During his short governorship of Judea (AD 60-62), Festus had to judge the difficult case of Paul. The Jews knew that Festus was inexperienced in Jewish affairs and tried to take advantage of this to win their case against Paul. But Festus was aware of their cunning (Acts 25:1-5). He therefore arranged a proper trial and as a result was convinced of Paul’s innocence. However, wanting to win the goodwill of the Jews, he refused to release Paul. Tired of this constant injustice, Paul appealed to the Emperor (Acts 25:6- 12). Festus now faced a difficulty. He had to send a person to the Emperor, without knowing the offence of which the person was supposedly guilty. He did not understand what made the Jews hate Paul. When Herod Agrippa, an expert on Jewish affairs, arrived at the governor’s palace, Festus explained his problem. He was pleased to give his visitor the opportunity to hear Paul’s case (Acts 25:23-27). Agrippa confirmed that Paul was innocent, but since Paul had appealed to the Emperor, Festus had no alternative but to send him to Rome (Acts 26:32).

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