Paul's Nephew

Paul's young nephew

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Paul's Nephew
ACTS 23 COMMENTARY
Acts 23:11-15 Be of Good Cheer

Acts 23:16-24 Paul's Nephew

Acts 23:25-35 Claudius Lysias
ACTS 23:16  16 So when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their ambush, he went and entered the barracks and told Paul.

Who is "Paul's sister's son" (Acts 23:16)?
Paul's nephew

What was Paul's nephew doing in Jerusalem?
Paul was born in Tarsus of Cilicia in Turkey but raised in Jerusalem - "My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem" (Acts 26:4) - "at the feet of Gamaliel" (Acts 22:3). Paul's nephew may have been following in his footsteps.

How was Paul's nephew able to enter the Roman barracks to speak to Paul?
In those days, it was common for prisoners to be fed by their family and friends. In fact, prisoners to whom nobody brought food from the outside often starved.

ACTS 23:17-19  17 Then Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Take this young man to the commander, for he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him and brought him to the commander and said, “Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to bring this young man to you. He has something to say to you.” 19 Then the commander took him by the hand, went aside, and asked privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?”

How old was Paul's nephew?
Since "the commander took him by the hand" (Acts 23:19), he is likely to have been quite young.

ACTS 23:20-22  20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask that you bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more fully about him. 21 But do not yield to them, for more than forty of them lie in wait for him, men who have bound themselves by an oath that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him; and now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you.” 22 So the commander let the young man depart, and commanded him, “Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me."

Why did the commander tell Paul's nephew, "Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me" (Acts 23:22)?
If the conspirators found out that he had been warned about their surprise ambush, they would change their plot to regain the element of surprise.

ACTS 23:23-24  23 And he called for two centurions, saying, "Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night; 24 and provide mounts to set Paul on, and bring him safely to Felix the governor."

Where was Paul being sent?
"To Felix the governor" (Acts 23:24) of Judea at the provincial headquarters of the Roman legion, which was stationed at the port city of Caesarea.

At what time were they leaving Jerusalem?
"At the third hour of the night" (Acts 23:23), which is 9 PM, long after sunset when the streets of Jerusalem would clear so that Paul and his escort could leave the city with as little disturbance as possible.

What was Paul's escort?
"Two hundred soldiers" (Acts 23:23), presumably carrying swords, "seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen" (Acts 23:23), as well as "two centurions" (Acts 23:23). Riding on "mounts" (Acts 23:24) - i.e., horseback - Paul's departure from Jerusalem was going to be protected by 472 Roman soldiers.

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