The Book of Acts – Chapter 23
1 And when Paul had looked on the assembly of them, he said:
Men, my brethren; I have lived in all good conscience before God up to this day.
2 And Ananias, the priest, commanded those who stood by his side, to smite Paul on the mouth.
3 And Paul said to him:
God is here-after to smite thee, [thou] Whited Wall !
For, sittest thou judging me agreeably to law, while thou transgressest the law, and commandest to smite me?
4 And those standing by, said to him:
Dost thou reproach the priest of God !
5 Paul said to them:
I was not aware, my brethren, that he was the priest:
for it is written, Thou shalt not curse the ruler of thy people.
6 And, as Paul knew that a part of the people were of the Sadducees, and a part of the Pharisees, he cried out, in the assembly:
Men, my brethren; I am a Pharisee the son of a Pharisee; and for the hope of the resurrection of the dead, I am judged.
7 And when he had said this, the Pharisees and Sadducees fell upon one another, and the people were divided
8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angels, nor a spirit:
but the Pharisees confess all these.
9 And there was great vociferation.
And some Scribes of the party of the Pharisees rose up, and contended with them, and said.
We have found nothing evil in this man:
for if a spirit or an angel hath conversed with him, what is there in that ?
10 And, as there was great commotion among them, the Chiliarch was afraid lest they should tear Paul in pieces.
And he sent Romans, to go and pluck him from their midst, and bring him into the castle.
11 And when night came, our Lord appeared to Paul, and said to him:
Be strong; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so also art thou to testify at Rome.
12 And when it was morning, several of the Jews assembled together, and bound themselves by imprecations that they would neither eat nor drink until they had slain Paul.
13 And they who had established this compact by oath, were more than forty persons.
14 And they went to the priests and Elders, and said:
We have bound ourselves by imprecations, that we will taste of nothing, until we shall have slain Paul.
15 And now, do ye and the chiefs of the congregation request of the Chiliarch, that he would bring him unto you, as if ye were desirous to investigate truly his conduct:
and we are prepared to slay him, ere he shall come to you.
16 And the son of Paul’s sister, heard of this plot:
and he went into the castle, and informed Paul.
17 And Paul sent and called one of the centurions, and said to him:
Conduct this youth to the Chiliarch; for he hath something to tell him.
18 And the centurion took the young man, and introduced him to the Chiliarch, and said:
Paul the prisoner called me, and requested me to bring this youth to thee, for he hath something to tell thee.
19 And the Chiliarch took the young man by his hand, and led him one side, and asked him:
What hast thou to tell me ?
20 And the young man said to him:
The Jews have projected to ask thee to bring down Paul to-morrow to their assembly, as if wishing to learn something more from him.
21 But be not thou persuaded by them: for, lo, more than forty persons of them watch for him in ambush, and have bound themselves by imprecations, that they will neither eat nor drink until they shall have slain him:
and lo, they are prepared, and are waiting for thy promise
22 And the Chiliarch dismissed the young man, after charging him:
Let no man know, that thou hast showed me these things.
23 And he called two centurions, and said to them:
Go and prepare two hundred Romans to go to Caesarea, and seventy horsemen, and shooters with the right hand two hundred; and let them set out at the third hour of the night.
24 And provide also a saddle beast, that they may set Paul on it, and carry him safely to Felix the governor.
25 And he wrote a letter and gave them, in which was, thus:
26 Claudius Lysias to the excellent governor Felix; greeting.
27 The Jews seized this man, in order to kill him; but I came with Romans, and rescued him, when I learned that he was a Roman.
28 And as I wished to know the offence, for which they criminated him, I brought him to their assembly.
29 And I found, that it was about questions of their law they accused him, and that an offence worthy of bonds or of death, was not upon him.
30 And when the wiles of a plot formed by the Jews against him came to my knowledge, I forthwith sent him to thee.
And I have directed his accusers, to go and contend with him, before thee. Farewell.
31 Then the Romans, as they had been commanded, took Paul by night, and brought him to the city of Antipatris.
32 And the next day, the horsemen dismissed the footmen their associates, that they might return to the castle.
33 And they brought him to Caesarea:
and they delivered the letter to the governor, and set Paul before him.
34 And when he had read the letter, he asked him of what province he was?
And when he learned that he was of Cilicia,
35 he said to him:
I will give thee audience, when thy accusers arrive.
And he ordered him to be kept in the Praetorium of Herod.
2 Esdras 5 KJVA
1 Nevertheless as coming the tokens, behold, the days shall come, that they which dwell upon earth shall be taken in a great number, and the way of truth shall be hidden, and the land shall be barren of faith.
2 But iniquity shall be increased above that which now thou seest, or that thou hast heard long ago.
3 And the land, that thou seest now to have root, shalt thou see wasted suddenly.
4 But if the most High grant thee to live, thou shalt see after the third trumpet that the sun shall suddenly shine again in the night, and the moon thrice in the day:
5 And blood shall drop out of wood, and the stone shall give his voice, and the people shall be troubled:
6 And even he shall rule, whom they look not for that dwell upon the earth, and the fowls shall take their flight away together:
7 And the Sodomitish sea shall cast out fish, and make a noise in the night, which many have not known: but they shall all hear the voice thereof.
8 There shall be a confusion also in many places, and the fire shall be oft sent out again, and the wild beasts shall change their places, and menstruous women shall bring forth monsters:
9 And salt waters shall be found in the sweet, and all friends shall destroy one another; then shall wit hide itself, and understanding withdraw itself into his secret chamber,
10 And shall be sought of many, and yet not be found: then shall unrighteousness and incontinency be multiplied upon earth.
