Acts 25 Commentary

Acts chapter 25 commentary Bible study

Acts Chapter 25 Commentary Bible Study


Acts 25:10-12 The Judgment of Caesar
Acts 25:13-25 King Agrippa and Bernice
Acts 25:26-27 Nothing to Write
Acts 25 Bible Study Questions (Handout)
ACTS 25:1  1 Now when Festus had come to the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem.

Who was "Festus" (Acts 25:1) and why had he come to "the province" (Acts 25:1)?
Two years after Paul began his 'imprisonment' in Caesarea, the Roman governor Antonius Felix crushed an uprising of the Jews with such brutality that the Jewish Sanhedrin complained bitterly to Rome. As a result, Felix was recalled to Rome and Porcius Festus had just arrived in the Roman "province" (Acts 25:1) of Judea as its new governor.

How long after his arrival in Caesarea did Festus visit Jerusalem?
Only "three days" (Acts 25:1), perhaps underscoring his eagerness to start on good terms with the people he needed to govern.

ACTS 25:2-3  2 Then the high priest and the chief men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they petitioned him, 3 asking a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem - while they lay in ambush along the road to kill him.

Why did "the high priest and the chief men of the Jews" (Acts 15:2) ask Festus to "summon" (Acts 25:3) Paul from Caesarea to Jerusalem?
To lay an "ambush along the road to kill him" (Acts 25:3) and finally carry out their failed murderous plot from two years prior (see Be of good cheer).

What does the Jews seeking this "favor" (Acts 25:3) from Festus at this time say about Paul's ministry in Judea?
Had his ministry from the protection of the Roman Praetorium in Caesarea not been fruitful during his two year confinement, murdering him is unlikely to have topped the Jews' agenda upon meeting their new Roman governor.

ACTS 25:4-6  4 But Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself was going there shortly. 5 “Therefore,” he said, “let those who have authority among you go down with me and accuse this man, to see if there is any fault in him.” 6 And when he had remained among them more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day, sitting on the judgment seat, he commanded Paul to be brought.

Why did Festus answer "that Paul should be kept at Caesarea" (Acts 25:4)?
It wasn't because Festus didn't want to wait in Jerusalem for Paul to arrive, for he stayed there anyway for "more than ten days" (Acts 25:6), which would have been plenty of time for a detachment of the Roman cavalry to fetch Paul from Caesarea. Ultimately, God used Festus to thwart the Jews' murder plot.

ACTS 25:7-8  7 When he had come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood about and laid many serious complaints against Paul, which they could not prove, 8 while he answered for himself, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all."

Who followed Festus from Jerusalem to Caesarea?
"The Jews who ... laid many serious complaints against Paul, which they could not prove" (Acts 25:7).

What crimes did their "complaints" (Acts 25:7) accuse Paul of having committed?
Based on Paul's denials, they accused him of breaking "the laws of the Jews" (Acts 25:8), desecrating "the temple" (Acts 25:8) in Jerusalem, and sedition "against Caesar" (Acts 25:8).

ACTS 25:9  9 But Festus, wanting to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and there be judged before me concerning these things?”

What was the logic behind Festus' proposal to Paul?
The case already had been heard in Caesarea, so there was no logic for Festus to move the trial several days' journey away to Jerusalem and then render his verdict. While he "had some questions" (Acts 25:19, see King Agrippa and Bernice), he was "wanting to do the Jews a favor" (Acts 25:9) by asking the question.