course which good men take to remove the prejudices and to conciliate the favor of the wicked, is sometimes the occasion of increased hostility, and more violent and deadly opposition.

Verse 38

That Egyptian ; this Egyptian is mentioned by Josephus, Antiq B 20, chap 8, sec 6; and Jewish Wars, B 2, chap 13, sec 5.

Verse 39

Tarsus ; Paul’s native city. Chap Acts 9:11 .

No mean city ; Augustus the Roman emperor made it a free city, which released the citizens from tribute, and permitted them to be governed by their own laws. Josephus says it was the metropolis, and most renowned city of Cilicia, Antiq B 1, chap 6, sec 6; and Xenophon calls it a great and flourishing city.

Verse 40

The Hebrew tongue ; the dialect of the Hebrew then spoken in Palestine.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Acts 21". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/acts-21.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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