11 One land also shall ask another, and say, Is righteousness that maketh a man righteous gone through thee? And it shall say, No.
12 At the same time shall men hope, but nothing obtain: they shall labour, but their ways shall not prosper.
13 To shew thee such tokens I have leave; and if thou wilt pray again, and weep as now, and fast even days, thou shalt hear yet greater things.
14 Then I awaked, and an extreme fearfulness went through all my body, and my mind was troubled, so that it fainted.
15 So the angel that was come to talk with me held me, comforted me, and set me up upon my feet.
16 And in the second night it came to pass, that Salathiel the captain of the people came unto me, saying, Where hast thou been? and why is thy countenance so heavy?
17 Knowest thou not that Israel is committed unto thee in the land of their captivity?
18 Up then, and eat bread, and forsake us not, as the shepherd that leaveth his flock in the hands of cruel wolves.
19 Then said I unto him, Go thy ways from me, and come not nigh me. And he heard what I said, and went from me.
20 And so I fasted seven days, mourning and weeping, like as Uriel the angel commanded me.
21 And after seven days so it was, that the thoughts of my heart were very grievous unto me again,
22 And my soul recovered the spirit of understanding, and I began to talk with the most High again,
23 And said, O Lord that bearest rule, of every wood of the earth, and of all the trees thereof, thou hast chosen thee one only vine:
24 And of all lands of the whole world thou hast chosen thee one pit: and of all the flowers thereof one lily:
25 And of all the depths of the sea thou hast filled thee one river: and of all builded cities thou hast hallowed Sion unto thyself:
26 And of all the fowls that are created thou hast named thee one dove: and of all the cattle that are made thou hast provided thee one sheep:
27 And among all the multitudes of people thou hast gotten thee one people:
and unto this people, whom thou lovedst, thou gavest a law that is approved of all.
28 And now, O Lord, why hast thou given this one people over unto many? and upon the one root hast thou prepared others, and why hast thou scattered thy only one people among many?
29 And they which did gainsay thy promises, and believed not thy covenants, have trodden them down.
30 If thou didst so much hate thy people, yet shouldest thou punish them with thine own hands.
31 Now when I had spoken these words, the angel that came to me the night afore was sent unto me,
32 And said unto me, Hear me, and I will instruct thee; hearken to the thing that I say, and I shall tell thee more.
33 And I said, Speak on, my Lord. Then said he unto me, Thou art sore troubled in mind for Israel’s sake: lovest thou that people better than he that made them?
34 And I said, No, Lord: but of very grief have I spoken: for my reins pain me every hour, while I labour to comprehend the way of the most High, and to seek out part of his judgment.
35 And he said unto me, Thou canst not. And I said, Wherefore, Lord? whereunto was I born then? or why was not my mother’s womb then my grave, that I might not have seen the travail of Jacob, and the wearisome toil of the stock of Israel?
36 And he said unto me, Number me the things that are not yet come, gather me together the dross that are scattered abroad, make me the flowers green again that are withered, 37 Open me the places that are closed, and bring me forth the winds that in them are shut up, shew me the image of a voice: and then I will declare to thee the thing that thou labourest to know.
38 And I said, O Lord that bearest rule, who may know these things, but he that hath not his dwelling with men?
39 As for me, I am unwise: how may I then speak of these things whereof thou askest me?
40 Then said he unto me, Like as thou canst do none of these things that I have spoken of, even so canst thou not find out my judgment, or in the end the love that I have promised unto my people.
41 And I said, Behold, O Lord, yet art thou nigh unto them that be reserved till the end: and what shall they do that have been before me, or we that be now, or they that shall come after us?
42 And he said unto me, I will liken my judgment unto a ring: like as there is no slackness of the last, even so there is no swiftness of the first.
43 So I answered and said, Couldest thou not make those that have been made, and be now, and that are for to come, at once; that thou mightest shew thy judgment the sooner? 44 Then answered he me, and said, The creature may not haste above the maker; neither may the world hold them at once that shall be created therein.
45 And I said, As thou hast said unto thy servant, that thou, which givest life to all, hast given life at once to the creature that thou hast created, and the creature bare it: even so it might now also bear them that now be present at once.
46 And he said unto me, Ask the womb of a woman, and say unto her, If thou bringest forth children, why dost thou it not together, but one after another? pray her therefore to bring forth ten children at once.
47 And I said, She cannot: but must do it by distance of time.
48 Then said he unto me, Even so have I given the womb of the earth to those that be sown in it in their times.
49 For like as a young child may not bring forth the things that belong to the aged, even so have I disposed the world which I created.
50 And I asked, and said, Seeing thou hast now given me the way, I will proceed to speak before thee: for our mother, of whom thou hast told me that she is young, draweth now nigh unto age.
51 He answered me, and said, Ask a woman that beareth children, and she shall tell thee.
52 Say unto her, Wherefore are unto they whom thou hast now brought forth like those that were before, but less of stature?
53 And she shall answer thee, They that be born in the strength of youth are of one fashion, and they that are born in the time of age, when the womb faileth, are otherwise.
54 Consider thou therefore also, how that ye are less of stature than those that were before you.
55 And so are they that come after you less than ye, as the creatures which now begin to be old, and have passed over the strength of youth.
56 Then said I, Lord, I beseech thee, if I have found favour in thy sight, shew thy servant by whom thou visitest thy creature.
2 Esdras 5 KJVA