- Acts 23:21-25
- Acts 23:21 (KJB)
- But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them
more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they
will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they
ready, looking for a promise from thee.
- The young man then gives advice unto the tribune that he should in no
wise give in to their request and bring Paul where he could be vulnerable.
The young man then told the tribune that these forty plus men were bound by
an oath of neither eating or drinking until they have killed Paul. This
meant that these Jews were very serious in their desire to kill Paul because
an oath was a serious matter. It was not just idle chatter by a bunch of
hotheads. These men, upon hearing from the tribune that Paul would be
brought to the Sanhedrin, would then place themselves in positions where
they could successfully attack and kill Paul. The young man was very
emphatic in his approach to the tribune, especially that this attack could
happen at any time.
- Acts 23:22 (KJB)
- So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged
him, See thou tell no man that thou hast showed these things to me.
- The tribune then dismissed the young man and told him that he was not to
tell anyone the information which he had shared with him. He also knew that
young men tend to talk too much and that is why the tribune was emphatic
about speaking to no one. If he did, then the Jews would only postpone and
attack at another time. The tribune had believed Paulís nephew and was about
to take action in the matter. Jesus had appeared to Paul and told him that
he would also be a witness in Rome, so behind all these events was the
guiding hand of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Acts 23:23 (KJB)
- And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two
hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and
spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;
- The tribune then begins to make preparations to give Paul safe passage.
When the Lord Jesus told Paul that he was going to testify for Him in Rome,
I donít think Paul ever expected such an escort. The tribune was not taking
any chances so he mobilized two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two
hundred spearmen. The spearmen would be proficient in the use of the spear
and if any of the conspirators were in the trees, then the spearmen could
pick them off before they could do any harm to Paul. The tribune knew that
if Paul was killed, then he would be in trouble for not protecting him. By 9
oíclock that night, they were assembled and ready to go. Their trip was 55
miles (88 km) to Caesarea. It was about 30 miles (48 km) north of Joppa and
was built by Herod the Great and contained an artificial harbor, 200 feet
(61 m) wide and 60 feet (18 m) deep, which was considered pretty large for
that day. Roman Governors and procurators made Caesarea their home.
Archaeology has uncovered a stone there with Pilateís name on it.
- Acts 23:24 (KJB)
- And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring
him safe unto Felix the governor.
- Horses were also brought and Paul was given a horse to ride so this way
he could be brought safely to Felix the Governor. Marcus Antonius Felix was
Procurator of Judaea from 52-59 A.D. Felix was a fierce and violent man who
had slaughtered many Jews. Felix was also a former slave who became free by
the Emperor Claudius or his mother. Tacitus, the Roman historian, stated
that Claudius enjoyed cruelty and lust and wielded the power of a king with
the mind of a slave.
- Acts 23:25 (KJB)
- And he wrote a letter after this manner:
- The tribune had penned a letter of introduction to Felix because Paul
could not see the Governor without some kind of information as to why he was
there. It is not known how a copy of the letter was revealed to Luke but the
Holy Spirit may have given Luke the words and he wrote them down. Some
believe that Paul saw the letter and made a copy for Luke. The bottom line
is that we will never really know but this we do know, that it is included
in the sacred Scriptures for all eternity.