ATS Bible DictionaryPortius Festus
Succeeded Felix in the government of Judea, A. D. 60. To oblige the Jews, Felix, when he resigned his government, left Paul in bonds at Caesarea in Palestine, Acts 24:27; and when Festus arrived, he was entreated by the principal Jews to condemn the apostle, or to order him up to Jerusalem-they having conspired to assassinate him in the way. Festus, however, answered that it was not customary with the Romans to condemn any man without hearing him; and promised to hear their accusations at Caesarea. Five days after, on hearing Paul and learning the nature of the charges against him, he proposed to him to abide the issue of a trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin. But Paul appealed to Caesar; and so secured himself from the prosecution of the Jews, and the intentions of Festus. The governor gave him another hearing during a congratulatory visit of king Agrippa, in order to make out a statement to be forwarded with him to Rome. Finding how greatly robberies abounded in Judea, Festus very diligently pursued the thieves; and he also suppressed a magician, who drew the people after him into the desert. Josephus speaks well of his brief administration. He died in Judea, A. D. 62, and was succeeded by Albinus.
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