What does Acts 23:10 mean?
ESV: And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.
NIV: The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.
NASB: And when a great dissension occurred, the commander was afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, and he ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.
CSB: When the dispute became violent, the commander feared that Paul might be torn apart by them and ordered the troops to go down, take him away from them, and bring him into the barracks.
NLT: As the conflict grew more violent, the commander was afraid they would tear Paul apart. So he ordered his soldiers to go and rescue him by force and take him back to the fortress.
KJV: And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
NKJV: Now when there arose a great dissension, the commander, fearing lest Paul might be pulled to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks.
Verse Commentary:
The Roman army tribune of Jerusalem had to rescue Paul from a murderous mob on the temple mount. He wants to know why (Acts 21:30–34). He's brought Paul to the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, to hear their point of view. It's a good idea as they're in charge of the religion and the culture of the Jews. But, they're no match for Paul.

Paul begins by defending his integrity so they will listen to his witness about Jesus. The council finds his presumed righteousness offensive and has him struck. Paul notes their hypocrisy of punishing a man who has not been convicted of a crime and calls his attacker a "whitewashed wall." Bystanders point out Paul just insulted Ananias, the high priest. Paul responds with a sarcastic but well-deserved comment about Ananias' integrity (Acts 23:1–5).

When it's evident Paul is not going to be able to share about Jesus, he incites a fight between the Pharisees and Sadducees about the resurrection of the dead. The two groups fall into his trap and start fighting. The poor tribune has already learned he can't understand Paul and he can't beat him (Acts 22:1–29); now he knows he can't control him. By manipulating the Sanhedrin, Paul has shown the tribune that, like in Corinth, the disagreement is "a matter of questions about words and names and [the Jews'] own law" (Acts 18:15). The tribune realizes Paul hasn't broken the law and takes him back to the barracks to regroup.

The next day, Paul's nephew overhears a group conspire with the chief priests and elders to lure Paul into the open and kill him. When the boy tells the tribune, the army officer gives up. He sends Paul away in the middle of the night to the governor in Caesarea Maritima (Acts 23:12–35).

"Tribune" is a title for different offices. They could be tasked with administration and logistics or with leading military units. Their primary job was to protect the poor as well as the rich non-citizens from the aristocrats. In this case, he's protecting Paul from the magistrates of Jerusalem. The "barracks" refers to the Antonia Fortress built on the northwest corner of the temple mount by Herod the Great and named after Mark Antony.
Verse Context:
Acts 23:1–11 records a Roman military tribune's last effort to uncover why a mob attacked Paul. The crowd dragged him out of the temple and beat him mercilessly (Acts 21:27–33). The tribune asks the Sanhedrin for help, but there are too many divisions. The Sanhedrin can't abide Christians. Paul can't fathom their rejection of Jesus. The Sadducees and Pharisees quickly fall into an old fight about the resurrection of the dead. The tribune takes Paul back to the barracks where, that night, Jesus tells Paul he's on his way to Rome.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 23 continues the tribune's attempt to discover why a mob of Jews suddenly turned violent and attacked Paul (Acts 21:27–33). He takes Paul to the Sanhedrin to see if they understand what his crime is. Paul barely begins his story when he is slapped for impudence. He disrespects the high priest and starts a fight between the Pharisees and Sadducees. The next day, a group of forty Jews invite the Sanhedrin to help them murder Paul. Paul's nephew reports the plot to the tribune who gives up and sends Paul to the governor. The governor awaits Paul's accusers for trial.
Chapter Context:
Jews from near Ephesus accused Paul of bringing a Gentile into the temple and incited a crowd to attack him. The tribune saved Paul but couldn't uncover the reason for the violence; most of the mob didn't know, and Paul was a Roman citizen, so the tribune couldn't beat the truth out of him (Acts 21—22). When the Sanhedrin would rather murder Paul than talk to him, the tribune sends Paul to the governor. The governor holds Paul without charges for so long he invokes his right to a trial before Caesar. The governor agrees, and Paul finally gets to Rome (Acts 24—28).
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
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