Bible: Acts 23

23:1 Paul looked directly 1  at the council 2  and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience 3  before God to this day.” 23:2 At that 4  the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near 5  Paul 6  to strike 7  him on the mouth. 23:3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! 8  Do 9  you sit there judging me according to the law, 10  and in violation of the law 11  you order me to be struck?” 23:4 Those standing near him 12  said, “Do you dare insult 13  God’s high priest? 23:5 Paul replied, 14 I did not realize, 15  brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’ 16 

23:6 Then when Paul noticed 17  that part of them were Sadducees 18  and the others Pharisees, 19  he shouted out in the council, 20 Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection 21  of the dead! 23:7 When he said this, 22  an argument 23  began 24  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.) 25  23:9 There was a great commotion, 26  and some experts in the law 27  from the party of the Pharisees stood up 28  and protested strongly, 29 We find nothing wrong 30  with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him? 23:10 When the argument became 31  so great the commanding officer 32  feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, 33  he ordered the detachment 34  to go down, take him away from them by force, 35  and bring him into the barracks. 36 

23:11 The following night the Lord 37  stood near 38  Paul 39  and said, “Have courage, 40  for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, 41  so you must also testify in Rome.” 42 

The Plot to Kill Paul

23:12 When morning came, 43  the Jews formed 44  a conspiracy 45  and bound themselves with an oath 46  not to eat or drink anything 47  until they had killed Paul. 23:13 There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. 48  23:14 They 49  went 50  to the chief priests 51  and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath 52  not to partake 53  of anything until we have killed Paul. 23:15 So now you and the council 54  request the commanding officer 55  to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine 56  his case 57  by conducting a more thorough inquiry. 58  We are ready to kill him 59  before he comes near this place.” 60 

23:16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, 61  he came and entered 62  the barracks 63  and told Paul. 23:17 Paul called 64  one of the centurions 65  and said, “Take this young man to the commanding officer, 66  for he has something to report to him.” 23:18 So the centurion 67  took him and brought him to the commanding officer 68  and said, “The prisoner Paul called 69  me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” 23:19 The commanding officer 70  took him by the hand, withdrew privately, and asked, “What is it that you want 71  to report to me? 23:20 He replied, 72 The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council 73  tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. 23:21 So do not let them persuade you to do this, 74  because more than forty of them 75  are lying in ambush 76  for him. They 77  have bound themselves with an oath 78  not to eat or drink anything 79  until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request.” 80  23:22 Then the commanding officer 81  sent the young man away, directing him, 82  “Tell no one that you have reported 83  these things to me.” 23:23 Then 84  he summoned 85  two of the centurions 86  and said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea 87  along with seventy horsemen 88  and two hundred spearmen 89  by 90  nine o’clock tonight, 91  23:24 and provide mounts for Paul to ride 92  so that he may be brought safely to Felix 93  the governor.” 94  23:25 He wrote 95  a letter that went like this: 96 

23:26 Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor 97  Felix, 98  greetings. 23:27 This man was seized 99  by the Jews and they were about to kill him, 100  when I came up 101  with the detachment 102  and rescued him, because I had learned that he was 103  a Roman citizen. 104  23:28 Since I wanted to know 105  what charge they were accusing him of, 106  I brought him down to their council. 107  23:29 I found he 108  was accused with reference to controversial questions 109  about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. 110  23:30 When I was informed 111  there would be a plot 112  against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges 113  against him before you.

23:31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, 114  took 115  Paul and brought him to Antipatris 116  during the night. 23:32 The next day they let 117  the horsemen 118  go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. 119  23:33 When the horsemen 120  came to Caesarea 121  and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented 122  Paul to him. 23:34 When the governor 123  had read 124  the letter, 125  he asked 126  what province he was from. 127  When he learned 128  that he was from Cilicia, 129  23:35 he said, “I will give you a hearing 130  when your accusers arrive too.” Then 131  he ordered that Paul 132  be kept under guard in Herod’s palace. 133 

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