“The Providence of God”

Acts 23:12-35


12 Now when it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul.

13 And there were more than forty who formed this scheme.

14 They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves under a curse to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.

15 So now you, along with the Sanhedrin, notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more carefully; and we for our part are ready to slay him before he comes near.”

16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, he came and entered the barracks and reported it to Paul.

17 And Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Lead this young man to the commander, for he has something to report to him.”

18 So he took him and led him to the commander and said, “Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to lead this young man to you since he has something to tell you.”

19 And the commander took him by the hand and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, “What is it that you have to report to me?”

20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Sanhedrin, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more carefully about him.

21 So do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of them⁠—who have bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they slay him⁠—are lying in wait for him and now they are ready and waiting for the promise from you.”

22 So the commander let the young man go, instructing him, “Tell no one that you have notified me of these things.”

23 And when he called to him two of the centurions, he said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to proceed to Caesarea by the third hour of the night,”

24 and provide mounts to put Paul on and bring him safely to Felix the governor.

25 And he wrote a letter having this form:

26 “Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor Felix, greetings.

27 “When this man was arrested by the Jews and was about to be slain by them, I came up to them with the troops and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman.

28 And wanting to ascertain the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their Sanhedrin;

29 and I found him to be accused over questions about their Law, but under no accusation deserving death or imprisonment.

30 “And when I was informed that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, also instructing his accusers to speak against him before you.”

31 So the soldiers, according to their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris.

32 But the next day, leaving the horsemen to go on with him, they returned to the barracks.

33 When these had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him.

34 And when he had read it, he asked from what province he was, and when he learned that he was from Cilicia,

35 he said, “I will give you a hearing after your accusers arrive also,” giving orders for him to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium.