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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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Sections of the Apostolic Writings
The Gospels and Acts • The “Pauline” Letters • General Letters • End Times

[Jerusalem [MAP] Late Summer 58 CE]

I. Sha'ul Brought Before the Sanhedrin (22:30-23:5)

 30But the next day, since he wanted to know the truth about why the Y'hudim had accused Sha'ul, he released him and ordered the Cohenim GadolimChief (Leading) Priests and the entire Sanhedrin to meet, and brought Sha'ul in and sat him down before them.

~ 23 ~

1Sha'ulPaul looked intently at the Sanhedrin and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience until this very day.”

2HananyahAnanias[2], the Cohen HaGadolHigh Priest, ordered those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth.

3Then Sha'ul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You dare judge me by the Torah, and violate Torah by ordering me to be struck?”

4Those who stood nearby said, “You dare to insult God’s high priest?”

5Sha'ul said, “Brothers! I didn’t know that he was High Priest.[5a] The Torah says, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”[5b]

J. He Appeals to the Pharisees (23:6-10)

 6Then Sha'ul, knowing that some of them were Tz'dukimSadducees and some were P'rushimPharisees, shouted out in the Sanhedrin, “Brothers, I am a ParushPharisee, and a son of P'rushim. I’m being judged over the hope and resurrection of the dead!”[6]

7As soon as Sha'ul had said this, an great argument arose between the P'rushim and Tz'dukim, and the Sanhedrin was divided. 8The Tz'dukim say there is no resurrection, no angels, and no spirit;[8] but the Pharisees affirm of these. 9A great clamor arose, and some of the SofrimScribes, Torah scholars who were P'rushim stood up, and argued, “We find nothing wrong with this man. If a spirit or angel has spoken to him, let’s not fight against God!”

10The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid that Sha'ul would be torn apart by them, and ordered his soldiers to go down and remove him by force and bring him into the barracks.

K. Yeshua Comforts Sha'ul (23:11)

11The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, “Be brave, Sha'ul! Just as you have testified about Me at Yerushalayim, so now you must also testify in Rome.

L. The Conspiracy to Kill Sha'ul (23:12-22)

12The next morning the Y'hudimJudeans formed a conspiracy and took a blood oath that that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Sha'ul. 13There were more than forty people in this conspiracy. 14They went to the Cohenim GadolimLeading Priests of the Sanhedrin and the zakenimelders and said, “We have bound ourselves by a blood oath to eat nothing until we have killed Sha'ul. 15Now then, you and the Sanhedrin need to convince the commander to bring him to you tomorrow as if you are going to get better information to properly judge his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.”

16But Sha'ul’s nephew heard about their planned ambush, and he went into the barracks and told Sha'ul. 17Sha'ul called for one of the centurions,[17] and said, “Take this young man to the commander. He has something to tell him.”

18So the centurion took him to the commander, and said, “The prisoner Sha'ul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you. He has something to tell you.”

19The commander took him by the hand, took him aside, and asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?”

20He said, “The Y'hudim have conspired to ask you to bring Sha'ul down to the Sanhedrin tomorrow, pretending they want to get more information about his case. 21Don’t listen to them. More than forty men have bound themselves by a blood oath to neither eat nor drink until they have killed him. They are setting up an ambush. Now they are just waiting for your answer to their request.”

22So the commander let the young man go, warning him, “Don’t tell anyone that you have told me about this.”

M.Sha'ul Removed by Night to Caesarea (23:23-35)

23He called in two of his centurions and said, “Prepare two centuries,[23a] seventy cavalry, and two hundred spearmen to leave for Caesarea at the third hour of the night.[23b] 24Also provide a mount for Sha'ul to take him safely to Governor Felix.” 25And He wrote Felix this letter:

26“Claudius Lysias to the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings.

27“This man was seized by the Y'hudim, and they were about kill him when I came with my soldiers and rescued him, because I learned that he is a Roman citizen. 28I wanted to know exactly what he was being charged with, so I brought him before their Sanhedrin. 29I found out that he was being accused over some questions about their Torah, but wasn’t charged with anything worthy of either death or prison. 30When I was informed that the Y'hudim planned to ambush and kill him, I immediately sent him to you and told his accusers to bring their charges against him to you. Farewell.”

