The Plot Against Paul

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.”

12 And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy. 14 They came to the chief priests and elders, and said, “We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 Now you, therefore, together with the council, suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him; but we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”

16 So when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their ambush, he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 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?”

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.” — Acts 23:11-22.

The Lord personally sustains Paul, confirming to him that he will testify both at Jerusalem and at Rome.

Over forty zealous Jews bind themselves to an oath to fast until they kill Paul. They collude with the chief priest and elders who are to ask for Paul to come back to them so they can make further enquiries, when their real intent is to ambush and kill him en route. However, Paul’s nephew, on hearing of the plot, tells the commander, who instructs him to say nothing to anyone else.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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