Act 25:1 Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem. COMMENT: The use of the word "ascended" from Caesarea to Jerusalem first of all puts Jerusalem at the top of the world and it suggests to us there was no small pomp in his journey since he is the new governor of the region.

Act 25:2/3 Then the High Priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him, and desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him. COMMENT: This kind of trechery existed among the Jews in A.D. 59 as Israel approached their rebellion against Rome to culminate eleven years later in A.D. 70-72 in the conquest of Jerusalem by Co-emperor Titus and his armies.

The rulers of the Jews sought favor with the new governor Festus to send Paul to Jerusalem so they could ambush him in the way and kill him, the unjust wishing to kill the just.

Act 25:4 But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly [thither]. COMMENT: Festus turned the Jewish rulers down, and went on to say:

Act 25:5 "Let them therefore," said he, "which among you are able, go down with [me], and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him." COMMENT: Festus invited the Jewish rulers to come to Caesarea to make their case against Paul.

Act 25:6 And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought. COMMENT: Festus stayed in Jerusalem ten days and the day after his arrival in Caesarea, he had Saint Paul brought before the secular judgment seat there.

Act 25:7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove. COMMENT: The Jewish rulers had no case. They were persecutors of believers in Jesus and would kill them all if that would stop them from competing for followers from among the same constituency as they drew their power from, and from preaching to them of their wickedness in having Christ crucified.

Act 25:8 While he answered for himself, "Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all. COMMENT: Paul made a very brief summary of his defense.

Act 25:9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Will you go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? COMMENT: Festus was not interested in justice. He had a political agenda and immediately addressed it; by asking Paul if he would be willing to be judged by the Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem who were zealous to have him killed.

Act 25:10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as you very well know. COMMENT: Paul knew Festus was on the side of those who wished to kill him, by asking him to return to Jerusalem to be judged; so Paul rejected the offer to go there and in doing so, he reproved Festus by concluding: "to the Jews have I done no wrong, as you very well know."

We are hearing of two judgment seats: One is that of the Jewish council of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem where religious judgments took place. The other was that of Caesar's regional judgment seat before which Paul was present with Governor Festus presiding.

Act 25:11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. COMMENT: Saint Paul makes his appeal for Caesar, the ruler of the Roman Empire to judge him. He has been in custody for two years with liberty, but now that liberty is gone; and the new governor favors those who wish to kill him without a just cause. He knows this will be accepted because the Lord visited him two years earlier telling Paul in a vision he must witness of him in Rome.

Act 25:12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Have you appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shall you go. COMMENT: We are left to imagine what Festus must have said to the Jewish council, but it is clear they had no case; and under those circumstances the governor could do nothing for them. So Festus announced that Paul would be sent to Caesar.

Act 25:13 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus. COMMENT: King Agrippa is the son of of King Herod Agrippa who committed blasphemy before the people in A.D. 45 and was eaten of worms. King Herod Agrippa, his father had killed some of his sons, leaving the dynasty in a state of confusion at his death; and there was quite a fight among his remaining sons for the throne; so the Roman Emperor reduced this present King Agrippa's kingdom to that of tetrarch of Galilee, Iturea, Abilene, and Trachonitis. This was not quite as glorious a kingdom as his fathers ruled over.

King Agrippa and his sister Bernice came to Caesarea for a prolonged visit to make sure of their friendship with the new governor Festus who ruled over Jerusalem and Judea which formerly was in the power of the Herodian dynasty.

Act 25:14 And when they had been there MANY DAYS, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, "There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix: About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the Chief Priests and the elders of the Jews informed [me], desiring [to have] judgment against him. COMMENT: Festus seemed to open up to King Agrippa after MANY DAYS telling him of the desire of the Jewish rulers to have Paul brought before them in judgment.

Act 25:16 To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. COMMENT: Here Festus gives us a lesson in Roman law as he explains to King Agrippa what he said to the Jewish rulers.

Act 25:17/19 Therefore, when they were come here, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth. Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation of such things as I supposed: But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. COMMENT: Festus explained to King Agrippa how he was surprised to find out the Jewish rulers had no evidence against Paul, just "certain questions against him" of their beliefs with Paul disagreed, saying in regard to Christ who was dead, Paul declared to be alive.

Act 25:20 And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked [him] whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters. COMMENT: Festus makes it appear he thought Paul would get a fair trial in Jerusalem, but we know from the temper of the Jewish multitude there the holy Apostle could not receive a fair trial.

Act 25:21 But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept til I might send him to Caesar.

Act 25:22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself." "To morrow," said he, "you shall hear him."

Act 25:23 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth.

Act 25:24 And Festus said, "King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, you see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and [also] here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. COMMENT: Governor Festus is addressing all who are present, but particularly King Agrippa who is preimminent among them.

Act 25:25/26 But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself has appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him. Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before you, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write. COMMENT: Governor Festus makes it clear he found no guilt in Saint Paul. He ought to have released Paul, and to have cleared his good name; but to show the Jewish rulers political favor - he accepted Paul's appeal to be judged by Caesar, and was determined to send him; although he had nothing to write to Caesar since there was no evidence.

Act 25:27 "For it seemes to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him."