Acts 25
People's New Testament
Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
25:1 The Appeal to Caesar


The Jewish Leaders Accuse Paul to Festus. Trial Before Festus at Caesarea. Rather Than Be Sent to Jerusalem, Paul Appeals to Caesar. King Agrippa and Bernice Visit Festus. They Ask to See and Hear Paul. On the Morrow a Meeting in Great State. King Agrippa Requested to Examine Paul That Festus May Know What. to Report to Rome.

When Festus was come into the province. Had become governor of Judea. See PNT Mt 27:2.

Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him,
25:2 Then the high priest... informed him against Paul. Immediately after entering upon his government, Festus went from the Roman capital of Judea to its Jewish capital. The rulers did not lose this opportunity to prosecute Paul. Their aim was to have him transferred from Caesarea to Jerusalem, and thus exposed to their murderous designs.
And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him.
25:3 To kill him. This was the real object of their request. Those who will read the account of these times given by Josephus, a Jew of this period, will see that such a murderous purpose is not improbable. Their purpose was for the time baffled by the decision of Festus that the case must be tried before his court in Caesarea instead of before the Sanhedrin.
But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither.
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.
25:5 Them... which among you are able. Those possessing official power.
And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought.
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.
25:7 When he was come. When Festus had returned to Caesarea.

The Jews... laid many and grievous complaints against Paul. From the substance of Paul's reply (Ac 25:8), it is easy to determine that these charges were about the same as before Felix, viz.: (1) Teaching a new and illegal religion (Ac 24:6); (2) profaning the temple (Ac 24:6); (3) sedition (Ac 24:5), or offending against Caesar, charges that they could not sustain. It is evident from Ac 25:19 that particular stress was laid upon the fact that he was a ringleader of the Nazarenes (Ac 24:5).

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.
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?
25:9 Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure. He desired to avoid a difficulty with them at the very beginning of his government. He therefore proposed to Paul to go to Jerusalem for trial. This was the request of the Jews. The charges were in great part concerning a violation of the Jewish law, and the Sanhedrin claimed jurisdiction in that case. But Paul was a Roman, hence Festus could not, without his consent, send him up to the stronghold of his enemies. He perhaps thought that Paul would appeal to his rights as a citizen, and that would prevent the necessity of a refusal to comply with the wishes of the Jews.
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.
25:10 I stand at Caesar's judgment hall. Before a Roman tribunal. The governor was the representative of Caesar. To be delivered over to the Sanhedrin was to be sent to certain death. Hence, Paul falls back on the right of every Roman citizen to appeal to Caesar himself, or to the imperial tribunal in Rome, a right granted by law to all Romans in the provinces, an essential for protection against unjust governors.
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.
Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
25:12 When he had conferred with the council. Festus' own counselors, men called assessors, whose duty it was to advise the governor. He then announces the decision, I suppose, in the legal language used in such cases, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar thou shalt go.
And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.
25:13 Agrippa and Bernice came. King Agrippa II, the son of Herod Agrippa, whose death is told in Ac 12:23. Drusilla and Bernice were his sisters. He was the last of the Herodian kings, and was at this time king of Calchis. Bernice, his beautiful sister, was one of the fairest and most dissolute women of her time. She was married several times, had been twice married before Paul saw her, and is discreditably associated with both Vespasian and Titus. The latter took her to Rome, and would have married her had it not been for the storm of public disapproval.

To salute Festus. To pay their respects to the new Roman official.

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:
25:14 Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king. He did this for advice. He was really perplexed. He had just come into the province of Judea, and was not acquainted with Jewish customs. He could see nothing wrong in Paul, but the Jewish rulers accused him so vehemently that he was not sure that he understood the case. King Agrippa was a Jew by birth, would understand the real difference between Paul and the Sanhedrin, and could aid Festus to formulate the charges that must be sent to Rome when Paul was sent to appear before Caesar's tribunal.
About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.
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.
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.
Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed:
But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
25:19 Their own religion. The Jewish religion.
And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters.
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.
25:21 Unto the hearing of Augustus. One of the titles of the Roman emperor. He was styled Caesar, Augustus, and Imperator, from whence the word emperor.
Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.
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.
25:23 On the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp. The account reads like that of an eyewitness, as it doubtless is. The gathering of a king, a princess, a great Roman representative of Caesar, with their splendid retinues, heralds, lictors, and men at arms, as well as the great officers of the Roman army and chief men of Caesarea, was a sight well calculated to leave a profound impression. Then Paul was brought forth before this splendid array of royalty and power.
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.
25:24-26 Festus said. He introduces the cause by a short explanation: (1) Ye see this man; (2) the Jews declare that he ought not to live; (3) I have found nothing worthy of death; (4) he had appealed to Augustus; (5) I have nothing certain to write in the way of charges (6) perhaps thou, O Agrippa, canst help me out of this difficulty.
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.
25:24-26 Festus said. He introduces the cause by a short explanation: (1) Ye see this man; (2) the Jews declare that he ought not to live; (3) I have found nothing worthy of death; (4) he had appealed to Augustus; (5) I have nothing certain to write in the way of charges (6) perhaps thou, O Agrippa, canst help me out of this difficulty.
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.
25:26 My lord. The emperor.
For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.
The People's New Testament by B.W. Johnson [1891]

Bible Hub
Acts 24
Top of Page
Top of Page