22 But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case.”
23 So he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him.
24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”
26 Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him.
27 But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.
more perfect (v.22) — He knew more about “the way” than Paul’s accusers did.
adjourned (v.22) — Felix knew Paul was not guilty, but he put off his decision until Lysias came, which never happened. He probably never even sent for Lysias, hoping Paul would offer a bribe to be freed.
keep (v.23) — in safe custody with as relaxed conditions as possible
acquaintances (v.23) — perhaps Philp and other saved Jews in Caesarea, perhaps Luke and Aristarchus of Thessalonica (Acts 27:2)
Drusilla (v.24) — It was about this time that Felix, with the aid of Simon, a magician from Cyprus (supposed by some to be the Simon Magus of Acts 8), succeeded in enticing the beautiful Drusilla away from Azizus, king of Emesa, whom she had, some six years previously, married at the age of fourteen. Now about twenty, she already had an infamous past. She was the daughter of Herod Agrippa I (of Acts 12), the sister of Herod Agrippa II (of Acts 26) and was a little girl at the time her father had accepted worship as a god and had been suddenly stricken dead (Acts 12:22-23). — Stam, pages 101-102.
Drusilla was the youngest of the three daughters of Herod Agrippa I, her elder sisters being Berenice (Acts 25:13) and Mariamne. She bore Felix one son, Agrippa, who perished, in the company either of his wife or Drusilla, in an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in the reign of the emperor Titus.
She was the second wife of Felix. His first wife had also, curiously enough, borne the name of Drusilla, being the granddaughter of Antony and Cleopatra. Apparently, he married, later, a third wife whose name is unknown, since Suetonius calls him the husband of three queens. — Walker, page 512.
righteousness (v.25) — No doubt, Paul spoke of mans’ sin and need of a Savior.
self-control (v.25) — with emphasis on sensual sins — Felix and Drusilla were living in adultery
judment to come (v.25) — which Felix, a judge, would understand
Some have carelessly concluded that Paul was preaching “kingdom” truth here, that this address was not compatible with “the gospel of the grace of God.” But such overlook the fact that we have here another of the interrupted discourses of the book of Acts. What Paul had been saying formed the introduction to the gospel of the grace of God, for still today, no man truly proclaims grace who does not proclaim it against the background of the righteous wrath of God against sin. Any who may question this should consider prayerfully such passages as Ephesians 2:1-10 and the early chapters of Romans. — Stam, pages 104-105.
afraid (v.25) = terrified
communed (v.26) — friendly conversation
two years (v.27) — That is, dating from Paul’s trial. He was thus detained in custody two years in Caesarea. During this period, the party jealousies which constantly existed between the Jews and Syrians of that city culminated in an open fight. When the Jewish faction refused to disperse, Felix sent soldiery who slew some of them and plundered their houses. He was accused in Rome in consequence, and had to proceed thither to answer the charges against him.
Porcius Festus (v.27) — There is considerable doubt about the date of his assuming office, but it was probably in A.D. 59. His procuratorship was of comparatively brief duration, as he died, most probably, in A.D. 61-62, being succeeded by Albinus. Josephus gives him a fairly good character, and he was certainly more upright in every way than Felix. He rigorously put down the Sicarii. The chief events of his term of office were (1) the emperor’s decision in favor of the Syrians at Caesarea, as against the Jews, and (2) grave disturbances at Jerusalem because of the building of a wall at the temple to intercept the view from Agrippa’s palace. He was a typical Roman official, indifferent to the religious tenets and disputes of the Jews. — Walker, pages 514-515.
left Paul bound (v.27) — It was customary to release uncondemned prisoners when the governorship was turned over, but Felix kept Paul in custody to appease the Jews. This doesn’t necessarily mean a stricter custody than what he’d experienced up to this point.
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