Acts, Chapter 25
© Copyright 2007 Darroll Evans, all rights reserved
1 Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to
2 Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him,
3 And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him.
We now have a change in the
Roman government over
When Festus came into the
province, he went to
The High Priest wanted Paul
4 But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at
5 Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.
6 And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto
Festus balked at that and
decided to keep Paul at
Festus ordered those Jews who
were able to come to
7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.
8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.
When Paul arrived at the Judgment Seat, the Jews which came from
Paul replied to those imagined charges by saying, “Neither against the law of the Jews, the
9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?
10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.
However, Festus was willing
to give the Jews quite a bit of leeway.
Festus himself asked Paul,
“Will you go to
Paul responded, “I stand at Caesar's Judgment Seat, where I ought to be judged. As you well know, I have done nothing wrong to the Jews. If I am an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I am willing to die. However, if there is nothing to these charges, no man may deliver me to them. So, I appeal unto Caesar!”
At this point the Jewish leadership said collectively in Hebrew, “Say what?”
I suppose some said, “Can he really do that?”
The gospel was heard by the Roman elite, because Paul uttered those famous words, “I appeal to Caesar!”
This is the final time that Paul will appeal his “civil rights.” You will notice that the appeal is NOT race based or religion based. Such appeals are Hindu in origin, and not part of Christianity!
Paul’s appeal to Caesar is based in a single fact. Paul was a Roman citizen!
His Christianity has never been the basis for any of his appeals. Indeed, that has been conspicuously absent for them. This last appeal is the only time Paul demanded something that was his by birth.
12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
13 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto
14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix:
15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.
16 To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.
17 Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth.
18 Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed:
19 But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
20 And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to
21 But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.
Then, Festus conferred with the council (Gr. Sumbouliou-Sumbouliou). This council was not the Jewish Sanhedrin. It was the Roman Administrator’s Advisory Council.
Festus had no freedom in his response, “Have you appealed to Caesar? And so, to Caesar you shall go.”
Shortly after that, King
Agrippa and his Queen, Bernice, came to
22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.
23 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth.
24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer.
25 But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.
26 Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write.
27 For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.
King Agrippa asked to hear
what Paul had to say and Festus agreed.
Agrippa and Bernice, and Festus came into the Palace to hear Paul. Festus told them all, including Agrippa, how the Jews had tried to deal with Paul.
Then Festus said, “But, when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he appealed to Caesar. I was forced to send him.”
“Even though He has no legitimate Charges against him, I brought him before you, O king Agrippa, so that, after your examination, you might offer some idea about what to write. It seemed unreasonable to send a prisoner with no specified charges.”