The soldiers' leader sends Paul to Felix
23 Then the soldiers' leader told two of his officers to come to him. He said to them, ‘Tell 200 of our soldiers to prepare themselves. They must go to Caesarea at nine o'clock tonight. 70 soldiers who ride on horses must also go. There must also be another 200 soldiers with their weapons. 24 Take some horses for Paul to ride on. Take him to Felix the Roman ruler, and keep him safe on the journey.’
25 Then the soldiers' leader wrote a letter to Felix. He sent this message:
26 ‘I, Claudius Lysias, write this letter. I say “hello” to you, Felix, our great ruler.
27 I am sending this man to you. The Jews took hold of him and they wanted to kill him. I found out that he is a citizen of Rome. Because of that, I took my soldiers and I saved him from them. 28 The Jews said that he had done some wrong things. I wanted to know what was really true, so I took him to a meeting of their leaders. 29 The Jewish leaders said that he had not obeyed their own laws. But that was all. We could not put him in prison or kill him because of these things. That would not be right. 30 But a group of Jews decided to kill him. Someone told me about this, so I decided to send him to you immediately. I have told the Jewish leaders also to come to you in Caesarea. They can then tell you why they say that this man has done bad things.’
31 The soldiers did what their leader had told them to do. They took Paul out from the prison in their building. That night, they took him as far as Antipatris. 32 The next day, the soldiers who had walked returned to their building in Jerusalem. But the soldiers who rode horses continued to travel with Paul.
23:32Antipatris was 40 kilometres from Jerusalem. This was a long way for the soldiers to walk in one night. Not many Jews lived between Antipatris and Caesarea. So, after that night, the soldiers could return to Jerusalem. They did not need many soldiers to keep Paul safe after this.
33 When they arrived in Caesarea, they gave the letter to Felix, the ruler. They also brought Paul to him. 34 Felix read the letter and he asked Paul, ‘Which Roman region are you from?’ Paul answered, ‘I am from Cilicia.’ 35 Felix said, ‘When the Jews arrive, they will tell me about you. I will also listen to you. I will decide what is right.’
Felix then said to his soldiers, ‘Put this man in the prison in Herod's house. Guard him carefully!’