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And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest?
And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.
And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him.
So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.
Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?
And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would inquire somewhat of him more perfectly.
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.
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.
And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.
This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait ° ° for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.
On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle:
And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

23:2 Ananias. This Ananias, of course, was not the same high priest as at the time of Christ, thirty years before. This priest was a political appointee, notoriously corrupt and cruel, destined soon for assassination by his Jewish countrymen when they rebelled against Rome only a few years hence.

23:3 contrary to the law. Paul had not even been formally charged with any offense, let alone tried and found guilty.

23:5 it is written. See Exodus 22:28. Paul had been away from Jerusalem for many years, and could not have known Ananias by sight.

23:8 no resurrection. The sect of the Sadducees professed to be orthodox Jews, believing in the Mosaic laws, but were actually materialists believing in neither bodily nor spiritual resurrection. Nevertheless, they were more powerful politically than the more Biblically oriented Pharisees.

23:8 Pharisees. Paul himself was a convinced Pharisee (Philippians 3:4-5), and still had deep respect for the law (Romans 7:12), though he knew and preached that salvation was altogether by grace (Romans 5:20-21).

23:16 Paul’s sister’s son. This is the only reference in the Bible to the fact that Paul had a sister and nephew. There is no indication as to what they were doing in Jerusalem (Paul’s family originally lived in Tarsus, in Asia Minor), or what access this young man had to the conspirators. As intriguing as such questions are, we can only conclude that all of these circumstances had somehow been ordered in God’s providence to save Paul’s life.

23:21 neither eat nor drink. Since this vow could not be carried out, the question arises as to whether the conspirators proceeded to starve themselves to death. This is unlikely; the Jewish Mishna writings provide for release from vows under such conditions.

23:26 Felix. Felix, governor of Judaea and Samaria, held the position once held by Pontius Pilate. The provincial capital was at Caesarea, sixty-five miles northwest of Jerusalem. Paul, as a Roman citizen, was thus taken to be judged by a Roman governor.

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