Acts 25:9

Desiring to gain favour with the Jews (qelwn toi Ioudaioi carin kataqesqai). Precisely the expression used of Felix by Luke in 1 Corinthians 24:27 which see. Festus, like Felix, falls a victim to fear of the Jews. Before me (ep emou). Same use of epi with the genitive as in 1 Corinthians 23:30 ; 1 Corinthians 24:19 1 Corinthians 24:21 . Festus, seeing that it was unjust to condemn Paul and yet disadvantageous to absolve him (Blass), now makes the very proposal to Paul that the rulers had made to him in Jerusalem (verse 1 Corinthians 3 ). He added the words "ep emou" (before me) as if to insure Paul of justice. If Festus was unwilling to give Paul justice in Caesarea where his regular court held forth, what assurance was there that Festus would give it to him at Jerusalem in the atmosphere of intense hostility to Paul? Only two years ago the mob, the Sanhedrin, the forty conspirators had tried to take his life in Jerusalem. Festus had no more courage to do right than Felix, however plausible his language might sound. Festus also, while wanting Paul to think that he would in Jerusalem "be judged of these things before me," in reality probably intended to turn Paul over to the Sanhedrin in order to please the Jews, probably with Festus present also to see that Paul received justice (me presente). Festus possibly was surprised to find that the charges were chiefly against Jewish law, though one was against Caesar. It was not a mere change of venue that Paul sensed, but the utter unwillingness of Festus to do his duty by him and his willingness to connive at Jewish vengeance on Paul. Paul had faced the mob and the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, two years of trickery at the hands of Felix in Caesarea, and now he is confronted by the bland chicanery of Festus. It is too much, the last straw.