Acts 21:24

ESV take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law.
NIV Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.
NASB take them along and purify yourself together with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and then everyone will know that there is nothing to what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also conform, keeping the Law.
CSB Take these men, purify yourself along with them, and pay for them to get their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that what they were told about you amounts to nothing, but that you yourself are also careful about observing the law.
NLT Go with them to the Temple and join them in the purification ceremony, paying for them to have their heads ritually shaved. Then everyone will know that the rumors are all false and that you yourself observe the Jewish laws.
KJV Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

What does Acts 21:24 mean?

Paul is in Jerusalem, reporting how many Gentiles have come to Christ through his ministry. This was especially effective in Ephesus where he settled for three years. The elders of the church are glad, but they're worried about a rumor: that Paul has been telling Jewish Jesus-followers to abandon the Mosaic law. To disprove those rumors, they ask Paul to help four men fulfill their Nazirite vow (Acts 21:18–23).

A Nazirite vow is a voluntary period of dedication to God. Adherents avoid wine or anything else from grapes. They do not cut their hair. And they do nothing to make themselves ceremonially unclean—especially have contact with a corpse (Numbers 6:1–8).

If the vow is interrupted—for example, if the person accidentally contacts a dead body—the adherent must go through an eight-day purification process and sacrifice two birds before restarting the vow (Numbers 6:9–12). Once the vow is completed, the person will bring an offering and shave his or her head (Numbers 6:13–20). Some say that because the men's process takes seven days (Acts 21:27), this may be a restart of a broken vow. But since the elders ask Paul to pay their expenses, and two turtledoves or two pigeons are not an exorbitant expense, this is probably the conclusion of the men's successful vow. In this case, Paul will have to provide a male lamb, an ewe lamb, a ram, a basket of unleavened bread, loaves of flour mixed with oil, unleavened wafers with oil, and a grain and drink offering—for each. That's kind of a lot to ask of someone who typically pays his own expenses as he ministers (Acts 18:2–3; 1 Corinthians 9:4–7; 1 Thessalonians 2:9).

While Paul is in the temple, shortly before the final ceremony, Jews from the same province as Ephesus wrongly accuse him. They claim he brought Trophimus, a Gentile from Ephesus, into the temple. The men start a riot and nearly kill Paul before the Roman tribune "rescues" him by having him arrested (Acts 21:27–36). This starts Paul's five years of house arrest.

The irony and tragedy here are intense. Paul is wrongly accused of breaking Mosaic law while fulfilling Mosaic law. The elements of sacrifice he pays for are part of a fellowship meal between the person giving the vow, the priest, and God. During the sacrifice, the priest will burn the lambs to God, take some of the ram and bread, and give some of the ram and bread back to the one making the offering. That all three—the man, the priest, and God—take part in a communal meal reaffirms their covenant commitment to one another. Even this is taken from Paul: he is denied communion with God within Judaism.
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