22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.”
“Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.”
23 So the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and had entered the auditorium with the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at Festus’ command Paul was brought in.
24 And Festus said: “King Agrippa and all the men who are here present with us, you see this man about whom the whole assembly of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying out that he was not fit to live any longer.
25 But when I found that he had committed nothing deserving of death, and that he himself had appealed to Augustus, I decided to send him.
26 I have nothing certain to write to my lord concerning him. Therefore I have brought him out before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the examination has taken place I may have something to write.
27 For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not to specify the charges against him.”
I would like to hear (v.22) — The tense indicates that Agrippa desired to hear Paul for some time previous to this. It also makes Agrippa’s words a polite request to Festus.
Festus turned this hearing (v.23) into a state occasion with Agrippa as the chief dignitary.
pomp (v.23) — ostentatious display
chief captains (v.23) — military tribunes, the heads of the military department in Caesarea
As Agrippa beheld Paul, did he recall his great-grandfather, Herod, and the slaughter of the innocent [children in Bethlehem] (Matthew 2:16)? Did he recall his great-uncle, Herod Antipas, and the murder of John the Baptist (Matthew 14:1-11)? Did he recall his father, Herod Agrippa I and the murder of James (Acts 12:1-2)? Did it occur to him that all these ancestors of his had died or been disgraced soon after their commission of these crimes? Did the “great pomp” of his own parade to the Audience Hall remind him of the time 16 years ago, when the people had shouted that his much-more-powerful father was a god, and how he had been instantly stricken with death and eaten by worms “because he gave not God the glory” (Acts 12:21-23)? — Acts Dispensationally Considered, by C.R. Stam, pages 121-122.
my lord (v.26) — The Greek word corresponds to the Latin “dominus,” a title which had been refused by both Octavian and Tiberius as trespassing on the prerogatives of deity and as savoring of despotism. Caligula, however, accepted it, as did also his successors. It became a usual appellation of the emperors. — The Acts of the Apostles, by Thomas Walker, page 527.
examination (v.26) — investigation. This was not a trial, instead it was hearing to try to determine the charges against Paul.
In Acts 9:15, the Lord told Ananias that Paul was “a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” This hearing was a partial fulfillment of that.
Paul would not be benefited by helping Festus explain the charges laid against him! Thus, as in his private hearings before Felix, he scarcely refers to these charges, but takes advantage of the opportunity to seek to win his hearers to Christ. — Stam, page 123.