Q2 e1 1. Festus. At Jerusalem. d1 2,3. Paul. Plot against, by Jews [Kenites]. e2 4. Festus. Offer to judge. d2 Paul. His accusers. e3 6. Festus on the judgment seat. d3 7,8. Paul. Accusers refuted. e4 9. Festus. Offer to Paul. d4 10,11. Paul. Appeal to Caesar. e5 12. Festus. Decision.
1 Now when Festus (he was procurator only about 2 years [60-62 A.D.] when he died. Knowing the turbulence of the Jews, he wished to have the support of the priestly party. Hence his favor to them, in seeking to induce Paul to go to Jerusalem for trial, though Festus may not have known the reason of the request. Josephus commends him as a rooter-out of robbers and Sicarii [21:38]) was come to the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
2 Then the chief priests and the first of the Jews (Kenites) informed him against Paul, and were beseeching him,
3 Asking favor against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, making a plot along the way to kill him.
4 But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept in Caesarea, and that he himself would depart there in speed.
5 "Let them therefore," said he, "which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him."
6 And when he had tarried among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat (see John 19:13) commanded Paul to be brought forth.
7 And when he was come, the Jews (Kenites) which had come down from Jerusalem stood round about, bringing against him many and grievous charges, which they were not able to prove.
8 Paul making his defense said, "Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, neither against Caesar, did I transgress any thing." (Paul was his own lawyer saying he is totally innocent.)
9 But Festus (= porky), purposing to gain favor with the Jews (Kenites), answered Paul, and said, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged concerning these things before me?" (You want to go back there with me?. Corrupt politically)
10 Then said Paul, "I am standing before Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews (Kenites) have I done no wrong, as you also better [than others] know thoroughly. (Paul's laying it on the line)
11 If then indeed I am doing wrong, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be nothing of these things whereof these accuse me, no one can grant me to them. I call upon (invoke) Caesar." (Paul is a Roman citizen)
12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council (it means the assessor of the court, or chief officers of the government), answered, "Have you appealed to Caesar? before Caesar shall you go." (He's not going to mess with that. One can detect a tone of resentment, since Paul's appeal had baffled the desires of Festus to gain favor with the Jews [Kenites].)
Q3 X 13-21. Festus consults Agrippa. Y 22. Agrippa desires to hear Paul. Z A 23-. Court convened, B -23. Paul brought to the bar. X 24-27. Festus opens the case. Y 26:1-. Agrippa calls Paul for his defense. Z 26:-1-29. Paul's defense. A 26:30-32. Court rises.
X e 13-15. The Jew's [Kenites] request. f 16. Festus' reply. e 17-19. The Jew's [Kenites] charges. f 20,21. Festus' decision.
13 Now after certain days king Agrippa (Agrippa the Second, son of the Herod of ch. 12, and Cyprus, grand-niece of Herod the Great. At the death of his father, he was too young to be appointed his successor; but in 50 A.D. Claudius gave him the kingdom of Chalcis, his uncle, the husband of Bernice, who occupied that throne, having died 2 years before. This was shortly afterwards exchanged for the tetrarchies of Abilene and Trachonites, with the title of king. His relationship with his sister Bernice were the occasion of much suspicion. He was of the Jew's religion, though of Idumaean descent, and well versed in Jewish laws engaging in war with the Romans. He sided with the Romans in the war, and after 70 A.D. retired with Bernice to Rome, where he died about 100 A.D.) and Bernice came to Caesarea to salute Festus. (As a vassal of Rome, to pay his respects to the procurator, Rome's representative.)
14 And when they had tarried there many days, Festus set forth Paul's cause to the king, saying, "There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix:
15 Concerning whom, when I was come to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, asking for condemnation against him. (They wanted to kill him. Festus is in a ringer because of playing mambe pambe with the high priest.)
16 To whom I answered, 'It is not a custom of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and should receive opportunity to defend himself concerning the charge.' (He is forced to send Paul to Rome. He doesn't have a complaint)
17 Therefore, when they were come here, having made no delay on next day I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth. (Right into trial)
18 Concerning whom when the accusers stood up, they were bringing no charge of such things as I supposed: (Not what I thought it would be)
19 But had certain questions against him of their own religion (Festus would not say "superstition" in speaking to Agrippa, who was himself of the Jews religion), and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul was affirming to be alive.
20 And because I doubted the inquiry concerning these things (he knew they wanted to kill him), I said to him if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters.
21 But when Paul had appealed to be kept to the examination of Augustus (Gr. Sebastos. The Gr. word means "venerable", the same as the Lat. augustus, a title first used of Octavianus, the adopted son of Julius Caesar, and his successor, and by the Emperors succeeding.), I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar."
22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, "I also was wishing to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," said he, "you shall hear him." (Agrippa was a bit of a student himself)
23 Therefore on the next day, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and men who were of eminence of the city,
at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth.
24 And Festus said, "King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, you behold this one, about whom all the multitude of the Jews (Kenites) complained to me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying out that he ought not to live any longer.
25 But when I perceived that he had done nothing worthy of death, and that he himself has appealed to Augustus, I have decided to send him. (He got himself into a corner)
26 Of whom I have not any sure thing to write to my lord (this title was refused by the Emperors, Augustus and Tiberius, but accepted by Calligula and his successors). Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before you, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have something to write. (This is his problem. He wants him to get in on this. He doesn't want to hang alone. He's playing the fool Festus was. A pig that wanted to hunt with him. But remember it's within God's plan.)
27 For it seem to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not to signify the charges also laid against him." (What should have been done? Only a fool would have sent him.)