Acts 11:28

ESV And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius).
NIV One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)
NASB One of them, named Agabus, stood up and indicated by the Spirit that there would definitely be a severe famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius.
CSB One of them, named Agabus, stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine throughout the Roman world. This took place during the reign of Claudius.
NLT One of them named Agabus stood up in one of the meetings and predicted by the Spirit that a great famine was coming upon the entire Roman world. (This was fulfilled during the reign of Claudius.)
KJV And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

What does Acts 11:28 mean?

Barnabas and Saul are in Syrian Antioch on the northwest corner of the Mediterranean Sea, building up the young church filled with Jews and Gentiles. They maintain close contact with their sending church in Jerusalem and to a large degree submit to the leadership of James, the brother of Jesus, and the twelve apostles (Acts 15:1–35). Several prophets have come from Jerusalem, 300 miles south, to Antioch to warn that a famine is coming.

Josephus affirmed this famine, saying it hit Rome, Greece, Egypt, and Judea from AD 45–48. This matches the timeline as the death of Herod Agrippa I, which occurred in AD 44, is recorded in Acts 12:20–23. At the time Luke describes, the church isn't even fifteen years old and has already spread 300 miles.

It's unclear if this is the first time an outlying congregation is asked to support the church in Jerusalem, but it's not the last. Barnabas would be very comfortable with the idea; he was one of the many converts in Jerusalem who sold property to provide for the travelers who stayed to learn from the apostles (Acts 4:36–37). Saul takes this to heart; throughout his ministry as Paul, famine or not, he exhorts new churches to remember the legitimate needs of leaders in Jerusalem by supporting them financially (Romans 15:25–26; 1 Corinthians 16:1–3; 2 Corinthians 9:1–5).

After Paul's third missionary trip he will go through Caesarea Maritima on his way to Jerusalem and Agabus will come to meet him. Agabus will wrap his own wrists and feet in Paul's belt and prophesy that Paul will similarly be bound when the Jewish leadership hands him to the Romans (Acts 21:10–11). The prophecy is metaphorical; Paul is arrested by the Roman guards when Greek-influenced Jews from modern-day western Asia Minor try to kill him (Acts 21:27–36). Paul's protective custody is solidified when the Sanhedrin conspires to assassinate him (Acts 23:12–35). Although the Sanhedrin will not literally bind Paul, their actions will result in a long prison stay in Rome.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: