The commander wanted to know exactly what had caused the riot near the Temple in Jerusalem. So he took Paul before the Jewish council. Paul said, “Brothers, I stand before God with a clear conscience.” Hearing this, the high priest ordered someone to slap him.
Paul turned to him, “You whitewashed wall! God will slap you. You had someone hit me in direct violation of the laws of God.”
One of the men said, “How dare you speak to God’s high priest that way.”Immediately Paul apologized. “I didn’t realize he was the high priest. The Scripture says, ‘Don’t speak against the ruler of the people.’ ”
He then noticed that the council was made up of two opposing groups. The Sadducees didn’t believe that anyone could rise from the dead. They also didn’t believe in angels or spirits. The Pharisees believed in all of these things.
Paul said, “I’m a Pharisee and I’m being judged because I believe in the resurrection from the dead.” Immediately, the two groups started to argue, until they were shouting at one another.
One of the men grabbed Paul in anger. Others tried to pull him away. Soldiers had to rescue him to keep him from being torn apart. They took him back to the barracks.That night the Lord stood by Paul.
“Don’t be discouraged. You were my spokesman here in Jerusalem, and you’ll also speak for me in Rome.”
The next morning, 40 men met together and made a vow. They said, “We’ll not eat or drink until we’ve killed Paul.” They then told the religious leaders, “Tell the commander you want to examine Paul again. When he gets near, we’ll kill him.
”Paul’s nephew heard about this plan, so he rushed to the barracks and told his uncle. After hearing this, Paul called for one of the soldiers. “Take this young man to the commander.”
The boy told the commander exactly what he’d heard. The commander said, “Go, but don’t tell anyone else about this.”That night, he assembled a guard for Paul. It included 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen, and 200 men with spears. They took him to Caesarea to be under the protection of Felix the governor