31So the soldiers followed their orders and took Sha'ul that night and brought him to Antipatris. [MAP] 32The next day they returned to the barracks and let the cavalrymen to go on with him. 33When the cavalrymen arrived at Caesarea [MAP] they delivered Sha'ul to the governor along with the the letter. 34When the governor had read it, he asked what province Sha'ul was from. When he learned he was from Cilicia, [MAP] he said, 35“I will give you a full hearing when your accusers arrive.” Then he ordered him to be kept under guard in Herod’s Praetorium.[35]

Chapter 24


  2. Ananias, Greek Ἁνανίας (Hananias), son of Nedebaeus, served as High Priest from 46 to 58 CE (see the list, below). Josephus, Antiquities xx.5.2, called him “Ananias ben Nebedeus.” A. C. Hervey described him as “a violent, haughty, gluttonous, and rapacious man, and yet looked up to by the Jews.” Quadratus, governor of Syria, accused Ananias of being responsible for acts of violence. Ananias was sent to Rome for trial (52 CE), but was acquitted by the emperor Claudius. Being a friend of the Romans, Ananias was assassinated by the Sacarii in 66 CE at the beginning of the First Jewish-Roman War. RETURN

 5a. Either Joseph ben Caiaphas (18-36, son-in-law of the high priest Ananus ben Seth) or Jonathan ben Ananus (36-37) would have been High Priest when Sha'ul was last in Jerusalem. Since Sha'ul had been gone, he had no way of knowing how often the High Priesthood had changed hands in his absence. According to history, everything he said about Hananyah was absolutely true, though.

Under the Roman occupation, the High Priesthood was appointed by the Roman government and was a commodity to be bought by the highest bidder. Thus, the office changed frequentlty. Here is a list of High Priests from the time of Yeshua’s birth to the destruction of the Temple:

  • Matthias ben Theophilus, 5-4 BCE
  • Joazar ben Boethus, 4 BCE
  • Eleazar ben Boethus, 4-3 BCE
  • Joshua ben Sie, 3 BCE - ?
  • Joazar ben Boethus (restored), ? - 6 CE
  • Ananus ben Seth, 6-15
  • Ishmael ben Fabus (Phiabi), 15-16
  • Eleazar ben Ananus, 16-17
  • Simon ben Camithus, 17-18
  • Joseph ben Caiaphas, 18-36 (son-in-law of the high priest Ananus ben Seth)
  • Jonathan ben Ananus, 36-37
  • Theophilus ben Ananus, 37-41
  • Simon Cantatheras ben Boethus, 41-43
  • Matthias ben Ananus, 43
  • Elioneus ben Simon Cantatheras, 43-44
  • Jonathan ben Ananus, 44 (restored)
  • Josephus ben Camydus, 44-46
  • Ananias son of Nedebeus, 46-58
  • Jonathan, 58
  • Ishmael II ben Fabus, 58-62 (relation to priest of same name from 15-16 CE?)
  • Joseph Cabi ben Simon, 62-63
  • Ananus ben Ananus, 63
  • Jesus son of Damneus, 63
  • Joshua ben Gamla, 63-64 (his wife Martha belonged to family of Boethus)
  • Mattathias ben Theophilus, 65-66
  • Phannias ben Samuel, 67-70 RETURN

 5b. Exodus 22:28 RETURN

  6. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead and the Sadducees rejected that belief. It was obviously a hot topic for theological debate. Apparently the Pharisees felt that Sha'ul should not be judged for agreeing with them. RETURN

  8. The Sadducees were a Religio-political sect of Judaism in the late Second Temple period that controlled the Levitical priesthood and focused on priestly functions and the sacrificial system. Their views and practices were significantly opposed to those of the Pharisees. They denied the authority of the Oral Tradition, the resurrection of the dead, and the existence of angels or spirits. They essentially denied everything supernatural, so how could they possibly actally believe in an invisible God who is Spirit? RETURN

17. A centurion was an officer who was in command of a century (100 infantrymen). RETURN

23a. A century was a unit of 100 infantrymen under the command of a centurion. RETURN

23b. Three hours after sunset, about 9:00 PM. RETURN

35. Praetorium: the governor’s headquarters, palace, or other large residential building. In the Apostolic Writings, “Praetorium” is variously translated as “common hall,” “governor’s house,” “judgment hall,” “Pilate’s house,” or “palace.” RETURN

Originally posted on Monday, 11 May 2020
Revised some text; added historical notes, map references, and outline on Thursday, 17 June 2021

Page last updated on Wednesday, 01 June 2022 12:43 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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