23:6-11 The Pharisees were correct in the faith of the Jewish church. The Sadducees were no friends to the Scripture or Divine revelation; they denied a future state; they had neither hope of eternal happiness, nor dread of eternal misery. When called in question for his being a Christian, Paul might truly say he was called in question for the hope of the resurrection of the dead. It was justifiable in him, by this profession of his opinion on that disputed point, to draw off the Pharisees from persecuting him, and to lead them to protect him from this unlawful violence. How easily can God defend his own cause! Though the Jews seemed to be perfectly agreed in their conspiracy against religion, yet they were influenced by very different motives. There is no true friendship among the wicked, and in a moment, and with the utmost ease, God can turn their union into open enmity. Divine consolations stood Paul in the most stead; the chief captain rescued him out of the hands of cruel men, but the event he could not tell. Whoever is against us, we need not fear, if the Lord stand by us. It is the will of Christ, that his servants who are faithful, should be always cheerful. He might think he should never see Rome; but God tells him, even in that he should be gratified, since he desired to go there only for the honour of Christ, and to do good.
Ac 23:11-35. In the Fortress Paul Is Cheered by a Night Vision—An Infamous Conspiracy to Assassinate Him Is Providentially Defeated, and He Is Despatched by Night with a Letter from the Commandant to Felix at Cæsarea, by Whom Arrangements Are Made for a Hearing of His Cause.
11. the night following—his heart perhaps sinking, in the solitude of his barrack ward, and thinking perhaps that all the predictions of danger at Jerusalem were now to be fulfilled in his death there.
the Lord—that is, Jesus.
stood by him … Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou … also at Rome—that is, "Thy work in Jerusalem is done, faithfully and well done; but thou art not to die here; thy purpose next to 'see Rome' (Ac 19:21) shall not be disappointed, and there also must thou bear witness of Me." As this vision was not unneeded now, so we shall find it cheering and upholding him throughout all that befell him up to his arrival there.