- Acts 23:16-20
- Acts 23:16 (KJB)
- And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and
entered into the castle, and told Paul.
- The Bible does not give us any reason as to why Paul’s nephew was in
Jerusalem at that time. Some think he was there to become educated just as
his uncle Paul did years before. Apparently he did not make known to them
who he was and that is why they openly discussed the plot in front of him.
Paul knew nothing of the plot but God was well aware of their evil plans and
had the right person in the right place at the right time. To the world this
would be called luck or coincidence, but to the child of God, it is the
planning of God. No such thing as coincidence in the Kingdom of God. His
nephew did not waste any time and immediately told Paul about the plot.
- Acts 23:17 (KJB)
- Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring
this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell
- Paul then immediately called one of the Centurions and asked him if he
would bring the young man to Lysias, the Roman tribune. Paul’s nephew took a
great chance coming to Paul. If his visit had become known, then they would
have probably killed him, especially if they found out that he was Paul’s
nephew. It was also a brave move to tell the Roman authorities because there
was no way of knowing if they would believe him. I am sure they would have
believed him without hesitation because of the previous day’s events where
they almost killed him. Lysias knew that Paul was hated by them and that
would have given him reason to act.
- Acts 23:18 (KJB)
- So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said,
Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring
this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.
- Prayed - Asked or requested
- Paul had requested the centurion bring the young man directly to the
tribune. Paul revealed nothing about the plot because the less people that
knew that better it was. Only the tribune had the authority to act upon the
information. This is also good principle to follow. If you have information
for someone, tell that person directly and do not tell others because the
message could become corrupted. The centurion had called Paul a prisoner but
Paul was really under protective custody from the Jews.
- Acts 23:19 (KJB)
- Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him
aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?
- The tribune then received the young man in a courteous manner. I guess
he did not want to upset Paul because Paul could still file charges against
them for binding him as one does a condemned man. The tribune then takes the
man aside and gives him a private audience. The tribune must have seen the
seriousness of the man and knew something was up. He may have also been
impressed with the fact that the man went to Paul first and then to the
centurion and then to the tribune. Contrary to popular thought, the Romans
ruled conquered areas with civility and with proper laws because they wanted
to have peace throughout the entire Roman Empire. It was called the “Pax
Romana” which means “the Roman peace,” the long period of stability under
the Roman Empire.
- Acts 23:20 (KJB)
- And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest
bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would inquire
somewhat of him more perfectly.
- The young man then proceeds to tell the tribune how the Jews had made an
agreement to kill Paul. They would send for you to bring Paul down to the
Sanhedrin for the purpose of questioning him further but, on the way, Paul
would be killed by the forty men who had taken the oath to kill him. Their
hatred for Paul could have risked not only the death of the forty, but also
the entire Sanhedrin could have been arrested for conspiracy to murder and
if any Roman soldiers were killed in the attempted taking of Paul, then
those charges could be bumped up to murder and conspiracy. This is the fruit
of blind hatred.