And provide them beasts
Horses or mules; the Syriac version reads in the singular number, "a beast": and one being sufficient for Paul, here may be a change of number; the Arabic and Ethiopic versions leave out these words, but the following clause makes them necessary:
that they may set Paul on;
on the beast, or on one of the beasts provided; if more than one were provided, they might be for his companions, to go along with him:
and bring him safe unto Felix the governor;
this man, of a servant, was made a freed man by Claudius Caesar F7, and by him appointed in the room of Cumanus governor of Judea F8; he was the brother of Pallas, who had the chief management of affairs under the emperor; and this Felix married three persons successively, that were of royal families; hence Suetonius F9 calls him the husband of three queens; one of these was Drusilla, afterwards mentioned in ( Acts 24:24 ) who was sister to King Agrippa. Tacitus calls him Antonius Felix F11 which name he had from Antonia the mother of Claudius', whose servant he was; Josephus F12 calls him Claudius Felix, which name he took from the Emperor Claudius, who from so low and mean condition raised him to such honour and dignity; his name Felix signifies "happy": according to Tacitus F13, when Felix was first sent into Judea, the government was divided between him and Cumanus; Felix had Samaria, and Cumanus the other part, which was called the nation of the Galilaeans; but Josephus takes no notice of any such division, he says F14, that Cumanus was banished; and after that Felix was sent by Caesar, governor of Judea, of Galilee, Samaria, and Peraea; and so he seems to be governor of the whole country at this time; he was now at Caesarea, and it is plain that Judea was under his government, since Paul, a prisoner at Jerusalem, is sent down unto him; and in this his government he continued during the life of Claudius; and when Nero became emperor, and added four cities to the kingdom of Agrippa, he constituted Felix governor of the rest of Judea F15; which character he bore till he thought fit to remove him, and put Festus in his room, of whom mention is made hereafter: after these words the following ones are added, in the Vulgate Latin version, "for he was afraid lest perhaps the Jews should take him by force and kill him, and afterwards he should bear the reproach, as if he had took money"; but they are not to be found in any Greek copies.
F7 Aurel. Victor. Epitome Imper. Rom. p. 324. Sueton. Vita Claudii, sect. 29.
F8 Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 12. sect. 8.
F9 Ut supra. (F7)
F11 Hist. 1. 5.
F12 Antiqu. l. 20. c. 6. sect. 1.
F13 Hist. l. 12. & 21.
F14 Antiqu. l. 20. c. 5. sect. 3. & c. 6. sect. 1. De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 12. sect. 7, 8.
F15 De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 13. sect. 2.