Acts 23Revised Standard Version (RSV)
23 And Paul, looking intently at the council, said, “Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience up to this day.” 2 And the high priest Anani′as commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God shall strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” 4 Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” 5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”
6 But when Paul perceived that one part were Sad′ducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead I am on trial.” 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sad′ducees; and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sad′ducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9 Then a great clamor arose; and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” 10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them and bring him into the barracks.
11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also at Rome.”
The Plot to Kill Paul
12 When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. 14 And they went to the chief priests and elders, and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. 15 You therefore, along with the council, give notice now to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
16 Now the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush; so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 And Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune; for he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.” 19 The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. 21 But do not yield to them; for more than forty of their men lie in ambush for him, having bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him; and now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you.” 22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of this.”
Paul Sent to Felix the Governor
23 Then he called two of the centurions and said, “At the third hour of the night get ready two hundred soldiers with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesare′a. 24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25 And he wrote a letter to this effect:
26 “Claudius Lys′ias to his Excellency the governor Felix, greeting. 27 This man was seized by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them, when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman citizen. 28 And desiring to know the charge on which they accused him, I brought him down to their council. 29 I found that he was accused about questions of their law, but charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. 30 And when it was disclosed to me that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.”
31 So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him by night to Antip′atris. 32 And on the morrow they returned to the barracks, leaving the horsemen to go on with him. 33 When they came to Caesare′a and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34 On reading the letter, he asked to what province he belonged. When he learned that he was from Cili′cia 35 he said, “I will hear you when your accusers arrive.” And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod’s praetorium.