Paul could identify with the psalmist, for he was surrounded by hundreds of hostile Jews who were bent on his destruction. Their plot to assassinate him seemed foolproof, except for the fact that Paul knew the Lord was the lifter of his head. In fact, God had already arranged for Paul's nephew to hear of the plan and to be taken to inform the commander of the army of the evil plot. The commander then intervened, and the plot was foiled (Acts 23:16, 23-24).
There is a place of rest in the Lord where we do not fear the plots of the enemy. Instead, we lie down and sleep because the Lord sustains us (Psalm 3:5). We are encircled by God's protection, and Satan cannot enter that circle without God's permission. We can rest easy today under God's shield, for He will not allow the plots, devices, and arrows of the devil to remain inside our circle forever.
Let us make David's prayer our own: "Arise, O Lord! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked" (v. 7). Whatever plot the enemy may have hatched, God has a mes-senger-perhaps a nephew-to foil it!
Shem, Ham and Japheth.
5 The sons
Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras.
6 The sons of Gomer:
7 The sons of Javan:
Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittites and the Rodanites.
8 The sons of Ham:
Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan.
9 The sons of Cush:
Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raamah and Sabteka.
The sons of Raamah:
Sheba and Dedan.
10 Cush was the father
Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on earth.
11 Egypt was the father of
the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites,12 Pathrusites, Kasluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites.
13 Canaan was the father of
Sidon his firstborn,
17 The sons of Shem:
Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram.
The sons of Aram:
Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek.
18 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah,
and Shelah the father of Eber.
19 Two sons were born to Eber:
One was named Peleg,
20 Joktan was the father of
Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah,21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,22 Obal,
25 Eber, Peleg, Reu,
26 Serug, Nahor, Terah
27 and Abram (that is, Abraham).
28 The sons of Abraham:
Isaac and Ishmael.
29 These were their descendants:
Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,30 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema,31 Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael.
32 The sons born to Keturah, Abraham’s concubine:
Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.
The sons of Jokshan:
Sheba and Dedan.
33 The sons of Midian:
Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah.
All these were descendants of Keturah.
35 The sons of Esau:
36 The sons of Eliphaz:
Teman, Omar, Zepho,
by Timna: Amalek.
37 The sons of Reuel:
Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah.
38 The sons of Seir:
Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer and Dishan.
39 The sons of Lotan:
Hori and Homam. Timna was Lotan’s sister.
40 The sons of Shobal:
The sons of Zibeon:
Aiah and Anah.
41 The son of Anah:
The sons of Dishon:
42 The sons of Ezer:
Bilhan, Zaavan and Akan.
The sons of Dishan
Uz and Aran.
43 These were the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned:
Bela son of Beor, whose city was named Dinhabah.
44 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah succeeded him as king.
45 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites
46 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, succeeded him as king. His city was named Avith.
47 When Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah succeeded him as king.
48 When Samlah died, Shaul from Rehoboth on the river
49 When Shaul died, Baal-Hanan son of Akbor succeeded him as king.
50 When Baal-Hanan died, Hadad succeeded him as king. His city was named Pau,
The chiefs of Edom were:
Timna, Alvah, Jetheth,52 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon,53 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar,54 Magdiel and Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom.
2 These were the sons of Israel:
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun,2 Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
Er, Onan and Shelah.
5 The sons of Perez:
6 The sons of Zerah:
Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Kalkol and Darda
7 The son of Karmi:
8 The son of Ethan:
9 The sons born to Hezron
Jerahmeel, Ram and Caleb.
1 The descendants of Adam were Seth, Enosh,2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared,3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech,4 and Noah.
The sons of Noah were
5 The descendants of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
6 The descendants of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath,
7 The descendants of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.
8 The descendants of Ham were Cush, Mizraim,
9 The descendants of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.10 Cush was also the ancestor of Nimrod, who was the first heroic warrior on earth.
11 Mizraim was the ancestor of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites,12 Pathrusites, Casluhites, and the Caphtorites, from whom the Philistines came.
13 Canaan’s oldest son was Sidon, the ancestor of the Sidonians. Canaan was also the ancestor of the Hittites,
17 The descendants of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.
The descendants of Aram were
18 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah.
Shelah was the father of Eber.
19 Eber had two sons. The first was named Peleg (which means “division”), for during his lifetime the people of the world were divided into different language groups. His brother’s name was Joktan.
