Sha'ul looked straight at them and said, "Brothers, I have been discharging my obligations to God with a perfectly clear conscience, right up until today."
But the cohen hagadol, Hananyah, ordered those standing near him to strike him on the mouth.
Then Sha'ul said to him, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Will you sit there judging me according to the Torah, yet in violation of the Torah order me to be struck?"
The men nearby said, "This is the cohen hagadol of God that you're insulting!
Sha'ul said, "I didn't know, brothers, that he was the cohen hagadol; for it says in the Torah, 'You are not to speak disparagingly of a ruler of your people.'"
But knowing that one part of the Sanhedrin consisted of Tz'dukim and the other of P'rushim, Sha'ul shouted, "Brothers, I myself am a Parush and the son of P'rushim; and it is concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead that I am being tried!"
When he said this, an argument arose between the P'rushim and the Tz'dukim, and the crowd was divided.
For the Tz'dukim deny the resurrection and the existence of angels and spirits; whereas the P'rushim acknowledge both.
So there was a great uproar, with some of the Torah-teachers who were on the side of the P'rushim standing up and joining in - "We don't find anything wrong with this man; and if a spirit or an angel spoke to him, what of it?"
The dispute became so violent that the commander, fearing that Sha'ul would be torn apart by them, ordered the soldiers to go down, take him by force and bring him back into the barracks.
The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, "Take courage! For just as you have borne a faithful witness to me in Yerushalayim, so now you must bear witness in Rome."