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13 And after some days King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to greet Festus. 14 When they had been there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying: “There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix, 15 about whom the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, when I was in Jerusalem, asking for a judgment against him. 16 To them I answered, ‘It is not the custom of the Romans to deliver any man to destruction before the accused meets the accusers face to face, and has opportunity to answer for himself concerning the charge against him.’ 17 Therefore when they had come together, without any delay, the next day I sat on the judgment seat and commanded the man to be brought in. 18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation against him of such things as I supposed, 19 but had some questions against him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20 And because I was uncertain of such questions, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters. 21 But when Paul appealed to be reserved for the decision of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I could send him to Caesar.” 22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.”

 

25:13

And after some days King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to greet Festus.

In verses 13 through 26:32, King Agrippa II involved himself in Paul’s trial. Having been raised in Rome, he governed territories northeast of Palestine and some territory in the Sea of Galilee area, which was primarily Gentile. He also had the authority to appoint the high priest.

The king came to Caesarea to greet Festus. Agrippa brought his incestuous wife, Bernice, to hear Paul’s case. Bernice was Agrippa’s sister who later married King Polemon of Cilicia and became a mistress to Titus, the emperor Vespasian’s son. When the son became emperor, he had to abandon the Jewish Bernice because it was not socially acceptable to Romans.

25:14

When they had been there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying: “There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix,

After Agrippa and Festus had been in Caesarea for several days, Festus laid out Paul’s case before the king, a trial upon which Felix did not decide. Later, Festus admitted to Agrippa that he was not qualified to handle Paul’s case (Acts 24:20) because he did not have the proper background to determine religious matters (Acts 24:19).

25:15

about whom the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, when I was in Jerusalem, asking for a judgment against him.

Festus informed King Agrippa II that the Jews requested a trial for Paul while he was in Jerusalem rather than Caesarea.

26:16

To them I answered, ‘It is not the custom of the Romans to deliver any man to destruction before the accused meets the accusers face to face, and has opportunity to answer for himself concerning the charge against him.’

Festus informed King Agrippa that he replied to the Jews in Jerusalem that it was not the Roman custom to turn a person over to his accusers before the accused had an opportunity to defend himself.

25:17

Therefore when they had come together, without any delay, the next day I sat on the judgment seat and commanded the man to be brought in.

After the Jews arrived in Caesarea, Festus told Agrippa II that he held a hearing the next day with both Paul and his accusers.

25:18

When the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation against him of such things as I supposed,

The accusers at the hearing presented no evidence that would stand under Roman law. Festus concluded Paul was innocent of a Roman crime.

25:19

but had some questions against him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.

Festus judged that the issue had to do with religion and not about Roman law. The matter was about Jesus, whom Paul said was raised from the dead.

25:20

And because I was uncertain of such questions, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters.

Festus admitted before King Agrippa that he was not qualified to deal with questions of religion in a trial. He informed the king that he asked Paul whether he would go to Jerusalem for his trial.

25:21

But when Paul appealed to be reserved for the decision of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I could send him to Caesar.”

After Paul appealed to a court of Caesar’s decision about his case, Festus kept him in prison until he could transfer him to Rome. Festus, like Felix, did not make the right decision to release the apostle from Roman custody.

25:22

Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.”

After listening to Festus, Agrippa requested to hear Paul himself. Festus replied that he would hear from Paul the next day. Since Agrippa and his Herodian family had influence in Rome, it was a good idea that Festus involved Agrippa in his communication with Rome.

PRINCIPLE:

Government is a means God uses to protect its citizens.

APPLICATION:

God is active in human affairs and uses government to protect believers from state abuse (Gen 45:7-8; Dan 4:17; Jn 19:10-11).  

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