Three days later Paul invited the leading Jews to meet him, and when they arrived he spoke to them, “Men and brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our forefathers, I was handed over to the Romans as a prisoner in Jerusalem. They examined me and were prepared to release me, since they found me guilty of nothing deserving the death penalty. But the attacks of the Jews there forced me to appeal to Caesar—not that I had any charge to make against my own nation. But it is because of this accusation of the Jews that I have asked to see you and talk matters over with you. In actual fact it is on account of the hope of Israel that I am here in chains.”
Three days later, Paul called the Jewish leaders together for a meeting at his house. He said, “The Jews in Jerusalem arrested me on trumped-up charges, and I was taken into custody by the Romans. I assure you that I did absolutely nothing against Jewish laws or Jewish customs. After the Romans investigated the charges and found there was nothing to them, they wanted to set me free, but the Jews objected so fiercely that I was forced to appeal to Caesar. I did this not to accuse them of any wrongdoing or to get our people in trouble with Rome. We’ve had enough trouble through the years that way. I did it for Israel. I asked you to come and listen to me today to make it clear that I’m on Israel’s side, not against her. I’m a hostage here for hope, not doom.”
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