Chapter 23

Paul before the Council

1 Paul, looking intently at athe 1Council, said, “bBrethren, cI have 2lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.”

2 The high priest aAnanias commanded those standing beside him bto strike him on the mouth.

3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, ayou whitewashed wall! Do you bsit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?”

4 But the bystanders said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?”

5 And Paul said, “I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, ‘aYou shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ”

6 But perceiving that one group were aSadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in bthe 1Council, “cBrethren, dI am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for ethe hope and resurrection of the dead!”

7 As he said this, there occurred a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.

8 For athe Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.

9 And there occurred a great uproar; and some of athe scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “bWe find nothing wrong with this man; csuppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”

10 And as a great dissension was developing, the 1commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into athe barracks.

11 But on athe night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, bTake courage; for cas you have dsolemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.”

A Conspiracy to Kill Paul

12 When it was day, athe Jews formed a 1conspiracy and bbound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul.

13 There were more than forty who formed this plot.

14 They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have abound ourselves under a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.

15 “Now therefore, you 1and athe 2Council notify the 3commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case by a more thorough investigation; and we for our part are ready to slay him before he comes near the place.

16 But the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, 1and he came and entered athe barracks and told Paul.

17 Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Lead this young man to the 1commander, for he has something to report to him.”

18 So he took him and led him to the 1commander and * said, “Paul athe prisoner called me to him and asked me to lead this young man to you since he has something to tell you.”

19 The 1commander took him by the hand and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, “What is it that you have to report to me?”

20 And he said, “aThe Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to bthe 1Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him.

21 “So do not 1listen to them, for more than forty of them are alying in wait for him who have bbound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they slay him; and now they are ready and waiting for the promise from you.”

22 So the 1commander let the young man go, instructing him, “Tell no one that you have notified me of these things.”

Paul Moved to Caesarea

23 And he called to him two of the centurions and said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready by 1the third hour of the night to proceed to aCaesarea, 2with seventy horsemen and two hundred 3spearmen.”

24 They were also to provide mounts to put Paul on and bring him safely to aFelix the governor.

25 And he wrote a letter having this form:

26 “Claudius Lysias, to the amost excellent governor Felix, bgreetings.

27 “When this man was arrested by the Jews and was about to be slain by them, aI came up to them with the troops and rescued him, bhaving learned that he was a Roman.

28 “And awanting to ascertain the charge for which they were accusing him, I bbrought him down to their 1cCouncil;

29 and I found him to be accused over aquestions about their Law, but 1under bno accusation deserving death or 2imprisonment.

30 “When I was ainformed that there would be ba plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, also instructing chis accusers to 1bring charges against him before you.”

31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris.

32 But the next day, leaving athe horsemen to go on with him, they returned to bthe barracks.

33 When these had come to aCaesarea and delivered the letter to bthe governor, they also presented Paul to him.

34 When he had read it, he asked from what aprovince he was, and when he learned that bhe was from Cilicia,

35 he said, “I will give you a hearing after your aaccusers arrive also,” giving orders for him to be bkept in Herod’s 1Praetorium.


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