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Acts 18:18 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Paul, having tarried after this yet many days, took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila: having shorn his head in Cenchreae; for he had a vow.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And Paul [after this] tarried [there] yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn [his] head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Paul [after this] tarried [there] yet a good while, and took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn [his] head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Paul, having yet stayed [there] many days, took leave of the brethren and sailed thence to Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila, having shorn his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Paul, however, still further abiding a good many days with the brethren, bidding them adieu, set sail for Syria; and, with him, Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchreae, for he had a vow.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Paul having remained yet a good many days, having taken leave of the brethren, was sailing to Syria—and with him [are] Priscilla and Aquilas—having shorn [his] head in Cenchera, for he had a vow;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— But Paul, when he had stayed yet many days, taking his leave of the brethren, sailed thence into Syria (and with him Priscilla and Aquila), having shorn his head in Cenchrae. For he had a vow.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Paul after this taried there yet a good while, and then tooke his leaue of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila: hauing shorne his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— And when Paulos had been there many days, he gave the salutation to the brethren, and proceeded by sea to go to Syria: and Priskila and Akilos went with him, when he had shaved his head at Kankreos, because he had vowed a vow.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And when Paul had been there many days, he bid adieu to the brethren, and departed by sea to go to Syria. And with him went Priscilla and Aquila, when he had shaved his head at Cenchrea, because he had vowed a vow.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And 1161
{1161} Prime
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
Paul 3972
{3972} Prime
Of Latin origin; (little; but remotely from a derivative of G3973, meaning the same); Paulus, the name of a Roman and of an apostle.
[after this] tarried 4357
{4357} Prime
From G4314 and G3306; to stay further, that is, remain in a place, with a person; figuratively to adhere to, persevere in.
<5660> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 714
[there] yet 2089
{2089} Prime
Perhaps akin to G2094; 'yet', still (of time or degree).
a good y2425
[2425] Standard
From ἵκω [[hiko]] (ἱκάνω [[hikano]] or ἱκνέομαι [[hikneomai]]; akin to G2240; to arrive); competent (as if coming in season), that is, ample (in amount) or fit (in character).
while, 2250
{2250} Prime
Feminine (with G5610 implied) of a derivative of ἧμαι [[hemai]] (to sit; akin to the base of G1476) meaning tame, that is, gentle; day, that is, (literally) the time space between dawn and dark, or the whole 24 hours (but several days were usually reckoned by the Jews as inclusive of the parts of both extremes); figuratively a period (always defined more or less clearly by the context).
(2425) Complement
From ἵκω [[hiko]] (ἱκάνω [[hikano]] or ἱκνέομαι [[hikneomai]]; akin to G2240; to arrive); competent (as if coming in season), that is, ample (in amount) or fit (in character).
and then took his leave 657
{0657} Prime
Middle voice from G0575 and G5021; literally to say adieu (by departing or dismissing); figuratively to renounce.
<5671> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Middle (See G5785)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 61
of the x3588
(3588) Complement

The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
brethren, 80
{0080} Prime
From G0001 (as a connective particle) and δελφύς [[delphus]] (the womb); a brother (literally or figuratively) near or remote (much like [H0001]).
and sailed thence 1602
{1602} Prime
From G1537 and G4126; to depart by ship.
<5707> Grammar
Tense - Imperfect (See G5775)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 855
into 1519
{1519} Prime
A primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases.
Syria, 4947
{4947} Prime
Probably of Hebrew origin [H6865]; Syria (that is, Tsyria or Tyre), a region of Asia.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
with 4862
{4862} Prime
A primary preposition denoting union; with or together (but much closer than G3326 or G3844), that is, by association, companionship, process, resemblance, possession, instrumentality, addition, etc.
him 846
{0846} Prime
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
Priscilla 4252
{4252} Prime
Diminutive of G4251; Priscilla (that is, little Prisca), a Christian woman.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
Aquila; 207
{0207} Prime
Probably for the Latin aquila (an eagle); Akulas, an Israelite.
having shorn 2751
{2751} Prime
A primary verb; to shear.
<5671> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Middle (See G5785)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 61
[his] head 2776
{2776} Prime
Probably from the primary word κάπτω [[kapto]] (in the sense of seizing); the head (as the part most readily taken hold of), literally or figuratively.
in 1722
{1722} Prime
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
Cenchrea: 2747
{2747} Prime
Probably from κέγχρος [[kegchros]] (millet); Cenchreae, a port of Corinth.
for 1063
{1063} Prime
A primary particle; properly assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification; often with other particles).
he had 2192
{2192} Prime
A primary verb (including an alternate form σχέω [[scheo]], {skheh'-o}; used in certain tenses only); to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession, ability, contiguity, relation or condition).
<5707> Grammar
Tense - Imperfect (See G5775)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 855
a vow. 2171
{2171} Prime
From G2172; properly a wish, expressed as a petition to God, or in votive obligation.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Acts 18:18

