Thursday, August 16, 2012

Daily Bible Reading: Sirach [Ecclesiasticus] 51 and Acts 25

Sirach 51 – A beautiful psalm of thankfulness and praise – thankfulness for God’s (Wisdom’s) interventions in the writer’s life, praise for all the good that flows from “her.”

“I am determined to put her [God’s wisdom] into practice, I have earnestly pursued what is good, I will not be put to shame. My soul has fought to possess her, I have been scrupulous in keeping the Law; I have stretched out my hands to heaven and bewailed my ignorance of her; I have directed my soul towards her, and in purity have found her; having my heart fixed on her from the outset, I shall never by deserted; my very cored having yearned to discover he, I have now acquired a good possession. In reward the Lord has given me a tongue with which I shall sing his praises” (51:19-22).


Acts 25 – Jewish leaders try to get Festus to send Paul up to Jerusalem – they had a plot to ambush and kill him. But Festus keeps Paul in Caesarea and tells them to come down there to make their case against him. He hears the case again, and wanting to win favor with the Jewish leaders, suggests Paul go up to Jerusalem. Paul appeals to Caesar (25:12) and Festus agrees to send him to Rome.

King Agrippa II and his sister Bernice[1] come to Caesarea where Festus puts the case of Paul before him. Festus tells them about the case against Paul and how he told the Jewish leaders that “Romans are not in the habit of surrendering any man, until the accused confronts his accusers and is given an opportunity to defend himself against the charge” (25:16). Agrippa asks to hear Paul so the next day they get their chance. Festus is hoping this will help him understand what exact charge he should attach to Paul when he sends him to Rome.

[1] Agrippa I (10 BC – 44 AD) was King of the Jews and grandson of Herod the Great. He is the king named Herod in Acts. He was called Agrippa the Great. He was close to Tiberius and Claudius. His son Agrippa II is the one who appears here in Acts 25. He is with his sister Bernice, with whom some say he had an incestuous relationship.

No comments:

Post a Comment