Acts 231 Then Paul, gazing intently at the council, said, “Noble brothers, I have spoken with all good conscience before God, even to this present day.” 2 And the high priest, Ananias, instructed those who were standing nearby to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him: “God shall strike you, you whitewashed wall! For would you sit and judge me according to the law, when, contrary to the law, you order me to be struck?” 4 And those who were standing nearby said, “Are you speaking evil about the high priest of God?” 5 And Paul said: “I did not know, brothers, that he is the high priest. For it is written: ‘You shall not speak evil of the leader of your people.’ ” 6 Now Paul, knowing that one group were Sadducees and the other were Pharisees, exclaimed in the council: “Noble brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees! It is over the hope and resurrection of the dead that I am being judged.” 7 And when he had said this, a dissension occurred between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. And the multitude was divided. 8 For the Sadducees claim that there is no resurrection, and neither angels, nor spirits. But the Pharisees confess both of these. 9 Then there occurred a great clamor. And some of the Pharisees, rising up, were fighting, saying: “We find nothing evil in this man. What if a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel?” 10 And since a great dissension had been made, the tribune, fearing that Paul might be torn apart by them, ordered the soldiers to descend and to seize him from their midst, and to bring him into the fortress. 11 Then, on the following night, the Lord stood near him and said: “Be constant. For just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so also it is necessary for you to testify at Rome.” 12 And when daylight arrived, some of the Jews gathered together and bound themselves with an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13 Now there were more than forty men who had taken this oath together. 14 And they approached the leaders of the priests, and the elders, and they said: “We have sworn ourselves by an oath, so that we will taste nothing, until we have killed Paul. 15 Therefore, with the council, you should now give notice to the tribune, so that he may bring him to you, as if you intended to determine something else about him. But before he approaches, we have made preparations to put him to death.” 16 But when Paul’s sister’s son had heard of this, about their treachery, he went and entered into the fortress, and he reported it to Paul. 17 And Paul, calling to him one of the centurions, said: “Lead this young man to the tribune. For he has something to tell him.” 18 And indeed, he took him and led him to the tribune, and he said, “Paul, the prisoner, asked me to lead this young man to you, since he has something to say to you.” 19 Then the tribune, taking him by the hand, withdrew with him by themselves, and he asked him: “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20 Then he said: “The Jews have met to ask you to bring Paul tomorrow to the council, as if they intended to question him about something else. 21 But truly, you should not believe them, for they would ambush him with more than forty men from among them, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat, nor to drink, until they have put him to death. And they are now prepared, hoping for an affirmation from you.” 22 And then the tribune dismissed the young man, instructing him not to tell anyone that he had made known these things to him. 23 Then, having called two centurions, he said to them: “Prepare two hundred soldiers, so that they may go as far as Caesarea, and seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen, for the third hour of the night. 24 And prepare beasts of burden to carry Paul, so that they may lead him safely to Felix, the governor.” 25 For he was afraid, lest perhaps the Jews might seize him and kill him, and that afterwards he would be falsely accused, as if he had accepted a bribe. And so he wrote a letter containing the following: 26 “Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor, Felix: greetings. 27 This man, having been apprehended by the Jews and being about to be put to death by them, I rescued, overwhelming them with soldiers, since I realized that he is a Roman. 28 And wanting to know the reason that they objected to him, I brought him into their council. 29 And I discovered him to be accused about questions of their law. Yet truly, nothing deserving of death or imprisonment was within the accusation. 30 And when I had been given news of ambushes, which they had prepared against him, I sent him to you, notifying his accusers also, so that they may plead their accusations before you. Farewell.” 31 Therefore the soldiers, taking Paul according to their orders, brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 And the next day, sending the horsemen to go with him, they returned to the fortress. 33 And when they had arrived at Caesarea and had delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul before him. 34 And when he had read it and had asked which province he was from, realizing that he was from Cilicia, he said: 35 “I will hear you, when your accusers have arrived.” And he ordered him to be kept in the praetorium of Herod.
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