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Volume 28 - Page 136 of 217 Index | Zoom | |
Felix and others who came into touch with Paul.
(Acts 24: - 28:).
pp. 171 - 173
When Paul was apprehended after the uproar at Jerusalem (Acts 22:). Claudius
Lysias, discovering that he was a Roman citizen, sent him with a letter to "Felix the
Felix, together with his brother Pallas, had been imported as slaves, and purchased by
Antonia, the mother of Claudius. They were both exceedingly clever, and soon were
entrusted with great responsibilities. Pallas ruled the financial affairs of the house of
Claudius, while Felix held office in the army. In A.D.52 Felix was appointed Procurator
of JudŠa, and, as Tacitus writes, "wielded the sceptre of a monarch with the soul of a
"He was not a Roman by birth, and he had none of the Roman qualities; artful and
perfidious, and stirred by revenge, even to the use of the assassin's knife, a votary of
pleasure and regardless of the feelings he wounded in the pursuit of it, ostentatious and
extravagant, and feeding his wasteful indulgences by peculation and extortion" (Lewin).
Agrippa had known Felix in Rome, and the acquaintance brought Felix into touch
with Drusilla, the wife of Azigas, King of Emesa. Ready to hand was an instrument only
too willing to assist in any evil work--Simon the Magician. Simon called himself the
Almighty, the Christ, and the Paraclete, and took about with him a courtesan Helena,
exhibiting her as an emanation of his own godship. He is thought by some, though
without definite proof, to have been the Simon of Acts 8: 18, and his name is
perpetuated to this day in the hateful word "Simony" which means "traffic in
Felix employed this man to seduce the Queen of Emesa from her husband:--
"Because she was desirous to avoid her sister's Berenice's envy, for she was very
ill-treated on account of her beauty. She was prevailed upon to trespass the laws of her
forefathers, and to marry Felix."
The Queen, together with the son born of this marriage, perished in the eruption of
The usual duration of a procuratorship was two or three years, but Felix had already
held the office for six years. The apostle Paul was cognizant of this, and the fact gives
point to the opening of his defence before Felix:
"Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do
the more cheerfully answer for myself" (Acts 24: 10).