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Acts 21:4

    Acts 21:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And having found the disciples, we tarried there seven days: and these said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not set foot in Jerusalem.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And meeting the disciples we were there for seven days: and they gave Paul orders through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem.

    Webster's Revision

    And having found the disciples, we tarried there seven days: and these said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not set foot in Jerusalem.

    World English Bible

    Having found disciples, we stayed there seven days. These said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And having found the disciples, we tarried there seven days: and these said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not set foot in Jerusalem.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 21:4

    Who said to Paul through the Spirit - We cannot understand this as a command from the Holy Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem, else Paul must have been highly criminal to have disobeyed it. Through the Spirit, must either refer to their own great earnestness to dissuade him from taking a journey which they plainly saw would be injurious to him - and so Bp. Pearce understands this place; or, if it refer to the Holy Spirit, it must mean that if he regarded his personal safety he must not, at this time, go up to Jerusalem. The Spirit foretold Paul's persecutions, but does not appear to have forbidden his journey; and Paul was persuaded that, in acting as he was about to do, whatever personal risk he ran, he should bring more glory to God, by going to Jerusalem, than by tarrying at Tyre or elsewhere. The purport of this Divine communication was, "If thou go up to Jerusalem the Jews will persecute thee; and thou wilt be imprisoned, etc." As he was apprized of this, he might have desisted, for the whole was conditional: Paul might or might not go to Jerusalem; if he did go, he would be persecuted, and be in danger of losing his life. The Holy Spirit neither commanded him to go, nor forbade him; the whole was conditional; and he was left to the free exercise of his own judgment and conscience. This was a similar case to that of David in Keilah, 1 Samuel 23:9-13. David prevented the threatened evil by leaving Keilah: Paul fell into it by going to Jerusalem.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 21:4

    And finding disciples - Christians. This is the first mention of there being Christians at Tyre, but there is no improbability in supposing that the gospel had been preached there, though it is not expressly recorded by Luke.

    Who said to Paul - Compare Acts 21:12. Their deep interest in his welfare, and their apprehension of his danger, was the reason why they admonished him not to go.

    Through the Spirit - There is some difficulty in understanding this. In solving this difficulty, we may remark:

    (1) That it is evident that the Holy Spirit is meant, and that Luke means to say that this was spoken by his inspiration. The Holy Spirit was bestowed on Christians at that time in large measures, and many appear to have been under his inspiring guidance.

    (2) it was not understood by Paul as a positive command that he should not go up to Jerusalem; for had it been, it would not have been disobeyed. He evidently understood it as expressive of their earnest wish that he should not go, as apprising him of danger, and as a kind expression in regard to his own welfare and safety. Compare Acts 21:13. Paul was in better circumstances to understand this than we are, and his interpretation was doubtless correct.

    (3) it is to be understood, therefore, simply as an inspired prophetic warning, that if he went, he went at the risk of his life a prophetic warning, joined with their individual personal wishes that he would not expose himself to this danger. The meaning evidently is that they said by inspiration of the Spirit that he should not go unless he was willing to encounter danger, for they foresaw that the journey would be attended with the hazard of his life. Grotius renders it, "That he should not go unless he was willing to be bound." Michaelis and Stolzius; "They gave him prophetic warrant that he should not go to Jerusalem." Doddridge, "If he tendered his own liberty and safety, not to go up to Jerusalem, since it would certainly expose him to very great hazard." The inspiration in the case was that of admonition and warning, not of positive command. Paul was simply apprised of the danger, and was then left to the free determination of his own will. He chose to encounter the danger of which he was thus apprised. He did not despise the intimations of the Spirit, but he judged that his duty to God called him thus to meet the perils of the journey. We may be apprised of danger in a certain course, either by our friends or by the Word of God, and still it may be our duty to meet it. Our duty is not to be measured by the fact that we shall experience danger, in whatever way that may be made known to us. Duty consists in following the will of God, and encountering whatever trials may be in our way.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 21:4

    21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days - ln order to spend a Sabbath with them. Who told Paul by the Spirit - That afflictions awaited him at Jerusalem. This was properly what they said by the Spirit. They themselves advised him not to go up. The disciples seemed to understand their prophetic impulse to be an intimation from the Spirit, that Paul, if he were so minded, might avoid the danger, by not going to Jerusalem.