The soldiers who were about to interrogate Paul quickly withdrew when they heard he was a Roman citizen, and the commander was frightened because he had ordered him bound and whipped.Acts 22:29
Paul Before the High Council
The next day the commander ordered the leading priests into session with the Jewish high council. He wanted to find out what the trouble was all about, so he released Paul to have him stand before them. Gazing intently at the high council, Paul began: “Brothers, I have always lived before God with a clear conscience!”
Instantly Ananias the high priest commanded those close to Paul to slap him on the mouth. But Paul said to him, “God will slap you, you corrupt hypocrite! What kind of judge are you to break the law yourself by ordering me struck like that?”
Those standing near Paul said to him, “Do you dare to insult God’s high priest?”
“I’m sorry, brothers. I didn’t realize he was the high priest,” Paul replied, “for the Scriptures say, ‘You must not speak evil of any of your rulers.’”
Paul realized that some members of the high council were Sadducees and some were Pharisees, so he shouted, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, as were my ancestors! And I am on trial because my hope is in the resurrection of the dead!” This divided the council—the Pharisees against the Sadducees— for the Sadducees say there is no resurrection or angels or spirits, but the Pharisees believe in all of these. So there was a great uproar. Some of the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees jumped up and began to argue forcefully. “We see nothing wrong with him,” they shouted. “Perhaps a spirit or an angel spoke to him.”
As the conflict grew more violent, the commander was afraid they would tear Paul apart. So he ordered his soldiers to go and rescue him by force and take him back to the fortress. That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.”Acts 22:30 – 23:11
I left verse 29 in our reading to remind us of the reaction of the Romans to finding out Paul was a Roman citizen. The soldiers withdrew. You can almost see them with their hands in the air backing away. We want nothing to do with this guy. We have already laid hands on him and roughed him up. We are not getting caught again. The Roman Tribune is frightened that he was the one who ordered Paul to be bound and whipped. Now he is gravely concerned for the repercussions.
Where would Paul have stayed overnight as there is certainly the possibility of him being a guest of the Commander? It does say the next day the Commander released him but surely as a Roman citizen without trial he would have been treated with some leniency after the previous day’s events? The Commander was frightened after ordering him bound and whipped so would have wanted to appease him I would have thought, but maybe not these were rather barbarous times. Ross
Congratulations Ross. You have brought up something I have never thought of before. Was there any possibility that the Roman Tribune took Paul to his home. Did this situation parallel the Philippian jailer?
Well let’s take the time to pay this question due consideration. What do you others think?
Here are the links to the Gems I wrote when we were looking at the Paul and Silas staying at the jailers house in Philippi.
Look at that – lo and behold we are back at the point where we were debating Paul’s wisdom in claiming Roman citizenship or not. It’s getting curiouser and curiouser.
And now following this we have the issue of the Roman commander calling the meeting of the Sanhedrin. Oh my goodness Ross – I think your question has led me back to the story of what happen in Philippi and has given me the insight into why the Roman Commander called the Sanhedrin together. THANKS.
I have included our remaining questions again. It might be that new light will be shed on these questions too:
Ponder them before you look at the next Gem.
Why was it that the Roman commander called the meeting of the Sanhedrin? And how was it that he could do that? I would have thought they were autonomous.
Why did the High Priest order Paul to be slapped for saying that? What was wrong with saying, “Brothers, I have always lived before God with a clear conscience”?
Wow that was pretty out there Ian for Paul to call the High Priest a corrupt hypocrite wasn’t it? He got a reaction didn’t he? Is that why he did it?
I don’t understand how Paul didn’t recognise the High Priest. Hadn’t he been a part of the Sanhedrin before. Surely he would have recognised the High Priest? Wouldn’t he have recognise him by the clothes he wore?
That bit puzzles me. Sorry for these dumb questions Ian. (Don’t worry, the same question came to my mind too.)
Wow for the first time I have realised how much the Pharisees and the Sadducees didn’t like each other. Paul deliberately said that about the resurrection didn’t he? It was like he was stirring the pot. Amazing. Didn’t he fear for his life?
Isn’t the issue about two things Ian? Jesus being Messiah and Paul going to the Gentiles? They are pretty major provocative things. How can these Pharisees and Sadducees get side tracked by trivial things to the point where they lose it? The court turned into chaos after this. Amazing how they could have lost it so easily.
The scene that Luke describes here indicates to me how sensitive and on a knife edge the Jews were. Man it doesn’t take much to push them over the edge. Touchy touchy. (Please don’t attach my name to this).
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If you are going to be an excellent anything, you have to have a strong ‘NO!’ It’s a great boundary word. Successful men + women use it a lot.Rick Godwin
Your character is developed by the activities you choose to repeat!Ian Vail
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