« PreviousContinue »
CH A P.
Men and brethren, I have lived in all good con2 science before God, until this day. And the high
priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him, 3 to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto
him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall (a):
for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and com4 mandeit me to be smitten contrary to the law (b)? And
they that stood by, said, Revilest thou God's high5 priest? Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that
he was the high-priest (c): for it is written, Thou 6 shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people. But
when Paul perceived that the one part were Saddu. cees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son
of a Pharisee : of the hope and resurrection of the 7 dead, I am called in question. And when he had so
faid, There arose a diffenfion between the Pharisees
and the Sadducees ; and the multitude was divided, 8' For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection,
neither angel nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess 9: both. And there arofe a great cry: and the scribes
that were of the Pharisees part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man : but if a spirit
or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight a10 gainst God. And when there arose a great differa
(a) St. Paul takes occasion from the high-priest's wearing a white robe to compare him to a whited sepulchre, which however embellished on the outside, is full of rottenness and -uncleanness. See Matt. xxni. 27.
(6) The law did not allow any one to be punished before the cause was heard.
(c) I did not consider his high flation. If I had, I would not have spoken fo sharply to him. For I am sensible, it is contrary to the law of God to treat persons in authority with disrespect. Exod. xxii. 28. 2 Pet. ii, 10. Jude 8.
fion, the chief captain, fearing left Paul should have
diers to go down, and to take him by force from a11 mong them, and to bring him into the castle. And
the night following, the Lord stood by him, and said,
nie in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at 12 Rome. And when it was day, certain of the Jews
banded together, and bound themselves under a
curse, saying, that they would neither eat nor drink 13 till they had killed Paul.
And they were more than 14 forty which had made this conspiracy. And they
came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We
have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we 15 will eat nothing until we have flain Paul. Now
therefore ye with the council, signify to the chief
perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come 16. near, are ready to kill him. And when Paul's Gif
ter's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and en17 tered into the castle, and told Paul. Then Pank
called one of the centurions unto him, and said,
Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he 18 hath, a certain thing to tell him. So he took him,
and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul
bring this young man unto thee, who hath something 19 to say unto thee. Then the chief captain took hiin
by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and 20 asked him, What is that thou haft to tell me? And
he faid, the Jews have agreed to defire thee, that
council, as though they would enquire fomewhat of 2.1 hini more perfectly. But do not thou yield unto
them : for there lie in wait for him of them more
have killed him: and now are they ready, looking 22 for a promise from thee. So the chief captain then
let the young man depart, and charged bim, See
thou tell no man, that thou hast shewed these things 23 to me.
And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Cefarea (d), and horsemen threescore and ten, and spear
men two hundred, at the third hour of the night:(e). 24 And provide them beasts, that they may sét Paul on, 25 and bring him safe unto Felix the governor. And he 26 wrote a letter after this manner. Claudius Lysias,
unto the most excellent governor Felix, fendeth greet27 ing. This man was taken of the Jews, and thould
have been killed of them (f): then came I with an
army, and rescued him, having understood that he was 28 a Roman. And when I would have known the cause
wherefore tlrey accused him, I brought him forth 29 into their council: Whom I perceived to be ac
cused of questions of their law, but to have nothing 30 laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds. And
when it was told me, how that the Jews laid wait. for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave
coinmandinent to his accusers alto, to say before thee 31 what they had against him. Farewel. Then the fol
diers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and 32 brought him by night to Antipatris. On the morrow
they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned 33 to the castle. Who when they came to Cefarea,
and delivered the epistle to the governor", presented 34. Paul also before him. And when the governor had
read the letter, he asked of what province he was 35. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia ; I
(d) Cesarea was the capital of 'the Province where the Roman : Governor refided, and kept his court.
(e) The night being reckoned from fun-set, or fix o'clock, the third hour was nine o'clock.
) And was in danger of being killed by them. .
will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also
And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment-hall.
ND after five days, Ananias the high-priest (a)
descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against 2 Paul.
And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we
enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds 3 are done unto this nation by thy providence, We
accept it always, and in all places, most noble Fe4 lix, with all thankfulness. Notwithstanding, that I
be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that
thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words. -5 For.we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and
a mover of fedition among all the Jews throughout
the world, and a ringleader of the feet of the Naza6 renes: Who also hath gone about to profane the
temple: whom we took, and would have judged ac7 cording to our law. But the chief captain Lyfias
came upon us, and with great violence took hiin a8 way out of our hands, Commanding his accusers
to come unto thee : by examining of whom, thyself
mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof 9 we accufe him. And the Jews also affented, saying, Io that these things were so. Then Paul, after that the
governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many
years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerII fully answer for myfelf: Because that thou mayest
understand, that there are yet but twelve days since
(a) To go from Jerusalem to any place, s. called descending or going down, and to go to Jerusalem, is called afcending or going up. Chap. XXV, 1.
12 I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. And they
neither found me in the temple disputing with any
man, neither raising up the people, neither in the 13 synagogues, nor in the city: Neither can they prove 14 the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I
confess unto thee, that after the way which they call herefy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing
all things which are written in the law and the pro15 phets : And have hope towards God, which they
themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrec16 tion of the dead, both of the juft and unjust. And
herein do I exercise myself, to have always a consci
ence void of offence toward God, and toward men. 17 Now after many years, I came to bring (6) alms to 18 my nation, and offerings. Whereupon certain Jews
from Afia found me purified in the temple, neither 19 with multitude, nor with tumult: Who ought to
have been here before thee, and object, if they had 20.ought against me. Or else let thele fame here fay,
if they have found any evil doing in me, while I 21 stood before the council, Except it be for this one
voice (c), that I cried ftanding among them, touching
the resurrection of the dead I am called in question 22 by you this day. And when Felix heard these
(6) To bring contributions to my poor brethren in Judea, which I had colle&ted for them, together with offerings for the service of the temple; and this being the purpose of my journey, it is plain that I neither had any ill-will to the Jews, nor disrespeá to the temple : nay, if those very Jews who caused me to be apprehended (Chap.
27.) were here (as they ought to be, since they took upon them to accuse me), I could appeal to them for my innocence: for they found me at that time in the temple performing the vow of the Nazarites, according to the ceremonies appointed by the law of Moses (Numb. vi... 2, &c.), and this I did with seriousness and solemnity; a disorderly multitude was indeed brought together, and a tumult was made, but that was done not by me, but themselves.
(c) Unless it be a crime, that I publickly declared my belief of a future state,