New American Standard Bible
Paul before the Council
1Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day. 2The high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth. 3Then Paul said to him, God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck? 4But the bystanders said, Do you revile Gods high priest? 5And Paul said, I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, YOU SHALL NOT SPEAK EVIL OF A RULER OF YOUR PEOPLE.
6But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead! 7As he said this, there occurred a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him? 10And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.
11But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.
A Conspiracy to Kill Paul
12When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13There were more than forty who formed this plot. 14They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, We have bound ourselves under a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul. 15Now therefore, you and the Council notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case by a more thorough investigation; and we for our part are ready to slay him before he comes near the place.
16But the son of Pauls sister heard of their ambush, and he came and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, Lead this young man to the commander, for he has something to report to him. 18So 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. 19The 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? 20And he said, The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him. 21So do not listen to them, for more than forty of them are lying in wait for him who have bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they slay him; and now they are ready and waiting for the promise from you. 22So the commander let the young man go, instructing him, Tell no one that you have notified me of these things.
Paul Moved to Caesarea
23And he called to him two of the centurions and said, Get two hundred soldiers ready by the third hour of the night to proceed to Caesarea, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen. 24They were also to provide mounts to put Paul on and bring him safely to Felix the governor. 25And he wrote a letter having this form: