Agabus was a "prophet from Jerusalem" (Acts 11:27-28) in the early New Testament era. He is mentioned twice in the Scriptures, both times involving the apostle Paul. The first reference was near the beginning of Paul's Ministry when Paul was still known as Saul, not long after his conversion. The second reference to Agabus was years later when the well-seasoned apostle Paul (see also Pharisees) was returning from the third of his major missionary journeys (see Paul's First Missionary Journey,
Paul's Second Missionary Journey and
Paul's Third Missionary Journey). Both times, Agabus prophesied, and both times, because he was a true prophet of God, what he said would happen, happened.
Agabus The Prophet
Agabus is first mentioned at the time when Paul, who was still known as Saul, was with Barnabas:
"Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples [see Disciples of Christ] were called Christians first in Antioch."
"And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 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 [see Emperor Claudius]. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea [see Judea]: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul." (Acts 11:25-30 KJV)
Agabus is mentioned the second and last time in the Scriptures when Paul was returning from his third missionary journey. Agabus met Paul at Caesarea and prophesied that troubles awaited Paul upon his return to Jerusalem, and it happened just as Agabus said that it would. Paul was arrested, and after facing Felix and
Festus, was sent as a prisoner on a voyage to Rome, a voyage that resulted in his shipwreck on Malta (see Paul's Journey To Rome).
"And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip The Evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy."
"And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith The Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles."
"And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus [see also Christianos]. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done" (Acts 21:7-14 KJV)
Fact Finder: Agabus was described as a prophet, while Paul was described as an apostle. What other types of service are there in Christianity?
Ephesians 4:11-12, see also 1 Corinthians 12:4-30