Marcus Antonius Felix
was the ancient Roman procurator of the
Judaea Province from 52-60 AD. Felix’s
cruelty and licentiousness, coupled with
his accessibility to bribes, led to a great
increase of crime in Judaea. To put down
the Zealots he favored an even more violent
sect, the Sicarii ("Dagger-men"),
by whose aid he contrived the murder of the
high-priest Jonathan. The period of his rule
was marked by internal feuds and disturbances,
which he put down with severity.
The apostle Paul, after being apprehended
in Jerusalem, was sent to be judged before
Felix at Caesarea, and kept in custody for
two years. On returning to Rome,
Felix was accused of having taken advantage
of a dispute between the Jews and Syrians
of Caesarea to slay and plunder the inhabitants,
but through the intercession of his brother,
the freedman Pallas who had great influence
with the Emperor Nero, he escaped unpunished.
Porcius Festus succeeded him as procurator
Josephus mentions both
Felix and Porcius Festus
"Yet did Felix catch
and put to death many many of those imposters,
every day, together
with the robbers. He also caught Eleazor who
had gotten together a company of robbers; and
this he did by treachery.
He bound him and sent
him to Rome. Felix also bore and ill will to
Jonathan, the high priest,
because he frequently gave him admonitions
about governing the Jewish affairs"
Josephus - Antiquities of
the Jews - Book 20 Chapter 8:5
Acts 24:27 But after two years Porcius Festus
came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to
shew the Jews a pleasure, left
Seutonius and Tacitus (Roman
Historians) Also Mention Felix
"Claudius was equally fond of Felix, giving
him the command of cohorts and of troops of
as well as of the province
of Judaea; and he
became the husband of three queens."
Seutonius - Lives of the Twelve
Caesars - Claudius 28
"Not equally moderate was his brother, surnamed
Felix, who had for
some time been governor
of Judaea, and thought that he could
do any evil act with impunity, backed up as
by such power."
Tacitus Annals - Book 12
"The emperor therefore made Judaea a province
to be governed by Roman knights or freedmen.
One of these, Antonius
indulged in every kind of cruelty and immorality,
a king's authority with all the instincts of
a slave." Tacitus
Histories Book 2
" Now, when Porcius Festus
was sent as a succesor to Felix by Nero,
of the Jewish inhabitants of Casarea went
up to Rome to accuse Felix."
Josephus - Antiquities of
the Jews - Book 20 Chapter 8:9
Acts 24:27 But
after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room:
and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left
Acts 23:24 And provide them
beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe
unto Felix the governor.
Acts 24:24 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.