What does Acts 23:32 mean?
ESV: And on the next day they returned to the barracks, letting the horsemen go on with him.
NIV: The next day they let the cavalry go on with him, while they returned to the barracks.
NASB: But on the next day they let the horsemen go on with him, and they returned to the barracks.
CSB: The next day, they returned to the barracks, allowing the cavalry to go on with him.
NLT: They returned to the fortress the next morning, while the mounted troops took him on to Caesarea.
KJV: On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle:
NKJV: The next day they left the horsemen to go on with him, and returned to the barracks.
Verse Commentary:
Lysias, the Roman tribune, had a mess on his hands. A strange man, Paul, came to Jerusalem about a week prior. Everyone in the city seems to want him dead (Acts 21:31; 23:10). And yet, not only has he not committed a crime, he's a Roman citizen (Acts 22:25). Lysias needs to discover why everyone wants him dead while keeping him safe. When the Jewish religious leaders make a pact with forty determined men to assassinate Paul (Acts 23:12–15), Lysias gives up. He can't keep Paul in custody without a reason, but he can't let him go or he'll be killed. So, he sends Paul to the governor and tells the religious leaders to go to Caesarea Maritima and give their charges (Acts 23:30).

Lysias wants to make sure his prisoner stays safe in the journey from Jerusalem to Caesarea—particularly the first leg to Antipatris. So two hundred soldiers, two hundred spearmen, seventy horsemen, and two centurions leave with Paul three hours after sunset and march the thirty miles through the night (Acts 23:23). The territory from Antipatris to Caesarea is in Samaria and has far fewer Jews. The soldiers aren't worried about an ambush on this leg, so the infantrymen and spearmen return to Jerusalem while the horsemen continue with Paul.

The "barracks" are the Antonia Fortress, the tall building rising next to the northwest corner of the temple mount, and the smaller buildings to the east. It is the headquarters for six hundred Roman peace-keeping forces; Herod the Great built it and named it after Mark Antony.
Verse Context:
Acts 23:23–35 records Paul escaping a death plot in Jerusalem. He then travels to the governor in Caesarea Maritima. Jews and their leaders attacked Paul and conspired for his death, and the Roman tribune can't determine why (Acts 21:27–34). The governor agrees to hold a trial not yet knowing Paul's accusers don't have a case and the tribune will never arrive to give his side of the story. He holds Paul without charges for two years until the new governor sends Paul to Caesar in 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.
Accessed 5/28/2024 7:25:12 PM
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