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Acts 23Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

23 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.’”[a]

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?” 10 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.

11 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.”

12 The next day, some of the Judeans formed a conspiracy. They took an oath, saying they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Sha’ul; 13 more than forty were involved in this plot. 14 They went to the head cohanim and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food until we have killed Sha’ul. 15 What you are to do is make it appear to the commander that you and the Sanhedrin want to get more accurate information about Sha’ul’s case, so that he will bring him down to you; while we, for our part, are prepared to kill him before he ever gets here.”

16 But the son of Sha’ul’s sister got wind of the planned ambush, and he went into the barracks and told Sha’ul. 17 Sha’ul called one of the officers and said, “Take this man up to the commander; he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him and brought him to the commander and said, “The prisoner Sha’ul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, because he has something to tell you.” 19 The commander took him by the hand, led him aside privately and asked, “What is it you have to tell me?” 20 He said, “The Judeans have agreed to ask you tomorrow to bring Sha’ul down to the Sanhedrin on the pretext that they want to investigate his case more thoroughly. 21 But don’t let yourself be talked into it, because more than forty men are lying in wait for him. They have taken an oath neither to eat nor to drink until they kill him; and they are ready now, only waiting for you to give your consent to their request.”

22 The commander let the young man go, cautioning him, “Don’t tell anyone that you have reported this to me.” 23 Then he summoned two of the captains and said, “Get two hundred infantry soldiers ready to leave for Caesarea at nine o’clock tonight, and seventy mounted cavalry and two hundred spearmen; 24 also provide replacements for Sha’ul’s horse when it gets tired; and bring him through safely to Felix the governor.” 25 And the commander wrote the following letter:

26 From: Claudius Lysias
To: His Excellency, Governor Felix:

Greetings!

27 This man was seized by the Judeans and was about to be killed by them, when I came on the scene with my troops and rescued him. After learning that he was a Roman citizen, 28 I wanted to understand exactly what they were charging him with; so I brought him down to their “Sanhedrin.”

29 I found that he was charged in connection with questions of their “Torah” but that there was no charge deserving death or prison.

30 But when I was informed of a plot against the man, I immediately sent him to you and also ordered his accusers to state their case against him before you.

31 So the soldiers, following their orders, took Sha’ul during the night and brought him to Antipatris, 32 then returned to the barracks after leaving the cavalry to go on with him. 33 The cavalry took him to Caesarea, delivered the letter to the governor, and handed Sha’ul over to him. 34 The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. On learning he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will give you a full hearing after your accusers have also arrived,” and ordered him to be kept under guard in Herod’s headquarters.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 23:5 Exodus 22:27(28)
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Acts 23Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

23 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience to this day.” The high priest Ananias ordered those who were standing next to him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! You are sitting there judging me according to the law, and yet in violation of the law are you ordering me to be struck?”

Those standing nearby said, “Do you dare revile God’s high priest?”

“I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest,” replied Paul. “For it is written, You must not speak evil of a ruler of your people.[a] When Paul realized that one part of them were Sadducees and the other part were Pharisees, he cried out in the Sanhedrin, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am being judged because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead!” When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, and neither angel nor spirit, but the Pharisees affirm them all.

The shouting grew loud, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party got up and argued vehemently: “We find nothing evil in this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”[b]

10 When the dispute became violent, the commander feared that Paul might be torn apart by them and ordered the troops to go down, take him away from them, and bring him into the barracks. 11 The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, “Have courage! For as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so it is necessary for you to testify in Rome.”

The Plot against Paul

12 When it was morning, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who had formed this plot. 14 These men went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have bound ourselves under a solemn curse that we won’t eat anything until we have killed Paul. 15 So now you, along with the Sanhedrin, make a request to the commander that he bring him down to you[c] as if you were going to investigate his case more thoroughly. But, before he gets near, we are ready to kill him.”

16 But the son of Paul’s sister, hearing about their ambush, came and entered the barracks and reported it to Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander, because he has something to report to him.”

18 So he took him, brought him to the commander, and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, because he has something to tell you.”

19 The commander took him by the hand, led him aside, and inquired privately, “What is it you have to report to me?”

20 “The Jews,” he said, “have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the Sanhedrin tomorrow, as though they are going to hold a somewhat more careful inquiry about him. 21 Don’t let them persuade you, because there are more than forty of them lying in ambush—men who have bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they have killed him. Now they are ready, waiting for your consent.”

22 So the commander dismissed the young man and instructed him, “Don’t tell anyone that you have informed me about this.”

To Caesarea by Night

23 He summoned two of his centurions and said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready with seventy cavalry and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight.[d] 24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.”

25 He wrote the following letter:[e]

26 Claudius Lysias,

To the most excellent governor Felix:

Greetings.

27 When this man had been seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them, I arrived with my troops and rescued him because I learned that he is a Roman citizen. 28 Wanting to know the charge they were accusing him of, I brought him down before their Sanhedrin. 29 I found out that the accusations were concerning questions of their law, and that there was no charge that merited death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed that there was a plot against the man,[f] I sent him to you right away. I also ordered his accusers to state their case against him in your presence.[g]

31 So the soldiers took Paul during the night and brought him to Antipatris as they were ordered. 32 The next day, they returned to the barracks, allowing the cavalry to go on with him. 33 When these men entered Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34 After he[h] read it, he asked what province he was from. When he learned he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing whenever your accusers also get here.” He ordered that he be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.[i]

Footnotes:

  1. 23:5 Ex 22:28
  2. 23:9 Other mss add Let us not fight God.
  3. 23:15 Other mss add tomorrow
  4. 23:23 Lit at the third hour tonight
  5. 23:25 Or He wrote a letter to this effect:
  6. 23:30 Other mss add by the Jews
  7. 23:30 Other mss add Farewell
  8. 23:34 Other mss read the governor
  9. 23:35 Or headquarters
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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