Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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BIBLE: ACTS - Chapter 23


Paul stands before the council: the Jews conspire his death. He is sent away to Cęsarea.

1 And *Paul looking upon the council, said: Men, brethren, I have conversed with an entire good conscience before God until this present day.

2 And the high priest, Ananias, commanded them who stood by him, to strike him on the mouth.

3 Then Paul said to him: God shall strike thee, thou whited wall. And thou sitting doth judge me according to the law, and, contrary to the law, command me to be struck?

4 And they that stood by, said: Dost thou revile the high priest of God?

5 And Paul said: I knew not, brethren, that he is the high priest. For it is written: *Thou shalt not speak evil of the prince of thy people.

6 And Paul knowing that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, cried out in the council: Men, brethren, *I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees: concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

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

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

9 Now a great clamour was raised. And some of the Pharisees rising up, contended, saying: We find no evil in this man: what if a spirit hath spoken to him, or an Angel?

10 And when there arose a great dissension, the tribune, fearing lest Paul should be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.

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

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

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

14 They came to the chief priests, and the ancients, and said: We have bound ourselves under a great curse that we will eat nothing, till we kill Paul.

15 Now, therefore, do you with the council signify to the tribune, that he bring him forth to you, as if you meant to know something more certain concerning him. And we, before he come near, are ready to kill him.

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

17 Then Paul calling to him one of the centurions, said: Bring this young man to the tribune, for he hath something to tell him.

18 So he took him, and brought him to the tribune, and said: Paul, the prisoner, desired me to bring this young man to thee, who hath something to say to thee.

19 And the tribune taking him by the hand, went aside with him privately, and asked him: What is it that thou hast to tell me?

20 And he said: The Jews have agreed to desire thee, that thou wouldst bring forth Paul to-morrow into the council, as if they meant to inquire something more certain concerning him:

21 But do not thou give credit to them: for there lie in wait for him more than forty men of them, who have bound themselves by oath neither to eat nor to drink till they kill him: and they are now ready waiting for thy promise.

22 The tribune, therefore, dismissed the young man, charging him to tell no man, that he had made known these things to him.

23 Then having called two centurions, he said to them: Make ready two hundred soldiers, to go as far as Cęsarea, and seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen, for the third hour of the night:

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

25 (For he feared lest perhaps the Jews might take him away by force, and kill him, and he should afterwards be slandered, as if he was to receive money.)

26 And he wrote a letter after this manner: Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor, Felix, greeting.

27 This man being seized by the Jews, and ready to be killed by them, I rescued coming in with the soldiers, having understand that he is a Roman:

28 And wishing to know the cause which they objected to him, I brought him forth into their council.

29 Whom I found to be accused of questions of their law: but having nothing laid to his charge worthy of death, or of chains.

30 And when I was told me that they had prepared an ambush for him, I sent him to thee, signifying also to his accusers to plead before thee. Farewell.

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

32 And the next day, leaving the horsemen, to go with him, they returned to the castle.

33 Who, when they were come to Cęsarea, and had delivered the letter to the governor, presented Paul also before him.

34 And when he had read it, and had asked of what province he was: and understood that he was of Cilicia:

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



1: about the year A.D. 58.

5: Exodus xxii. 28.

6: Philippians iii. 5.

8: Matthew xxii. 23.