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Daily Devotional

November 7

THERE LIE IN WAIT FOR HIM OF THEM MORE THAN FORTY MEN

by Henry T. Vriesen

Acts 23

And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered the castle, and told Paul. 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.” So he took 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. Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is it that thou hast to tell me? And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul tomorrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly. 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.”

“So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast showed these things to me.” And he called 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; and provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor. And he wrote a letter after this manner: Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting. 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. And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council: 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. 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.”

Then the soldiers as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris, about forty miles from Jerusalem. On the next day the footmen returned to Jerusalem, while the horsemen went on with Paul to Caesarea. The officer in charge gave the letter to the governor. “And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia; I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s judgment hall.”

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