Acts 20:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 20:16, NIV: "Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost."

Acts 20:16, ESV: "For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost."

Acts 20:16, KJV: "For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost."

Acts 20:16, NASB: "For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so that he would not have to lose time in Asia; for he was hurrying, if it might be possible for him to be in Jerusalem the day of Pentecost."

Acts 20:16, NLT: "Paul had decided to sail on past Ephesus, for he didn't want to spend any more time in the province of Asia. He was hurrying to get to Jerusalem, if possible, in time for the Festival of Pentecost."

Acts 20:16, CSB: "For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, because he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible, for the day of Pentecost."

What does Acts 20:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul and his companions are on a sea voyage from Troas to Jerusalem (Acts 20:13–15). The route could easily stop by Ephesus, but Paul has a schedule, and he knows if he stops it will be difficult to leave again.

This is the end of his third missionary voyage. A few months before, he had left Ephesus after planting and building the church over the course of three years (Acts 20:31). People came from all over the province of Asia, in southwest modern-day Turkey, to abandon their practices of witchcraft and Artemis worship and trust in Jesus, instead (Acts 19). Paul is fond of the church there, and two of the local men, Tychicus and Trophimus, are with him (Acts 20:4).

From Ephesus, Paul had planned to sail west to Corinth, but controversy in the Corinthian church made him delay his visit (2 Corinthians 1:15–24). He traveled north to Troas, instead, crossed the Aegean to Philippi, visited the churches in Thessalonica and Berea, then headed south to Corinth. After three months, he planned on sailing straight east to Caesarea Maritima, but the Jewish leaders plotted against him, so he backtracked to Troas and~~ is now sailing home (Acts 20:2–6).

The Holy Spirit has been telling him he will be imprisoned when he reaches Jerusalem. He doesn't want to stay in Ephesus, but he wants to see the elders; this will be his last chance. So, he stops in Miletus and requests that they meet him (Acts 20:17, 22–25).

Pentecost means "fifty" and is also known as the Feast of Weeks because it occurs a "week" of weeks—49 days—after Passover. It is the celebration of the end of the grain harvest and the day the Holy Spirit first fell on the Jesus-followers (Acts 2:1–2).