Acts 21:30

ESV Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut.
NIV The 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.
NASB Then the whole city was provoked and the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut.
CSB The whole city was stirred up, and the people rushed together. They seized Paul, dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut.
NLT The whole city was rocked by these accusations, and a great riot followed. Paul was grabbed and dragged out of the Temple, and immediately the gates were closed behind him.
KJV And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.

What does Acts 21:30 mean?

The scourge of anonymous persons making accusations is nothing new. Unknown critics charged Paul with the crime of teaching Jews they do not have to follow the Mosaic law, a crime punishable by death (Deuteronomy 13:1–5). To counteract the claim, elders of the Jerusalem church ask him to help four men complete a vow. Paul is asked to assist by paying for their expenses and accompanying them in the rites they must perform in the temple (Acts 21:20–26). While doing so, Jews from modern-day Turkey falsely accuse him of bringing a Gentile into the temple: a crime punishable by death under the Roman law (Acts 21:27–29). To not defile the temple further by shedding human blood within its walls, the mob drags Paul out and shuts the gates.

In three or four years, Paul will remind the church in Philippi of his bona fides as a Jew: "circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless" (Philippians 3:5–6). He goes on to explain what those accomplishments are worth: "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:7–8).

Some scholars see symbolism in the closed gates. The traditional Jewish worship is closed to Paul. Peace with traditional Jews, for which the Jerusalem church elders have worked so hard, is cracking. As a devout Jew, Paul worked hard to destroy Christianity (Acts 8:1–3). Now, he is banished from the expression of his former faith.
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