King Agrippa II will hear Paul tomorrow (Acts 25:22)

“Agrippa said to Festus.

‘I would like to hear

This man myself.’

Festus said.


You shall hear him.’”

Ἀγρίππας δὲ πρὸς τὸν Φῆστον Ἐβουλόμην καὶ αὐτὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀκοῦσαι. Αὔριον, φησίν, ἀκούσῃ αὐτοῦ.

The author of Acts indicated that King Agrippa II (Ἀγρίππας δὲ) said to Festus (πρὸς τὸν Φῆστον) that he would like (Ἐβουλόμην) to hear this man himself (καὶ αὐτὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀκοῦσαι).  Festus then said (φησίν) that tomorrow (Αὔριον), he would be able to hear him (ἀκούσῃ αὐτοῦ).  Festus was very accommodating to King Agrippa II, who wanted to hear from Paul for himself.  Thus, Festus told him that this would not be problem because he could do it tomorrow.  Much like Jesus who went before a number of trials with the Jewish Sanhedrin, Pontius Pilate, and then King Herod, the great uncle of King Agrippa II, now Paul would speak before Agrippa with no consequences to his decision.  He too had been before the Jerusalem Sanhedrin, and two Roman governors, not just one.  Finally, he would give his presentation to King Agrippa II.  How many times should a person present his case?

Paul appealed to the Emperor Caesar (Acts 25:21)

“But when Paul

Had appealed

To be kept in custody

For the decision

Of the august emperor,

I commanded him

To be held

Until I could send him

To the Emperor Caesar.”

τοῦ δὲ Παύλου ἐπικαλεσαμένου τηρηθῆναι αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν τοῦ Σεβαστοῦ διάγνωσιν, ἐκέλευσα τηρεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ἕως οὗ ἀναπέμψω αὐτὸν πρὸς Καίσαρα.

The author of Acts indicated that Festus said that Paul (τοῦ δὲ Παύλου) appealed (ἐπικαλεσαμένου) to be kept in custody (τηρηθῆναι αὐτὸν) for the decision (διάγνωσιν) of the august emperor (εἰς τὴν τοῦ Σεβαστοῦ).  Festus then commanded (ἐκέλευσα) Paul to be held (τηρεῖσθαι αὐτὸν) until he could send him (ἕως οὗ ἀναπέμψω αὐτὸν) to the emperor Caesar (πρὸς Καίσαρα).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word Σεβαστοῦ, that means reverend, august, venerated, imperial, Augustus, or a Roman emperor.  To Festus’ surprise, Paul appealed to be kept in custody in Caesarea so that he could appeal his case to the Roman emperor.  Thus, Festus had ordered Paul to be kept in custody until he was sent to Rome.  This was just like at the conclusion of the trial in chapter 25:10-12.  Have you ever appealed to a higher court?

Festus asked if Paul wanted to go to Jerusalem (Acts 25:20)

“As I was at a loss

How to investigate

These questions,

I asked

Whether Paul wished

To go to Jerusalem

And be tried there

On these charges.”

ἀπορούμενος δὲ ἐγὼ τὴν περὶ τούτων ζήτησιν ἔλεγον εἰ βούλοιτο πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα κἀκεῖ κρίνεσθαι περὶ τούτων.

The author of Acts indicated that Festus said that he was at a loss or perplexed (ἀπορούμενος) on how to investigate these questions (δὲ ἐγὼ τὴν περὶ τούτων ζήτησιν).  Thus, he asked (ἔλεγον) whether Paul wished (εἰ βούλοιτο) to go to Jerusalem (πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα) and be tried there (κἀκεῖ κρίνεσθαι) on these charges (περὶ τούτων).  Governor Porcius Festus repeated to King Agrippa II and Bernice what he had said at his trial of Paul in chapter 25: 9.  He asked Paul (ἀποκριθεὶς τῷ Παύλῳ εἶπεν) if he wanted (Θέλεις) to go up to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἀναβὰς) and there (ἐκεῖ) be tried before the governor (κριθῆναι ἐπ’ ἐμοῦ) on these charges (περὶ τούτων).  Although not word for word, it was close enough to show how concerned Festus was about this issue with Paul and the Jews.  Although here Festus did not mention that he was doing this as a favor to the Jerusalem Jews.  Can doing a favor for a person be wrong sometimes?

