Bible: Acts 22:20-23:35

22:20 And when the blood of your witness 1  Stephen was shed, 2  I myself was standing nearby, approving, 3  and guarding the cloaks 4  of those who were killing him.’ 5  22:21 Then 6  he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’

The Roman Commander Questions Paul

22:22 The crowd 7  was listening to him until he said this. 8  Then 9  they raised their voices and shouted, 10 Away with this man 11  from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live! 12  22:23 While they were screaming 13  and throwing off their cloaks 14  and tossing dust 15  in the air, 22:24 the commanding officer 16  ordered Paul 17  to be brought back into the barracks. 18  He told them 19  to interrogate Paul 20  by beating him with a lash 21  so that he could find out the reason the crowd 22  was shouting at Paul 23  in this way. 22:25 When they had stretched him out for the lash, 24  Paul said to the centurion 25  standing nearby, “Is it legal for you to lash a man who is a Roman citizen 26  without a proper trial? 27  22:26 When the centurion 28  heard this, 29  he went to the commanding officer 30  and reported it, 31  saying, “What are you about to do? 32  For this man is a Roman citizen.” 33  22:27 So the commanding officer 34  came and asked 35  Paul, 36 Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” 37  He replied, 38 Yes.” 22:28 The commanding officer 39  answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.” 40 But I was even 41  born a citizen,” 42  Paul replied. 43  22:29 Then those who were about to interrogate him stayed away 44  from him, and the commanding officer 45  was frightened when he realized that Paul 46  was 47  a Roman citizen 48  and that he had had him tied up. 49 

Paul Before the Sanhedrin

22:30 The next day, because the commanding officer 50  wanted to know the true reason 51  Paul 52  was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole council 53  to assemble. He then brought 54  Paul down and had him stand before them.

23:1 Paul looked directly 55  at the council 56  and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience 57  before God to this day.” 23:2 At that 58  the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near 59  Paul 60  to strike 61  him on the mouth. 23:3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! 62  Do 63  you sit there judging me according to the law, 64  and in violation of the law 65  you order me to be struck?” 23:4 Those standing near him 66  said, “Do you dare insult 67  God’s high priest? 23:5 Paul replied, 68 I did not realize, 69  brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’ 70 

23:6 Then when Paul noticed 71  that part of them were Sadducees 72  and the others Pharisees, 73  he shouted out in the council, 74 Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection 75  of the dead! 23:7 When he said this, 76  an argument 77  began 78  between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 23:8 (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) 79  23:9 There was a great commotion, 80  and some experts in the law 81  from the party of the Pharisees stood up 82  and protested strongly, 83 We find nothing wrong 84  with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him? 23:10 When the argument became 85  so great the commanding officer 86  feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, 87  he ordered the detachment 88  to go down, take him away from them by force, 89  and bring him into the barracks. 90 

23:11 The following night the Lord 91  stood near 92  Paul 93  and said, “Have courage, 94  for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, 95  so you must also testify in Rome.” 96 

The Plot to Kill Paul

23:12 When morning came, 97  the Jews formed 98  a conspiracy 99  and bound themselves with an oath 100  not to eat or drink anything 101  until they had killed Paul. 23:13 There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. 102  23:14 They 103  went 104  to the chief priests 105  and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath 106  not to partake 107  of anything until we have killed Paul. 23:15 So now you and the council 108  request the commanding officer 109  to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine 110  his case 111  by conducting a more thorough inquiry. 112  We are ready to kill him 113  before he comes near this place.” 114 

23:16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, 115  he came and entered 116  the barracks 117  and told Paul. 23:17 Paul called 118  one of the centurions 119  and said, “Take this young man to the commanding officer, 120  for he has something to report to him.” 23:18 So the centurion 121  took him and brought him to the commanding officer 122  and said, “The prisoner Paul called 123  me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” 23:19 The commanding officer 124  took him by the hand, withdrew privately, and asked, “What is it that you want 125  to report to me? 23:20 He replied, 126 The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council 127  tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. 23:21 So do not let them persuade you to do this, 128  because more than forty of them 129  are lying in ambush 130  for him. They 131  have bound themselves with an oath 132  not to eat or drink anything 133  until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request.” 134  23:22 Then the commanding officer 135  sent the young man away, directing him, 136  “Tell no one that you have reported 137  these things to me.” 23:23 Then 138  he summoned 139  two of the centurions 140  and said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea 141  along with seventy horsemen 142  and two hundred spearmen 143  by 144  nine o’clock tonight, 145  23:24 and provide mounts for Paul to ride 146  so that he may be brought safely to Felix 147  the governor.” 148  23:25 He wrote 149  a letter that went like this: 150 

23:26 Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor 151  Felix, 152  greetings. 23:27 This man was seized 153  by the Jews and they were about to kill him, 154  when I came up 155  with the detachment 156  and rescued him, because I had learned that he was 157  a Roman citizen. 158  23:28 Since I wanted to know 159  what charge they were accusing him of, 160  I brought him down to their council. 161  23:29 I found he 162  was accused with reference to controversial questions 163  about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. 164  23:30 When I was informed 165  there would be a plot 166  against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges 167  against him before you.

23:31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, 168  took 169  Paul and brought him to Antipatris 170  during the night. 23:32 The next day they let 171  the horsemen 172  go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. 173  23:33 When the horsemen 174  came to Caesarea 175  and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented 176  Paul to him. 23:34 When the governor 177  had read 178  the letter, 179  he asked 180  what province he was from. 181  When he learned 182  that he was from Cilicia, 183  23:35 he said, “I will give you a hearing 184  when your accusers arrive too.” Then 185  he ordered that Paul 186  be kept under guard in Herod’s palace. 187 

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