Frescoes of Paul’s Ministry, Part 23: Riot at the Temple

Riot at the Temple, Francesco Grandi Acts 21:27 - 32

Riot at the Temple, Francesco Grandi Acts 21:27 – 32

Acts 21:27-32

When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple.  They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, shouting, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place.  And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place.”  (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)

They whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions.  Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut.  While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar.  He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd.  When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, the stopped beating Paul.


We see Paul being pulled out from the temple.  A muscular man leads him by his cloak.  An older man flexes his fists.  Another pushes him from behind.  Two gasp in horror, while another points at Paul in an accusatory manner.  In the background, a man pulls the gate shut.

With his right hand, Paul carried a book. With his left, he gestures upward.  Does the book symbolize the law, which he is accused of violating?  Is his gesture that of beseeching calm, or requesting divine intervention?  Rioters are usually not in a state of mind for reasonable conversation.


About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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