God intervening in the affairs of men through the Judges in Bible:
SAMSON IN ISRAEL AND PAUL IN NEW TESTAMENT:
The Birth of Samson:
1. Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
2. A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth.
3. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son.
4. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean.
5. You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
6. Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name.
7. But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from the womb until the day of his death.’”
8. Then Manoah prayed to the Lord: “Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.”
9. God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her.
10. The woman hurried to tell her husband, “He’s here! The man who appeared to me the other day!”
11. Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, “Are you the man who talked to my wife?”“I am,” he said.
12. So Manoah asked him, “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule that governs the boy’s life and work?”
13. The angel of the Lord answered, “Your wife must do all that I have told her.
14. She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her.”
15. Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “We would like you to stay until we prepare a young goat for you.”
16. The angel of the Lord replied, “Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the Lord.” (Manoah did not realize that it was the angel of the Lord.)
17. Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your word comes true?”
18. He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.[a]”
19. Then Manoah took a young goat, together with the grain offering, and sacrificed it on a rock to the Lord. And the Lord did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched:
20. As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground.
21. When the angel of the Lord did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized that it was the angel of the Lord.
22. “We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!”
23. But his wife answered, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this.”
24. The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him,
25. and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
1. Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman.
2. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”
3. His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?”But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.”
4. (His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)
5. Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him.
6. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done.
7. Then he went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her.
8. Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass, and in it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey.
9. He scooped out the honey with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion’s carcass.
10. Now his father went down to see the woman. And there Samson held a feast, as was customary for young men.
11. When the people saw him, they chose thirty men to be his companions.
12. “Let me tell you a riddle,” Samson said to them. “If you can give me the answer within the seven days of the feast, I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.
13. If you can’t tell me the answer, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.”“Tell us your riddle,” they said. “Let’s hear it.”
14. He replied,“Out of the eater, something to eat;
out of the strong, something sweet.”For three days they could not give the answer.
15. On the fourth[a] day, they said to Samson’s wife, “Coax your husband into explaining the riddle for us, or we will burn you and your father’s household to death. Did you invite us here to steal our property?”
16. Then Samson’s wife threw herself on him, sobbing, “You hate me! You don’t really love me. You’ve given my people a riddle, but you haven’t told me the answer.”“I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother,” he replied, “so why should I explain it to you?”
17. She cried the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people.
18. Before sunset on the seventh day the men of the town said to him,“What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?”Samson said to them,“If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have solved my riddle.”
19. Then the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. He went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men, stripped them of everything and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. Burning with anger, he returned to his father’s home.
20. And Samson’s wife was given to one of his companions who had attended him at the feast.
Samson’s Vengeance on the Philistines:
1.Later on, at the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. He said, “I’m going to my wife’s room.” But her father would not let him go in.
2 .“I was so sure you hated her,” he said, “that I gave her to your companion. Isn’t her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead.”
3. Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.”
4 .So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails,
5. lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.
6. When the Philistines asked, “Who did this?” they were told, “Samson, the Timnite’s son-in-law, because his wife was given to his companion.”So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death.
7. Samson said to them, “Since you’ve acted like this, I swear that I won’t stop until I get my revenge on you.”
8. He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam.
9. The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi.
10. The people of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight us?”“We have come to take Samson prisoner,” they answered, “to do to him as he did to us.”
11. Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?”He answered, “I merely did to them what they did to me.”
12. They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”Samson said, “Swear to me that you won’t kill me yourselves.”
13. “Agreed,” they answered. “We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock.
14. As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands.
15. Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.
16. Then Samson said,“With a donkey’s jawbone I have made donkeys of them.[aWith a donkey’s jawbone I have killed a thousand men.”
17. When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was called Ramath Lehi.[b]
18. Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord, “You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”
19. Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore,[c] and it is still there in Lehi.
20. Samson led[d] Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.
Samson and Delilah:
1. One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her.
2. The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.”
3. But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.
4. Sometime later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.
5. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels[a] of silver.”
6. So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”
7. Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
8. Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them.
9. With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.
10. Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.”
11. He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
12. So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.
13. Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.”He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric
14.and[b] tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.
15. Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.”
16. With such nagging, she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.
17. So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”
18. When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands.
19. After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.[c] And his strength left him.
20. Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.
21. Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes, and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison.
22. But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.
2 Corint 6 :
14. Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
15. What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
16. What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”[c]
17. Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate,
says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”[d]
18. And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”[e]
The Death of Samson:
23. Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”
24. When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.”
25. While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars,
26. Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.”
27. Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform.
28. Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”
29. Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,
30. Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
31. Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led[d] Israel twenty years.
Judges 17 :
1. Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim
2. said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels[a] of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse—I have that silver with me; I took it.”Then his mother said, “The Lord bless you, my son!”
3. When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the Lord for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.”
4. So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels[b] of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house.
5. Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest.
6. In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
7. A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah,
8. left that town in search of some other place to stay. On his way[c] he came to Micah’s house in the hill country of Ephraim.
9. Micah asked him, “Where are you from?” “I’m a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah,” he said, “and I’m looking for a place to stay.”
10. Then Micah said to him, “Live with me and be my father and priest, and I’ll give you ten shekels[d] of silver a year, your clothes and your food.”
11. So the Levite agreed to live with him, and the young man became like one of his sons to him.
12. Then Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in his house.
13. And Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will be good to me since this Levite has become my priest.”
The Danites Settle in Laish:
1. In those days Israel had no king. And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking a place of their own where they might settle because they had not yet come into an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.
2. So the Danites sent five of their leading men from Zorah and Eshtaol to spy out the land and explore it. These men represented all the Danites. They told them, “Go, explore the land.”So they entered the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah, where they spent the night.