20 Joktan was the ancestor of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah,21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,22 Obal,
24 So this is the family line descended from Shem: Arphaxad, Shelah,
28 The sons of Abraham were Isaac and Ishmael.29 These are their genealogical records:
The sons of Ishmael were Nebaioth (the oldest), Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,30 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema,31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael.
32 The sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine, were Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.
The sons of Jokshan were Sheba and Dedan.
33 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah.
All these were descendants of Abraham through his concubine Keturah.
34 Abraham was the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac were Esau and Israel.
35 The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
36 The descendants of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho,
37 The descendants of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.
38 The descendants of Seir were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan.
39 The descendants of Lotan were Hori and Hemam.
40 The descendants of Shobal were Alvan,
The descendants of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah.
41 The son of Anah was Dishon.
The descendants of Dishon were Hemdan,
42 The descendants of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.
43 These are the kings who ruled in the land of Edom before any king ruled over the Israelites
Bela son of Beor, who ruled from his city of Dinhabah.
44 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah became king in his place.
45 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites became king in his place.
46 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Avith. He was the one who destroyed the Midianite army in the land of Moab.
47 When Hadad died, Samlah from the city of Masrekah became king in his place.
48 When Samlah died, Shaul from the city of Rehoboth-on-the-River became king in his place.
49 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Acbor became king in his place.
50 When Baal-hanan died, Hadad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Pau.
The clan leaders of Edom were Timna, Alvah,
2 The sons of Israel
3 Judah had three sons from Bathshua, a Canaanite woman. Their names were Er, Onan, and Shelah. But the Lord saw that the oldest son, Er, was a wicked man, so he killed him.4 Later Judah had twin sons from Tamar, his widowed daughter-in-law. Their names were Perez and Zerah. So Judah had five sons in all.
5 The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
6 The sons of Zerah were Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Darda
7 The son of Carmi (a descendant of Zimri) was Achan,
8 The son of Ethan was Azariah.
9 The sons of Hezron were Jerahmeel, Ram, and Caleb.
10 Ram was the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab was the father of Nahshon, a leader of Judah.
11 Nahshon was the father of Salmon.
Salmon was the father of Boaz.
12 Boaz was the father of Obed.
Obed was the father of Jesse.
13 Jesse’s first son was Eliab, his second was Abinadab, his third was Shimea,14 his fourth was Nethanel, his fifth was Raddai,15 his sixth was Ozem, and his seventh was David.
16 Their sisters were named Zeruiah and Abigail. Zeruiah had three sons named Abishai, Joab, and Asahel.17 Abigail married a man named Jether, an Ishmaelite, and they had a son named Amasa.
1 Adam, Sheth, Enosh,
2 Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered,
3 Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech,
4 Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
5 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
6 And the sons of Gomer; Ashchenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
7 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
8 The sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
9 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
10 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth.
11 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,
12 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,) and Caphthorim.
13 And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth,
14 The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite,
15 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,
16 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite.
17 The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech.
18 And Arphaxad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Eber.
19 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother's name was Joktan.
20 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,
21 Hadoram also, and Uzal, and Diklah,
22 And Ebal, and Abimael, and Sheba,
23 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan.
24 Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah,
25 Eber, Peleg, Reu,
26 Serug, Nahor, Terah,
27 Abram; the same is Abraham.
28 The sons of Abraham; Isaac, and Ishmael.
29 These are their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth; then Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam,
30 Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema,
31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael.
32 Now the sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine: she bare Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan; Sheba, and Dedan.
33 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Henoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these are the sons of Keturah.
34 And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel.
35 The sons of Esau; Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
36 The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek.
37 The sons of Reuel; Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.
38 And the sons of Seir; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah, and Dishon, and Ezar, and Dishan.
39 And the sons of Lotan; Hori, and Homam: and Timna was Lotan's sister.
40 The sons of Shobal; Alian, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shephi, and Onam. and the sons of Zibeon; Aiah, and Anah.
41 The sons of Anah; Dishon. And the sons of Dishon; Amram, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.
42 The sons of Ezer; Bilhan, and Zavan, and Jakan. The sons of Dishan; Uz, and Aran.
43 Now these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the children of Israel; Bela the son of Beor: and the name of his city was Dinhabah.
44 And when Bela was dead, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.
45 And when Jobab was dead, Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his stead.
46 And when Husham was dead, Hadad the son of Bedad, which smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith.
47 And when Hadad was dead, Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.
48 And when Samlah was dead, Shaul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.
49 And when Shaul was dead, Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.
50 And when Baalhanan was dead, Hadad reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pai; and his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.
