1   And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” 2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” 4 Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” 5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9 Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” 10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.

11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”

12 When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. 15 Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”

16 Now the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.” 19 The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. 21 But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent.” 22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of these things.”

23 Then he called two of the centurions and said, “Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night. 24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25 And he wrote a letter to this effect:

26 “Claudius Lysias, to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings. 27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman citizen. 28 And desiring to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their council. 29 I found that he was being accused about questions of their law, but charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. 30 And when it was disclosed to me that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.”

31 So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 And on the next day they returned to the barracks, letting the horsemen go on with him. 33 When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34 On reading the letter, he asked what province he was from. And when he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.” And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod’s praetorium.

 

1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit.

3 Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.

4 The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.

6 By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.

7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.

9 The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

10 An oracle is on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment.

11 A just balance and scales are the LORD’s; all the weights in the bag are his work.

12 It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness.

13 Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right.

14 A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it.

15 In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.

16 How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

17 The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life.

18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20 Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

21 The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

22 Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly.

23 The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.

24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

26 A worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on.

27 A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.

28 A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.

29 A man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good.

30 Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things; he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.

31 Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.

32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”

(Acts 23:1–35; Proverbs 16:1–33 ESVi)

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