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Bible Names A-G: Festus (Porcius)


Festus (Porcius) in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE fes'-tus, por'-shi-us Porkios Phestos): The Roman governor or procurator who succeeded Felix in the province of Judea (Acts 24:27), and was thus brought into prominence in the dispute between Paul and the Sanhedrin which continued after the retirement of Felix (Acts 25; 26). Upon the arrival of Festus in Jerusalem, the official capital of his province, the Jews besought of him to send Paul from Caesarea to Jerusalem to appear before them, intending to kill him on the way (Acts 25:3). Festus at first refused their request, and upon his return to Caesarea proceeded himself to examine Paul (Acts 25:6). But on finding that the evidence was conflicting, and reflecting that, as the accused was apparently charged on religious rather than on political grounds, the Sanhedrin was a more suitable court for his case than a Roman tribunal, he asked Paul if he were agreeable to make the journey to Jerusalem (Acts 25:7-9). But Paul, who knew well the nefarious use that the Jews would make of the pleasure which Festus was willing to grant them, made his appeal unto Caesar (Acts 25:10,11). To this request of a Roman citizen accused on a capital charge (compare Acts 25:16), Festus had perforce to give his consent (Acts 25:12). But the manner of his consent indicated his pique at the apparent distrust shown by Paul. By the words "unto Caesar shalt thou go," Festus implied that the case must now be proceeded with to the end: otherwise, had it been left in his own hands, it might have been quashed at an earlier stage (compare also Acts 26:32). Meantime King Agrippa and Bernice had arrived in Caesarea, and to these Festus gave a brief explanation of the circumstances (Acts 25:13-21). The previous audiences of Festus with Paul and his accusers had, however, served only to confuse him as to the exact nature of the charge. Paul was therefore summoned before the regal court, in order both that Agrippa might hear him, and that the governor might obtain more definite information for insertion in the report he was required to send along with the prisoner to Rome (Acts 25:22-27). The audience which followed was brought to an abrupt conclusion by the interruption of Paul's speech (Acts 26:1-23) by Festus: "Paul, thou art mad; thy much learning is turning thee mad" (Acts 26:24). Yet the meeting was sufficient to convince both Agrippa and Festus that "this man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds" (Acts 26:31). While Festus displayed a certain contempt for what he regarded as the empty delusions of a harmless maniac, his conduct throughout the whole proceeding was marked by a strict impartiality; and his straightforward dealing with Paul formed a marked contrast to the dilatoriness of Felix. The praise bestowed upon the latter by Tertullus (Acts 24:2) might with better reason have been bestowed on Festus, in that he freed the country from many robbers (Sicarii: Josephus, Ant, XX, viii-x; BJ, II, xiv, 1); but his procuratorship was too short to undo the harm wrought by his predecessor. The exact date of his accession to office is uncertain, and has been variously placed at 55-61 AD (compare Knowling in Expositor's Greek Testament, II, 488- 89; see also FELIX). C.M. Kerr

Festus in Easton's Bible Dictionary the successor of Felix (A.D. 60) as procurator of Judea (Acts 24:27). A few weeks after he had entered on his office the case of Paul, then a prisoner at Caesarea, was reported to him. The "next day," after he had gone down to Caesarea, he heard Paul defend himself in the presence of Herod Agrippa II. and his sister Bernice, and not finding in him anything worthy of death or of bonds, would have set him free had he not appealed unto Caesar (Acts 25:11, 12). In consequence of this appeal Paul was sent to Rome. Festus, after being in office less than two years, died in Judea. (See AGRIPPA -T0000126.)

Festus in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Sent by Nero to succeed Felix as procurator of Judaea, probably in the autumn A.D. 60. To ingratiate himself with the Jews he asked Paul would he go up to Jerusalem for judgment there P But Paul, knowing there was little hope of an impartial trial there, as a Roman citizen appealed to Caesar (Acts 25-26). A few weeks afterward he gave Paul's case a hearing before Herod Agrippa II and Bernice his sister. Paul, spoke with such holy zeal that Festus exclaimed with a loud voice "Paul, thou art beside thyself, much learning doth make thee mad" (compare the same charge against Paul's Master, John 10:20; also 2 Corinthians 5:13- 14); Paul replied, "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak forth the words of truth and soberness." Then he appealed to Agrippa, "Believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest." Agrippa replied, "Almost (or as Wordsworth, 'on a short notice,' literally, 'in a short' time; but measure may be understood, which gives the KJV sense) thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Paul answered, "I would to God that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day (including Festus) were both almost (in a small measure) and altogether (in a great measure) such as I am, except these bonds" (mark his refined courtesy in the exception). Had Agrippa yielded himself "altogether" to the convictions of conscience then, what an eternal blessing would have ensued to himself, what a reflex blessing probably to Festus! Compare in Caesar's palace at Rome, Philemon 1:12-14. Both certainly were touched; and Festus, forgetting that it was his own proposal to try Paul at Jerusalem, the place where already Paul's life had been conspired against (Acts 23), and virtually to deliver him up to the Jews (Acts 25:11), that drove Paul in self defense to appeal to Rome, said, "This man doeth nothing worthy of death and bonds" (why then had he not released him?); and Agrippa, in compliment to Festus, laid the blame of his detention on Paul himself instead of on Festus, "This man might have been set at liberty if he had not appealed to Caesar." A picture of the world's insincerity. Festus put down forcibly the Sicarii (assassin zealots), robbers, and magicians. Festus sided with Agrippa against the Jews as to the high wall they built to prevent Agrippa seeing from his dining room in the palace into the temple court, for it hindered the Roman guard also from seeing the temple from the castle of Antonia during the great feasts. The Roman emperor under the influence of Poppaea, a proselyte, decided on appeal in favor of the Jews. Festus after a procuratorship of less than two years died in the summer of A.D. 62.

Festus in Hitchcock's Bible Names festive

Festus in Naves Topical Bible Also called PORCIUS FESTUS, the Roman governor of Judaea, and successor to Governor Felix Ac 24:27 -Tries Paul Ac 25:26

Festus in Smiths Bible Dictionary (Festus means festival), successor of Felix as procurator of Judea, Ac 24:27 sent by Nero probably in the autumn of A.D. 60. A few weeks after Festus reached his province he heard the cause of St. Paul, who had been left a prisoner by Felix, in the presence of Herod Agrippa II and Bernice his sister, Ac 25:11,12 Judea was in the same disturbed state during the procuratorship of Festus which had prevailed through that of his predecessor. He died probably in the summer of A.D. 60, having ruled the province less than two years.

Festus Scripture - Acts 24:27 But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

Festus Scripture - Acts 25:12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.

Festus Scripture - Acts 25:22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.

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