1 THEN PAUL, gazing earnestly at the council (Sanhedrin), said, Brethren, I have lived before God, doing my duty with a perfectly good conscience until this very day [as a citizen, a true and loyal Jew].
2 At this the high priest Ananias ordered those who stood near him to strike him on the mouth.
3 Then Paul said to him, God is about to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit as a judge to try me in accordance with the Law, and yet in defiance of the Law you order me to be struck?
4 Those who stood near exclaimed, Do you rail at and insult the high priest of God?
5 And Paul said, I was not conscious, brethren, that he was a high priest; for the Scripture says, You shall not speak ill of a ruler of your people. [Exod. 22:28.]
6 But Paul, when he perceived that one part of them were Sadducees and the other part Pharisees, cried out to the council (Sanhedrin), Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; it is with regard to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am indicted and being judged.
7 So when he had said this, an angry dispute arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the whole [crowded] assemblage was divided [into two factions].
8 For the Sadducees hold that there is no resurrection, nor angel nor spirit, but the Pharisees declare openly and speak out freely, acknowledging [their belief in] them both.
9 Then a great uproar ensued, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees' party stood up and thoroughly fought the case, [contending fiercely] and declaring, We find nothing evil or wrong in this man. But if a spirit or an angel [really] spoke to him–? Let us not fight against God!
10 And when the strife became more and more tense and violent, the commandant, fearing that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, ordered the troops to go down and take him forcibly from among them and conduct him back into the barracks.
11 And [that same] following night the Lord stood beside Paul and said, Take courage, Paul, for as you have borne faithful witness concerning Me at Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.
12 Now when daylight came, the Jews formed a plot and bound themselves by an oath and under a curse neither to eat nor drink till they had done away with Paul.
13 There were more than forty [men of them], who formed this conspiracy [swearing together this oath and curse].
14 And they went to the chief priests and elders, saying, We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath and under a curse not to taste any food until we have slain Paul.
15 So now you, along with the council (Sanhedrin), give notice to the commandant to bring [Paul] down to you, as if you were going to investigate his case more accurately. But we [ourselves] are ready to slay him before he comes near.
16 But the son of Paul's sister heard of their intended attack, and he went and got into the barracks and told Paul.
17 Then Paul, calling in one of the centurions, said, Take this young man to the commandant, for he has something to report to him.
18 So he took him and conducted him to the commandant and said, Paul the prisoner called me to him and requested me to conduct this young man to you, for he has something to report to you.
19 The commandant took him by the hand, and going aside with him, asked privately, What is it that you have to report to me?
20 And he replied, The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council (Sanhedrin) tomorrow, as if [they were] intending to examine him more exactly.
21 But do not yield to their persuasion, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush waiting for him, having bound themselves by an oath and under a curse neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him; and even now they are all ready, [just] waiting for your promise.
22 So the commandant sent the youth away, charging him, Do not disclose to anyone that you have given me this information.
23 Then summoning two of the centurions, he said, Have two hundred footmen ready by the third hour of the night (about 9:00 p.m.) to go as far as Caesarea, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen.
24 Also provide beasts for mounts for Paul to ride, and bring him in safety to Felix the governor.
25 And he wrote a letter having this message:
26 Claudius Lysias sends greetings to His Excellency Felix the governor.
27 This man was seized [as prisoner] by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them when I came upon them with the troops and rescued him, because I learned that he is a Roman citizen.
28 And wishing to know the exact accusation which they were making against him, I brought him down before their council (Sanhedrin),
29 [Where] I found that he was charged in regard to questions of their own law, but he was accused of nothing that would call for death or [even] for imprisonment.
30 [However] when it was pointed out to me that there would be a conspiracy against the man, I sent him to you immediately, directing his accusers also to present before you their charge against him.
31 So the soldiers, in compliance with their instructions, took Paul and conducted him during the night to Antipatris.
32 And the next day they returned to the barracks, leaving the mounted men to proceed with him.
33 When these came to Caesarea and gave the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul before him.
34 Having read the letter, he asked to what province [Paul] belonged. When he discovered that he was from Cilicia [an imperial province],
35 He said, I will hear your case fully when your accusers also have come. And he ordered that an eye be kept on him in Herod's palace (the Praetorium).