c. Left to Festus, the Successor of Felix
(1) The Request of the Leaders of the Jews Rejected
1 aFestus therefore, having come into the province, after three days went up to Jerusalem from bCaesarea.
2 And the achief priests and leading men of the Jews gave their information to him against Paul; and they entreated him,
3 Asking for a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem, they themselves setting an aambush to bdo away with him on the way.
4 Festus therefore answered that Paul was being kept in custody in Caesarea, and that he himself was about to proceed there shortly.
5 Therefore, he said, let 1influential men from among you go down with me, and if there is anything 2wrong in the man, let them aaccuse him.
(2) Defending Himself before Festus
6 And having stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea; and on the next day he sat on the ajudgment seat and ordered Paul to be brought.
7 And when he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many serious acharges against him, which they were bnot able to prove,
8 While Paul said in his 1adefense, bNeither against the claw of the Jews nor against the dtemple nor against eCaesar have I sinned in anything.
(3) Appealing to Caesar
9 But Festus, wanting to 1gain afavor with the Jews, answered Paul and said, Are you willing to go up to bJerusalem and be judged there before me concerning these things?
10 And Paul said, I am standing before Caesar's ajudgment seat, where I ought to be judged. I have done bnothing wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know.
11 If therefore I am doing wrong and have committed anything aworthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if there is nothing to the things which these baccuse me of, no one can hand me over to them. I 1cappeal to 2Caesar.
12 Then when Festus had conferred with the 1council, he answered, To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.
(4) Referred by Festus to King Agrippa
13 Now when some days had passed, 1aAgrippa the king and 2Bernice arrived at bCaesarea and greeted Festus.
14 And while they were staying some additional days there, Festus laid before the king the matters regarding Paul, saying, There is a certain man who has been aleft a bprisoner by cFelix,
15 Concerning whom, when I was in Jerusalem, the achief priests and the elders of the Jews gave information and asked for a sentence against him.
16 To them I answered that it is not the acustom with Romans to hand over any man before he who is baccused meets the caccusers face to face and has an opportunity for a ddefense concerning the charge.
17 So when they had come together here, I made no delay; on the next day, sitting on the ajudgment seat, I ordered the man to be brought.
18 Concerning him the accusers stood and brought no acharge of the evil things I was suspecting.
19 But they had certain aquestions against him concerning their own 1religion and concerning a certain Jesus who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be balive.
20 And 1being at a loss as to how there should be an inquiry concerning these things, I asked him if he was willing to go to aJerusalem and be judged there concerning these things.
21 But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of 1the aEmperor, I ordered him to be kept in custody until I should send him up to Caesar.
22 And Agrippa said to Festus, I myself also would like to hear the man. Tomorrow, said Festus, you shall hear him.
23 Therefore on the next day, when aAgrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered into the hall of audience together with the 1commanders and prominent men of the city, and when Festus had given the order, Paul was brought.
24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all you men who are present with us, you behold this man, concerning whom all the multitude of aJews have petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought bnot to live any longer.
25 But I found that he had done nothing aworthy of death; and since he himself bappealed to the Emperor, I 1decided to send him.
26 Concerning him I have nothing definite to write to my lord; therefore I have brought him before 1you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that when the examination has taken place, I may have something to write.
27 For it seems unreasonable to me, in sending a aprisoner, not to also signify the charges against him.
(5) Defending Himself before King Agrippa
1 And Agrippa said to Paul, You are permitted to speak for yourself. Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his adefense:
2 Concerning all the things which I am aaccused of by the Jews, bKing Agrippa, I consider myself blessed that I am to make my 1defense before you today,
3 1Especially since you are 2familiar with all the acustoms and bquestions among the Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 The manner of my life from youth, which from the beginning was among my own anation and in Jerusalem, all the Jews know,
5 Since they have previously known about me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the astrictest bsect of our 1religion I lived as a cPharisee.
6 And now I stand here being judged for the ahope of the promise made by God to our fathers,
7 To which our atwelve tribes, earnestly serving bnight and day, hope to attain. Concerning this hope I am caccused by the Jews, O king.
8 Why is it judged incredible among you if God araises the dead?
9 Well then, I thought to myself that I ought to do many things acontrary to the name of Jesus the bNazarene,
10 Which also I did in Jerusalem; and I both shut up many of the saints in aprison when I had received bauthority from the chief priests and ccast a vote against them when they were being done away with.
11 And in all the asynagogues I punished them often and tried to compel them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged at them, I bpersecuted them even as far as 1foreign cities.
12 Engaged in these things, I ajourneyed to Damascus with authority and a commission from the chief priests.
13 At midday, on the way, I saw, O king, a light from heaven beyond the brightness of the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me.
14 And when we all fell to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the aHebrew dialect, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting 1Me? It is hard for you to kick against the 2goads.
15 And I said, Who are You, 1Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you persecute.
16 But rise up and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to aappoint you as a minister and a 1bwitness both of the things in which you have cseen Me and of the things in which I will appear to you;
17 Delivering you afrom the people and from the bGentiles, to whom I send you,
18 To 1open their aeyes, to turn them from 2bdarkness to clight and from the 3authority of Satan 4to God, that they may receive 5dforgiveness of sins and 6an einheritance among those who have been 7sanctified by faith in Me.
19 Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly 1vision,
20 But declared both to those in aDamascus first and in bJerusalem and throughout call the country of Judea and to the dGentiles that they should erepent and fturn to God, doing works gworthy of repentance.
21 Because of these things certain Jews aseized me while I was in the temple and tried to slay me.
22 Having therefore obtained the 1ahelp which is from God, I have bstood unto this day, ctestifying both to small and great, saying nothing apart from the things which both the dprophets and eMoses have said would take place,
23 That the Christ would asuffer and that He, being the first 1to brise from the dead, would announce 2clight both to the people and to the Gentiles.
24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, You are 1ainsane, Paul. Much learning is driving you 1insane.
25 But Paul said, I am not insane, most aexcellent bFestus, but I am uttering words of ctruth and dsoberness.
26 For the king 1knows about these things, to whom also I speak 2freely, for I am persuaded that none of these things have escaped his notice; for this has not been done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.
28 And Agrippa replied to Paul, By so little are you trying to persuade me to become a aChristian?
29 And Paul said, I would to God that both by little and by much, not only you, but also all those who hear me today might become even such aas I am, except for these bbonds.
(6) King Agrippa's Judgment
30 And the king rose up, and the agovernor and bBernice and cthose sitting with them;
31 And when they had withdrawn, they spoke to one another, saying, This man is doing nothing aworthy of death or of bonds.
32 And aAgrippa said to Festus, 1This man could have been breleased, had he 2not cappealed to Caesar.