Acts 23:12-35 Plot to kill Paul Paul Sent to Felix in Caesarea

Plot to kill Paul

12 And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy. 14 They came to the chief priests and elders, and said, "We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 Now you, therefore, together with the council, suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him; but we are ready to kill him before he comes near."


Plot disclosed to Paul by his sister's son

16 So when Paul's sister's son heard of their ambush, he went and entered the barracks and told Paul.


Romans informed of Plot to ambush Paul

17 Then Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, "Take this young man to the commander, for he has something to tell him."


18 So he took him and brought him to the commander and said, "Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to bring this young man to you. He has something to say to you."


19 Then the commander took him by the hand, went aside and asked privately, "What is it that you have to tell me?"


20 And he said, "The Jews have agreed to ask that you bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more fully about him. 21 But do not yield to them, for more than forty of them lie in wait for him, men who have bound themselves by an oath that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him; and now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you."


22 So the commander let the young man depart, and commanded him, "Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me."


Sending Paul to Felix in Caesarea

23 And he called for two centurions, saying, "Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night; 24 and provide mounts to set Paul on, and bring him safely to Felix the governor."


Letter from Claudius Lysias garrison commander in Jerusalem, to Felix governor of Judea

25 He wrote a letter in the following manner:

26 Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor Felix:


27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them. Coming with the troops I rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. 28 And when I wanted to know the reason they accused him, I brought him before their council. 29 I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains. 30 And when it was told me that the Jews lay in wait for the man, I sent him immediately to you, and also commanded his accusers to state before you the charges against him.



Night departure from Jerusalem

31 Then the soldiers, as they were commanded, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 The next day they left the horsemen to go on with him, and returned to the barracks.


Arrival in Caesarea

33 When they came to Caesarea and had delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34 And when the governor had read it, he asked what province he was from. And when he understood that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, "I will hear you when your accusers also have come." And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's Praetorium. NKJV


Facts Revealed:

Plot to kill Paul

V    In their zeal to destroy Paul and his testimony of Jesus and his ministry to the Gentiles, a band of 40 Jews conspired with the Chief Priests and Elders (the Jewish Council) to cause Paul to be ambushed and killed. [Acts 23:12-15]

V    Paul's nephew informed Paul, and Paul called a Centurion and sent his nephew to the Garrison Commander Claudius Lysias. [Acts 23:16-19]

V    When the Garrison Commander learned of the plot, he told Paul's nephew to keep silent about the matter, then made arrangement to send Paul to Felix the procurator (Roman Governor) of Judea in Caesarea [Acts 23:20-24]

Letter from Claudius Lysias garrison commander in Jerusalem, to Felix governor of Judea

V    The letter Claudius Lysias sent to accompany Paul to Felix included: [Acts 23:25-30]

   The assault of the Jews against Paul.

   The fact that Paul was a Roman citizen.

   The fact that the problem pertained to questions of Jewish law.

   There was no charge against Paul from the Roman standpoint that merited death or chains.

   When he knew of a plot to ambush Paul and kill him by the Jews, Claudius decided to send Paul to Felix.

   The accusers were also commanded to state their case before Felix.

Night departure from Jerusalem

V    Claudius provided a military escort for Paul consisting of 2 Centurions, 200 Soldiers, 200 spearmen, and 70 horsemen, and a mount for Paul. They departed from Jerusalem in the third hour of the night to go to Caesarea. [Acts 23:23-24]

V    The Escort accompanied Paul to Antipatris. [Acts 23:31]

   Antipatris was apparently a city between Jerusalem and Caesarea within a night walk for 400 footmen.

V    From Antipatris the footmen returned to Jerusalem the next day, as the horsemen continued on with Paul to Caesarea. [Acts 23:32].

Arrival in Caesarea

V    When they arrived in Caesarea, the soldiers delivered the letter and Paul to Governor Felix. [Acts 23:33]

V    After Felix read the letter, he asked Paul what Roman Province he was from. [Acts 23:34]

V    Paul told him he was from the province of Cilicia. [Acts 23:34]

V    Felix promised to hear the case when the accusers arrived from Jerusalem. [Acts 23:35]

V    Paul was held in the Praetorium which was the palace built by Herod the Great in Caesarea and was serving as headquarters for the Roman army, and the residence of the Governor, and included a Judgment Hall. [Acts 23:35]