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                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

               Paul Before Festus And Agrippa (25:1-27)


1. While Felix remained governor, Paul remained in Caesarea...
   a. Though he did enjoy some privileges - Ac 24:23
   b. But he was imprisoned for two years - Ac 24:27

2. Finally, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus... - Ac 24:27
   a. Who assumed the office by Nero's appointment in A.D. 60 - HIBD
   b. Who held the office until his death in A.D. 62 - ibid.
   c. Josephus describes Festus as prudent and honorable governor - ISBE,

[We catch a glimpse of Festus' character in his handling of Paul's case
inherited from Felix's own procrastination...]


      1. Shortly after arriving, Festus traveled from Caesarea to 
         Jerusalem - Ac 25:1
      2. The high priest and chief men informed Festus of Paul - Ac 25:2
      3. They petitioned him to bring Paul back to Jerusalem - Ac 25:2-3
      4. Meanwhile the Jews plotted to ambush and kill Paul - Ac 25:3
      5. Festus answered that Paul should be kept in Caesarea - Ac 25:4
      6. He invited the Jews in authority to Caesarea to accuse Paul
         there - Ac 25:5

      1. After ten days in Jerusalem, Festus returned to Caesarea - Ac
      2. The next day he commanded Paul brought before the judgment seat
         - Ac 25:6
      3. The Jews from Jerusalem laid serious but unproved complaints
         against Paul - Ac 25:7
      4. Paul replied, "Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against
         the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at 
         all." - Ac 25:8

      1. Festus asked Paul if he would go to Jerusalem with him - Ac 25:9
         a. Festus wanted to do the Jews a favor
         b. He suggested that he would judge Paul there
      2. Paul objected to being taken to Jerusalem - Ac 25:10-11
         a. He stood at Caesar's judgment seat where he ought to be 
         b. He had done no wrong to the Jews, as Festus knew
         c. Paul was willing to die if he had committed anything worthy
            of death
         d. But there was nothing in the charges of which he was accused
      3. Paul therefore appealed to Caesar - Ac 25:11-12
         a. As a Roman citizen he had the right to appeal his case before
            Caesar - ESVSB
         b. Caesar at that time was the emperor Nero - ibid.

[Conferring with his council Festus answered, "You have appealed to
Caesar? To Caesar you shall go!" (Ac 25:12).  Before sending Paul to
the Roman Caesar, Festus took advantage of a visit by a Jewish king...]


      1. After some days, King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to 
         greet Festus - Ac 25:13
         a. Agrippa was Agrippa II - HIBD
            1) Son of Herod Agrippa I, who killed James - Ac 12:1
            2) Great-grandson of Herod the Great, who killed the babies
               - Mt 2:1-18
         b. Bernice was the half-sister of Agrippa - AYBD
            1) She married Marcus Julius Alexander in A.D. 41
            2) After Marcus' death, she married her uncle Herod of 
               Chalchis in A.D. 44
            3) After Herod died in A.D. 48, she became Agrippa's constant
               companion (some think it was an incestuous relationship)
            4) Because of such regarding her brother, she eventually
               married Polemo king of Cilicia
            5) She finally became the mistress of the Roman emperor Titus
      2. Festus laid Paul's case before Agrippa - Ac 25:14-21
         a. He noted that Felix had left Paul a prisoner
         b. The chief priests and elders of the Jews informed Festus
            about Paul
         c. He told the Jews that it was not Roman custom to deliver the
            accused for "destruction" without the accused having the 
            opportunity to answer the charges
         d. Festus had Paul come before the judgment seat
         e. Festus discovered nothing wrong, other than there were
            questions about "their own religion and about a certain 
            Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive"
         f. Festus asked Paul to go to Jerusalem, since he was uncertain
            about these matters
         g. Paul then appealed to Caesar
      3. Agrippa wanted to hear Paul, and Festus promised a hearing the
         next day - Ac 25:22

      1. The next day Festus commanded Paul brought forth - Ac 25:23
         a. Following the arrival of Agrippa and Bernice with great pomp
         b. Before an audience of commanders and prominent men of the 
      2. Festus explained the situation to Agrippa and the men gathered
         - Ac 25:24-27
         a. In Jerusalem and Caesarea the Jews claimed Paul was not "fit
            to live any longer"
         b. Festus had found that Paul committed nothing deserving death
         c. Paul had appealed to Caesar, and Festus was going to send him
         d. But he had nothing to write to Caesar about Paul
         e. He hoped after Agrippa's examination of Paul, he may have
            something to write
         f. For he thought it unreasonable to send a prisoner to Caesar
            without specifying charges


1. At this point, King Agrippa permitted Paul to speak for himself...
   a. Paul's defense before Agrippa is covered in the next chapter - Ac
   b. Which we shall consider in our next study

2. Luke detailed account of these events may have been for a particular
   a. There is good reason to believe that Theophilus was a Roman 
      official - Lk 2:1-4; Ac 1:1
   b. Some suggest Theophilus may have been in charge of Paul's case at
   c. Which might be why the book of Acts ends so abruptly with Paul
      awaiting trial - Ac 28:30-31
   d. With such detailed accounts of Paul's trials, it may have helped
      Paul's release after his first imprisonment in Rome

Of course, with the Holy Spirit inspiring Luke and preserving his two
books for our benefit, we can see the providence of God at work as
Jesus' promises regarding Paul are fulfilled...

   "...he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles,
   kings, and the children of Israel."
                                                           - Ac 9:15

   "But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Be of
   good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem,
   so you must also bear witness at Rome."
                                                           - Ac 23:11
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