Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
By the province, Judea is meant; for after the death of Herod Agrippa, Claudius thought it imprudent to trust the government in the hands of his son Agrippa, who was then but seventeen years of age; and therefore, Cuspius Fadus was sent to be procurator. And when afterwards Claudius had given to Agrippa the tetrarchy of Philip, he nevertheless kept the province of Judea in his own hands, and governed it by procurators sent from Rome.
Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him,
And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him.
Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.
And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought.
more than ten days
or, as some copies read no more than eight or ten days. sitting.
And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.
While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.
But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?
Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
Every procurator represented the emperor in the province over which he presided; and as the seat of government was at Cesarea, St. Paul was before the tribunal where, as a Roman citizen, he ought to be judged.
For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.
An appeal to the emperor was the right of a Roman citizen, and was highly respected. The Julian law condemned those magistrates, and others, as violaters of the public peace, who had put to death, tortured, scourged, imprisoned, or condemned any Roman citizen who had appealed to Cesar. This law was so sacred and imperative, that, in the persecution under Trajan, Pliny would not attempt to put to death Roman citizens, who were proved to have turned Christians, but determined to send them to Rome, probably because they had appealed.
Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
unto Cesar shalt
And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.
And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix:
About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.
To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.
It is not
Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth.
But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters.
doubted of such manner of questions
or, was doubtful how to enquire hereof, etc. I asked.
But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.
or, judgment. Augustus.
Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.
And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth.
And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye 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.
King Agrippa was the son of Herod Agrippa; who upon the death of his uncle Herod, king of Chalcis, A.D. 28, succeeded to his dominions, by the favour of the emperor Claudius. Four years afterwards, Claudius removed him from that kingdom to a larger one; giving him the tetrarchy of Philip, that of Lysanias, and the province which Varus governed. Nero afterwards added Julias in Peraea, Tarichaea, and Tiberias. Claudius gave him the power of appointing the high priest among the Jews; and instances of his exercising this power may be seen in Josephus. He was strongly attached to the Romans, and did every thing in his power to prevent the Jews from rebelling; and when he could not prevail, he united his troops to those of Titus, and assisted at the siege of Jerusalem. After the ruin of his country, he retired with his sister Berenice to Rome where he died, aged 70, about A.D. 90.
But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.
The honourable title of [sebastos (sebasto/v)] or Augustus, that is venerable or august, which was first conferred by the senate on Octavius Caesar, was afterwards assumed by succeeding Roman emperors.
Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write.
For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.