Boldness At the Barracks

A famous Methodist evangelist named Peter Cartwright was known for his uncompromising preaching. However, one day when the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, “Old rough and ready,” came to Cartwright’s church, the elders warned the Pastor not to offen … More


Just as Paul was about to be taken into the barracks, he asked the commandant, May I say something to you (v. 37). The chief captain was surprised to hear Paul speak in the cultured Greek language. He had thought that Paul was perhaps the Egyptian who had led a group of bandits to the Mount of Olives, assuring them that the walls of Jerusalem would fall down at his command and enable them to capture Jerusalem. When Felix heard about this happening he sent the Army after them, and as a result some were captured and others fled. The Egyptian himself had vanished, and now the chief captain thought that Paul was this Egyptian who had returned (v. 38).

Paul quickly denied the connection, and introduced himself as a Jew of Tarsus (v. 39). Paul then begged that he might be allowed to speak to the people. When the man had granted him permission, Paul, standing on the steps, gestured with his hand to the people; and there was a great hush. Then he spoke to them in Aramaic (v 40). Keep in mind that in Paul’s day the original form of Hebrew was already a dead language, Paul knew this language, and no doubt some of the Jews in the courtyard would have been impressed if he spoke to them in this language. However, Paul wanted to capture the attention of the crowd, and he knew they would be more apt to listen if he spoke in Aramaic, which was a kindred language of Hebrew, and the language they understood best. Because of this Paul secured an immediate readiness on their part to listen to what he had to say.


 I want to have the boldness to say what the Lord wants me to say when He wants me to say it.

Acts 21:37-40 (English Standard Version)

As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, "May I say something to you?" And he said, "Do you know Greek? Are you not the Egyptian, then, who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness?" Paul replied, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no obscure city. I beg you, permit me to speak to the people." And when he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the steps, motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language, saying....

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