_ _ Paul ... tarried ... yet a good while — During his long residence at Corinth, Paul planted other churches in Achaia (2 Corinthians 1:1).

_ _ then took ... leave of the brethren, and sailed ... into — rather, “for”

_ _ Syria — to Antioch, the starting-point of all the missions to the Gentiles, which he feels to be for the present concluded.

_ _ with him Priscilla and Aquila — In this order the names also occur in Acts 18:26 (according to the true reading); compare Romans 16:3; 2 Timothy 4:19, which seem to imply that the wife was the more prominent and helpful to the Church. Silas and Timotheus doubtless accompanied the apostle, as also Erastus, Gaius, and Aristarchus (Acts 19:22, Acts 19:29). Of Silas, as Paul’s associate, we read no more. His name occurs last in connection with Peter and the churches of Asia Minor [Webster and Wilkinson].

_ _ having shorn his head in Cenchrea — the eastern harbor of Corinth, about ten miles distant, where a church had been formed (Romans 16:1).

_ _ for he — Paul.

_ _ had a vow — That it was the Nazarite vow (Numbers 6:1-27) is not likely. It was probably one made in one of his seasons of difficulty or danger, in prosecution of which he cuts off his hair and hastens to Jerusalem to offer the requisite sacrifice within the prescribed thirty days [Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 2.15.1]. This explains the haste with which he leaves Ephesus (Acts 18:21), and the subsequent observance, on the recommendation of the brethren, of a similar vow (Acts 21:24). This one at Corinth was voluntary, and shows that even in heathen countries he systematically studied the prejudices of his Jewish brethren.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Acts 18:18-23

_ _ We have here Paul in motion, as we have had him at Corinth for some time at rest, but in both busy, very busy, in the service of Christ; if he sat still, if he went about, still it was to do good. Here is,

_ _ I. Paul's departure from Corinth, Acts 18:18. 1. He did not go away till some time after the trouble he met with there; from other places he had departed when the storm arose, but not from Corinth, because there it had no sooner risen than it fell again. Some tell us that Gallio did privately countenance Paul, and took him into his favour, and that this occasioned a correspondence between Paul and Seneca, Gallio's brother, which some of the ancients speak of. After this he tarried there yet a good while, some think, beyond the year and a half mentioned, Acts 18:11. While he found he laboured not in vain, he continued labouring. 2. When he went, he took leave of the brethren solemnly, and with much affection, with suitable comforts and counsels, and prayers at parting, commending what was good, reproving what was otherwise, and giving them necessary cautions against the wiles of the false apostles; and his farewell sermon would leave impressions upon them. 3. He took with him Priscilla and Aquila, because they had a mind to accompany him; for they seemed disposed to remove, and not inclined to stay long at a place, a disposition which may arise from a good principle, and have good effects, and therefore ought not to be condemned in others, though it ought to be suspected in ourselves. There was a great friendship contracted between them and Paul, and therefore, when he went, they begged to go along with him. 4. At Cenchrea, which was hard by Corinth, the port where those that went to sea from Corinth took ship, either Paul or Aquila (for the original does not determine which) had his head shaved, to discharge himself from the vow of a Nazarite: Having shorn his head at Cenchrea; for he had a vow. Those that lived in Judea were, in such a case, bound to do it at the temple: but those who lived in other countries might do it in other places. The Nazarite's head was to be shaved when either his consecration was accidentally polluted, in which case he must begin again, or when the days of his separation were fulfilled (Numbers 6:9; Numbers 13:18), which, we suppose, was the case here. Some throw it upon Aquila, who was a Jew (Acts 18:2), and retained perhaps more of his Judaism than was convenient; but I see no harm in admitting it concerning Paul, for concerning him we must admit the same thing (Acts 21:24, Acts 21:26), not only in compliance for a time with the Jews, to whom he became as a Jew (1 Corinthians 9:20), that he might win upon them, but because the vow of the Nazarites, though ceremonial, and as such ready to vanish away, had yet a great deal of moral and very pious significance, and therefore was fit to die the last of all the Jewish ceremonies. The Nazarites are joined with the prophets (Amos 2:11), and were very much the glory of Israel (Lamentations 4:7), and therefore it is not strange if Paul bound himself for some time with the vow of a Nazarite from wine and strong drink, and from being trimmed, to recommend himself to the Jews; and from this he now discharged himself.

