Acts 21:26

ESV Then Paul took the men, and the next day he purified himself along with them and went into the temple, giving notice when the days of purification would be fulfilled and the offering presented for each one of them.
NIV The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.
NASB Then Paul took along the men, and the next day, after purifying himself together with them, he went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.
CSB So the next day, Paul took the men, having purified himself along with them, and entered the temple, announcing the completion of the purification days when the offering would be made for each of them.
NLT So Paul went to the Temple the next day with the other men. They had already started the purification ritual, so he publicly announced the date when their vows would end and sacrifices would be offered for each of them.
KJV Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

What does Acts 21:26 mean?

To prove to legalistic Jewish Christians that Paul still reveres the Mosaic law, the elders of the church in Jerusalem have asked him to help four men complete what was likely a Nazirite vow. A Nazirite vow is a voluntary, temporary commitment to total dedication to God. The adherents, in this case men, abstain from anything made from grapes and do not cut their hair. At the end of their vow, they must present a sacrifice and shave their heads. If they become unclean, particularly by accidentally contacting a corpse, they must go through an eight-day cleansing ritual and restart their time (Numbers 6:1–21).

Since the men's purification takes seven days (Acts 21:27), some scholars think this is a reset—the difference between eight and seven days may be because Luke counts days in the Greek way and not the Hebrew way. But the offering for a reset is merely two birds each; eight birds wouldn't cost much. The offering to fulfill the vow includes a female lamb, a male lamb, a ram, unleavened bread, loaves of bread, crackers, oil, and a grain and drink offering. Such an expense for four men would go a long way in proving Paul's devotion to the Law and be a sacrifice for someone who supports himself on the field (Acts 18:2–3; 1 Corinthians 9:4–7; 1 Thessalonians 2:9).

Paul arrived in Jerusalem with several men—Jews and Gentiles—who came from modern-day Turkey, Greece, and Macedonia. He presents money collected by their home churches for the church in Jerusalem (Acts 20:4). One of these is Trophimus from the city of Ephesus in Asia, the large district in western Turkey. At some point in this week, Jews from Asia see Paul with Trophimus in the city. When they later see Paul in the temple, they assume Trophimus is with him. Legally, Trophimus is allowed to be outside the temple, in the court of Gentiles. To bring an uncircumcised Gentile into the temple is against the Mosaic law and, since it would be the defilement of a religious structure, it is also against the Roman law. The false witnesses accuse Paul as he stands amidst the temple crowd. The people beat him, and the tribune of the Roman outpost arrests him (Acts 21:27–36).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: