23 Paulo akawakazia macho wajumbe wa baraza, akasema, “Ndugu zangu, mimi nimeishi nikiwa na dhamiri safi kabisa siku zote mbele za Mungu, mpaka leo.” Kuhani mkuu Anania akaamuru wale waliokuwa karibu na Paulo wampige kofi mdomoni. Ndipo Paulo akasema, “Mungu atakupiga, wewe ukuta uliopakwa chokaa! Unawe zaje kusikiliza kesi hii kwa mujibu wa sheria, na hapo hapo, kinyume cha sheria, unaamuru nipigwe?” Wale watu waliokuwa wamesimama karibu wakamwambia Paulo, “Mbona unamtukana kuhani mkuu wa Mungu?” Paulo akajibu, “Ndugu zangu, sikujua kwamba yeye ni kuhani mkuu. Kwa maana Maandiko yanasema, ‘Usimseme vibaya kiongozi wa watu wako.’ ” Paulo alipotambua ya kuwa baadhi ya wajumbe wa baraza walikuwa Masadukayo na wengine ni Mafarisayo alisema nao kwa sauti kubwa, “Ndugu zangu! Mimi ni Mfarisayo, mtoto wa Mafarisayo; na hapa nimeshitakiwa kuhusu tumaini juu ya ufufuo wa wafu.” Aliposema haya, Mafarisayo na Masadukayo wakafarakana na baraza zima likagawanyika. Kwa maana Masadukayo wanaamini kwamba hakuna ufufuo, wala hakuna malaika au roho; lakini Mafarisayo wanaamini haya yote. Kelele zikazidi sana; na baadhi ya waandishi wa sheria wa upande wa Mafarisayo, wakasimama wakiwapinga wengine wakasema, “Hatuoni kosa lo lote alilofanya mtu huyu! Huenda ikawa malaika au roho amezungumza naye kweli!” 10 Mabishano yalipozidi kuwa makali, yule jemadari aliogopa kuwa wangeweza kumrarua Paulo vipande vipande. Kwa hiyo akaamuru askari wakamtoe Paulo alipokuwa, arudishwe kwenye ngome ya jeshi. 11 Usiku uliofuata, Bwana akamtokea Paulo akasimama karibu naye akamwambia, “Jipe moyo! Kama ulivyonishuhudia hapa Yerusalemu, itakubidi unishuhudie na huko Rumi pia.”

Njama Za Wayahudi Kumwua Paulo

12 Kulipopambazuka Wayahudi wakala njama ya kumwua Paulo. Wakaweka nadhiri kwamba hawatakula wala kunywa mpaka wamemwua Paulo. 13 Waliofanya mpango huu walikuwa zaidi ya watu arobaini. 14 Wakaenda kwa kuhani mkuu na wazee wakasema, “Tumeweka nad hiri ya pamoja kwamba hatutakula wala kunywa mpaka tumwue Paulo. 15 Kwa hiyo ninyi pamoja na baraza, pelekeni ombi kwa jemadari ili Paulo aletwe barazani, mtoe udhuru kwamba mnataka kuchunguza kesi yake kwa usahihi zaidi. Sisi tutakuwa tayari kumwua hata kabla hajakaribia kufika hapa.” 16 Basi kumbe binamu yake Paulo alisikia kuhusu mpango huu. Akaenda katika ngome ya jeshi akamweleza Paulo mambo haya. 17 Paulo akamwita mmoja wa wale maaskari akamwambia, “Mchukue kijana huyu kwa jemadari, ana neno la kumwambia.” 18 Yule askari akamchukua yule kijana mpaka kwa jemadari akamwambia, “Yule mfungwa Paulo aliniita akaniambia nimlete huyu kijana kwako, kwa sababu ana neno la kukuambia.” 19 Yule jemadari akamchukua yule kijana kando akamwuliza, “Unataka kuniambia nini?” 20 Naye akasema, “Wayahudi wameku baliana wakuombe kesho umpeleke Paulo kwenye Baraza lao kwa kisingizio kwamba wanataka kuchunguza kesi yake kwa uangalifu zaidi. 21 Lakini usikubali ombi lao kwa maana zaidi ya watu aro baini wamekula njama kwamba hawatakula wala kunywa mpaka wamwue Paulo nao wamejiweka tayari kumvizia ukishakubali ombi lao.” 22 Yule jemadari akamruhusu yule kijana aende, akamwonya akisema, “Usimwambie mtu ye yote kwamba umenieleza habari hizi.”

