Friday, April 24, 2015

Paul Rides a Horse

23 Then he called two of the centurions and said, “Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night. [1] 24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25 And he wrote a letter to this effect:
 26 “Claudius Lysias, to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings. 27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman citizen. 28 And desiring to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their council. 29 I found that he was being accused about questions of their law, but charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. 30 And when it was disclosed to me that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.”
 31 So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 And on the next day they returned to the barracks, letting the horsemen go on with him. 33 When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34 On reading the letter, he asked what province he was from. And when he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.” And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod's praetorium.” (Acts 23:23-35 (ESV)

That is a lot of protection that Claudius provides for Paul on his journey to Felix. The Roman government was serious about protecting her citizens, especially why they were on trial. Vigilante justice was not permitted. This also is the first time you hear of Paul riding a horse. It’s a bit of trivia, but a person assumes most of his trips were taken on foot. He may never have ridden a horse before in his life. But if he is going to keep up with cavalry he’d need to be on a horse of his own, putting him on a donkey in such a situation wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense. In any case, even a government such as Rome’s understood the necessity of protecting prisoners. And this saved Paul. 

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