51 Hadad died also. And the dukes of Edom were; duke Timnah, duke Aliah, duke Jetheth,
52 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
53 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,
54 Duke Magdiel, duke Iram. These are the dukes of Edom.
2 These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun,
2 Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
3 The sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah: which three were born unto him of the daughter of Shua the Canaanitess. And Er, the firstborn of Judah, was evil in the sight of the Lord; and he slew him.
4 And Tamar his daughter in law bore him Pharez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five.
5 The sons of Pharez; Hezron, and Hamul.
6 And the sons of Zerah; Zimri, and Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Dara: five of them in all.
7 And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed.
8 And the sons of Ethan; Azariah.
9 The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai.
10 And Ram begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah;
11 And Nahshon begat Salma, and Salma begat Boaz,
12 And Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse,
13 And Jesse begat his firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimma the third,
14 Nethaneel the fourth, Raddai the fifth,
15 Ozem the sixth, David the seventh:
16 Whose sisters were Zeruiah, and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah; Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel, three.
17 And Abigail bare Amasa: and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmeelite.
12 The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy
17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.”18 So he took him to the commander.
The centurion said, “Paul, the prisoner,
19 The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?”
20 He said: “Some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin
22 The commander dismissed the young man with this warning: “Don’t tell anyone that you have reported this to me.”
23 Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen
25 He wrote a letter as follows:
26 Claudius Lysias,
27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him,
31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night and brought him as far as Antipatris.32 The next day they let the cavalry
11 That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.”
12 The next morning a group of Jews
16 But Paul’s nephew—his sister’s son—heard of their plan and went to the fortress and told Paul.17 Paul called for one of the Roman officers
18 So the officer did, explaining, “Paul, the prisoner, called me over and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”
19 The commander took his hand, led him aside, and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?”
20 Paul’s nephew told him, “Some Jews are going to ask you to bring Paul before the high council tomorrow, pretending they want to get some more information.21 But don’t do it! There are more than forty men hiding along the way ready to ambush him. They have vowed not to eat or drink anything until they have killed him. They are ready now, just waiting for your consent.”
22 “Don’t let anyone know you told me this,” the commander warned the young man.
23 Then the commander called two of his officers and ordered, “Get 200 soldiers ready to leave for Caesarea at nine o’clock tonight. Also take 200 spearmen and 70 mounted troops.24 Provide horses for Paul to ride, and get him safely to Governor Felix.”25 Then he wrote this letter to the governor:
26 “From Claudius Lysias, to his Excellency, Governor Felix: Greetings!
27 “This man was seized by some Jews, and they were about to kill him when I arrived with the troops. When I learned that he was a Roman citizen, I removed him to safety.28 Then I took him to their high council to try to learn the basis of the accusations against him.29 I soon discovered the charge was something regarding their religious law—certainly nothing worthy of imprisonment or death.30 But when I was informed of a plot to kill him, I immediately sent him on to you. I have told his accusers to bring their charges before you.”
31 So that night, as ordered, the soldiers took Paul as far as Antipatris.32 They returned to the fortress the next morning, while the mounted troops took him on to Caesarea.33 When they arrived in Caesarea, they presented Paul and the letter to Governor Felix.34 He read it and then asked Paul what province he was from. “Cilicia,” Paul answered.
35 “I will hear your case myself when your accusers arrive,” the governor told him. Then the governor ordered him kept in the prison at Herod’s headquarters.
11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
13 And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.
14 And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.
15 Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.
16 And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
17 Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him.
18 So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.
19 Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?
20 And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.
21 But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.
22 So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.
23 And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;
24 And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.
25 And he wrote a letter after this manner:
26 Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting.
27 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
28 And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council:
29 Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.
30 And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.
31 Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.
32 On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle:
33 Who, when they came to Caesarea and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him.
34 And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;
35 I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.
1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
3 But you, Lord, are a shield
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
assail me on every side.
1 O Lord, I have so many enemies;
so many are against me.
2 So many are saying,
“God will never rescue him!” Interlude
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
4 I cried out to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy mountain. Interlude
5 I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side.
7 Arise, O Lord!
Rescue me, my God!
Slap all my enemies in the face!
Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
8 Victory comes from you, O Lord.
May you bless your people. Interlude
3 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
4 I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
for the ears of the wise seek it out.
14 The human spirit can endure a sick body,
but who can bear a crushed spirit?
15 Intelligent people are always ready to learn.
Their ears are open for knowledge.
14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
15 The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.