Atos 23

1 And Paul, looking intently at the council, said, »Brethren, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.«

2 The high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth.

3 Then Paul said to him, »God shall strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?«

4 Those who stood by said, »Would you revile God's high priest?«

5 And Paul said, »I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’«

6 But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, »Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead I am on trial.«

7 When he said this, a dissension broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.

8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.

9 There occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisees' party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, »We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?«

10 The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.

11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, »Take courage, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also at Rome.«

12 When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul.

13 There were more than forty who formed this plot.

14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, »We have bound ourselves under a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.

15 You therefore, along with the council, give notice now to the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.«

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

17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, »Take this young man to the commander; for he has something to tell him.«

18 So he took him and brought him to the commander and said, »Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, since he has something to tell you.«

19 The commander took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, »What is it that you have to tell me?«

20 And he said, »The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him.

21 But do not yield to them; for more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him, having bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they have killed him; and now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you.«

22 So the commander dismissed the young man, instructing him, »Tell no one that you have informed me of this.«

23 Then he called two of the centurions and said, »At the third hour of the night get ready two hundred soldiers with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea.

24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.«

25 And he wrote a letter having this form:

26 »Claudius Lysias, to His Excellency, Governor Felix: greetings.

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

28 And desiring to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their council.

29 I found that he was accused over questions about their Law, but there was no accusation against him deserving death or imprisonment.

30 And when I was informed that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, also instructing his accusers to bring charges against him before you.«

31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris.

32 But the next day, leaving the horsemen to go on with him, they returned to the barracks.

33 When these had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him.

34 When he had read the letter, he asked from what province he was, and when he learned that he was from Cilicia,

35 he said, »I will hear you when your accusers arrive also.« And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's Praetorium.