3. When they were near Micah’s house, they recognized the voice of the young Levite; so they turned in there and asked him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? Why are you here?”
4. He told them what Micah had done for him, and said, “He has hired me and I am his priest.”
5. Then they said to him, “Please inquire of God to learn whether our journey will be successful.”
6. The priest answered them, “Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord’s approval.”
7. So the five men left and came to Laish, where they saw that the people were living in safety, like the Sidonians, at peace and secure. And since their land lacked nothing, they were prosperous.[a] Also, they lived a long way from the Sidonians and had no relationship with anyone else.[b]
8. When they returned to Zorah and Eshtaol, their fellow Danites asked them, “How did you find things?”
9. They answered, “Come on, let’s attack them! We have seen the land, and it is very good. Aren’t you going to do something? Don’t hesitate to go there and take it over.
10. When you get there, you will find an unsuspecting people and a spacious land that God has put into your hands, a land that lacks nothing whatever.”
11. Then six hundred men of the Danites, armed for battle, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol.
12. On their way, they set up camp near Kiriath Jearim in Judah. This is why the place west of Kiriath Jearim is called Mahaneh Dan[c] to this day.
13. From there they went on to the hill country of Ephraim and came to Micah’s house.
14. Then the five men who had spied out the land of Laish said to their fellow Danites, “Do you know that one of these houses has an ephod, some household gods and an image overlaid with silver? Now you know what to do.”
15. So they turned in there and went to the house of the young Levite at Micah’s place and greeted him.
16. The six hundred Danites, armed for battle, stood at the entrance of the gate.
17. The five men who had spied out the land went inside and took the idol, the ephod, and the household gods while the priest and the six hundred armed men stood at the entrance of the gate.
18. When the five men went into Micah’s house and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?”
19. They answered him, “Be quiet! Don’t say a word. Come with us, and be our father and priest. Isn’t it better that you serve a tribe and clan in Israel as priest rather than just one man’s household?”
20. The priest was very pleased. He took the ephod, the household gods, and the idol and went along with the people.
21. Putting their little children, their livestock, and their possessions in front of them, they turned away and left.
22. When they had gone some distance from Micah’s house, the men who lived near Micah were called together and overtook the Danites.
23. As they shouted after them, the Danites turned and said to Micah, “What’s the matter with you that you called out your men to fight?”
24. He replied, “You took the gods I made, and my priest, and went away. What else do I have? How can you ask, ‘What’s the matter with you?’”
25. The Danites answered, “Don’t argue with us, or some of the men may get angry and attack you, and you and your family will lose your lives.”
26. So the Danites went their way, and Micah, seeing that they were too strong for him, turned around and went back home.
27. Then they took what Micah had made, and his priest, and went on to Laish, against a people at peace and secure. They attacked them with the sword and burned down their city.
28. There was no one to rescue them because they lived a long way from Sidon and had no relationship with anyone else. The city was in a valley near Beth Rehob. The Danites rebuilt the city and settled there.
29. They named it Dan after their ancestor Dan, who was born to Israel—though the city used to be called Laish.
30. There the Danites set up for themselves the idol, and Jonathan son of Gershom, the son of Moses,[d] and his sons were priests for the tribe of Dan until the time of the captivity of the land.
31. They continued to use the idol Micah had made, all the time the house of God was in Shiloh.
Holy Spirit through Paul in Acts:
Acts chapter 14:
1. At Iconium, Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.
2. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
3. So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.
4. The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles.
5. There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them.
6. But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country,
7. where they continued to preach the gospel.
In Lystra and Derbe:
8. In Lystra, there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked.
9. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed
10. and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
11. When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”
12. Barnabas, they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.
13. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
14. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:
15. “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.
16. In the past, he let all nations go their own way.
17. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
18. Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
19. Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.
20. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.
The Return to Antioch in Syria:
21. They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,
22. strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
23. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders[a] for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
24. After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia,
25. and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
26. From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
27. On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.
28. And they stayed there for a long time with the disciples.
1. When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
2. As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
3. explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said.
4. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
5. But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[a]
6. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here,
7. and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.”
8. When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil.
9. Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.
10. As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.
11. Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
12. As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
13. But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up.
14. The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea.
15. Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
16. While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.
17. So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.
18. A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.
19. Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?
20. You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.”
21. (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22. Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.
23. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.
25. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.
26. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
27. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
28. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]
29. “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.
30. In the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
31. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”
32. When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear from you again on this subject.”
33. At that, Paul left the Council.
34. Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
Paul in Ephesus:
1. While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples
2. and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3. So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”John’s baptism,” they replied.
4. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”
5. On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[b] and prophesied.
7. There were about twelve men in all.
8. Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.
9. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
10. This went on for two years so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
11. God did extraordinary miracles through Paul,
12. so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
13. Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.”
14. Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.
15. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”
16. Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
17. When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.
18.Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done.
19. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.[c]
20. In this way, the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
21. After all, this had happened, Paul decided[d] to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.”
22. He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.
The Riot in Ephesus:
23. About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way.
24. A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there.
25. He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business.
26. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all.
27. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”
28. When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
29. Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together.
30. Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him.
31. Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.
32. The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there.
33. The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander to the front, and they shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people.
34. But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
35. The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Fellow Ephesians, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven?
36. Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm down and not do anything rash.
37. You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess.
38. If then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges.
39. If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly.
40. As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of what happened today. In that case, we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it.”
41. After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.
Through Macedonia and Greece:
Acts 20 :
1. When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia.
2. He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece,
3. where he stayed three months. Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia.
4. He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus, and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia.
5. These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas.
6. But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.
Eutychus Raised From the Dead at Troas:
7. On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.
8. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.
9. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.
10. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man, and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!”
11. Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left.
12. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.