Acts 23

Moffatt(i) 1 With a steady look at the Sanhedrin Paul said, "Brothers, I have lived with a perfectly good conscience before God down to the present day." 2 Then the high priest Ananias ordered those who were standing next Paul to strike him on the mouth. 3 At this Paul said to him, "You whitewashed wall, God will strike you! You sit there to judge me by the Law, do you? And you break the Law by ordering me to be struck!" 4 The bystanders said, "What! would you rail at God's high priest?" 5 "Brothers," said Paul, "I did not know he was high priest" (for it is written, You must not speak evil of any ruler of your people). 6 Then, finding half the Sanhedrin were Sadducees and the other half Pharisees, Paul shouted to them, "I am a Pharisee, brothers, the son of Pharisees! It is for the hope of the resurrection from the dead that I am on trial!" 7 When he said this, a quarrel broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; the meeting was divided. 8 For while the Sadducees declare there is no such thing as resurrection, angels, or spirits, the Pharisees affirm them all. 9 Thus a loud clamour broke out. Some of the scribes who belonged to the Pharisaic party got up and contended, "We find nothing wrong about this man. What if some spirit or angel has spoken to him?" 10 The quarrel then became so violent that the commander was afraid they would tear Paul in pieces; he therefore ordered the troops to march down and take him from them by force, bringing him inside the barracks. 11 On the following night the Lord stood by Paul and said, "Courage! As you have testified to me at Jerusalem, so you must testify at Rome." 12 When day broke, the Jews formed a conspiracy, taking a solemn oath neither to eat nor to drink till they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty of them in this plot. 14 They then went to the high priests and elders, saying, "We have taken a solemn oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. 15 Now you and the Sanhedrin must inform the commander that you propose to investigate this case in detail, so that he may have Paul brought down to you. We will be all ready to kill him on the way down." 16 Now Paul's nephew heard about their treacherous ambush; so he got admission to the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul summoned one of the officers and said, "Take this young man to the commander, for he has some news to give him." 18 So the officer took him to the commander, saying, "The prisoner Paul has summoned me to ask if I would bring this young man to you, as he has something to tell you." 19 The commander then took him by the hand aside and asked him in private, "What is the news you have for me?" 20 He answered, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to-morrow to the Sanhedrin, on the plea that they propose to examine his case in detail. 21 Now do not let them persuade you. More than forty of them are lying in ambush for him, and they have taken a solemn oath neither to eat nor to drink till they have murdered him. They are all ready at this moment, awaiting your consent." 22 Then the commander dismissed the youth, bidding him "Tell nobody that you have informed me of this." 23 He summoned two of the officers and said, "Get ready by nine o'clock to-night two hundred infantry to march as far as Caesarea, also seventy troopers, and two hundred spearmen." 24 Horses were also to be provided, on which they were to mount Paul and carry him safe to Felix the governor. 25 He then wrote a letter in the following terms. 26 "Claudius Lysias, to his excellency the governor Felix: greeting. 27 This man had been seized by the Jews and was on the point of being murdered by them, when I came on them with the troops and rescued him, as I had ascertained that he was a Roman citizen. 28 Anxious to find out why they accused him, I took him down to their Sanhedrin, 29 where I found he was accused of matters relating to their Law but not impeached for any crime that deserved death or imprisonment. 30 I am informed a plot is to be laid against him, so I am sending him to you at once, telling his accusers that they must impeach him before you. Farewell." 31 The soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 Next day the infantry returned to their barracks, leaving the troopers to ride on with him. 33 They reached Caesarea, presented the letter to the governor, and also handed Paul over to him. 34 On reading the letter he asked what province he belonged to, and finding it was Cilicia 35 he said, "I will go into your case whenever your accusers arrive," giving orders that he was to be kept in the praetorium of Herod.