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Acts 23 :: English Standard Version (ESV)

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Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:1 - And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:2 - And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:3 - Then Paul said to him, “God is going to 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?”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:4 - Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:5 - And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:6 - Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:7 - And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:8 - For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:9 - Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:10 - And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:11 - The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”

A Plot to Kill Paul

Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:12 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:13 - There were more than forty who made this conspiracy.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:14 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:15 - Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice 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.”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:16 - Now the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:17 - Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:18 - 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.”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:19 - The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:20 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:21 - But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent.”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:22 - So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of these things.”

Paul Sent to Felix the Governor

Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:23 - Then he called two of the centurions and said, “Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:24 - Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:25 - And he wrote a letter to this effect:
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:26 - “Claudius Lysias, to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:27 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:28 - And desiring to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their council.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:29 - I found that he was being accused about questions of their law, but charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:30 - 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.”
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:31 - So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:32 - And on the next day they returned to the barracks, letting the horsemen go on with him.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:33 - When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him.
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:34 - On reading the letter, he asked what province he was from. And when he learned that he was from Cilicia,
Unchecked Copy BoxAct 23:35 - he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.” And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod’s praetorium.
ESV Footnotes
That is, 9 p.m.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Books and Bibles, a Publishing Ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

See detailed copyright information.

For more information on this translation, see the ESV Preface.

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