A Jewish boss got angry with Paul
1-2 One of the men at the Jewish Leaders Council meeting was the big boss of the Jewish ceremonies. His name was Ananias. Paul stood up in front of Ananias and all the men at the Jewish Leaders Council meeting, and he looked straight at them, and said, “My brothers, I have respected our God all my life, and I have always done whatever I reckoned was right.”
As soon as Paul said that, Ananias told the men that were near Paul to hit him on the mouth.
Then Paul said to Ananias, “God will punish you for that. You reckon that you are a good man, but you are not a good man. You sit there to judge me using our law, but you don’t follow that law yourself. Nobody showed you that I did anything wrong, but you told these men to hit me.”*
The men that were standing near Paul said, “You are saying something bad to God’s man, the big boss of our Jewish ceremonies. You cant do that.”
Paul said, “I’m sorry, friends. I didn’t know that he is the big boss of our Jewish ceremonies. I know that Moses wrote in our Jewish law, ‘Don’t say bad things about your people’s big boss.’ ”*
The soldiers took Paul away from the Jewish Leaders Council
6-8 Some of the Jewish Leaders Council were men that belonged to the Sadducee mob, and others belonged to the Pharisee mob. The Sadducee mob believed that after people die, they will never become alive again. And they believed that there are no spirits, not even God’s angel messengers. But the Pharisee mob believed that all of those things are true, and they were strong for the Jewish law. Paul worked out that some of those council men were from the Sadducee mob, and some of them were from the Pharisee mob, so he shouted out loud to them. He said, “My friends, I’m a Pharisee man, like my father was. I believe that after people die, one day God will make them alive again. That’s the reason why I’m here in this court.”*
As soon as Paul said that, the Pharisee mob and Sadducee mob started to argue with each other. The council split up into 2 mobs and started shouting at each other. Some of the teachers of the Jewish law were from the Pharisee mob. They stood up and said, “We reckon this man hasn’t done anything wrong. Maybe an angel or some other spirit talked to him. That’s all right.”
10 Then those 2 mobs argued with each other and got really wild, and the big boss soldier thought, “They are going to tear Paul to bits.” So he told his soldiers, “Go and save Paul from those council men, and take him back to your big house.” So the soldiers did that.
Jesus told Paul that he will go to Rome
11 That night, Paul saw Jesus come and stand near him, and Jesus said to him, “Be brave, Paul. You told people here in Jerusalem about me, and you have to tell people in Rome about me too.”
Some men said, “We will kill Paul”
12 The next morning, some of those Jewish men met together secretly and thought about a way to kill Paul. Then they promised God, “We will not eat or drink anything until we kill Paul. If we break this promise and don’t kill Paul, then, God, you can kill us.” 13 There were more than 40 men in that mob.
14 They went to the Jewish ceremony bosses and the Jewish elders and told them, “We promised God that we will not eat or drink anything until we kill Paul. 15 So we want you to go to the big boss soldier and say to him, ‘The Jewish Leaders Council wants to ask Paul some more questions. Can you bring him to our meeting house?’ But we will hide beside the road, and when they bring Paul along that road, we will jump up and kill him.”
A young man talked to the boss soldier
16 But the son of Paul’s sister heard what those Jews were going to do, so he went into the big house of the soldiers and told Paul about it. 17 Then Paul called out to one of the boss soldiers and said, “Please take this young man to your big boss. He has some news to tell him.”
18 So that soldier took him to his big boss and said, “That prisoner, Paul, asked me to take this young man to you. He has some news to tell you.”
19 The big boss soldier held the young mans hand and took him away from the other people, and then he asked him, “What is the news you have for me?”
20 The young man said, “The Jewish leaders will ask you to take Paul to their council place tomorrow. They will tell you they want to ask him some more questions. But that is not true. 21 Don’t do what they will ask you to do. There are more than 40 men that will hide beside that road and wait for Paul to come along, so they can grab him and kill him. They even promised God that they will not eat or drink anything until they kill Paul. They are ready right now. They are just waiting for you to agree to do what they want.”
22 The big boss soldier said to the young man, “You can go home now, but don’t tell anyone that you told me this news.”
A lot of soldiers took Paul to a safe place
23-24 Then the big boss soldier got 2 other boss soldiers and told them, “You have to take Paul north to Caesarea town tonight. Take him to Felix, the government boss of this country. And you have to keep him safe. So get 200 soldiers ready to go with you. And get ready 70 soldiers that ride horses, to go there with you too. And get ready 200 soldiers that use spears, and they can go with you too. And get horses for Paul too. All of you have to be ready to leave at 9 o’clock tonight.”
25 Then that big boss soldier wrote a letter for them to take with them to that government boss. He wrote,
26 “Dear Felix,
I am Claudius Lisias. I’m writing to you, Felix. You are the government boss over this country, and I respect you. I hope you are good and happy.
27 I’m sending this man, Paul, to you. Some Jews grabbed him, and they were going to kill him, but somebody told me that he is a Roman, so I got my soldiers, and we saved him. 28 Then I wanted to know about the bad thing those Jews blamed him for, so I took him to their Leaders Council. 29 I found out that they only blamed him for things in their Jewish law. He has not broken any of our Roman laws, so it is not right for us to kill him or put him in jail.
30 And right now somebody told me that some Jews are planning secretly to kill Paul, so I’m sending him to you. I reckon you can judge him properly there. And I told the Jews that want to blame him, ‘Go and do that in the court at Caesarea.’ ”
That is the letter that the big boss soldier wrote to Felix.
31 So the soldiers did everything that their big boss told them to do. They got Paul and took him with them. That night, they stayed at a town called Antipatris. 32 The next day, the soldiers that didn’t ride horses went back to their big house in Jerusalem, and the soldiers on horses kept going with Paul. 33 After they got to Caesarea on their horses, they took Paul to Felix, the government boss, and they gave Felix the letter.
34 Felix read the letter, and then he asked Paul, “What country are you from?”
Paul said, “I’m from Cilicia country.”
35 Then Felix said, “The people that are blaming you will come here, and I will listen to them, and I will listen to you too, and then I will say if you are guilty or not.” And he told the soldiers, “Put Paul in the jail in the big house called Herod’s House.”
* 23:3 Matthew 23:27-28 * 23:5 Exodus 22:28 * 23:6-8 Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27; Acts 26:5; Philippians 3:5