Paul and Jesus (Acts 25:19)

“Instead they had certain points

Of disagreement

With him

About their own religion

And about a certain Jesus,

Who had died.

Paul asserted

That he was alive.”

ζητήματα δέ τινα περὶ τῆς ἰδίας δεισιδαιμονίας εἶχον πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ περί τινος Ἰησοῦ τεθνηκότος, ὃν ἔφασκεν ὁ Παῦλος ζῆν.

The author of Acts indicated that Festus explained that instead the Jerusalem Jews had (εἶχον) certain points of disagreement (ζητήματα δέ τινα) with Paul (πρὸς αὐτὸν) about their own religion (περὶ τῆς ἰδίας δεισιδαιμονίας) and about a certain Jesus (καὶ περί τινος Ἰησοῦ), who had died (τεθνηκότος).  Paul (ὁ Παῦλος), however, asserted (ὃν ἔφασκεν) that Jesus was alive (ζῆν).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used these words ζητήματα, that means an inquiry, a question, subject of inquiry, or dispute, and δεισιδαιμονίας, that means a religion or superstition.  Porcius Festus told King Agrippa II and Bernice that the accusers of Paul from Jerusalem had various points of disagreement with Paul about Judaism and whether Jesus was alive or not.  They had nothing to do with the Romans and Roman society in general.  Should people be punished for their religious beliefs?

The accusers did not charge Paul with normal crimes (Acts 25:18)

“When the accusers

Stood up,

They did not charge Paul

With any of the crimes

That I was expecting.”

περὶ οὗ σταθέντες οἱ κατήγοροι οὐδεμίαν αἰτίαν ἔφερον ὧν ἐγὼ ὑπενόουν πονηρῶν,

The author of Acts indicated that Festus said that when the accusers (οἱ κατήγοροι) stood up (περὶ οὗ σταθέντες), they did not charge Paul (οὐδεμίαν αἰτίαν ἔφερον) with any of the crimes (πονηρῶν) that he was expecting (ὧν ἐγὼ ὑπενόουν).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word ὑπενόουν, that means to suspect, conjecture, or suppose.  Festus told King Agrippa II and Bernice that he was surprised when he heard the accusers of Paul and their charges because he had expected some political charges.  Are you sometimes surprised at the way people are charged with crimes?

Festus had ordered a trial (Acts 25:17)

“When they met here,

I lost no time.

On the next day,

I took my seat

On the tribunal.

I ordered Paul

To be brought in.”

συνελθόντων οὖν ἐνθάδε ἀναβολὴν μηδεμίαν ποιησάμενος τῇ ἑξῆς καθίσας ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος ἐκέλευσα ἀχθῆναι τὸν ἄνδρα·

The author of Acts indicated that Festus told them that when they met here (συνελθόντων οὖν ἐνθάδε), he lost no time or without any delay (ἀναβολὴν μηδεμίαν ποιησάμενος).  On the next day (τῇ ἑξῆς) he took his seat (καθίσας) on the tribunal (ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος).  He ordered (ἐκέλευσα) the man Paul (τὸν ἄνδρα) to be brought in (ἀχθῆναι).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word ἀναβολὴν, that means delay, postponement, or putting off.  Once again, Governor Porcius Festus told King Agrippa II and Bernice that he wanted to quickly get rid of this matter.  The day after he arrived in Caesarea, he held a hearing about Paul, who was summoned to the tribunal for the trial.  The author of Acts continued to summarize what Festus had done.  Do you put things off?

The Roman custom of face to face accusations (Acts 25:16)

“I told them

That it was not the custom

Of the Romans

To hand over anyone

Before the accused

Met the accusers

Face to face,

And had been given

An opportunity

To make a defense

Against the charge.”

πρὸς οὓς ἀπεκρίθην ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἔθος Ῥωμαίοις χαρίζεσθαί τινα ἄνθρωπον πρὶν ἢ ὁ κατηγορούμενος κατὰ πρόσωπον ἔχοι τοὺς κατηγόρους τόπον τε ἀπολογίας λάβοι περὶ τοῦ ἐγκλήματος.

