Acts 11:28
Parallel Verses
New International Version
One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)

King James Bible
And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Darby Bible Translation
and one from among them, by name Agabus, rose up and signified by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine over all the inhabited earth, which also came to pass under Claudius.

World English Bible
One of them named Agabus stood up, and indicated by the Spirit that there should be a great famine all over the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius.

Young's Literal Translation
and one of them, by name Agabus, having stood up, did signify through the Spirit a great dearth is about to be throughout all the world -- which also came to pass in the time of Claudius Caesar --

Acts 11:28 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Agabus - This prophet, of whom we know nothing, is once more mentioned, Acts 21:10. He was probably a Jew, but whether converted now to Christianity we cannot tell.

Great dearth throughout all the world - The words εφ' ὁλην την οικουμενην probably here mean the land of Judea; though sometimes by this phrase the whole Roman empire is intended. In the former sense the disciples appear to have understood it, as the next verse informs us; for they determined to send relief to their brethren in Judea, which they could not have done had the famine been general. It does not appear that they expected it to extend even to Antioch in Syria, where they then were, else they would have thought of making provision for themselves.

It is well known from history that there were several famines in the reign of Claudius. Dion Cassius, lib. lx., mentions a severe famine in the first and second year of the reign of Claudius, which was sorely felt in Rome itself. This famine, it is supposed, induced Claudius to build a port at Ostia, for the more regular supply of Rome with provisions.

A second famine happened about the fourth year of this reign, which continued for several years, and greatly afflicted the land of Judea. Several authors notice this, but particularly Josephus, Ant. lib. xx. cap. 5, sect. 2, where, having mentioned Tiberius Alexander as succeeding to the procuratorship in the place of Cuspius Fadus, he says that, "during the government of these procurators, a great famine afflicted Judea." Επι τουτοις δη και τον μεγαν λιμον κατα την Ιουδαιαν συνεβη γενεσθαι.

A third famine is mentioned by Eusebius, in An. Abrahami, which commences with the calends of October, a.d. 48, which was so powerful "in Greece that a modius (about half a bushel of grain) was sold for six drachms," about three shillings and sixpence English. Vid. Euseb. in Chron. edit. Scalig. The same author mentions another famine in Rome, in the tenth year of Claudius, of which Orosius gives the details, lib. vii.

A fourth famine, which took place in the eleventh year of Claudius, is mentioned by Tacitus, Annal. lib. xii. sect. 43, in which there was so great a dearth of provisions, and famine in consequence, that it was esteemed a Divine judgment. Frugrum quoque egestas, et orta ex ea fames, in prodigium accipiebatur. At this time, the same author tells us, that in all the stores of Rome there were no more than fifteen days' provision; and, had not the winter been uncommonly mild, the utmost distress and misery must have prevailed.

It may now be inquired, to which of these famines in the reign of Claudius does the prophecy of Agabus refer? Most learned men are of opinion that the famine of which Agabus prophesied was that mentioned above, which took place in the fourth year of this emperor. a.d. 47. This famine is particularly mentioned by Josephus, Ant. lib xx. cap. 2, sect. 5, who describes it as "a very great famine, in which many died for want of food." - "That Helena, queen of Adiabene, who had embraced the Jewish religion, sent some of her servants to Alexandria, to buy a great quantity of corn; and others of them to Cyprus, to buy a cargo of dried figs, which she distributed to those who were in want." And in cap. 5, sect. 2, he says that this happened" when Tiberius Alexander succeeded Cuspids Fadus; and that under these procurators the famine happened in which Queen Helena, at a vast expense, procured relief to the Jews." Dr. Hudson's note on this passage in Josephus deserves to be copied: "This," says he, "is that famine foretold by Agabus, Acts 11:28, which happened when Claudius was consul the fourth time, (a.d. 47), and not that which happened when Claudius was consul the second time, and Caecina was his colleague, (a.d. 42), as Scaliger says, upon Eusebius, p. 174. Now when Josephus had said, a little after, cap. 5, sect. 2, that Tiberius Alexander succeeded Cuspius Fadus as procurator, he immediately subjoins, under these procurators there happened a great famine in Judea." From this it is evident that this famine must have continued several years, as it existed under both these procurators. Fadus, says Mr. Whiston, was not sent into Judea till after the death of Agrippa, i.e. towards the end of the fourth year of Claudius, in the end of a.d. 44, or beginning of 45. So that this famine, foretold by Agabus, happened on the fifth, sixth, and seventh years of Claudius, a.d. 45, 46, and 47. See Whiston's Josephus; and see Krebs' Observat. in Nov. Test. on this place.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Acts 21:10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.

great. This was probably the famine which took place in the fourth year of Claudius, which continued for several years, and in which, says Josephus, 'many died for want of food.'

Genesis 41:30,31,38 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt...

1 Kings 17:1-16 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand...

2 Kings 8:1,2 Then spoke Elisha to the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go you and your household...

Claudius. Claudius Caesar succeeded C. Caligula, A.D.

41; and after a reign of upwards of

13 years, he was poisoned by his wife Agrippina, and succeeded by Nero.

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee...

April 27 Evening
A new name.--REV. 2:17. The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.--Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.--They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.--Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

Peter's Apologia
'And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, 3. Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. 4. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying, 5. I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

What God Hath Cleansed
'There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 2. A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 3. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. 4. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The Breaking Out of Discord
'And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 3. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles:
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Cross References
Matthew 24:7
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Acts 18:2
There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,

Acts 21:10
After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.

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