Acts 23

1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. 

Paul is in front of the Sanhedrin and is telling them that he was satisfied in the fact he has fulfilled the law well.

2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. 

This is another Ananias, the third one mentioned and he didn't care for the law nor had any respect for the law of Moses. This Ananias was the son of Nedebaeus, murdered by the Sicarii many years after this trial with Paul. Ananias was caught in an aqueduct where he was hiding out to conceal himself and there he was killed.

3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? 

Paul's saying, "You judge me by the law when you don't even know the law." "Whited wall" a Hebrew idiom, an insult which Jesus used against the Kenites. Ref. - Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. The only time you turn the other cheek is when you are teaching others of Christ and they become offended and slap you; then you turn the other cheek for the sake of Christ. If someone comes looking for a fight for no reason at all, then it is time to love your enemy by correcting them in his manner. Christians aren't doormats. God doesn't want you to stand there and take a beaten. He has given us common sense and the means to fight when its called for. Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? 

They can't believe Paul is talking to this "high priest" that way.

5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people. 

Paul won't call this evil " high priest" one of Gods. If a "leader" doesn't follow the things of God, we should never follow them. Paul is calling them all out.

6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. 

Paul sees both the Sadducees and Pharisees and knows the Romans are watching. He knows they have a division on resurrection of the soul after death. Paul is using their own believes against them. The Pharisees believed in angels, in that there was life after death and the Sadducees believed once you die, that was the end of your existence even of the soul.

7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.

8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. 

Paul is very wise to have these two sides fight one another.

9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. 

These scribes that were of the Pharisees agreed with Paul concerning the angels and spirits and life after death.

10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle. 

The chief captain fears for Paul as a Roman citizen, so he wants him taken out of the angry mob and brought up to the castle.

11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. 

The Lord is assuring Paul, He is with him and there is more to be done. Rome is as the one world system and very soon, we as elect will stand with Christ against the system to come and when satan is cast down.

12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 

That's evil for you.

13 And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy. 

Forty men didn't get their way in killing Paul, so they're going to starve themselves until they do.

14 And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.

15 Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him. 

God places people where they will be of use to see His purpose be done. Paul's nephew overheard these murderers plotting Paul death.

16 And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.

17 Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him. 

Paul has a witness of the plot to murder him.

18 So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.

19 Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?

20 And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly. 

Paul's nephew is telling the chief captain they're being manipulative, lying as to get their hands on Paul to kill him.

21 But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.

22 So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me. 

The chief captain tells Paul's nephew not to talk to anyone about this.

23 And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night; 

These men will be Paul's escort to the coast to Caesarea. Paul leaves Jerusalem with 470 soldiers for protection.

24 And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.

25 And he wrote a letter after this manner: 

The chief captain is letting Felix the governor know of the things that have been happening and I'm sure to cover himself.

26 Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting.

27 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.

28 And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council:

29 Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds. 

Claudius understood it had something to do with their religion, but there wasn't anything he could put on Paul under the Roman law that deserved death or jail.

30 And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell. 

If these kenites are going to charge Paul with anything, they'll have to in Caesarea, within Felix's court.

31 Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris. 

Herod's father was Antipatris and this town was named after him.

32 On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle:

33 Who, when they came to Caesarea and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him. 

The letter from Claudius Lysias arrived with Paul so he could speak with the Governor.

34 And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia; 

Cilicia was a Roman province that made Paul a Roman citizen by birth.

35 I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.

This third Ananias must come to Caesarea and make charges in the court of Felix the Governor.