Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea.
The chief priests and Jewish leaders presented their case against Paul. Appealing to him,
they asked as a favor from Festus that he summon Paul to Jerusalem. They were planning to ambush and kill him along the way.
But Festus responded by keeping Paul in Caesarea, since he was to return there very soon himself.
"Some of your leaders can come down with me," he said. "If he's done anything wrong, they can bring charges against him."
He stayed with them for no more than eight or ten days, then went down to Caesarea. The following day he took his seat in the court and ordered that Paul be brought in.
When he arrived, many Jews who had come down from Jerusalem surrounded him. They brought serious charges against him, but they couldn't prove them.
In his own defense, Paul said, "I've done nothing wrong against the Jewish Law, against the temple, or against Caesar."
Festus, wanting to put the Jews in his debt, asked Paul, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem to stand trial before me concerning these things?"
Paul replied, "I'm standing before Caesar's court. I ought to be tried here. I have done nothing wrong to the Jews, as you well know.
If I'm guilty and have done something that deserves death, then I won't try to avoid death. But if there is nothing to their accusations against me, no one has the authority to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!"
After Festus conferred with his advisors, he responded, "You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go."