« AnteriorContinuar »
ACTS xxiv. 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. But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room and Felix, willing to show the Jews a pleasure, left Paul still a prisoner.
CESAREA at this period, as the seat of the Roman governor and having a very fine harbour also, was a city of great political and commercial resort, and from its peculiar connection with the early progress of the gospel, an object of great interest to us. There, too, we find Paul appear on that scene of history enjoying the society of all persons of his acquaintance who wished it, v. 23., and in the midst of free and frequent intercourse with every part of the world, especially so with Jerusalem, on the one hand, much also with Antioch on the other.
For our immediate purpose, the reader may be reminded also, that Philip the evangelist was settled at Cesarea, A. xxi. 8., where he had founded a church of believers, A. viii. 40., and where we find amongst other names, A. xxi. 16., that of Mnason of Cyprus designated as an old disciple.
During the two years therefore that Paul resided, A. xxiv. 27., under these favourable circumstances at Cesarea, we cannot doubt but that his evangelical zeal would find a range of blessed and constant activity, in "the daily care of all the churches" then very numerous; though it may be regretted that of those unquestionable labours, carried on through his apostolic ministers, no particular record has been preserved.
But what, it may be asked, appears in the mean while to have become of Paul's companions in travel?
During his short stay at Jerusalem, they must have continued with the apostle: but his being carried off to Cesarea for safety, A. xxiii. 23...33., would detach him at once from his faithful associates. Nor during the interval of his two years' residence in that city does any clear vestige remain to show, how many of them were otherwise on missions employed, or after rejoining him there formed his personal society.
His appeal to Cesar, A. xxvi. 32., appears to have led to an immediate transmission from Cesarea; and we may well suppose that the privilege of several attendants would hardly be granted to him. In this sudden emergency, we find that two only, Aristarchus the Macedonian (A. xxvii. 2.) and the sacred historian Luke (afterwards joined in salutation from Rome, Coloss. iv. 10.) bore the apostle company in that voyage.
Of Secundus, the name, after A. xx. 4., occurs no where else; nor does that of Sosipater or Sopater (ROM. xvi. 21.) ever again appear.
To Gaius of Derbe who after that time does not re-appear, on account of his important character a separate notice is devoted in the Index under that name, GAIUS.
Trophimus, the innocent cause of all that trouble, A. xxi. 29., is particularly mentioned at a very late period of the apostle's travels, 2 TIM. iv. 20.
Tychicus, "a fellow-servant and faithful minister in the Lord," was on several occasions of moment after this time employed by the apostle, CoLoss. iv. 7. Trrus iii. 12. 2 TIM. iv. 12. Vide Index, Tr
The beloved Timothy (by some mischance we may well believe) was not with Paul on his quitting Cesarea: but he probably followed him without much loss of time, and he stayed with him at Rome to the end of
his first imprisonment. All the epistles from that city, excepting the Circular, to the Ephesians so called, carry the name of Timothy in the superscription.
Acts xxv. 1. Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Cesarea to Jerusalem.
2. Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him,
3. And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, themselves forming a plot in the mean while to kill him by the way.
4. But Festus (the providence of God so ordered it) answered otherwise than they expected, that Paul should be kept at Cesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither.
5. Let them therefore, said he, which among you are men of authority, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.
6. And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Cesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment-seat commanded Paul to be brought.
7. 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 were not able to prove.
8. While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Cesar have I offended at all.
9. But Festus now,
though fully aware that the question involved was one of religion only
yet, willing for the sake of popularity 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?
ACTS xxv. 10. Then said Paul, I stand at Cesar's judgment-seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest -from the examination that has taken place.
11. 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 men accuse me, no man can lawfully give me up (or as it may be more strongly termed, sacrifice me) unto them. I appeal — even from thee as governor unto Cesar. 12. Then Festus, when he had conferred with his counsel, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Cesar? unto Cesar shalt thou go.
13. And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Cesarea to salute Festus.
14. And when they had been there several days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix :
15. About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.
16. To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to give up 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.
17. 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.
18. Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: 19. But had certain questions against him of their
own religion, and of one Jesus which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
ACTS xxv. 20. 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.
21. 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 Cesar.
22. Then Agrippa (being himself by birth a Jew) said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To-morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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 something to write.
27. For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.
A. xxvi. 1. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: