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Gevurot 23 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

23 And as he gazed at the Sanhedrin, Rav Sha’ul said, “Anashim, Achim, I have lived before Hashem until this day with a lev tahor.”

And the Kohen Gadol Chananyah ordered the ones standing by Rav Sha’ul to strike his mouth.

Then Rav Sha’ul said to him, “Hashem is about to strike you, you white-washed wall! You sit judging me according to Torah and yet in violation of the Torah you command me to be struck?” [Lv 19:15; Dt 25:1,2]

And the ones standing by said, “Do you revile the Kohen Gadol of Hashem?”

And Rav Sha’ul said, “I was without da’as, Achim, that he is the Kohen Gadol, for it has been written, NASI V’AMMECHA LO TA’OR (“A ruler of your people you will not speak evil of, curse,” Ex 22:27(28)

And Rav Sha’ul, having da’as that one kat is of Tzedukim (Sadducees) and the other of Perushim (Pharisees), was crying out in the Sanhedrin, “Anashim, Achim, I am a Parush ben Parush and it is for the tikvah of the Techiyas HaMesim that I am being judged.”

Now when Rav Sha’ul said this, there came about a machlochet (controversy) between the Perushim and Tzedukim, and the multitude was divided.

Loit (according to) the Tzedukim, there is no Techiyas HaMesim nor a malach nor ruchot, but Perushim acknowledge all these things.

And there was a kol gadol and some of the Sofrim of the kat of the Perushim were arguing vigorously, saying, “Nothing rah do we find keneged this ish, and what if a ruach did speak to him or a malach?”

10 And fearing much more machloket was coming, the Roman tribune ordered the troops to go down to take Rav Sha’ul away from the midst of them and to bring him into the barracks lest he be torn to pieces by them.

11 And on the following lailah, HaAdon stood by Rav Sha’ul and said, “Chazak! For as you gave solemn edut about me in Yerushalayim, thus it is necessary for you also to bear solemn eidus in Rome.”

12 In the boker, the Judeans joined in a kesher and bound themselves with a shevu’ah that none of them would eat or drink until they had carried out their plot of retzichah b’seter of Rav Sha’ul.

13 Now there were more than arba’im anashim (forty men) who joined in this kesher.

14 After they approached the Rashei HaKohanim (Chief Priests) and the Zekenim (Elders), they said, "We have bound ourselves with a shevu’ah (oath) to eat nothing until we have killed Rav Sha’ul.

15 "Now, therefore, you with the Sanhedrin notify the tribune so that he may bring Rav Sha’ul down to you as if intending to determine more accurately the things concerning him, and, before he draws near, we are ready to kill him."

16 Now when Rav Sha’ul’s achyon (nephew) heard about the ma’arav (ambush), he went and gained entrance into the barracks and reported this to Rav Sha’ul.

17 And Rav Sha’ul summoned one of the centurions and said, "Bring this bochur to the tribune for he has something to report to him."

18 So the centurion took the bochur and brought him to the tribune and says, "The prisoner Rav Sha’ul has summoned me and asked me to bring this bochur to you; he has something to say to you."

19 The tribune grasped the bochur’s hand and drew him aside privately, inquiring, "What is it you have to report to me?"

20 And the bochur said, "The Judeans agreed to ask you to bring Rav Sha’ul down machar (tomorrow) to the Sanhedrin as if intending to inquire something more accurate concerning him.

21 "Therefore, you should not be persuaded by them, for more than arba’im anashim are lying in wait for him and these took a shevu’ah upon themselves neither to eat nor to drink until they have assassinated him, and now they are ready, waiting for your consent."

22 Therefore, the tribune dismissed the bochur, ordering him, "Tell no one that you reported these things to me."

23 And having summoned two of the centurions, the tribune said, "Prepare to leave for Caesarea by nine o’clock tonight the following: two hundred chaiyalim, seventy horsemen, and two hundred bowmen.

24 "And also provide mounts for Rav Sha’ul to ride, that he may be given safe passage to Felix the Moshel."

25 Then the tribune wrote an iggeret to this effect:

26 "Claudius Lysias to the most excellent Moshel, Felix. Greetings.

27 "This man was seized by the Judeans and was about to be killed by them, but when I learned that he is a Roman citizen, I came with the chaiyalim and rescued him.

28 "Desiring to have da’as of the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their Sanhedrin.

29 "I found he was being accused about issues of their Torah and the charge was nothing worthy of mavet or of imprisonment.

30 "And when I received information of a kesher (plot) keneged (against) the man, I sent him immediately to you, having given orders also to his accusers to state their case against Rav Sha’ul before your excellency."

31 Therefore, as they were ordered, the chaiyalim took Rav Sha’ul along and brought him under cover of lailah to Antipatris.

32 And on the next day, having allowed the horsemen to go on with Rav Sha’ul, they returned to the barracks.

33 When the horsemen entered into Caesarea, they delivered the iggeret to the Moshel and also presented Rav Sha’ul to him.

34 And having read it, and having asked from what province Rav Sha’ul hailed, the Moshel learned that he was from Cilicia.

35 "I will give you a hearing," Felix said, "when also your accusers arrive." Then the Moshel commanded Rav Sha’ul to be watched by shomrim in the Praetorium of Herod.

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International

Acts 23 New International Version (NIV)

23 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”

Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult God’s high priest!”

Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’[a]

Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial 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. (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)

There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. “We find nothing wrong with this man,” they said. “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.

11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

The Plot to Kill Paul

12 The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 More than forty men were involved in this plot. 14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.”

16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.

17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him to the commander.

The centurion said, “Paul, the prisoner, sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”

19 The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?”

20 He said: “Some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him. 21 Don’t give in to them, because more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request.”

22 The commander dismissed the young man with this warning: “Don’t tell anyone that you have reported this to me.”

Paul Transferred to Caesarea

23 Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen[b] to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. 24 Provide horses for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.”

25 He wrote a letter as follows:

26 Claudius Lysias,

To His Excellency, Governor Felix:


27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, but I came with my troops and rescued him, for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen. 28 I wanted to know why they were accusing him, so I brought him to their Sanhedrin. 29 I found that the accusation had to do with questions about their law, but there was no charge against him that deserved death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed of a plot to be carried out against the man, I sent him to you at once. I also ordered his accusers to present to you their case against him.

31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night and brought him as far as Antipatris. 32 The next day they let the cavalry go on with him, while they returned to the barracks. 33 When the cavalry arrived in Caesarea, they delivered the letter to the governor and handed Paul over to him. 34 The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. Learning that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will hear your case when your accusers get here.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.


  1. Acts 23:5 Exodus 22:28
  2. Acts 23:23 The meaning of the Greek for this word is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

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