Claudius Lysias

Commander Claudius Lysias

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Claudius Lysias
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 24 Commentary
ACTS 23:25-26  25 He wrote a letter in the following manner: 26 Claudius Lysias, To the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings.

Who is "Claudius Lysias" (Acts 23:26)?
The Roman Commander of the garrison in Jerusalem who is sending Paul to the Roman "governor Felix" (Acts 23:26) in Caesarea (see Paul's nephew).

ACTS 23:27  27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them. Coming with the troops I rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman.

What does Claudius Lysias imply above?
That he rescued Paul because he was a Roman citizen.

Is that true?
Claudius Lysias learned that Paul was a Roman citizen after the rescue.

ACTS 23:28  28 And when I wanted to know the reason they accused him, I brought him before their council.

What does Claudius Lysias 'forget' to mention?
That when he "wanted to know the reason they accused him" (Acts 23:29) "he had bound" (Acts 22:29) Paul, a Roman citizen, illegally, and almost scourged him (see Scourge).

ACTS 23:29-30  29 I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains. 30 And when it was told me that the Jews lay in wait for the man, I sent him immediately to you, and also commanded his accusers to state before you the charges against him. Farewell.

What was Claudius Lysias going to tell the Jews?
"To state before [Felix] the charges against" (Acts 23:30) Paul.

ACTS 23:31-32  31 Then the soldiers, as they were commanded, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 The next day they left the horsemen to go on with him, and returned to the barracks.

Where is "Antipatris" (Acts 23:31)?
Antipatris was a city 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Jerusalem and 2 miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea.

Why did the "soldiers" (Acts 23:31) turn around at Antipatris?
The real danger for an ambush was along the meandering road through the rough terrain from Jerusalem down to the coastal plains. A Roman road connected Antipatris to Caesarea, which was a straight shot along the coast. The possibility of an ambush was greatly diminished and the infantry would only slow down the "horsemen" (Acts 23:32), who could get there much faster without the foot soldiers.

ACTS 23:33-35  33 When they came to Caesarea and had delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34 And when the governor had read it, he asked what province he was from. And when he understood that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will hear you when your accusers also have come.” And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium.

Why did the governor ask Paul "what province he was from" (Acts 23:34)?
Some but not all Roman provinces required their accused natives to be repatriated to be tried locally. Cilicia wasn't one of the provinces with a repatriation requirement, so Felix agreed to hold a trial when Paul's "accusers also have come" (Acts 23:35).

What was "Herod's Praetorium" (Acts 23:35)?
Herod 'the Great' built several great palaces, and the one he built at Caesarea had been turned into a "Praetorium" - the official residence of the Roman governor.

Speaking of 'great', whatever happened to those who swore the "great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul" (Acts 23:14)?
Since Paul stayed alive for a few more years, they either starved to death or had to eat their words and began to eat again.

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