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Barnabas and Saul Are Chosen and Sent

13 The church at Antioch had several prophets and teachers. They were Barnabas, Simeon, also called Niger, Lucius from Cyrene, Manaen, who was Herod’s[a] close friend, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and going without eating,[b] the Holy Spirit told them, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul to do the work for which I have chosen them.” Everyone prayed and went without eating for a while longer. Next, they placed their hands on Barnabas and Saul to show that they had been appointed to do this work. Then everyone sent them on their way.

Barnabas and Saul in Cyprus

After Barnabas and Saul had been sent by the Holy Spirit, they went to Seleucia. From there they sailed to the island of Cyprus. They arrived at Salamis and began to preach God’s message in the Jewish meeting places. They also had John[c] as a helper.

Barnabas and Saul went all the way to the city of Paphos on the other end of the island, where they met a Jewish man named Bar-Jesus. He practiced witchcraft and was a false prophet. He also worked for Sergius Paulus, who was very smart and was the governor of the island. Sergius Paulus wanted to hear God’s message, and he sent for Barnabas and Saul. But Bar-Jesus, whose other name was Elymas, was against them. He even tried to keep the governor from having faith in the Lord.

Then Saul, better known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked straight at Elymas 10 and said, “You son of the devil! You are a liar, a crook, and an enemy of everything that is right. When will you stop speaking against the true ways of the Lord? 11 The Lord is going to punish you by making you completely blind for a while.”

Suddenly the man’s eyes were covered by a dark mist, and he went around trying to get someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the governor saw what had happened, he was amazed at this teaching about the Lord. So he put his faith in the Lord.

Paul and Barnabas in Antioch of Pisidia

13 Paul and the others left Paphos and sailed to Perga in Pamphylia. But John[d] left them and went back to Jerusalem. 14 The rest of them went on from Perga to Antioch in Pisidia. Then on the Sabbath they went to the Jewish meeting place and sat down.

15 After the reading of the Law and the Prophets,[e] the leaders sent someone over to tell Paul and Barnabas, “Friends, if you have anything to say that will help the people, please say it.”

16 Paul got up. He motioned with his hand and said:

People of Israel, and everyone else who worships God, listen! 17 The God of Israel chose our ancestors, and he let our people prosper while they were living in Egypt. Then with his mighty power he led them out, 18 and for about forty years he took care of[f] them in the desert. 19 He destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and gave their land to our people. 20 All this happened in about 450 years.

Then God gave our people judges until the time of the prophet Samuel, 21 but the people demanded a king. So for forty years God gave them King Saul, the son of Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. 22 Later, God removed Saul and let David rule in his place. God said about him, “David the son of Jesse is the kind of person who pleases me most! He does everything I want him to do.”

23 God promised that someone from David’s family would come to save the people of Israel, and that one is Jesus. 24 But before Jesus came, John was telling everyone in Israel to turn back to God and be baptized. 25 Then, when John’s work was almost done, he said, “Who do you people think I am? Do you think I am the Promised One? He will come later, and I am not good enough to untie his sandals.”

26 Now listen, you descendants of Abraham! Pay attention, all of you Gentiles who are here to worship God! Listen to this message about how to be saved, because it is for everyone. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their leaders didn’t realize who Jesus was. And they didn’t understand the words of the prophets that they read each Sabbath. So they condemned Jesus just as the prophets had said.

28-29 They did exactly what the Scriptures said they would. Even though they couldn’t find any reason to put Jesus to death, they still asked Pilate to have him killed.

After Jesus had been put to death, he was taken down from the cross[g] and placed in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from death! 31 Then for many days Jesus appeared to his followers who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. Now they are telling our people about him.

32 God made a promise to our ancestors. And we are here to tell you the good news 33 that he has kept this promise to us. It is just as the second Psalm says about Jesus,

“You are my son because today
    I have become your Father.”

34 God raised Jesus from death and will never let his body decay. It is just as God said,

“I will make to you
    the same holy promise
    that I made to David.”

35 And in another psalm it says, “God will never let the body of his Holy One decay.”

36 When David was alive, he obeyed God. Then after he died, he was buried in the family grave, and his body decayed. 37 But God raised Jesus from death, and his body did not decay.

38 My friends, the message is that Jesus can forgive your sins! The Law of Moses could not set you free from all your sins. 39 But everyone who has faith in Jesus is set free. 40 Make sure that what the prophets have said doesn’t happen to you. They said,

41 “Look, you people
    who make fun of God!
Be amazed
    and disappear.
I will do something today
    that you won’t believe,
even if someone
    tells you about it!”

42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the meeting, the people begged them to say more about these same things on the next Sabbath. 43 After the service, many Jews and a lot of Gentiles who worshiped God went with them. Paul and Barnabas begged them all to remain faithful to God, who had been so kind to them.

44 The next Sabbath almost everyone in town came to hear the message about the Lord.[h] 45 When the Jewish people saw the crowds, they were very jealous. They insulted Paul and spoke against everything he said.

