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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Felix, Antonius

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FELIX, ANTONIUS . Procurator of Judæa ( Acts 23:24 ff.); according to Josephus, he had been sent to succeed Cumanus in a.d. 52; but this contradicts Tacitus, who makes Cumanus governor of Galilee and Felix of Samaria simultaneously; and this suits Acts 24:10 (‘many years’). Both historians give 52 as the year of Cumanus’ disgrace, so that we may probably take that as the date of Felix’ accession to office in Judæa. Felix was brother of Pallas, Claudius’ powerful freedman, whose influence continued him in office under Nero, and on his disgrace (due to a riot at Cæsarea) procured him his life. He is described by Tacitus as a very bad and cruel governor. He was somewhat touched by St. Paul’s preaching ( Acts 24:25 f.), but kept him in prison, first in hope of a bribe, one of many details showing that St. Paul was a prisoner of social importance, and, finally, to please the Jews. He is called ‘most excellent’ ( Acts 23:26 , Acts 24:3 ; cf. Acts 26:25 , Luke 1:3 ), a title given him as governor, but more properly confined to those of equestrian rank. He married thrice, each time to a person of royal birth; see Drusilla.

A. I. Maclean.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Felix, Antonius'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdb/f/felix-antonius.html. 1909.

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