- Acts 23:31-35
- Acts 23:31 (KJB)
- Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought
him by night to Antipatris.
- Then the soldiers had brought Paul to the city of Antipatris which was
about 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Jerusalem but about 24 miles (38 km)
from Caesarea. Antipatris was located between Judea and Samaria. It was
built by Herod the Great and named after his son Antipater. The Romans built
a colony here and was used as a safe stopping place for soldiers to stop and
rest for the night.
- Acts 23:32 (KJB)
- On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the
- Once Paul was delivered, the next day the 400 soldiers had then returned
to the Antonia fortress in Jerusalem. No doubt they kept a close eye on the
road and surroundings to make sure that none of the Jews had followed Paul
to try and make good on that oath. Then the 60 cavalry men had continued on
with Paul to Caesarea where they met with the Governor.
- Acts 23:33 (KJB)
- Who, when they came to Caesarea, and delivered the epistle to the
governor, presented Paul also before him.
- Epistle - Letter
- When they finally arrived in Caesarea, they then presented the letter to
the Governor along with Paul himself. It must have been some sight when Paul
was escorted to the Governorís palace with an honor guard of sixty cavalry.
Probably some thought he was a national hero or notable person to be guarded
like that. The Centurion is probably the one who escorted Paul into Caesarea
while Lysias went back to Jerusalem to make sure everything was quiet. There
may have been unrest when they found that Paul was no longer there and had
escaped their plot.
- Acts 23:34 (KJB)
- And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what
province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;
- When Felix had read the letter, he then knew the reason that Paul was
sent to him as well as the extra precautions taken for his safety. Felix
then wanted to know what province Paul was from. This was important because
if Paul was not from a Roman province, then Felix could not adjudicate the
matter. Once he knew that Paul was from Cilicia, which was a Roman province,
then Felix could intervene. Rome took Cilicia about 66 B.C in Pompeyís
conquest. The orator Cicero was its Governor for about 1 year from 51-50
B.C. Felix could not ignore the accusations made by the chief priests in
Jerusalem nor could he ignore Paul coming from such an important province.
As Governor it was his responsibility to keep the peace.
- Acts 23:35 (KJB)
- I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he
commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.
- Upon knowing the fact that Paul was from Cilicia, Felix would then grant
him a hearing but the hearing would not take place until Paulís accusers
would come to the Governorís quarters. Paul was then housed in Herodís
judgment hall which was the lavish palace built by Herod the Great. It
served as the Capitol building as well as the residence of the Roman
procurator. Paul had better accommodations here than in Jerusalem where he
stayed in the soldiers barracks.