Acts 23

With a stedfast gaze at the Sanhedrin, Paul said, "Brothers, I have lived with a good conscience before God to this day." Then the High Priest Ananias ordered those who stood near Paul to strike him on the mouth. "You whited sepulcher," exclaimed Paul, "God will strike you! You are sitting there to judge me according to the law, are you? And do you command me to be struck, contrary to the Law?" "Do you rail at God’s high priest?" said the bystanders. "Brothers, I did not know that he was the high priest," exclaimed Paul, "for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of my people."

Then perceiving that half the Sanhedrin were Sadducees and the other half Pharisee, he cried out in the Sanhedrin. "Brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees! It is for the hope of the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial!" When he said this, there arose a quarrel between the Pharisees and Sadducees; the meeting was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit; the Pharisees affirm them all. Then a great clamor arose; some of the scribes who belonged to the Pharisaic party stood up, and contended. "We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel?" 10 But when the dissension became violent, the tribune, fearing that they would tear Paul in pieces, ordered the troops to march down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks. 11 And the following night the Lord stood by him and said. "Be of good courage; for as you have borne faithful witness concerning me at Jerusalem, so you must testify at Rome also."

12 When day dawned the Jews made a conspiracy, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 And there were more than forty who had sworn this oath. 14 They went to the high priests and elders, and said to them. "We have bound ourselves by a solemn oath to eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 "Now do you and the Sanhedrin ask the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you would judge his case more exactly; and we are ready to kill him, before he comes near the place." 16 But Paul’s sister’s son heard of their intended attack, and he went and got into the barracks, and told Paul. 17 And Paul called one of the centurions, and said, "Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him." 18 So he took him, and brought his to the tribune, and said, "Paul, the prisoner, called me to him, and begged me to bring this young man to you, because he has something to tell you." 19 And the tribune took him by the hand, and going aside, asked him privately, "What is it that you have to tell me?" 20 "The Jews," he answered, "have agreed to ask you to bring down Paul tomorrow to the Sanhedrin, as though they wish to examine his case in detail. 21 "Now do not let them persuade, for more than forty men are lying in wait for him, who have bound themselves under a curse, not to eat nor drink until they have killed him; even now they are all ready, awaiting your consent." 22 So the tribune sent the young man home with the injunction, "Tell no man that you have given me this information." 23 Then he called two centurions to him and said. "Get ready by nine o’clock tonight two hundred infantry to march as far as Caesarea, and also seventy troopers and two hundred spearmen." 24 He further ordered them to provide horses on which to mount Paul, so as to bring him safely to Felix, the governor. 25 He also wrote a letter in the following terms. 26 "Claudius Lysais unto the Most Excellent Governor Felix, greeting. 27 "This man Paul had been seized by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them, when I came upon them with the troops, and rescued him, as I had learned that he was a Roman citizen. 28 "Anxious to find out why they had accused him, I brought him down to their Sanhedrin. 29 "Here I learned that he was accused about questions of their law, but was not charged with anything worthy of death or imprisonment. 30 "Now when I received information that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him at once to you, charging his accusers also to speak against him before you." 31 So the soldiers took Paul, as they were bid, and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 Next day the infantry returned to the barracks, leaving the troopers to ride on with him. 33 They reached Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, and also presented Paul before him. 34 After reading the letter, he asked to what province he belonged, and when he understood that he was of Cilicia, he said, 35 "I will hear your case when your accusers also are come." And he ordered him to be kept in custody in Herod’s palace.

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