Chapter
Verse

Acts 26:1

ESV So Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:
NIV Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'You have permission to speak for yourself.' So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense:
NASB Now Agrippa said to Paul, 'You are permitted to speak for yourself.' Then Paul extended his hand and proceeded to make his defense:
CSB Agrippa said to Paul, "You have permission to speak for yourself."Then Paul stretched out his hand and began his defense:
NLT Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'You may speak in your defense.' So Paul, gesturing with his hand, started his defense:
KJV Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:

What does Acts 26:1 mean?

Paul has been under house arrest in Caesarea Maritima for two years (Acts 24:27). The Sanhedrin claimed, "this man [is] a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him" (Acts 24:5–6). Paul countered that their real issue is his belief that Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 24:21). Although the Sanhedrin couldn't prove their claims, first Governor Felix (Acts 24:27) and then Festus (Acts 25:9) wished to placate the council while not obliterating Paul's rights as a Roman citizen.

After enduring two years of unjust indecisiveness, Paul appealed his case to a higher court (Acts 25:11–12). Festus must send him, but he has nothing with which to charge Paul. Festus has asked the help of King Agrippa II, the king's sister/lover Bernice, and the civil and military leaders of Caesarea for help (Acts 25:23–27). To that end, Agrippa invites Paul to tell his story.

Agrippa and Bernice are the children of Agrippa I, the king who beheaded the apostle James, brother of John, and arrested Peter before dying of intestinal worms after receiving worship as a god (Acts 12:1–3, 20–23). Agrippa I was the grandson of Herod the Great. The family has been in the region a long time and has a very good understanding of Judaism. They also fully grasp Jewish culture, although they are ethnically mixed; Herod the Great was Idumean, meaning Edomite, and Nabatean, meaning Arabian. His wife, Mariamne, was a Hasmonean Jew descended from the Maccabees. Both Agrippa II and Bernice are friends and informants of the Jewish historian Josephus.
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