Purify yourself! (Acts 21:24)

“Join these men!

Go through

The rite of purification

With them!

Pay for the shaving

Of their heads!


All will know

That there is nothing true

In what they have been told

About you.

But you yourself


And guard

The law.”

τούτους παραλαβὼν ἁγνίσθητι σὺν αὐτοῖς, καὶ δαπάνησον ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς ἵνα ξυρήσονται τὴν κεφαλήν, καὶ γνώσονται πάντες ὅτι ὧν κατήχηνται περὶ σοῦ οὐδέν ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ στοιχεῖς καὶ αὐτὸς φυλάσσων τὸν νόμον.

The author of Acts indicated that the Jerusalem Jewish Christian leaders said that Paul should join these four men.  Then he could go through the rite of purification with them (τούτους παραλαβὼν ἁγνίσθητι σὺν αὐτοῖς).  He should also pay for these men (καὶ δαπάνησον ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς) to shave off their heads (ἵνα ξυρήσονται τὴν κεφαλήν).  Then all these Jewish Christians would know (καὶ γνώσονται πάντες) that there is nothing true about what they have been told about Paul (ὅτι ὧν κατήχηνται περὶ σοῦ οὐδέν ἐστιν).  However, they still warned Paul that he should be on guard or walk carefully (ἀλλὰ στοιχεῖς) and thus observe and guard (καὶ αὐτὸς φυλάσσων) the law (τὸν νόμον) while he was in Jerusalem.  This was an elaborate scheme to show that Paul was a good Jewish person.  Paul would go through a purification rite with these four men who had taken a Nazirite vow.  Paul would pay for them to have their heads shaved, because apparently this was expensive.  Nevertheless, Paul had to be careful in Jerusalem.  He should make sure that he followed the Jewish law of Moses in all that he did there.  Have people ever been watching you?

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