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

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

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

Acts: Introductory Notes and Outline
Chapters:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14
15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28

P’yilut HaSh'liakim
The Acts of the Emissaries

~ 25 ~

[Jerusalem [MAP] 60 CE]

P. Sha'ul Before Festus, the New Governor (25:1-26:32)

1. The Jewish Leaders Present their Charges (25:1-9)

1Three days after Festus had arrived in the province[1] he went up to Yerushalayim [MAP] from Caesarea. [MAP] 2Then the Cohen HaGadolHigh Priest and the leaders of the Y'hudimJews[2] presented their charges agains Sha'ulPaul, and they appealed to Festus, 3for a concession against Sha'ul by summoning him to Yerushalayim, because they were plotting to ambush and kill him along the way. 4But Festus replied that Sha'ul would be kept in custody at Caesarea, and that he himself was about to leave for there shortly. 5“So let those who are in authority among you go down with me,” he said, “and if there is anything wrong in the man, let them accuse him.”

6After he had stayed among them nt more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea.

[Caesarea [MAP] 60 CE]

 The next day he sat on the judgment seat, and ordered that Sha'ul be brought in. 7When Sha'ul arrived, the Y'hudimJudeans, corrupt Jewish leaders who had come down from Yerushalayim stood around him, bringing many serious charges against him, none of which which they could prove. 8Then Sha'ul offered his defense, “I have committed no offense at all; not against the Torah of the Y’hudimJews, not against the Temple, and not against Caesar.”

9But Festus, wanting to gain the favor of the Y'hudimJudeans, asked Sha'ul, “Are you willing to go up to Yerushalayim, and be judged by me on these charges?”

2. Sha'ul Appeals His Case to Caesar (25:10-12)

10Sha'ul answered, “I am standing before Caesar’s court, where I should be tried. I have done nothing wrong against the Y'hudimJudeans, as you very well know. 11If I had done something wrong or and had committed any crime worthy of death, I wouldn’t refuse to die. But since none of their accusations against me are true, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”

12After Festus had conferred with his council, he said, “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you shall go.”

3. Festus Discusses the Case with King Agrippa (25:13-22)

13Several days later, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea, and paid their respects to Festus. 14Since they were staying there for several days, Festus presented Sha'ul’s case to the king, saying, “There is a man who was left in prison by Felix. 15While I was in Yerushalayim, the Cohenim Gadolim Leading Priests (Sanhedrin) and the Zekanim of the Y'hudimJewish Elders brought charges against him, asking for a death sentence. 16I told them that Romans aren’t in the habit of handing anyone over for execution before the accused has met his accusers face to face and has been given the opportunity to present his defense to their charges against him. 17When they had assembled here, I didn’t delay. The next day I sat on the judgment seat and ordered the man to be brought before me. 18When the accusers stood up, they didn’t bring any charge that I could have expected; 19they just but had some disagreements with him about their own religion, and about a dead man named Yeshua, whom Sha'ul claimed is alive. 20Uncertain about how to investigate such things, I asked if he was willing to go to Yerushalayim to be judged there on these charges. 21But when Sha'ul appealed to be held in custody to await the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”

22Agrippa told Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.”

“Tomorrow,” Festus said, “you shall hear him.”

4. Agrippa Prepares to Hear the Case (25:23-27)

23So the next day, Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and entered the courtroom with the commanding officers and prominent men of the city. When Festus commanded, Sha'ul was brought in.

24Then Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man. The whole community of the Y'hudimJewish community has petitioned me,[24] both in Yerushalayim and here, shouting that should not be allowed to live any longer. 25But I found out that he had done nothing to deserve death, but since he has now appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him. 26I have nothing specific to write about him to our Emperor, so I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after this inquiry I might have something to write. 27For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without specifying the charges against him.”

Chapter 26


  1. That is, three days after taking office. See Acts 24:27. [RETURN] 

  2. Leaders of the Y'hudim, the Judeans, the corrupt Jewish leadership. See this NOTE. [RETURN]

24. This was a gross exaggeration. The charges were brought by only a handful of corrupt leaders. [RETURN]

Originally posted on Monday, 11 May 2020
Revised some text; added historical notes, map references, and outline on Shabbat, 19 June 2021

Page last updated on Thursday, 07 July 2022 04:38 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

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