Who was Lysias in the bible

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    Lysias was the Roman commander in Jerusalem who protected Paul during a riot.

    The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.
    ACTS 22:29
    In all likelihood, Lysias just wanted the trouble to go away. Roman commanders were employed to maintain order—with brutal force, if
    needed—not mediate disputes. Lysias commanded the garrison at Jerusalem, one of the most volatile outposts in the Roman Empire. When the entire city seemed to explode in uproar over the apostle Paul, Lysias
    tried repeatedly to diffuse the situation, to no avail.
    A group of Jews from Asia had accused Paul of bringing Gentiles into the court of Israel in the temple. When a crowd began beating Paul,
    Lysias and his troops intervened. First, Lysias granted Paul’s request to
    address the crowd, perhaps hoping Paul could explain the situation to their satisfaction. Paul’s speech had the opposite effect: The moment he announced his call to preach to the Gentiles, the crowd erupted anew.
    Lysias decided to try another course of action, ordering Paul to be flogged by one of his centurions. This plan nearly backfired when Paul
    revealed that he was a Roman citizen beating him would have been illegal. Paul, who was born a citizen, gained the upper hand over Lysias, who admitted he had had to purchase his citizenship.
    Lysias’s third attempt at restoring order by calling a meeting of the Sanhedrin (the Jewish ruling council)—fared no better. This time it
    seemed even Paul worked to undermine him, deliberately throwing the Sanhedrin into a furious debate over the resurrection.

    With the help of Paul’s nephew, Lysias intercepted a plot to assassinate Paul and decided the time had come to move Paul up the chain of command, referring the matter to Felix, governor of Judea and doubtless experiencing no small amount of relief.
    Lysias did not realize it, but he played an important part in God’s plan for Paul’s life. The night after Paul appeared before the Sanhedrin, God revealed that he was to testify in Rome, capital of the world’s most powerful empire. By referring Paul’s case to Felix,
    Lysias unwittingly took the first step in fulfilling the divine plan.

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