New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me
PAUL IN DANGER (Acts 23:11-35)
By Wayne S. Walker
After being assaulted by an unruly Jewish mob in the temple at Jerusalem and put in protective custody by the Roman commander, Paul was taken before the Jewish council to determine why he was being accused by the Jews. However, even there a division arose among the council members between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, causing a violent dissension from which the commander had to rescue Paul again. The following night, the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”
One reason why Paul may have needed such encouragement was that the next day a group of more than forty Jews banded together and formed a conspiracy, taking an oath that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. They suggested to the chief priests and elders that they should have the council order the commander to bring Paul back for further questioning. The men would kill him before he came near. Fortunately, the son of Paul’s sister just happened to overhear the plan and entered the barracks to tell Paul about it. Paul then asked a centurion to take the young man to the commander.
The lad told the commander, named Claudius Lysias, all about the plot. So the commander called two centurions and ordered them to prepare 200 soldiers, seventy horsemen, and 200 spearmen to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night (about 9:00 p.m.) and take Paul on a mount to the governor Felix. He also wrote an accompanying letter to Felix, explaining the situation. The soldiers took Paul as far as Antipatris and then returned to the barracks, leaving the horsemen to take Paul on to Caesarea. They delivered the letter and presented Paul to the governor. When he read it, he told Paul that he would hear his case when Paul’s accusers would come and put him in prison at Herod’s Praetorium.
- After Paul had to be rescued from the Council, who appeared to encourage him?
- How many Jews banded together and formed a conspiracy to kill Paul?
- What did these men take an oath not to do until they finished their mission?
- What was their plan to get Paul brought out of custody in order to kill him?
- Who overheard their plot and told Paul?
- Where did the commander decide to send Paul for safe keeping?
- When did they leave?
- Who was the Roman governor?
- Where did the governor put Paul in prison?