Bible: Acts 22:20-23:35
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
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