Agabus means "a grasshopper" or "locust" and also the father's joy or feast. Agabus was a prophet of the early church and said to be of the seventy. Foretelling the famine of AD 44-45, Luke writes " 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 a great drought throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea. Which they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabus and Saul."

During the fourth year of Claudius, several famines occurred that were caused by unfavorable harvests, one of which appears to be that which was foretold by Agabus. It was very severe in Judea and surrounding Palestine , and relief was sent to the church at Jerusalem from Antioch. The queen of Adiabne also interceded on the behalf of the Jews and sent to Egypt to purchase corn for them.

Agabus is a winsome personality. Prophetic utterances were alive and well in the New Testament church and Agabus was an acknowledged prophet. Jewish and early Christian prophets had a certain style. When words would not suffice they would act out their message to attract attention and dramatize their point. A few years after the famine around 58, Agabus predicted Paul's imprisonment should he pursue his intended course to Jerusalem.

And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judea 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 says the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owns this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
Paul was a very stubborn apostle and the prophecy could not convince him to stay.

The church has always had its prophets but especially today the prophetic office has been restored in the mainstream. In revival settings today many people get animated with strange actions or noises that seem absurd to the uninitiated. Someone may crow like a rooster to symbolize a wake up call, blow a sound as if a trumpet call to the church or bark like a dog to alert the pack. I have heard of persons mimicking giving birth as if a new being was about to give life. These are authentic manifestations in response to a profound spiritual experience and are directed to call attention to an outpouring, not detract from it. There is nothing wrong with these actions unless they are out of order by which demons can counterfeit.

Agabus is said to have been martyred in Antioch and his name is celebrated in March or April.
[334, 380, BD, Acts]

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