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Acts 23

1Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, “Men and brethren, #Acts 24:16; 1 Cor. 4:4; 2 Cor. 1:12; 4:2; 2 Tim. 1:3; Heb. 13:18I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” 2And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him #1 Kin. 22:24; Jer. 20:2; John 18:22to strike him on the mouth. 3Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and #Lev. 19:35; Deut. 25:1, 2; John 7:51do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?”
4And those who stood by said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?”
5Then Paul said, #Lev. 5:17, 18“I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, #Ex. 22:28; Eccl. 10:20; 2 Pet. 2:10‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ”
6But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, #Acts 26:5; Phil. 3:5I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; #Acts 24:15, 21; 26:6; 28:20concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!”
7And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided. 8#Matt. 22:23; Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27For Sadducees say that there is no resurrection—and no angel or spirit; but the Pharisees confess both. 9Then there arose a loud outcry. And the scribes of the Pharisees’ party arose and protested, saying, #Acts 25:25; 26:31“We find no evil in this man; but #John 12:29; Acts 22:6, 7, 17, 18if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, #Acts 5:39let us not fight against God.”
10Now when there arose a great dissension, the commander, fearing lest Paul might be pulled to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks.
The Plot Against Paul
11But #Acts 18:9; 27:23, 24the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in #Acts 21:18, 19; 22:1–21Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at #Acts 28:16, 17, 23Rome.”
12And when it was day, #Acts 23:21, 30; 25:3some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had #Acts 9:23, 24; 25:3; 26:21; 27:42; 1 Thess. 2:15killed Paul. 13Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy. 14They came to the chief priests and #Acts 4:5, 23; 6:12; 22:5; 24:1; 25:15elders, and said, “We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15Now you, therefore, together with the council, suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him; but we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
16So when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their ambush, he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17Then Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Take this young man to the commander, for he has something to tell him.” 18So he took him and brought him to the commander and said, “Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to bring this young man to you. He has something to say to you.”
19Then the commander took him by the hand, went aside, and asked privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?”
20And he said, #Acts 23:12“The Jews have agreed to ask that you bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more fully about him. 21But do not yield to them, for more than forty of them lie in wait for him, men who have bound themselves by an oath that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him; and now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you.”
22So the commander let the young man depart, and commanded him, “Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me.”
Sent to Felix
23And he called for two centurions, saying, “Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to #Acts 8:40; 23:33Caesarea at the third hour of the night; 24and provide mounts to set Paul on, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25He wrote a letter in the following manner:
26Claudius Lysias,
To the most excellent governor Felix:
27#Acts 21:30, 33; 24:7This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them. Coming with the troops I rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. 28#Acts 22:30And when I wanted to know the reason they accused him, I brought him before their council. 29I found out that he was accused #Acts 18:15; 25:19concerning questions of their law, #Acts 25:25; 26:31but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains. 30And #Acts 23:20when it was told me that the Jews lay in wait for the man, I sent him immediately to you, and #Acts 24:8; 25:6also commanded his accusers to state before you the charges against him.
31Then the soldiers, as they were commanded, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32The next day they left the horsemen to go on with him, and returned to the barracks. 33When they came to #Acts 8:40Caesarea and had delivered the #Acts 23:26–30letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34And when the governor had read it, he asked what province he was from. And when he understood that he was from #Acts 6:9; 21:39Cilicia, 35he said, #Acts 24:1, 10; 25:16“I will hear you when your accusers also have come.” And he commanded him to be kept in #Matt. 27:27Herod’s Praetorium.

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