The Prophecy of Agabus by Louis Cheron
|Prophet, Disciple, & Martyr|
1st century AD|
February 13 (Roman Catholic)|
March 8 (Eastern Orthodox)
Agabus (Greek: Ἄγαβος) or Agabo was an early follower of Christianity mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as a prophet. He is traditionally remembered as one of the Seventy Disciples described in Luke 10:1-24.
Biblical and other traditional accounts
According to extra-biblical tradition, Agabus appears to have been a resident of Jerusalem. He is said to have been one of the seventy disciples, mentioned in the Gospel of Luke, commissioned to preach the gospel. It is said that Agabus was with the twelve apostles in the upper room on the day of Pentecost.
According to Acts 11:27-28, he was one of a group of prophets who travelled from Jerusalem to Antioch. Agabus had received the gift of prophecy, and predicted a severe famine which the author of Acts says occurred during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius.
Also, according to Acts 21:10-12, 'a certain prophet', (Greek: τις) named Agabus met Paul the Apostle at Caesarea Maritima in 58 AD. He was, according to the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary, 'no doubt the same' Agabus as had been mentioned in Acts 11:27-28, and Heinrich Meyer stated that 'there is no reason against the assumed identity of this person with the one mentioned in Acts 11:28. Agabus warned Paul of his coming capture; he bound his own hands and feet with Paul's belt to demonstrate what would happen if he continued his journey to Jerusalem, stating the message of the Holy Spirit:
- "So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles".
Agabus' symbolic action has been compared with the Jewish prophet Jeremiah:
- Thus the LORD said to me, "Go and buy yourself a linen waistband and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water." So I bought the waistband in accordance with the word of the LORD and put it around my waist ... For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,' declares the LORD, 'to be my people for my renown and praise and honor.
Tradition says that Agabas went to many countries, teaching and converting many. This moved the Jews of Jerusalem to arrest him, and they tortured him by beating him severely, and putting a rope around his neck. He was dragged outside the city and stoned to death. Maas says he was martyred at Antioch.
- David Miall Edwards, in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia entry: Agabus http://biblehub.com/topical/a/agabus.htm accessed 24 September 2015
- "The Martyrdom of St. Agabus, One of the Seventy Disciples", Coptic Orthodox Church Network
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1907). "Agabus". Catholic Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on Acts 21 http://biblehub.com/commentaries/jfb/acts/21.htm accessed 15 October 2015
- Meyer's NT Commentary on Acts 21 http://biblehub.com/commentaries/meyer/acts/21.htm accessed 15 October 2015
- Expositor's Greek Testament on Acts 21 http://biblehub.com/commentaries/egt/acts/21.htm accessed 15 October 2015
- Jeremiah 13:1-2;11