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
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