46 But Paul and Barnabas bravely said:

We had to tell God’s message to you before we told it to anyone else. But you rejected the message! This proves that you don’t deserve eternal life. Now we are going to the Gentiles. 47 The Lord has given us this command,

“I have placed you here
    as a light
    for the Gentiles.
You are to take
    the saving power of God
to people everywhere on earth.”

48 This message made the Gentiles glad, and they praised what they had heard about the Lord. [i] Everyone who had been chosen for eternal life then put their faith in the Lord.

49 The message about the Lord spread all over that region. 50 But the Jewish leaders went to some of the important men in the town and to some respected women who were religious. They turned them against Paul and Barnabas and started making trouble for them. They even chased them out of that part of the country.

51 Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from that place off their feet[j] and went on to the city of Iconium.

52 But the Lord’s followers in Antioch were very happy and were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Footnotes

  1. 13.1 Herod’s: Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great.
  2. 13.2 going without eating: The Jews often went without eating as a way of showing how much they loved God. This is also called “fasting.”
  3. 13.5,13 John: Whose other name was Mark (see 12.12,25).
  4. 13.5,13 John: Whose other name was Mark (see 12.12,25).
  5. 13.15 the Law and the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament.
  6. 13.18 took care of: Some manuscripts have “put up with.”
  7. 13.28,29 cross: This translates a Greek word that means “wood,” “pole,” or “tree.”
  8. 13.44,48 the Lord: Some manuscripts have “God.”
  9. 13.44,48 the Lord: Some manuscripts have “God.”
  10. 13.51 shook the dust from that place off their feet: This was a way of showing rejection.

13 Now in the church at Antioch(A) there were prophets(B) and teachers:(C) Barnabas,(D) Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,(E) Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod(F) the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,(G) “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work(H) to which I have called them.”(I) So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them(J) and sent them off.(K)

On Cyprus

The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit,(L) went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.(M) When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God(N) in the Jewish synagogues.(O) John(P) was with them as their helper.

They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer(Q) and false prophet(R) named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul,(S) Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer(T) (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul(U) from the faith.(V) Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit,(W) looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil(X) and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?(Y) 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you.(Z) You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”(AA)

Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul(AB) saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

In Pisidian Antioch

13 From Paphos,(AC) Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia,(AD) where John(AE) left them to return to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch.(AF) On the Sabbath(AG) they entered the synagogue(AH) and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law(AI) and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”

16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand(AJ) and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country;(AK) 18 for about forty years he endured their conduct[a](AL) in the wilderness;(AM) 19 and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan,(AN) giving their land to his people(AO) as their inheritance.(AP) 20 All this took about 450 years.

“After this, God gave them judges(AQ) until the time of Samuel the prophet.(AR) 21 Then the people asked for a king,(AS) and he gave them Saul(AT) son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin,(AU) who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul,(AV) he made David their king.(AW) God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;(AX) he will do everything I want him to do.’(AY)

23 “From this man’s descendants(AZ) God has brought to Israel the Savior(BA) Jesus,(BB) as he promised.(BC) 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.(BD) 25 As John was completing his work,(BE) he said: ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for.(BF) But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’(BG)

26 “Fellow children of Abraham(BH) and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation(BI) has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus,(BJ) yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets(BK) that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.(BL) 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him,(BM) they took him down from the cross(BN) and laid him in a tomb.(BO) 30 But God raised him from the dead,(BP) 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.(BQ) They are now his witnesses(BR) to our people.

32 “We tell you the good news:(BS) What God promised our ancestors(BT) 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.(BU) As it is written in the second Psalm:

“‘You are my son;
    today I have become your father.’[b](BV)

34 God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said,

“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’[c](BW)

35 So it is also stated elsewhere:

“‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’[d](BX)

36 “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep;(BY) he was buried with his ancestors(BZ) and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead(CA) did not see decay.

38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.(CB) 39 Through him everyone who believes(CC) is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.(CD) 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:

41 “‘Look, you scoffers,
    wonder and perish,
for I am going to do something in your days
    that you would never believe,
    even if someone told you.’[e](CE)

42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue,(CF) the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.(CG)

44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying(CH) and heaped abuse(CI) on him.

46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first.(CJ) Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.(CK) 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us:

“‘I have made you[f] a light for the Gentiles,(CL)
    that you[g] may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’[h](CM)

48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord;(CN) and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

49 The word of the Lord(CO) spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.(CP) 51 So they shook the dust off their feet(CQ) as a warning to them and went to Iconium.(CR) 52 And the disciples(CS) were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.(CT)

Footnotes

  1. Acts 13:18 Some manuscripts he cared for them
  2. Acts 13:33 Psalm 2:7
  3. Acts 13:34 Isaiah 55:3
  4. Acts 13:35 Psalm 16:10 (see Septuagint)
  5. Acts 13:41 Hab. 1:5
  6. Acts 13:47 The Greek is singular.
  7. Acts 13:47 The Greek is singular.
  8. Acts 13:47 Isaiah 49:6

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