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31 Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the commander came near and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and he asked who he was and what he had done. 34 And some among the multitude cried one thing and some another. So when he could not ascertain the truth because of the tumult, he commanded him to be taken into the barracks. 35 When he reached the stairs, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob. 36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!” 

 

Verses 21 through 36 bring the Roman garrison onto the scene. They were stationed in the Tower of Antonia, a fortress built by Herod the Great, close to the Temple. One of its towers was about 100 feet high, where a sentry would have had a clear view of the Temple.  

21:31 

Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 

As the mob dragged Paul from the Temple, news came to the Roman commander of the garrison “that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.” A garrison was about 1,000 soldiers. This military unity was part of the Roman Tenth Legion. The commander’s name was Claudius Lysias (Acts 23:26). Insurrections and crowd chaos were a problem to the Roman government.  

21:32 

He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 

When the garrison ran toward the chaos, the mob stopped beating Paul.  

21:33 

Then the commander came near and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and he asked who he was and what he had done. 

When the Roman commander came, he ordered Paul to be bound with two chains and asked about who he was and what he did to cause all the consternation.  

21:34 

And some among the multitude cried one thing and some another. So when he could not ascertain the truth because of the tumult, he commanded him to be taken into the barracks. 

The mob replied to the commander with differing, conflicting answers. Without a clear explanation, they brought Paul to the barracks.  

21:35 

When he reached the stairs, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob. 

The violence of the mob toward Paul was so great that the soldiers had to carry the apostle up the stairs to the Fortress of Antonia.  

21:36 

For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!” 

While the soldiers carried Paul up the stairs, the mob cried out, “Away with him” (kill him).  

PRINCIPLE: 

Government is a divine institution to protect its people.  

APPLICATION: 

God used the Roman government to protect Paul from the mob of anarchists. Mobs are irrational and cannot be controlled by reason. The only divine option for Paul was protection from the Romans.  

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