The author of Acts indicated that Festus told King Agrippa II and Bernice that he told the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem (πρὸς οὓς ἀπεκρίθην) that it was not the custom of the Romans (ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἔθος Ῥωμαίοις) to hand over anyone (χαρίζεσθαί τινα ἄνθρωπον) before the accused (πρὶν ἢ ὁ κατηγορούμενος) had met the accusers face to face (κατὰ πρόσωπον ἔχοι τοὺς κατηγόρους).  Paul should be given an opportunity to make a defense (τόπον τε ἀπολογίας λάβοι) against the charges (περὶ τοῦ ἐγκλήματος).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word ἐγκλήματος, that means an accusation or a charge.  Governor Porcius Festus reiterated to King Agrippa II and Bernice what he had told the leaders in Jerusalem.  He told them that it was the Roman custom that the accused had the opportunity to face their accusers, so that they can make a defense.  Do you think that people accused of anything should face their accusers?

The Jerusalem Jews want Paul sentenced (Acts 25:15)

“When I was in Jerusalem,

The chief priests

And the elders of the Jews

Informed me

About Paul.

They asked

For a sentence

Against him.”

περὶ οὗ γενομένου μου εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἐνεφάνισαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τῶν Ἰουδαίων, αἰτούμενοι κατ’ αὐτοῦ καταδίκην·

The author of Acts indicated that Festus said that when he was in Jerusalem (περὶ οὗ γενομένου μου εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the elders of the Jews (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τῶν Ἰουδαίων) informed (ἐνεφάνισαν) him about Paul.  They asked (αἰτούμενοι) for a sentence against him (κατ’ αὐτοῦ καταδίκην).  Governor Festus told his experiences with Paul and the Jews in Jerusalem, as in verses 2-5, earlier in this chapter.  When he was in Jerusalem, the Jewish high priests and the elders wanted the governor to sentence Paul.  Festus knew nothing about the case except that Paul was a prisoner in Caesarea and the Jews in Jerusalem did not like him.  How was Paul both a religious and a political prisoner?

Governor Festus told King Agrippa II about Paul (Acts 25:14)

“As they stayed there

Several days,

Festus laid Paul’s case

Before the king.

He said.

‘There is a man here

Who has left in prison

By Felix.’”

ὡς δὲ πλείους ἡμέρας διέτριβον ἐκεῖ, ὁ Φῆστος τῷ βασιλεῖ ἀνέθετο τὰ κατὰ τὸν Παῦλον λέγων Ἀνήρ τίς ἐστιν καταλελειμμένος ὑπὸ Φήλικος δέσμιος,

The author of Acts indicated that as they stayed there several days (ὡς δὲ πλείους ἡμέρας διέτριβον ἐκεῖ), Festus (ὁ Φῆστος) laid (ἀνέθετο) Paul’s case (τὰ κατὰ τὸν Παῦλον) before the king (τῷ βασιλεῖ).  He said (λέγων) that there was a man here (Ἀνήρ τίς ἐστιν) who was left (καταλελειμμένος) in prison (δέσμιος) by Felix (ὑπὸ Φήλικος).  Governor Festus began to tell King Agrippa II about the man left in prison by the former Governor Felix.  Agrippa might have known about Paul because of his sister and brother-in-law, Felix.  How much should rulers know about prisoners?

King Agrippa II arrives (Acts 25:13)

“After several days had passed,

King Agrippa

And Bernice arrived

At Caesarea

To welcome Festus.”

Ἡμερῶν δὲ διαγενομένων τινῶν Ἀγρίππας ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ Βερνίκη κατήντησαν εἰς Καισαρίαν ἀσπασάμενοι τὸν Φῆστον.

The author of Acts indicated that after several days had passed (Ἡμερῶν δὲ διαγενομένων τινῶν), King Agrippa (Ἀγρίππας ὁ βασιλεὺς) and Bernice (καὶ Βερνίκη) arrived (κατήντησαν) at Caesarea (εἰς Καισαρίαν) to welcome or greet (ἀσπασάμενοι) Festus (τὸν Φῆστον).  King Agrippa II was the son of King Agrippa I who died in chapter 12.  Thus, he was the great grandson of Herod the Great that was in Matthew, chapter 2.  This King Agrippa II was the last of his family to have the title of king of Judea.  He lost his title with the Jewish revolt in 66 CE that led to the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE.  Beatrice was actually his sister, but she also was his consort of some kind.  They as the titular head of Judea came to meet the new Roman Governor of Judea.  Drusilla, the wife of former Governor Felix was also his sister.  Thus, it was natural for them to meet the new governor, since the old governor was his brother-in-law.  How does your family get along?