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4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
This does not necessarily imply, as some have thought, that Paul visited Jerusalem contrary to the Spirit's command. There is an important difference between a revelation from the Spirit respecting what should happen at Jerusalem, and a command not to go there. It is in this difference that the explanation of the passage lies.
The context justifies this interpretation: that certain brethren sought to dissuade Paul from visiting Jerusalem because the Spirit had revealed that hurt awaited him there. This interpretation is in harmony with the apostle's statement to the elders of the Ephesian ecclesia
"I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem. not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Spirit witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me."
Had Paul been influenced by the Spirit's revelation in the way that his friends apparently were, he would have had to cease from the work to which he had been divinely appointed! Paul's mission was to be accomplished through suffering. This Paul knew from the beginning. The apostle upon a subsequent occasion was very desirous that the brethren should know the good that resulted from this evil experience (Phil. i. 12).
Paul went on while his brethren trembled. Their entreaties to halt were met by that grand reply: "I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." How unanswerable was this! All that the brethren could say was-"The will of the Lord be done." This they could not have said had they thought that Paul was going in opposition to the Spirit's command. Paul was not disobedient-banish the thought. A. T. J.
The Christadelphian, July 1887
9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
It is no violation of God's law for sisters to attend to the breaking of bread in the absence of a brother. The restrictions laid by Paul refer to assemblies in which men are present. When brethren are there, it is against the law for sisters to take a leading part. It belongs to the brethren to fill that part, but if there are no brethren present, the case is altered.
In spiritual exercises "there are neither male nor female in Christ," and at the right time women may pray and prophesy. (Acts 21:9; 1 Cor. 11:5).
26 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.
The apostles and Christians (Acts 21:20) of the Hebrew nation in Palestine continued a ceremonial observance of the Mosaic festival (verse 24-26) (the annual atonement for sin excepted) and of the seventh day, until the destruction of the commonwealth by the Romans, on the same principle that New Testament Christians among the nations now observe Sunday and the laws; not as a means of justification before God, but as mere national customs for the regulation of society.
Elpis Israel 1.2.