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 23:31-35)
The two day journey from Jerusalem to Caesarea was safely accomplished and the Roman soldiers delivered the Apostle Paul to the Roman Governor, Felix. Dr. John Walvoord writes, “Felix is one of three Roman procurators mentioned in the New Testament. The others are Pontius Pilate (a.d. 26–36) and Porcius Festus (a.d. 58–62). Felix married Drusilla (24:24), a sister of Herod Agrippa II, the Agrippa in Acts 25:13–26:32.”
It is speculation on our part to know whether Paul thought he would be quickly released by the governor. What we do know from today’s text is that Felix, having learned Paul was from Cilicia, determined to have a hearing once the apostle’s accusers arrived from Jerusalem. The governor needed to know whether he had jurisdiction to hear Paul’s case. Since Judea and Cilicia were at that time both under the representative of Syria, Felix had the authority to preside over Paul’s hearing. Felix ordered that Paul be kept safe, and under guard, in King Herod’s praetorium or governmental offices.
What will occur will be a period of political red tape for Paul and his desire to travel to the city of Rome. However, his trust in the LORD never wavered, in spite of frustrating circumstances. May this be said of each of us.
Soli deo Gloria!