What does Acts 25:1 mean?
ESV: Now three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea.
NIV: Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem,
NASB: Festus, then, after arriving in the province, went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea three days later.
CSB: Three days after Festus arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea.
NLT: Three days after Festus arrived in Caesarea to take over his new responsibilities, he left for Jerusalem,
KJV: Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
NKJV: Now when Festus had come to the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
Verse Commentary:
History associates certain names with utter wickedness and depravity. The infamous Emperor Nero is one of these. It says something drastic about the failure of your political career when Nero calls you to account for your corruption and cruelty. This is the case with Felix, whose constituents in Caesarea Maritima sent so many complaints to Rome that he lost his job.

When Porcius Festus arrives to replace him, he immediately tries to build good relationships with the local leaders. He barely has time to drop off his things in Caesarea before he's off to Jerusalem to meet the Sanhedrin: the religious and cultural leaders of the Jews.

Festus's overtures are noble, but his desire for peace outreaches his responsibility for justice. Felix had held Paul under house arrest in Caesarea for two years. Felix knew Paul had not committed any crime, but if he released Paul the Sanhedrin would be a problem. Felix might have been convinced if offered appropriate incentive, but despite his many audiences with Paul, the prisoner refused to offer a bribe (Acts 24:22–27).

When the Sanhedrin meets Festus, they see their chance. They already tried to trick the military tribune in Jerusalem to bring Paul out into the open so they could kill him. That was foiled by Paul's nephew (Acts 23:12–16). They hope to try again. They ask Festus to send Paul to Jerusalem for another trial. Jerusalem is far enough from Caesarea that assassins would have ample time and space to do their work (Acts 25:3).
Verse Context:
Acts 25:1–5 describes the new governor, Festus, meeting the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. They immediately present the one thing Festus can do to earn their good graces: bring Paul to Jerusalem for trial. Festus doesn't know it's a trap. He does know Paul is a Roman citizen and has the right to choose the place of his trial. For good reason, Paul does not want to go to Jerusalem. Festus invites the leaders to the capital, Caesarea Maritima, to present their case.
Chapter Summary:
In Acts 25, the new governor, Festus, must clean up Felix's mess. He tries to ingratiate himself with the Sanhedrin but when they ask him to bring Paul to Jerusalem for trial, he refuses. The Sanhedrin agrees to come to Caesarea Maritima, instead, to present their accusations. Festus quickly realizes they don't have a case. Yet when he hesitates to dismiss the charges, Paul appeals the case to a higher court. Festus then invites King Agrippa II, the king's sister Bernice, and the city leaders to hear Paul and determine how to justify Paul's presence before Caesar.
Chapter Context:
When Felix is called back to Rome to answer for his cruelty, he leaves a bit of a mess. Paul is still under house arrest without charges (Acts 24). When the new governor Festus refuses to exonerate him, Paul appeals to a higher court. Paul is a Roman citizen, so Festus must send him. Yet he still has no formal charges. After inviting King Agrippa II and the city leaders to hear Paul's testimony, they realize Paul has done nothing wrong and should have been released. Paul and Luke survive a harrowing sea voyage but finally arrive at Rome (Acts 27—29).
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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