Acts 24:1-5
Acts 24:1 (KJB)
And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
Five days later the high priest, Ananias came to Caesarea along with some of the elders. No doubt these were the elders who were of the Sadducees which disbelieved in the resurrection and angels and spirits. They would not want to bring anyone who agreed with Paul on these issues because it would not make their case. So to stack the deck against Paul, they even brought along an orator named “Tertullus” and the name means “little third” and was a common Roman name. He was trained in Roman law and oratory. The chief priest probably paid him a lot of money to play down Paul’s Roman citizenship and to impress Felix that they had a Roman on their side.
Acts 24:2 (KJB)
And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
Paul was then called forth and the hearing had begun. Tertullus did not immediately accuse Paul of anything instead he bean to praise the Governor and after all that flowery speech, then he would segue right into the charges once the Governor was flattered enough. All this flattery was just a smokescreen and Felix knew it because previously he incited robbers to kill the high priest and then had those same robbers captured and crucified. When the Egyptian cult leader came to the Mount of Olives, Felix had 400 of the Jews killed. There was constant turmoil during the rule of Felix so all Tertullus was saying was just empty flattery.
Acts 24:3 (KJB)
We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
Tertullus went on to say that they happily accepted all the reforms and prosperity the Jews had under Felix which was a total lie because there was never any prosperity under Felix. The Jews were constantly complaining about Felix and it continued even after he went back to Rome. He called him “most noble” which was basically a normal title of honor given to these officials.
Acts 24:4 (KJB)
Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
Tedious - Hindrance
Clemency - Graciousness or gentleness
As a further gesture of politeness to Felix, Tertullus did not want to be a hindrance to the Governor any more than he already was. He promised to be brief and to the point. They did not want to hold up proceedings any more so they went on with the hearing.
Acts 24:5 (KJB)
For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
Pestilent - A plague or pest
Mover - Stir up, excite or shake
Tertullus then begins by stating that we have found this man to be like an evil troublemaker, a plague on their society. You can tell Tertullus is a liar with a gift of oratory. First of all, he says “we.” Since when was the law of Moses and the Sanhedrin a concern of an unsaved Roman. He wouldn’t have been allowed in the proceedings in the temple. Then he falsely accuses Paul of stirring up sedition among all the Jews, not just in Jerusalem, but everywhere. It was never Paul who caused the uprisings in various places, it was the Jews in those places who formed mobs and wanted to kill him. Then he is accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes, which would be the Christians who followed Christ who was from Nazareth. It does not mean a heretical sect but it was common to speak this way of various schools of thought. So three false accusations are present in this initial indictment.