Thursday, June 3, 2010

Acts 21:27-36

27When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28shouting, "Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place." 29(They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)

30The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done. 34Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. 35When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. 36The crowd that followed kept shouting, "Away with him!"

Paul is Arrested

We see again how the Jews stirred up the whole crowd and seized Paul. Why??? you may be thinking, why did they want to supress him? These Jews knew how effective Paul's work had been in Asia. Their strategy was to discredit Paul so that his work would be weakened. The people in the area were often swayed in their thinking by the speakers and the crowds.

Because Jerusalem was under Roman control, any uproar in the city had to be investigated by Roman authorities. The commander of the troops this time was Claudius Lysias (23:26). This commander was head of a cohort of Roman soldiers. He was the senior Roman official in Jerusalem.

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