Acts 23:2-3, Paul Prophesies the Death of Ananias

At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”

//Paul, before the Sanhedrin court in Jerusalem, drew the ire of the high priest Ananias by claiming to be doing the will of God. So Ananias gave him a whack across the chops, and Paul responded that God would strike Ananias down. Paul was right.

Ananias developed a reputation for greed, violence and coercion with the Romans. This association with the Romans did not enamor him to Jewish nationalists, the Zealots, when war broke out with Rome. According to Jewish historian Josephus, the Zealots burned Ananias’ house and he was forced to flee to Herod’s palace. He was trapped while hiding in an aqueduct there on the palace grounds and killed.

Impressive forecast! But lest we give Paul too much credit, it must be remembered that these words in the book of Acts were written twenty or more years after Ananias died.

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