Author: Ron Graham
This page is a verse by verse study of Acts 25:1-27. These verses describe how Paul was examined by Festus and Agrippa in Caesarea.
¶ "Three days after Festus took over the province, he travelled from Caesarea up to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, the chief priests and leaders of the Jews laid charges before Festus against Paul, urging Festus to make a concession and have Paul brought to Jerusalem. They plotted, of course, to ambush Paul along the way and kill him. However Festus said that Paul should be kept at Caesarea. Festus also advised that he would be leaving shortly, and that men with influence could accompany him to Caesarea and there lay charges against Paul if he has done any wrong." (Acts 25:1-5).
¶ "After spending no more than ten days in Jerusalem, Festus went back down to Caesarea. Next day, chairing the tribunal, Festus commanded Paul to be brought there. When Paul arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around Paul, and laid many serious accusations against him, which they could not prove. In his own defense, Paul said, “Neither against the law of the Jews, or against the temple, nor against Caesar, have I offended in any way at all.” Festus however, wanting to curry favour with the Jews, inquired of Paul, “Would you be willing to go up to Jerusalem, and to stand trial before me on these matters?”" (Acts 25:6-9).
¶ "Paul responded to Festus, “I am already standing at Caesar’s court, where as a Roman I ought to be judged. To the Jews have I done no wrong, as you very well know. If I am a criminal, if I have committed any thing worthy of death, I don't refuse to die. But if there is no truth in the things of which these men accuse me, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal unto Caesar.” " (Acts 25:10-11).
¶ "Festus conferred with his council and then responded to Paul: “Have you appealed to Caesar? Then to Caesar you shall go.” Several days later, King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea and paid Festus an official visit. While King Agrippa and Bernice were spending quite some time in Caesarea, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king. Festus said, “There is a particular man left in prison by Felix. When I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me about this man. They wanted a judgment against him. I told them that the Roman law doesn't allow for a citizen to be handed over to his accusers until he has met them face to face before a Roman court, with the right to defend himself against the charges.” " (Acts 25:12-16).
¶ "Festus further said to Agrippa, “After the accusers assembled here, I did not delay. The very next day I sat on the tribunal, and summoned the man. When his accusers stood up to speak, however, they brought no accusation such as I had expected. They only had issues against him concerning their own superstitions, and about a dead man called Jesus whom Paul affirmed to be alive. Because I thought these questions dubious, I asked Paul whether he would go to Jerusalem, and stand trial there on these matters. But Paul appealed to be held in custody until he could stand trial before the Emperor. So I commanded him to be held till I could send him to Caesar.” At this point Agrippa said to Festus, “I would also like to hear the man myself.” Festus replied, “Then tomorrow you shall hear him.”" (Acts 25:17-22).
¶ "Next day, Agrippa and Bernice, amid great pomp, attended the auditorium where the hearing was to be held. Also gathered were the commanders, and prominent men of the city. Festus called for Paul to be brought in. Then Festus said, “King Agrippa, and all gentlemen here present, you see this man, about whom all the people of the Jews have appealed to me. In Jerusalem, and also here, they shouted that he should be put to death. However. I found that he had done nothing worthy of death. Furthermore, he himself has appealed to the Emperor. Consequently, I have determined to send him. Yet I have nothing definite to write to my lord. So I have brought him before you —especially before you, O king Agrippa. I trust that after you have examined him, I might have something to write. It seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner to Caesar without a clear indication of the crimes he is charged with.”" (Acts 25:23-27).