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Acts 25:23–26:32

Paul before Agrippa

23 So, on the next day when aAgrippa came 1together with aBernice amid great pomp, and entered the auditorium 2accompanied by the 3commanders and the prominent men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in.

24 Festus * said, “King Agrippa, and all you gentlemen here present with us, you see this man about whom aall the people of the Jews appealed to me, both at Jerusalem and here, loudly declaring that bhe ought not to live any longer.

25 “But I found that he had committed anothing worthy of death; and since he himself bappealed to 1the Emperor, I decided to send him.

26 1Yet I have nothing definite about him to write to my lord. Therefore I have brought him before you all and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the investigation has taken place, I may have something to write.

27 “For it seems absurd to me in sending a prisoner, not to indicate also the charges against him.”

Chapter 26

Paul’s Defense before Agrippa

1 aAgrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and proceeded to make his defense:

2 “In regard to all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that I am about to make my defense before you today;

3 1especially because you are an expert in all acustoms and 2questions among the Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.

4 “So then, all Jews know amy manner of life from my youth up, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation and at Jerusalem;

5 since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a aPharisee baccording to the strictest csect of our religion.

6 “And now I am 1standing trial afor the hope of bthe promise made by God to our fathers;

7 the promise ato which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this bhope, O King, I am being caccused by Jews.

8 “Why is it considered incredible among you people aif God does raise the dead?

9 “So then, aI thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to bthe name of Jesus of Nazareth.

10 “And this is 1just what I adid in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the 2saints in prisons, having breceived authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I ccast my vote against them.

11 “And aas I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being bfuriously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them ceven to 1foreign cities.

12 1While so engaged aas I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests,

13 at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, 1brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me.

14 “And when we had aall fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the 1bHebrew dialect, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? 2It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

15 “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.

16 But get up and astand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to bappoint you a cminister and da witness not only to the things which you have 1seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;

17 arescuing you bfrom the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,

18 to aopen their eyes so that they may turn from bdarkness to light and from the dominion of cSatan to God, that they may receive dforgiveness of sins and an einheritance among those who have been sanctified by ffaith in Me.’

19 “So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision,

20 but kept declaring both ato those of Damascus first, and also bat Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even cto the Gentiles, that they should drepent and turn to God, performing deeds eappropriate to repentance.

21 “For this reason some Jews aseized me in the temple and tried bto put me to death.

22 “So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day atestifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what bthe Prophets and Moses said was going to take place;

23 1athat 2the Christ was 3to suffer, and 1that bby reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim clight both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

24 While Paul was saying this in his defense, Festus * said in a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind! 1Your great alearning is 2driving you mad.”

25 But Paul * said, “I am not out of my mind, amost excellent Festus, but I utter words 1of sober truth.

26 “For the king 1aknows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a 2corner.

27 “King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you 1do.”

28 Agrippa replied to Paul, “1In a short time you 2will persuade me to 3become a aChristian.”

29 And Paul said,1I would wish to God, that whether 2in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these achains.”

30 aThe king stood up and the governor and Bernice, and those who were sitting with them,

31 and when they had gone aside, they began talking to one another, saying, “aThis man is not doing anything worthy of death or 1imprisonment.”

32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been aset free if he had not bappealed to Caesar.”

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