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Acts 23 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

23 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “Gentlemen,[a] brothers, I have lived my life before God with a completely clear conscience to this very day.”

But the high priest Ananias ordered those who were standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there judging me according to the law, and then you order them to strike me contrary to the law!”

Those who were standing nearby said, “Do you dare to insult God’s high priest?”

Paul replied, “I did not know, brothers, that he is the high priest. Indeed, it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’”[b]

When Paul realized that some of them were Sadducees and the others were Pharisees, he shouted out in the Sanhedrin, “Gentlemen, brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope for the resurrection of the dead!”

When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection or angel or spirit, but the Pharisees believe in them all.) Then there was a great uproar, and some of the experts in the law who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and protested strongly: “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?”[c]

10 The uproar became so great that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He commanded the soldiers to go down, take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.

11 The following night the Lord stood next to Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have solemnly testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

The Plot to Kill Paul

12 When day came, the Jews[d] formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath, saying that they would not eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who took part in this plot.

14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have bound ourselves under a solemn oath not to taste anything until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin file charges with the commander so that he will bring him down to you[e] as if you were going to make a more thorough examination of his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets close to this place.”

16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, he went into the barracks and told Paul. 17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander, because he has something to report to him.”

18 So he brought him to the commander and said, “The prisoner Paul called for me and asked me to bring this young man to you, because he has something to tell you.”

19 The commander took him by the hand, led him aside, and asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?”

20 He said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the Sanhedrin tomorrow, as if they want to gain more accurate information about him. 21 Don’t let them persuade you, because more than forty of their men are waiting in ambush for him. They have bound themselves under a solemn oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready right now, waiting for your consent.”

22 So the commander dismissed the young man with this order: “Don’t tell anyone that you have reported these things to me.”

23 Then he called two of the centurions and said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready, along with seventy cavalry and two hundred spearmen, to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night.[f] 24 Also provide mounts so that they can put Paul on one and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25 He wrote a letter as follows:

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 with the soldiers and rescued him, because I learned that he is a Roman citizen. 28 Since I wanted to know the charge they were bringing against him, I brought him down to their Sanhedrin. 29 I found he was being accused concerning questions of their law, but there was no charge that deserved death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed that there would be a plot against this man, I sent him to you at once. I also ordered his accusers to state what they have against him before you.

Farewell.[g]

31 So the soldiers, according to their orders, took Paul and brought him to Antipatris during the night. 32 The next day they let the cavalry go on with him, while they returned to the barracks. 33 When the cavalry came to Caesarea, they delivered the letter to the governor, and they handed Paul over to him.

34 After the governor had read the letter, he asked what province he was from. When he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.” Then he ordered that Paul should be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 23:1 Literally Men
  2. Acts 23:5 Exodus 22:28
  3. Acts 23:9 Some witnesses to the text add “Let us not fight against God!”
  4. Acts 23:12 Some witnesses to the text read some of the Jews.
  5. Acts 23:15 A few witnesses to the text add tomorrow.
  6. Acts 23:23 9 pm
  7. Acts 23:30 A few witnesses to the text omit Farewell.
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.

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