The Governor of Judea from 52 to 59 or 60 was Antonius Felix, which means happy. After the death of Herod Agrippa, Judea was once more added to the great Roman province of Syria to be presided over by governors. Felix was originally a slave, but manumitted and promoted by Caesar. Felix was appointed governor of Judea in 52 and stayed in office until 58. Felix was a cruel and lustful man, thoroughly corrupt with a depraved thirst for plunder. His avarice was unbounded, and he never hesitated to commit any crime by which he might gratify his depraved passions.

This incompetent scoundrel was made Roman procurator by his all-powerful brother Pallas. He governed Judea says Tacitus "with the powers of a king and the soul of a slave." Felix, like his brother, was a freedman but betrayed his slave origin by his cruelty and intemperate wantonness. He was married three times. His second wife was the Jewish princess Drusilla, daughter of Agrippa I, and sister of Agrippa II. She was a very young girl, married to Aziz king of Amesa; but she left her husband and became the wife of the Roman, in violation of Jewish law.

Felix wanted to keep Paul in prison only shortly, but delays his release because he didn't want to create an uprising with the people. "And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter. And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him. And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him. But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound."

As brother of the rich Pallas, Antonius Felix felt at liberty to perpetrate any crime with impunity. As a consequence, the party of the Zealots won more and more adherents and grew stronger with each atrocity. Before this wicked governor, Paul was brought and arraigned, when falsely accused by the Jews of disturbing the public peace.
[291, 390, 15, 376, 380, Acts 24]

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