Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin1 and said, "My brothers,2 I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience3 to this day."
At this the high priest Ananias4 ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.53
Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall!6 You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!"74
Those who were standing near Paul said, "You dare to insult God's high priest?"
Paul replied, "Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: 'Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'a "86
Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees9 and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, "My brothers,10 I am a Pharisee,11 the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead."127
When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection,13 and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.)
There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees14 stood up and argued vigorously. "We find nothing wrong with this man,"15 they said. "What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?"1610
The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.1711
The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, "Take courage!18 As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome."19
The next morning the Jews formed a conspiracy20 and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.2113
More than forty men were involved in this plot.
They went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul.2215
Now then, you and the Sanhedrin23 petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here."
But when the son of Paul's sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks24 and told Paul.
Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, "Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him."
So he took him to the commander. The centurion said, "Paul, the prisoner,25 sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you."
The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, "What is it you want to tell me?"
He said: "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin26 tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him.2721
Don't give in to them, because more than forty28 of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him.29 They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request."
The commander dismissed the young man and cautioned him, "Don't tell anyone that you have reported this to me."
Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, "Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmenb to go to Caesarea30 at nine tonight.3124
Provide mounts for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix."3225
He wrote a letter as follows:
Claudius Lysias, To His Excellency,33 Governor Felix: Greetings.3427
This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him,35 but I came with my troops and rescued him,36 for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen.3728
I wanted to know why they were accusing him, so I brought him to their Sanhedrin.3829
I found that the accusation had to do with questions about their law,39 but there was no charge against him40 that deserved death or imprisonment.
When I was informed41 of a plot42 to be carried out against the man, I sent him to you at once. I also ordered his accusers43 to present to you their case against him.
So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night and brought him as far as Antipatris.
The next day they let the cavalry44 go on with him, while they returned to the barracks.4533
When the cavalry46 arrived in Caesarea,47 they delivered the letter to the governor48 and handed Paul over to him.
The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. Learning that he was from Cilicia,4935
he said, "I will hear your case when your accusers50 get here." Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard51 in Herod's palace.