Paulo Apelekwa Kaisaria Kwa Gavana Feliksi

23 Yule jemadari akawaita maaskari wawili akawaambia, “Tay arisheni askari mia mbili watakaokwenda Kaisaria pamoja na askari wa farasi sabini, na askari wa mikuki mia mbili; nanyi muwe tay ari kuondoka leo saa tatu za usiku. 24 Pia tayarisheni na farasi watakaotumiwa na Paulo, mumpeleke salama mpaka kwa gavana Feliksi.” 25 Kisha akaandika barua kwa Feliksi kama ifuatavyo: 26 “Mimi Klaudio Lisia, nakuandikia wewe gavana mtukufu Feliksi. Salamu. 27 Mtu huyu alikamatwa na Wayahudi wakawa kar ibu kumwua, ndipo mimi nilipofika na askari wangu nikamwokoa kwa kuwa nilipata habari kwamba yeye ni raia wa Kirumi. 28 Nami nikampeleka mbele ya baraza lao ili nipate kujua kosa alilofanya. 29 Ndipo nikagundua ya kuwa alikuwa anashtakiwa kuhusu sheria yao, lakini hakuwa na kosa la kustahili kifo au kifungo. 30 Lakini nilipata habari kwamba kuna mpango wa kumwua nikaamua nimpeleke kwako mara moja, nikawaamuru washitaki wake walete mashtaka yao kwako.” 31 Basi wale askari wakamchukua Paulo usiku wakampeleka mpaka Antipatri kama walivyoamriwa. 32 Kesho yake wakarudi kituoni wakawaacha wale askari wa mikuki waendelee na safari pamoja na Paulo. 33 Walipofika Kaisaria walimpa Liwali ile barua na pia wakamkabidhi Paulo kwake. 34 Alipokwisha soma ile barua, alimwuliza Paulo ametoka jimbo gani. Alipofahamishwa kuwa anatoka Kilikia 35 alisema, “Nitasikiliza kesi yako mara tu washtaki wako watakapofika.” Akaamuru Paulo awekwe chini ya ulinzi katika ikulu ya Herode.

23 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin(A) and said, “My brothers,(B) I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience(C) to this day.” At this the high priest Ananias(D) ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.(E) Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall!(F) You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”(G)

Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult God’s high priest!”

Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’[a](H)

Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees(I) and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers,(J) I am a Pharisee,(K) descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.”(L) When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection,(M) and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)

There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees(N) stood up and argued vigorously. “We find nothing wrong with this man,”(O) they said. “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”(P) 10 The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.(Q)

11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage!(R) As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”(S)

The Plot to Kill Paul

12 The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy(T) and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.(U) 13 More than forty men were involved in this plot. 14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul.(V) 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin(W) petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.”

16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks(X) and told Paul.

17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him to the commander.

The centurion said, “Paul, the prisoner,(Y) sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”

19 The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?”

20 He said: “Some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin(Z) tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him.(AA) 21 Don’t give in to them, because more than forty(AB) of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him.(AC) They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request.”

22 The commander dismissed the young man with this warning: “Don’t tell anyone that you have reported this to me.”

Paul Transferred to Caesarea

23 Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen[b] to go to Caesarea(AD) at nine tonight.(AE) 24 Provide horses for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.”(AF)

25 He wrote a letter as follows:

26 Claudius Lysias,

To His Excellency,(AG) Governor Felix:

Greetings.(AH)

27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him,(AI) but I came with my troops and rescued him,(AJ) for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen.(AK) 28 I wanted to know why they were accusing him, so I brought him to their Sanhedrin.(AL) 29 I found that the accusation had to do with questions about their law,(AM) but there was no charge against him(AN) that deserved death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed(AO) of a plot(AP) to be carried out against the man, I sent him to you at once. I also ordered his accusers(AQ) to present to you their case against him.

31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night and brought him as far as Antipatris. 32 The next day they let the cavalry(AR) go on with him, while they returned to the barracks.(AS) 33 When the cavalry(AT) arrived in Caesarea,(AU) they delivered the letter to the governor(AV) and handed Paul over to him. 34 The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. Learning that he was from Cilicia,(AW) 35 he said, “I will hear your case when your accusers(AX) get here.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard(AY) in Herod’s palace.

Footnotes

  1. Acts 23:5 Exodus 22:28
  2. Acts 23:23 The meaning of the Greek for this word is uncertain.

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