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Acts 24


 1 Now (1) after five days, Ananias the high Priest came down with the Elders, and with Tertullus a certain orator, which appeared before the Governor against Paul.


(1) Hypocrites, when they cannot do what they would do by force and deceit, at length they go about to compass it by a shew of Law.


 2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that we have obtained great quietness (a) through thee, and that many (b) worthy things are done unto this nation through thy providence,


(a) Felix ruled that province with great cruelty and covetousness, and yet Josephus recordeth that he did many worthy things, as that he took Eleazar the captain of certain cutthroats, and put that deceiving wretch the Egyptian to flight, which caused great troubles in Judea.
(b) He useth a word which the Stoics defined to be a perfect duty and behavior.


 3 We acknowledge it wholly, and in all places, most (*) noble Felix, with all thanks,


(*) For Felix by his diligence had taken Eleazarus the captain of the murderers, and put the Egyptian to flight which raised up tumults in Judea; for these the orator praiseth him, otherwise he was both cruel and covetous, read Josephus library 20 Antiquities chapter 11 and 12; and library 2 de bello Judaico chapter 12 .


 4 But that I be not tedious unto thee, I pray thee, that thou wouldest hear us of thy courtesy a few words.


 5 Certainly we have found this man a (c) pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a (d) chief maintainer of the (*) sect of the (e) (♣) Nazarenes;


(c) Word for word, a plague.
(d) As you would say, a ringleader, or ensign bearer.

(*) Or heresy; for so the wicked the true Christian religion.
(e) So they called the Christians scoffingly of the towns name where they thought that Christ was born, whereupon it came that Julian the Apostate called him Galilean.

(♣) Which taught the people to maintain their liberty against the Romans; and though the accusers approved both this sect and their doctrine, yet to get Paul punished, they seem to condemn it.


 6 And hath gone about to pollute the Temple; therefore we took him, and would have judged him according to our Law;


 7 But the (*) chief Captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him out of our hands,


(*) Or, captain of a thousand.


 8 Commanding his accusers to come to thee, of whom thou mayest (if thou wilt inquire) know all these things whereof we accuse him.


 9 And the Jews likewise (f) affirmed, saying that it was so.


(f) Confirmed Tertullus his saying.


 10  (2) Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him that he should speak, answered, I do the more gladly answer for myself, for as much as I know that thou hast been of (g) many years a (*) judge unto this (♣) nation,


(2) Tertullus by the devil's rhetoric beginneth with flattery, maketh an end with lies; but Paul using heavenly eloquence, and but a simple beginning casteth off from himself the crime of sedition, wherewith he was burdened, with a simple denial.
(g) Paul pleaded his cause two years before Felix departed out of the province, Acts 24:27; but he had governed Trachonite, and Batanea, and Galavnite, before that Claudius made him governor of Judea; Josephus in the history of the Jew’s war, library 2, chapter 11.

(*) Or, governor; for before this he ruled Trachonitis, Batanea, and Gaulonitis.

(♣) So that thou art not ignorant of their fashions.


 11 Seeing that thou mayest know, that there are but twelve days since I came up (*) to worship in Jerusalem.


(*) Not that his purpose was to worship there, but the Jews so found him by the counsel of others for he thought to have won the simple brethren, and to stop the enemies’ mouths.


 12 And they neither found me in the Temple, disputing with any man, neither making uproar among the people, neither in the Synagogues, nor in the city.


 13 Neither can they (h) prove the things, whereof they now accuse me.


(h) They cannot lay forth before thee and prove by good reasons.


 14  (3) But this I confess unto thee, that after the way (which they call (i) (*) heresy) so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and the Prophets,


(3) Paul goeth in the cause of Religion from a state conjectural to a state of quality not only not denying that objected against him, but also proving it to be true, to be heavenly and from God, and to be the oldest of all religions.
(i) Here this word, Heresy, or sect, is taken in good part.

(*) As the Scribes and Pharisees termed the Christians doctrine.


 15 And have hope towards God, that the resurrection of the dead, which they themselves look for also, shall be both of just and unjust.


 16 And herein I endeavor myself to have alway a clear conscience toward God and toward men.


 17  (4) Now after (♣) many years, I came and brought (*) alms to my nation and offerings.


(4) Paul in conclusion telleth the thing which was done, truly, which Tertullus had before divers ways corrupted.

(♣) Meaning, that it was a long time since he had been at Jerusalem, which was when he brought alms.

(*) Acts 11:29; Romans 15:26 .


 18  (*) At (k) what time, certain Jews of (l) Asia found me purified in the Temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.


(*) Acts 21:27; 2 Corinthians 9:2 .

(k) And while I was busy about those things.
(l) Hereby it appeareth that these of Asia were Saul his enemies, and those that stirred up the people against him.


 19 Who (*) ought to have been present before thee, and accuse me, if they had ought against me.


(*) For his accusers spake but upon a false report, which these bellows of Satan had blown abroad, and durst not themselves appear.


 20 Or let these themselves say, if they have found any unjust thing in me, while I stood in the (m) Council.


(m) Whither the Tribune brought me.


 21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, (*) Of the resurrection of the dead am I accused of you this day.


(*) Acts 23:7 .


 22  (5) Now when Felix heard these things, he deferred them, and said, When I shall more (n) perfectly know the things which concern this (*) way, by the coming of Lysias the chief Captain, I will decide your matter.


(5) The Judge suspendeth his sentence, because the matter is doubtful.
(n) Felix could not judge whether he had done wickedly in the matters of his religion or no, until he had better understanding of that way which Paul professed; and as for other matters touching the sedition, he thinketh good to defer it till he hear Lysias, and therefore he gave Paul somewhat more liberty.

(*) Or, sect.


 23  (6) Then he commanded a Centurion to keep Paul, and that he should have ease, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister unto him, or to come unto him.


(6) God is a most faithful keeper of his servants, and the force of the truth is wonderful, even amongst men which are otherwise profane.


 24  ¶ And after certain days, came Felix with his wife (o) Drusilla, which was a (*) Jewess, and he called forth Paul, and heard him of the faith in Christ.


(o) This Drusilla was Agrippa his sister, of whom Luke speaketh afterward, a very harlot and licentious woman, and being the wife of Azizus king of the Emesens, who was circumcised, departed from him, and went to Felix, the brother of one Pallas, who was sometime Nero his bondman.

(*) By whose counsel Felix called for Paul.


 25 And as he disputed of righteousness and temperance, and of the judgment to come, Felix (*) trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time, and when I have convenient time, I will call for thee.


(*) The word of God maketh the very wicked astonished, and therefore to them it is the favor of death unto death.


 26 He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him, wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.


 27  (7) When two years were expired, Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room, and Felix willing to (p) (*) get favor of the Jews, left Paul bound.


(7) In a naughty mind that is guilty to itself, although, sometime there be some shew of equity, yet by and by, it will be extinguished; but in the mean season we have need to patience, and that continual.
(p) For whereas he had behaved himself very wickedly in the province, had it not been for favor of his brother Pallas, he should have died for it; so that we may gather hereby why he would have pleased the Jews.

(*) Or, to do a pleasure.





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