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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Acts Chapter 23 

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Luke
Date Penned: (63-70 AD)
Overview: Paul's Ministry (c 13-28)
Theme: Paul on Trial (c 21-28)
Message: Paul Escapes Persecution (v 1-29)

Acts 23 Commentary

(23:1-11) Paul Before the High Council - Having been saved from the murderous mob at the Temple the previous day, Paul was brought before the Jewish high council. When he sensed the charged atmosphere (he was slapped after uttering the first sentence of his defense!), Paul decided to focus the council’s attention on something even more controversial than himself—the theological debate concerning the resurrection of the dead. Immediately, the Pharisees and Sadducees began to argue, and Paul was led back to the safety of his cell. There the Lord appeared to him in a comforting vision, assuring him that he would preach the Good News in Rome. No amount of human opposition can thwart God’s plan and purposes.

(23:12-22) The Plan to Kill Paul - The morning after God had pledged to deliver Paul safely to Rome, a group of Jews gathered to plot the murder of the apostle. Paul’s nephew learned of the plot and revealed it to the Roman commander in Jerusalem.

(23:23-35) Paul is Sent to Caesarea - Guarded by an armed escort of almost five hundred Roman soldiers, Paul was transferred to Caesarea and the jurisdiction of Governor Felix. He would be safe there until it was time for him to leave for Rome. God’s sovereignty is visible in both the actions of these secular authorities and in the resulting spread of the Good News.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Ambassadors for Christ

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Acts Chapter 23. In our text today we see Paul appears before the Sanhedrin and in the midst of persecution we see Paul used his opportunity to be a good witness while in our text Ananias was described as greedy, profane, and hot tempered. In making application we see that as Christians we are to be good witnesses or ambassadors - representing Christ to others. How about you? Are you a good witness? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Paul to see as Christians we are to be good witnesses and ambassadors of Christ as we represent Him where ever we go.


Acts 23

Acts 23

 1And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

 2And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.

 3Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?

 4And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest?

 5Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.

 6But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

 7And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.

 8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

 9And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.

 10And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.

 11And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

 12And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.

 13And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.

 14And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.

 15Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.

 16And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.

 17Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him.

 18So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.

 19Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?

 20And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.

 21But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.

 22So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.

 23And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;

 24And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.

 25And he wrote a letter after this manner:

 26Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting.

 27This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.

 28And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council:

 29Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.

 30And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.

 31Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.

 32On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle:

 33Who, when they came to Caesarea and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him.

 34And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;

 35I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.