Sunday, November 11, 2018
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapter 23
Paul looked straight at the council members and said, “Brethren, I have lived before Elohei with a good conscience until this day.” At this the high priest Ananias told those who were near to give a blow on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “Elohim Himself with smite you, whitewashed wall! You sit here to try me according to the law, but contrary to the Law, you order me to be struck.”
The bystanders objected, ‘Do you dare revile Elohei’s high priest?’
“Brethren,” answered Paul, “I was not at all aware that he was the high priest. I know that it has been written, ‘You shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people.’” Then Paul saw that a part of the council was made up of Sadducees, and another part of Pharisees, he cried out, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee of the Pharisee stock, and I am here to be tried concerning my hope of the resurrection of the dead.”
At these words an argument arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the council was divided. For the Sadducees hold that there is no resurrection and no angel or spirit, whereas the Pharisees confess faith in both. The meeting became very noisy. Some of the scribes belonging to the Pharisees argued, ‘We find nothing evil in this man. Maybe he has had an angel or a spirit speak to him. Why not? Let us not fight against Elohei.’ As the debate became very heated, the colonel, fearing that Paul might be torn to pieces by them, ordered his soldiers to take him by force from among them and bring him back to the barracks. On the following night Adonai came to his side and said, “Paul, be brave, for you will be MY witness in Rome, just as you have given a full account of Me in Jerusalem.”
When the day dawned, some of the Jews came together and formed a conspiracy, placing themselves under an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who took this oath. They came to the chief priests and elders and said, ‘We have taken a solemn oath not to taste any food till we shall have put Paul to death. We therefore ask you, together with the council, to get the colonel to bring him down to you tomorrow on the pretext that you want to examine his case more fully. And before he gets near to you we shall be waiting to kill him.’ It happened that a son of Paul’s sister learned about this ambush, so he came over to the barracks and told Paul. So Paul called one of the captains to him and said, “Take this young man to the colonel, for he has something to report to him.” Then he brought him to the colonel, saying, ‘Paul, the prisoner, called me over and requested me to bring this young man to you, for he has something to tell you.’ The colonel took him by the hand and, withdrawing to one side, said to him privately, ‘What is it that you have to tell me?’ So he said, “The Jews have agreed to make this request of you, that you bring Paul to the council tomorrow as though they were going to examine his case more accurately. Do not let them persuade you, for more than 40 men are lying in ambush for him, having taken an oath not to eat or drink till they have put him to death. And they are all set, waiting for your move.’ The colonel then dismissed the young man with the strict advice, ‘Do not tell anybody that you have given me this information.’
Then the colonel called two captains to him and said, ‘Make ready 200 foot soldiers, also 70 horsemen and 200 spearmen, to leave for Caesarea at 9:00 tonight. And provide mounts for Paul to ride and take him safely to Felix, the governor.’ He also wrote a letter as follows, ‘Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor, Felix – Greetings! This man had been seized by the Jews and was about to be put to death by them, when I came on them with my regiment. I rescued him because I had learned that he was a Roman. I wanted to know what charges they had against him, so I brought him before their council. I learned there that he was accused of matters pertaining to their Law, and that he had not been charged with anything that was punishable by death or even imprisonment. And when I was told that the Jews were about to carry out a plot against this man, I at once sent him to you and gave orders to his accusers to appear before you and make their charges against him.’
ROMAN GOVERNOR FELIX
The soldiers therefore, according to orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. Then, on the day after, they sent the horsemen to go with him while they themselves returned to their quarters. When they came to Caesarea the letter was given to the governor, and Paul was also presented to him. When the governor had read the letter he asked what province he was from, and was told that he was from Cilicia. ‘I will give you a full hearing.’ He said, ‘when your accusers have come.’ And he gave orders that he be kept in custody in Herod’s palace.
HEROD’S PALACE – some ‘prison’, huh?
**ACTS 21 & 22: http://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-gospel-according-to-acts-chapters.html