Paul looked straight at the Council and said, "My fellow Israelites! My conscience is perfectly clear about the way in which I have lived before God to this very day."
The High Priest Ananias ordered those who were standing close to Paul to strike him on the mouth.
Paul said to him, "God will certainly strike you - you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the Law, yet you break the Law by ordering them to strike me!" 1
The men close to Paul said to him, "You are insulting God's High Priest!
Paul answered, "My fellow Israelites, I did not know that he was the High Priest. The scripture says, "You must not speak evil of the ruler of your people.' " 2
When Paul saw that some of the group were Sadducees and the others were Pharisees, he called out in the Council, "Fellow Israelites! I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees. I am on trial here because of the hope I have that the dead will rise to life!" 3
As soon as he said this, the Pharisees and Sadducees started to quarrel, and the group was divided
(For the Sadducees say that people will not rise from death and that there are no angels or spirits; but the Pharisees believe in all three.) 4
The shouting became louder, and some of the teachers of the Law who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and protested strongly: "We cannot find a thing wrong with this man! Perhaps a spirit or an angel really did speak to him!"
The argument became so violent that the commander was afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces. So he ordered his soldiers to go down into the group, get Paul away from them, and take him into the fort.
That night the Lord stood by Paul and said, "Don't be afraid! You have given your witness for me here in Jerusalem, and you must also do the same in Rome."
The next morning some Jews met together and made a plan. They took a vow that they would not eat or drink anything until they had killed Paul.
There were more than forty who planned this together.
Then they went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have taken a solemn vow together not to eat a thing until we have killed Paul
Now then, you and the Council send word to the Roman commander to bring Paul down to you, pretending that you want to get more accurate information about him. But we will be ready to kill him before he ever gets here."