ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 111

L UK E – A cts
from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual
So Paul went to the Temple the next day with the other men. They had
already started the purification ritual, so he publicly announced the date
when their vows would end and sacrifices would be offered for each of
The seven days were almost ended when some Jews from the province of
Asia saw Paul in the Temple and roused a mob against him. They grabbed
him, yelling, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who preaches against
our people everywhere and tells everybody to disobey the Jewish laws. He
speaks against the Temple—and even defiles this holy place by bringing in
Gentiles.” (For earlier that day they had seen him in the city with Troph­i­
mus, a Gentile from Ephesus, and they assumed Paul had taken him into
the Temple.)
The whole city was rocked by these accusations, and a great riot followed. Paul was grabbed and dragged out of the Temple, and immediately the gates were closed behind him. As they were trying to kill him,
word reached the commander of the Roman regiment that all Jerusalem
was in an uproar. He immediately called out his soldiers and officers and
ran down among the crowd. When the mob saw the commander and the
troops coming, they stopped beating Paul.
Then the commander arrested him and ordered him bound with two
chains. He asked the crowd who he was and what he had done. Some
shouted one thing and some another. Since he couldn’t find out the truth
in all the uproar and confusion, he ordered that Paul be taken to the fortress. As Paul reached the stairs, the mob grew so violent the soldiers had
to lift him to their shoulders to protect him. And the crowd followed behind, shouting, “Kill him, kill him!”
As Paul was about to be taken inside, he said to the commander, “May
I have a word with you?”
“Do you know Greek?” the commander asked, surprised. “Aren’t you
the Egyptian who led a rebellion some time ago and took 4,000 members
of the Assassins out into the desert?”
“No,” Paul replied, “I am a Jew and a citizen of Tarsus in Cilicia, which
is an important city. Please, let me talk to these people.” The commander
agreed, so Paul stood on the stairs and motioned to the people to be quiet.
Soon a deep silence enveloped the crowd, and he addressed them in their
own language, Aramaic.
“Brothers and esteemed fathers,” Paul said, “listen to me as I offer my
defense.” When they heard him speaking in their own language, the silence
was even greater.

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