1 Paul fixed his eyes on the Council and said, 'My brothers, I have lived all my life, and still live today, with a perfectly clear conscience before God.' 2 At this the High Priest Ananias ordered his attendants to strike him on the mouth. 3 Paul retorted, 'God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me in accordance with the Law, and then in defiance of the Law you order me to be struck!' 4 The attendants said, 'Would you insult God's High Priest?' 5 [ Ex.22.28. ] 'My brothers,' said Paul, 'I had no idea that he was High Priest; Scripture, I know, says: "You must not abuse the ruler of your people." '
6 Now Paul was well aware that one section of them were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, so he called out in the Council, 'My brothers, I am a Pharisee, a Pharisee born and bred; and the true issue in this trial is our hope of the resurrection of the dead.' 7 At these words the Pharisees and Sadducees fell out among themselves, and the assembly was divided. 8 (The Sadducees deny that there is any resurrection, or angel, or spirit, but the Pharisees accept them.) 9 So a great uproar broke out, and some of the doctors of the law belonging to the Pharisaic party openly took sides and declared, 'We can find no fault with this man; perhaps an angel or spirit has spoken to him.' 10 The dissension was mounting, and the commandant was afraid that Paul would be torn in pieces, so he ordered the troops to go down, pull him out of the crowd, and bring him into the barracks.
11 The following night the Lord appeared to him and said, 'Keep up your courage, you have affirmed the truth about me in Jerusalem, and you must do the same in Rome.'
The Plot against Paul's Life
12 When day broke, the Jews banded together and took an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty in this conspiracy. 14 They came to the chief priests and elders and said, 'We have bound ourselves by a solemn oath not to taste food until we have killed Paul. 15 It is now for you, acting with the Council, to apply to the commandant to bring him down to you, on the pretext of a closer investigation of his case; and we have arranged to do away with him before he arrives.'
16 But the son of Paul's sister heard of the ambush; he went to the barracks, obtained entry, and reported it to Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, 'Take this young man to the commandant; he has something to report.' 18 The centurion took him and brought him to the commandant. 'The prisoner Paul', he said, 'sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you; he has something to tell you.' 19 The commandant took him by the arm, drew him aside, and asked him, 'What is it you have to report?' 20 He said, 'The Jews have made a plan among themselves and will request you to bring Paul down to the Council tomorrow, on the pretext of obtaining more precise information about him. 21 Do not listen to them; for a party more than forty strong are lying in wait for him. They have sworn not to eat or drink until they have done away with him; they are now ready, and wait only for your consent.' 22 So the commandant dismissed the young man, with orders not to let anyone know that he had given him this information.
Paul Sent to Felix the Governor
23 Then he called a couple of his centurions and issued these orders: 'Get ready two hundred infantry to proceed to Caesarea, together with seventy cavalrymen and two hundred light-armed troops; parade three hours after sunset. 24 Provide also mounts for Paul so that he may ride through under safe escort to Felix the Governor.' 25 And he wrote a letter to this effect:
26 'Claudius Lysias to His Excellency the Governor Felix. Your Excellency: 27 This man was seized by the Jews and was on the point of being murdered when I intervened with the troops and removed him, because I discovered that he was a Roman citizen. 28 As I wished to ascertain the charge on which they were accusing him, I took him down to their Council. 29 I found that the accusation had to do with controversial matters in their law, but there was no charge against him meriting death or imprisonment. 30 However, I have now been informed of an attempt to be made on the man's life, so I am sending him to you at once, and have also instructed his accusers to state their case against him before you.'
31 Acting on their orders, the infantry took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 Next day they returned to their barracks, leaving the cavalry to escort him the rest of the way. 33 The cavalry entered Caesarea, delivered the letter to the Governor, and handed Paul over to him. 34 He read the letter, asked him what province he was from, and learned that he was from Cilicia. 35 'I will hear your case', he said, 'when your accusers arrive.' He then ordered him to be held in custody at his headquarters in Herod's palace.
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