_ _ II. Paul's calling at Ephesus, which was the metropolis of the Lesser Asia, and a sea-port. 1. There he left Aquila and Priscilla; not only because they would be but burdensome to him in his journey, but because they might be serviceable to the interests of the gospel at Ephesus. Paul intended shortly to settle there for some time, and he left Aquila and Priscilla there in the mean time, for the same end as Christ sent his disciple before to every place where he himself would come, to prepare his way. Aquila and Priscilla might, by private conversation, being very intelligent judicious Christians, dispose the minds of many to give Paul, when he should come among them, a favourable reception, and to understand his preaching; therefore he calls them his helpers in Christ Jesus, Romans 16:3. 2. There he preached to the Jews in their synagogue; though he did but call there in his journey, yet he would not go without giving them a sermon. He entered into the synagogue, not as a hearer, but as a preacher, for there he reasoned with the Jews. Though he had abandoned the Jews at Corinth, who opposed themselves, and blasphemed, yet he did not, for their sakes, decline the synagogues of the Jews in other places, but still made the first offer of the gospel to them. We must not condemn a whole body or denomination of men, for the sake of some that conduct themselves ill. 3. The Jews at Ephesus were so far from driving Paul away that they courted his stay with them (Acts 18:20): They desired him to tarry longer with them, to instruct them, in the gospel of Christ. These were more noble, and better bred, than those Jews at Corinth, and other places, and it was a sign that God had not quite cast away his people, but had a remnant among them. 4. Paul would not stay with them now: He consented not; but bade them farewell. He had further to go; he must by all means keep this feast at Jerusalem; not that he thought himself bound in duty to it (he knew the laws of the feasts were no longer binding), but he had business t Jerusalem (whatever it was) which would be best done at the time of the feast, when there was a general rendezvous of all the Jews from all parts; which of the feasts it was we are not told, probably it was the passover, which was the most eminent. 5. He intimated his purpose, after this journey, to come and spend some time at Ephesus, being encouraged by their kind invitation to hope that he should do good among them. It is good to have opportunities in reserve, when one good work is over to have another to apply ourselves to: I will return again to you, but he inserts that necessary proviso, if God will. Our times are in God's hand; we purpose, but he disposes; and therefore we must make all our promises with submission to the will of God. If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that. I will return again to you, if the Spirit suffer me (Acts 16:7); this was included in Paul's case; not only if providence permit, but if God do not otherwise direct my motions.

