Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

Two Years in Prison

After Paul had been rescued from the Jewish mob, he was taken into the castle on the north of the Temple for safekeeping. The chief captain wished to know for what reasons the Jews were so bitter in their hate against Paul; and to learn this he commanded the chief priests and rulers to meet together, and brought Paul down from the castle, and set him before them. Paul looked earnestly upon the council, and said to them, "Brethren, I have lived with a right feeling toward God all my life until this day."

The high-priest, whose name was Ananias, was sitting in the council, clad in the white garments worn by all priests. He was so enraged at those words that he said to those who were standing near Paul, "Strike him on the mouth!"

And Paul roused to sudden anger at such unjust words, said in answer, "God shall strike you, o whited wall! Do you sit to judge me by the law, and yet command me to be struck against the law?"

Those that were standing by said to Paul, "Do you speak such words against the high-priest of God?"

"I did not know," answered Paul, "that he was high-priest. It is written in the law not to speak evil of a ruler of you people."

Paul saw that there were two parties in the council, and by a few wise words he made some of the rulers friendly to him, so that they stood up and said, "We find no evil in this man. Perhaps a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel."

This made the rulers of the other side all the more furious, and such a quarrel arose between them that the chief captain feared that Paul would be torn in pieces, and he again sent down soldiers to take him by force from the council and to bring him into the castle.

On the night after this, while Paul was in his room in the castle the Lord stood by him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have spoken for me at Jerusalem, so shall you speak for me at Rome."

Early on the next morning more than forty of the Jews laid a plan to kill Paul, and bound themselves together by an oath, swearing that they would neither eat nor drink until they had slain him. These men came to the chief priests, and said, "We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will taste nothing until we have killed Paul. Now, do you ask the chief captain to bring Paul down again to meet the council, so that they may hear him, and try his case once more. And while he shall be on his way to the council we will rush in and kill him."

Now Paul had a sister living in Jerusalem, and her son heard of this plot, and came to the castle, and told it to Paul. Then Paul called one of the officers, and said to him, "Take this young man to the chief captain, for he has something to tell him."

So the officer brought the young man to the chief captain, and said to him, "Paul, the prisoner, called me to him, and asked me to bring this young man to you, for he has something to say to you."

Then the chief captain took the young man aside, and asked him, "What is it that you have to say to me?"

And he said, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the council again; but do not let him go, for there are more than forty men watching for him, who have sworn an oath together that they will neither eat nor drink until they have killed Paul."

The chief captain listened carefully, and then sent the young man away, after saying to him, "Do not tell any one that you have spoken of these things to me."

And after the young man had gone the chief captain called to him two centurions, captains over a hundred men, and he said to them, "Make ready two hundred soldiers to go as far as Caesarea, and seventy men on horseback, and two hundred men with spears, at nine o'clock at night."

And he told them also to have ready horses for Paul, so that he might send him safe to Felix, the governor of the land, at Caesarea. And he wrote a letter in this manner:

"Claudius Lysias sends greetings to the most noble governor Felix. This man was seized by the Jews, and would have been killed by them, but I came upon him with the soldiers, and took him from their hands, having learned that he was a citizen of Rome. And to find out the reasons why they were so strongly against him, I brought him down to their council. But I found that the charges against him were about questions of their law, but nothing deserving death or bonds. When I heard that there was a plot to kill the man, I sent him at once to you, and told his enemies to go before you with their charges."

So in the night almost five hundred men were sent with a guard for Paul. He was brought out of the castle, and taken that night as far as to Antripatris, about forty miles. On the next day the soldiers left him, thinking him to be no longer in danger, and returned to Jerusalem, while the horsemen rode on with him to Caesarea, where the governor Felix lived. The officer in charge gave the letter to the governor. He read the letter, and then asked Paul from what land he had come. Paul told him that he belonged to the land of Cilicia in Asia Minor. And Felix said, "I will hear your case when those who bring charges against you have come."

And he sent Paul to be kept in a castle which had once belonged to Herod. After five days the high-priest Ananias and some others came to Caesarea, bringing with them a lawyer named Tertullus. And when Paul was brought before them in presence of Felix, the governor, Tertullus made a speech charging him with riot and lawbreaking, and many evil deeds. They said also that he was "a ring-leader in the party of the Nazarenes," which was the name they gave to the Church of Christ. And the Jews all joined in the charge, saying that all these things were true. After they had spoken, the governor motioned with his hand toward Paul, showing that he might speak, and Paul began, "I know that you have been for many years a judge over this people, and for that reason I speak to you willingly. For you may know that it is only twelve days since I went up to worship at Jerusalem. Nor was I quarreling with any one in the Temple nor stirring up a crowd in the Temple, or the synagogues, or in the city. Nor can they prove to you the things that they have said against me.

A heathen temple


"But I do own to this, that after the way which they call 'the party of the Nazarenes,' so do I serve the God of our fathers, believing all things in the law and in the prophets, and having a hope in God that the dead shall be raised up. And I have always tried to keep my heart free from wrong toward God and toward men.

"Now after many years, I came to bring gifts to my people, and offerings for the alter. And with these they found me in the Temple, but not with a crowd, nor with a riot. But there were certain Jews from Asia Minor who ought to have been here, if they have anything against me."

Felix knew somewhat about the Church of Christ, and he said "When Lysias, the chief captain, shall come down, I will settle this case."

And he ordered Paul to be kept under guard, but that his friends might freely come to see him. After a few days Felix and his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess, sent for Paul, and heard from him with regard to the gospel of Christ. And as Paul preached to him, of right living, and of ruling one's self, and of the judgment of God that should come upon sinners, Felix was alarmed, and said, "Go away for this time; when a fit time comes, and I am ready to listen, I will send for you."

Felix was not a just judge, for he hoped that Paul might give him money, so that he might set Paul free; and with this in his mind he sent for Paul, and talked with him many times. Two whole years passed away, and Paul was still in prison at Caesarea. At the end of that time Felix was called back to Rome and a man names Porcius Festus was sent as governor in his place. Felix wished to please the Jews, and he left Paul a prisoner.