A Plot to Kill Paul

High on the fortressed city wall were lines of archers with their dreaded weapons. Marching toward the wall was a Roman army with orders to conquer this stronghold. As they approached the wall, the archers who were defending the city prepared to unleash their fury: sharp arrows t … More


More than forty Jews banded together under an oath agreeing that they would not eat anything until they had killed Paul (vv. 12-14). This band of zealots were roughly equivalent to the terrorists who threaten us today. They made this plan known to the Sanhedrin and somehow Paul’s nephew (Paul’s sister’s son) got word of it, went to Paul in prison and told him what he had heard (15). It would be helpful to know what position he held and how he heard of the plotted ambush (v. 16), but there is nothing that reveals this to us. Paul, in turn, sent him to the chief captain; upon hearing of the plot he immediately made plans to get Paul out of town (v. 17).

It is interesting to note that no protest was made by the religious authorities when the conspirators took them into their confidence. Instead they were quite willing to give their blessing to this plot (vv. 18-22). However, it is not too surprising, since religion is spawned by the father of lies. This same wicked one is very much at work today in such religious groups as Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus etc. and because of it believers in many countries are being put to death.

This band of zealots were determined to kill Paul, but they did not know that the Lord had just promised Paul a safe journey to Rome (v. 11). They were very loyal to Judaism, and no doubt thought they were doing the God of Israel a favor. Knowing the Roman soldiers would  certainly be guarding Paul they were even willing to risk the loss of life in order to gain their objective. However it is a simple matter for God to destroy the schemes of wicked men.


The Lord delights in working behind the scene. An example would be a delay in traffic that may cause me to avoid some danger. Thank you Lord for Your protection!!

Acts 23:12-22 (English Standard Version)

When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. They went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near." Now the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. Paul called one of the centurions and said, "Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him." So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, "Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you." The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, "What is it that you have to tell me?" And he said, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent." So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, "Tell no one that you have informed me of these things."

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