Acts 23: Paul before the Sanhedrin, and His Night-Time Escape from the Plot to Murder Him

(35 verses, 5:00 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • Paul, now in Roman custody, appears before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem and causes an uproar. A plot to murder him is uncovered, and he is taken under guard to Caesarea.


  • Here’s the outline of events:
    • 1-10, Paul goes before the Sanhedrin, and after a rough start, manages to put the place in an uproar by winning the Pharisees regarding the resurrection of the dead.
    • 11, Paul has a vision of Jesus, telling him that he would also preach in Rome.
    • 12-22, Forty Jews take an oath not to eat or drink until they kill Paul. They ask the Sanhedrin to invite Paul back under the guise of more questioning, and they would kill him on the way. This plot is discovered by Paul’s nephew (the son of his sister) who reports it to Paul, and then to the commander of the Roman battalion.
    • 23-30, the commander, Lysias, sends Paul under guard in the middle of the night to the palace in Caesarea. His case was to be heard by Felix.
    • 31-35, Paul is brought to Caesarea.


  • The Bible passage that most clearly articulates the distinction between the Pharisees and the Sadducees is here, Acts 23:8.
  • Caesarea is an important city in Palestine. We don’t hear about it in the Gospels, but it plays a major role in Acts. It is where Peter came to Cornelius, and the Gentiles were first baptized (Acts 10-11). Philip, the deacon, had a home here with his family, which included four prophesying daughters (Acts 21:8). Caesarea was the chief city of the Roman occupation, (Acts 12:19-23, 23:23-35). Paul will spend a number of years here in prison until he is sent to Rome.


  • Paul was ready to suffer and die in Jerusalem (Acts 21:13), but the Lord was not finished with Paul. He would preach even in Rome (23:11). While Paul was ready to die, he also uses his ingenuity to stay alive, to avoid stoning from the Sanhedrin and beating from the Romans. Paul, indeed, would be serving the Lord in his life or in his death.

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Lord’s Blessings,
Pr Bryan Wolfmueller


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