Acts 23 (English Standard Version)

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1 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, "Brothers, 1I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day." 2 And the high priest 2Ananias commanded those who stood by him 3to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, "God is going to strike you, you 4whitewashed 5wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet 6contrary to the law you 7order me to be struck?" 4 Those who stood by said, "Would you revile 8God's high priest? 5 And Paul said, 9"I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, 10'You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.'" 6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were 11Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Brothers, 12I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is 13with respect to the 14hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial." 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees 15say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9 Then a great clamor arose, and some of 16the scribes of the Pharisees' party stood up and contended sharply, 17"We find nothing wrong in this man. What 18if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?" 10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into 19the barracks. 11 20The following night 21the Lord stood by him and said, 22"Take courage, for 23as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must 24testify also in Rome."

A Plot to Kill Paul

12 When it was day, 25the Jews made a plot and 26bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul 15 Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near." 16 Now the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered 27the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, "Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him." 18 So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, "Paul 28the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you." 19 The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, "What is it that you have to tell me? 20 And he said, 29"The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. 21 But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who 30have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent. 22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, "Tell no one that you have informed me of these things."

Paul Sent to Felix the Governor

23 Then he called two of the centurions and said, "Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night.a 24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to 31Felix 32the governor." 25 And he wrote a letter to this effect: 26 "Claudius Lysias, to 33his Excellency the governor Felix, 34greetings. 27 35This man was seized by the Jews and 36was about to be killed by them 37when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, 38having learned that he was a Roman citizen. 28 And 39desiring to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their council. 29 I found that he was being accused 40about questions of their law, but 41charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. 30 42And when it was disclosed to me 43that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, 44ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him." 31 So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 And on the next day they returned to 45the barracks, letting the horsemen go on with him. 33 When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34 On reading the letter, he asked what 46province he was from. And when he learned 47that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, "I will give you a hearing 48when your accusers arrive." And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod's 49praetorium.
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