Acts 23 Expanded Bible (EXB)
23 Paul looked [L intently] at the ·council [Sanhedrin; 22:30] and said, “[L Men,] Brothers, I have ·lived my life [conducted myself; L lived as a citizen] ·without guilt feelings [L with a good/clear conscience] before God up to this day.” 2 Ananias, the high priest [C high priest from ad 47 to 58; not the man named in 22:12], heard this and told the men who were standing near Paul to ·hit [strike] him on the mouth. 3 Paul said to ·Ananias [L him], “God ·will [or is about to] ·hit [strike] you, too! You ·are like a wall that has been painted white [whitewashed wall!; C a wall with many flaws covered only by a coat of paint]. ·You sit [L Do you sit…?] there and judge me, using the ·law of Moses [L law], but you are telling them to hit me, and that is against the law.”
4 The men standing near Paul said to him, “·You cannot insult [or How dare you insult; L Are you insulting…?] God’s high priest like that!”
5 Paul said, “Brothers, I did not know this man was the high priest [C perhaps because of poor eyesight (Gal. 4:15; 6:11), or because the high priest was not in his formal vestments, or Paul is speaking ironically]. It is written in the Scriptures, ‘You must not ·curse [L speak evil of] a leader of your people [Ex. 22:28].’” 6 Some of the men in the meeting were Sadducees [C Jewish religious party with most influence in the Jewish high court (Sanhedrin) and among the Temple leadership; 4:1], and others were Pharisees [C religious party that strictly observed OT laws and added traditions; 5:34]. ·Knowing [or Realizing] this, Paul ·shouted [called out] ·to them [L in the council/Sanhedrin], “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, ·and my father was a Pharisee [or descended from Pharisees; L a son of Pharisees]. I am on trial here because ·I believe that people will rise from the dead [L of the hope and the resurrection].”
7 When Paul said this, there was an argument between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the ·group [assembly] was divided. 8 ([L For] The Sadducees ·do not believe that people will rise from the dead [L say there is no resurrection] nor do they believe in angels or spirits. But the Pharisees believe in them all.) 9 So there was a great ·uproar [commotion; outcry]. Some of the ·teachers of the law [scribes], who were Pharisees, stood up and ·argued [protested violently/vehemently], “We find ·nothing wrong [no fault; nothing evil] with this man. ·Maybe [L What if…?] an angel or a spirit did speak to him.”
10 The argument was ·beginning to turn into such a fight [becoming so great] that the ·commander [tribune] was afraid they would tear Paul to pieces. So he told the soldiers to go down and take Paul away and ·put him in [bring him to] the ·army building [barracks].
11 The next night the Lord came and stood by Paul. He said, “Be brave [or Don’t be afraid; Rest assured]! [L For just as] You have ·told [testified to] people in Jerusalem about me. You must ·do the same [L testify to me] in Rome.”
12 In the morning ·some of Paul’s Jewish opponents [L the Jews] ·made a plan [entered a conspiracy] to kill Paul, and they took an oath not to eat or drink anything until they had killed him. 13 There were more than forty men who ·made this plan [formed this conspiracy]. 14 They went to the ·leading [T chief] priests and the elders and said, “We have ·taken [sworn] an oath not to ·eat or drink [L taste anything] until we have killed Paul. 15 So [L now] this is what we want you [L together with the Sanhedrin] to do: Send a message to the ·commander [tribune] to bring Paul out to you as though you want to ·ask him more questions [L determine more accurately the facts of his case]. We will be waiting to kill him ·while he is on the way [before he arrives] here.”
16 But ·Paul’s nephew [L the son of Paul’s sister] heard about this ·plan [plot; L ambush plan] and went to the ·army building [barracks] and told Paul. 17 Then Paul called one of the ·officers [centurions] and said, “Take this young man to the ·commander [tribune]. [L For] He has ·a message for him [L something to report to him].”
18 So ·the officer [L he] brought ·Paul’s nephew [L him] to the ·commander [tribune] and said, “The prisoner, Paul, [L called me over and] asked me to bring this young man to you. He wants to tell you something.”
19 The ·commander [tribune] took the young man’s hand and led him to a place where they could be alone. He asked, “What do you ·want to tell [have to report to] me?”
20 ·The young man [L He] said, “The Jews have ·decided [conspired; agreed] to ask you to bring Paul down to ·their council meeting [the Sanhedrin] tomorrow. They want you to think they are going to ·ask him more questions [L inquire more accurately concerning him]. 21 But don’t ·believe [be persuaded by] them! [L Because] More than forty men are ·hiding and waiting to kill Paul [L waiting in ambush for him]. They have all taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. Now they are [L ready,] waiting for you to agree.”
22 [L Therefore] The ·commander [tribune] sent the young man away, ordering him, “Don’t tell anyone that you have ·told [revealed to] me ·about their plan [L these things].”
Paul Is Sent to Caesarea
23 Then ·the commander [L he] called two ·officers [centurions] and said, “Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred men with spears to leave for Caesarea at ·nine o’clock tonight [L at the third hour of the night; C night begins about 6 PM]. 24 Get ·some horses [mounts; L animals] for Paul to ride so he can be taken to Governor Felix [C held office from ad 52–59] safely.” 25 And he wrote a letter ·that said [of this kind; to this effect; L possessing this type/pattern]:
26 From Claudius Lysias.
To the Most Excellent Governor Felix:
27 Some of the Jews had ·taken [seized] this man and ·planned [were about] to kill him. But I learned that he is a Roman citizen, so I went with my soldiers and ·saved [rescued] him. 28 I wanted to know ·why [L the charge/reason] they were accusing him, so I brought him before their ·council meeting [Sanhedrin]. 29 I ·learned [L found; discovered] that the accusation had to do with ·questions [debates; disputed matters] about their own law [C the law of Moses], but no charge was worthy of death or ·jail [chains]. 30 When I was ·told [informed] that ·some of them were planning to kill Paul [L there was a plot against the man], I sent him to you at once. I also ·told [ordered] ·them [L his accusers] to tell you what they have against him.
31 So the soldiers ·did what they were told [followed orders] and took Paul and brought him to the city of Antipatris [C city 40 miles from Jerusalem and 25 miles from Caesarea] that night. 32 The next day the horsemen ·went [were sent] with ·Paul to Caesarea [L him], but the other soldiers went back to the ·army building in Jerusalem [L barracks]. 33 When ·the horsemen [L they] came to Caesarea and ·gave [delivered] the letter to the governor, they turned Paul over to him. 34 The governor read the letter and asked Paul, “What ·area [province] are you from?” When he learned that Paul was from Cilicia [9:11], 35 he said, “I will hear your case when ·those who are against you [your accusers] come here, too.” Then the governor gave orders for Paul to be kept under guard in Herod’s ·palace [headquarters; Praetorium].