_ _ III. Paul's visit to Jerusalem; a short visit it was, but it served as a token of respect to that truly mother-church. 1. He came by sea to the port that lay next to Jerusalem. He sailed from Ephesus (Acts 18:21), and landed at Caesarea, Acts 18:22. He chose to go by sea, for expedition and for safety, and that he might see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. Joppa had been the port for Jerusalem, but Herod having improved Caesarea, and the port at Joppa being dangerous, that was generally made use of. 2. He went up, and saluted the church, by which, I think, is plainly meant the church at Jerusalem, which is emphatically called the church, because there the Christian church began, Acts 15:4. Paul thought it requisite to show himself among them, that they might not think his success among them, that they might not think his success among the Gentiles had made him think himself either above them or estranged from them, or that the honour God had put upon him made him unmindful of the honour he owed to them. His going to salute the church at Jerusalem intimates, (1.) That it was a very friendly visit that he made them, in pure kindness, to enquire into their state, and to testify his hearty good-will to them. Note, The increase of our new friends should not make us forget our old ones, but it should be a pleasure to good men, and good ministers, to revive former acquaintance. The ministers at Jerusalem were constant residents, Paul was a constant itinerant; but he took care to keep up a good correspondence with them, that they might rejoice with him in his going out, and he might rejoice with them in their tents, and they might both congratulate and wish well to one another's comfort and success. (2.) That it was but a short visit. He went up, and saluted them, perhaps with the holy kiss, and made no stay among them. It was designed but for a transient interview, and yet Paul undertook this long journey for that. This is not the world we are to be together in. God's people are the salt of the earth, dispersed and scattered; yet it is good to see one another sometimes, if it be but to see one another, that we may confirm mutual love, may the better keep up our spiritual communion with one another at a distance, and may long the more for that heavenly Jerusalem in which we hope to be together for ever.

_ _ IV. His return through those countries where he had formerly preached the gospel. 1. He went and spent some time in Antioch, among his old friends there, whence he was first sent out to preach among the Gentiles, Acts 13:1. He went down to Antioch, to refresh himself with the sight and conversation of the ministers there; and a very good refreshment it is to a faithful minister to have for awhile the society of his brethren; for, as iron sharpeneth iron, so doth a man the countenance of his friend. Paul's coming to Antioch would bring to remembrance the former days, which would furnish him with matter for fresh thanksgiving. 2. Thence he went over the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, where he had preached the gospel, and planted churches, which, though very briefly mentioned (Acts 16:6), was yet a glorious work, as appears by Galatians 4:14, Galatians 4:15, where Paul speaks of his preaching the gospel to the Galatians at the first, and their receiving him as an angel of God. These country churches (for such they were [Galatians 1:2], and we read not of any city in Galatia where a church was) Paul visited in order as they lay, watering what he had been instrumental to plant, and strengthening all the disciples. His very coming among them, and owning them, were a great strengthening to them and their ministers. Paul's countenancing them was encouraging them; but that was not all: he preached that to them which strengthened them, which confirmed their faith in Christ, their resolutions for Christ, and their pious affections to him. Disciples need to be strengthened, for they are compassed about with infirmity; ministers must do what they can to strengthen them, to strengthen them all, by directing them to Christ, and bringing them to live upon him, whose strength is perfected in their weakness, and who is himself their strength and song.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Acts 18:18

Paul continued many days — After the year and six months, to confirm the brethren. Aquila having shaved his head — As was the custom in a vow, Acts 21:24; Numbers 6:18. At Cenchrea — A seaport town, at a small distance from Corinth.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Acts 18:18

(6) And Paul [after this] tarried [there] yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; (k) having shorn [his] head in (l) Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

(6) Paul is made all to all, to win all to Christ.

(k) That is, Paul.

(l) Cenchrea was a haven of the Corinthians.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Acts 15:23 And they wrote [letters] by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren [send] greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
Acts 15:41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
Acts 21:3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.
Galatians 1:21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;


Acts 18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.


Acts 21:24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave [their] heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but [that] thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
Numbers 6:5-9 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth [himself] unto the LORD, he shall be holy, [and] shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. ... And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it.
Numbers 6:18 And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put [it] in the fire which [is] under the sacrifice of the peace offerings.
1 Corinthians 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

Cenchrea, now Kenkri, was the port of Corinth, on the east side of the isthmus, and about nine miles from the city.
Romans 16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
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Nu 6:5, 18. Ac 15:23, 41; 18:2; 21:3, 24. Ro 16:1. 1Co 9:20. Ga 1:21.

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