Acts 23 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
Paul Before the Sanhedrin
23 And looking intently at the Sanhedrin, Paul said, “Men and brothers, I have lived my life in all good conscience before God to this day.” 2 So the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near him to strike his mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! And are you sitting there judging me according to the law, and acting contrary to the law do you order me to be struck?” 4 And those who stood nearby said, “Are you reviling the high priest of God?” 5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was high priest. For it is written, ‘You must not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”[a]
6 Now when[b] Paul realized that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he shouted out in the Sanhedrin, “Men and brothers! I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees! I am being judged concerning the hope and the resurrection of the dead!” 7 And when[c] he said this, a dispute developed between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection or angel or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) 9 And there was loud shouting, and some of the scribes from the party of the Pharisees stood up and[d] contended sharply, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man! But what if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 And when[e] the dispute became severe, the military tribune, fearing lest Paul be torn apart by them, ordered the detachment to go down, take him away from their midst, and bring him[f] into the barracks.[g] 11 And the next night the Lord stood by him and[h] said, “Have courage, for as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
A Conspiracy to Kill Paul
12 And when it[i] was day, the Jews made a conspiracy and[j] bound themselves under a curse, saying they would[k] neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13 Now there were more than forty who had made this conspiracy, 14 who went to the chief priests and the elders and[l] said, “We have bound ourselves under a curse to partake of nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 Therefore, now you along with the Sanhedrin explain to the military tribune that he should bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine more accurately the things concerning him. And we are ready to do away with him before he comes near.”
16 But when[m] the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, he came and entered into the barracks[n] and[o] reported it[p] to Paul. 17 So Paul called one of the centurions and[q] said, “Bring this young man to the military tribune, because he has something to report to him.” 18 So he took him and[r] brought him[s] to the military tribune and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and[t] asked me[u] to bring this young man to you because he[v] has something to tell you.” 19 And the military tribune, taking hold of his hand and withdrawing privately, asked, “What is it that you have to report to me?” 20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you that you bring Paul down to the Sanhedrin tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire somewhat more accurately concerning him. 21 You therefore do not be persuaded by them, because more than forty men of their number[w] are lying in wait for him, who have bound themselves under a curse neither to eat nor to drink until they have done away with him. And now they are ready, waiting for you to agree.”[x] 22 So the military tribune sent the young man away, directing him,[y] “Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me.”
23 And he summoned two of the centurions and[z] said, “Make ready from the third hour of the night two hundred soldiers and seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen,[aa] in order that they may proceed as far as Caesarea. 24 And provide mounts so that they can put Paul on them and[ab] bring him[ac] safely to Felix the governor.” 25 He wrote[ad] a letter that had this form:[ae]
26 Claudius Lysias.
To his excellency Governor Felix.
27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them when I[af] came upon them[ag] with the detachment and[ah] rescued him,[ai] because I[aj] learned that he was a Roman citizen. 28 And because I[ak] wanted to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him[al] down to their Sanhedrin.[am] 29 I found he[an] was accused concerning controversial questions of their law, but having no charge deserving death or imprisonment. 30 And when it[ao] was made known to me there would be a plot against the man, I sent him[ap] to you immediately, also ordering his[aq] accusers to speak against him[ar] before you.
31 Therefore the soldiers, in accordance with their orders,[as] took Paul and[at] brought him[au] to Antipatris during the night. 32 And on the next day they let the horsemen go on with him, and[av] they returned to the barracks.[aw] 33 The horsemen,[ax] when they[ay] came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, also presented Paul to him. 34 So after[az] reading the letter[ba] and asking what province he was from, and learning that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing whenever your accusers arrive also,” giving orders for him to be guarded in the praetorium[bb] of Herod.