The Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 25

The Jews accuse Paul before Festus, 1-7. He answers for himself, 8-10, and appeals to Caesar, 11-13. Afterward Festus opens his matter to King Agrippa, 14-22; and he is brought forth, 23, 24. Festus clears him of having done anything worthy of death, 25-27.

1 Now when Festus had come into the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 2 Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews brought charges to him against Paul, and implored him, 3 And desired favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem, lying in wait in the way to kill him. 4 But Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart there shortly. 5 "Therefore," he said, "let those who among you are able go down with me and accuse this man, if there is any wickedness in him."

6 And when he had stayed among them more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day, he sat on the judgment-seat and commanded Paul to be brought. 7 And when he had come, the Jews who came down from Jerusalem stood around and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove, 8 While he answered for himself, "Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar have I committed any offense." 9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, "Will you go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these things before me?" 10 Then Paul said, "I stand at Caesar's tribunal where I ought to be judged. I have done no wrong to the Jews as you very well know. 11 For if I am an offender, or have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die. But if there is none of these things of which these accuse me, no man may deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar." 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, "Have you appealed to Caesar? To Caesar you shall go."

13 And after some days, king Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to salute Festus. 14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause to the king, saying, "There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix, 15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges to me, desiring to have judgment against him, 16 To whom I answered, 'It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die before he who is accused has met the accusers face to face and has license to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.' 17 Therefore, when they had come here, I made no delay. And on the next day, I sat on the judgment-seat and commanded the man to be brought forth, 18 Against whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation of such things as I supposed, 19 But had some questions against him of their own superstition and of one, Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20 And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters. 21 But when Paul had appealed to be reserved to the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept until I might send him to Caesar." 22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, "I also wish to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," he said, "you shall hear him."

23 So on the next day, Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp and had entered into the place of hearing with the chief captains and principal men of the city. And at the command of Festus, Paul was brought forth. 24 And Festus said, "King Agrippa and all men who are here present with us, you see this man about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death and that he himself has appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him, 26 Of whom I have no certain thing to write to my lord. Therefore, I have brought him forth before you, and specially before you, O king Agrippa, so that after examination has been made, I may have something to write. 27 For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not also to signify the crimes laid against him."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Acts, Chapter 25[➚]