Psalm 81; Acts 23:25–24:9

Oh, That My People Would Listen to Me

To the choirmaster: according to fThe Gittith.1 Of gAsaph.

81  hSing aloud to God our strength;

ishout for joy to the God of Jacob!

Raise a song; sound jthe tambourine,

kthe sweet lyre with kthe harp.

Blow the trumpet at lthe new moon,

at the full moon, on our feast day.

For it is a statute for Israel,

a rule2 of the God of Jacob.

He made it ma decree in nJoseph

when he owent out over3 the land of Egypt.

pI hear a language qI had not known:

I rrelieved your4 shoulder of sthe burden;

your hands were freed from the basket.

In distress you tcalled, and I delivered you;

I uanswered you in the secret place of thunder;

I vtested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah

wHear, O my people, while I admonish you!

O Israel, if you would but listen to me!

There shall be no xstrange god among you;

you shall not bow down to a yforeign god.

10  zI am the Lord your God,

who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

aOpen your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11  But my people did not listen to my voice;

Israel bwould not submit to me.

12  So I cgave them over to their dstubborn hearts,

to follow their own ecounsels.

13  fOh, that my people would listen to me,

that Israel would gwalk in my ways!

14  I would soon subdue their enemies

and hturn my hand against their foes.

15  Those who hate the Lord would icringe toward him,

and their fate would last forever.

16  But he would feed you5 with jthe finest of the wheat,

and with khoney from the rock I would satisfy you.


25 And he wrote a letter to this effect:

26 Claudius Lysias, to chis Excellency the governor Felix, dgreetings. 27 eThis man was seized by the Jews and fwas about to be killed by them fwhen I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, ghaving learned that he was a Roman citizen. 28 And hdesiring to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their council. 29 I found that he was being accused iabout questions of their law, but jcharged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. 30 kAnd when it was disclosed to me lthat there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, mordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.

31 So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 And on the next day they returned to nthe barracks, letting the horsemen go on with him. 33 When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34 On reading the letter, he asked what oprovince he was from. And when he learned pthat he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, I will give you a hearing qwhen your accusers arrive. And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod's rpraetorium.

Paul Before Felix at Caesarea

24 And safter five days the high priest tAnanias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before uthe governor their case against Paul. And when he had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying:

Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight, vmost excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation, in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude. But, to detain1 you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly. For we have found this man a plague, wone who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of xthe sect of the Nazarenes. yHe even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him.2 By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.

The Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that all these things were so.