Atos 23

1 PAUL fixed his eyes on the Council and said, "Brethren, I have conducted myself with all good conscience toward God up to this day."

2 The High Priest Ananias told those who stood near him to strike him on the mouth.

3 Then Paul said to him, "God will soon strike you, you whitewashed wall. Are you sitting to judge me by the Law and yet violating the Law by ordering me to be struck?"

4 Those who stood by said, "Are you insulting God's High Priest?"

5 Paul said, "I did not know, brethren, that he was High Priest. It is written, 'Thou shalt not speak evil of the Ruler of thy people.' "

6 Then Paul, perceiving that one party was of Sadducees and the other of Pharisees, shouted out in the Council, "Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am being tried for the hope of the resurrection of the dead."

7 On his saying this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly became divided.

8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection nor any angel or spirit, but the Pharisees confess both.

9 So a great uproar arose, and some of the scribes of the party of the Pharisees arose and contended, saying, "We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel?"

10 When the strife was becoming violent, the Tribune, fearing that Paul might be torn to pieces by them, ordered the soldiers to go down and take him from the midst of them and bring him into the barracks.

11 On the following night the Lord stood beside Paul and said, "Courage! As you have witnessed for me in Jerusalem, so you must witness in Rome."

12 When it was day, the Jews made a conspiracy and bound themselves by an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.

13 There were more than forty who had taken this oath.

14 They came to the high priests and elders and said, "We have bound ourselves by an oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.

15 Now therefore you and the Council must ask the Tribune to bring him down to you, as if you were going to inquire more exactly about him, and we, before he comes near, will be ready to put him out of the way."

16 But the son of Paul's sister heard of the ambush, and he came and entered the barracks and told Paul.

17 Paul called to him one of the centurions and said, "Take this young man to the Tribune, for he has something to tell him."

18 He took him and led him to the Tribune and said, "Paul, the prisoner, called me and asked me to bring this young man to you. He has something to say to you."

19 The Tribune took him by the hand and led him aside and asked, "What is it that you have to tell me?"

20 He said, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to-morrow to the Council to inquire something more exactly about him.

21 But do not yield to them, for more than forty men of them are lying in ambush, and they have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him, and now they are ready, expecting a promise from you."

22 The Tribune dismissed the young man after charging him; "Tell no one that you have revealed this to me."

23 Then calling to him two of the centurions he said, "Prepare two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen, at nine o'clock to-night."

24 They were to provide animals for Paul to ride and take him safely to Felix the Governor.

25 He wrote a letter in the following form:

26 "Claudius Lysias to his Excellency, Governor Felix: greeting.

27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them when I came up with soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman.

28 Wishing to find what was the charge that they had against him I took him down to their Council.

29 I found him accused regarding disputed questions of their law, but of nothing deserving of death or of bonds.

30 Information has come to me that there will be a plot against the man, and so I am sending him at once to you, and I have commanded his accusers to state their case against him before you."

31 So the soldiers, according to their orders, took Paul and conducted him by night to Antipatris.

32 On the next day they let the horsemen go on with him, but they themselves returned to the barracks.

33 The horsemen came on to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the Governor, and also placed Paul before him.

34 He read the letter and asked of what province he was, and learned that he was from Cilicia.

35 Then he said, "I will hear what you have to say when your accusers also arrive." He gave orders that Paul should be guarded in Herod's castle.