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1 Take the character of this Felix (who is well known from the Acts of the Apostles, particularly from his trembling when St. Paul discoursed of "righteousness, chastity, and judgment to come," Acts 24:5; and no wonder, when we have elsewhere seen that he lived in adultery with Drusilla, another man's wife, (Antiq. B. XX. ch. 7. sect. 1) in the words of Tacitus, produced here by Dean Aldrich: "Felix exercised," says Tacitas, "the authority of a king, with the disposition of a slave, and relying upon the great power of his brother Pallas at court, thought he might safely be guilty of all kinds of wicked practices." Observe also the time when he was made procurator, A.D. 52; that when St. Paul pleaded his cause before him, A.D. 58, he might have been "many years a judge unto that nation," as St. Paul says he had then been, Acts 24:10. But as to what Tacitus here says, that before the death of Cumanus, Felix was procurator over Samaria only, does not well agree with St. Paul's words, who would hardly have called Samaria a Jewish nation. In short, since what Tacitus here says is about countries very remote from Rome, where he lived; since what he says of two Roman procurators, the one over Galilee, the other over Samaria at the same time, is without example elsewhere; and since Josephus, who lived at that very time in Judea, appears to have known nothing of this procuratorship of Felix, before the death of Cureanus; I much suspect the story itself as nothing better than a mistake of Tacitus, especially when it seems not only omitted, but contradicted by Josephus; as any one may find that compares their histories together. Possibly Felix might have been a subordinate judge among the Jews some time before under Cureanus, but that he was in earnest a procurator of Samaria before I do not believe. Bishop Pearson, as well as Bishop Lloyd, quote this account, but with a doubtful clause: confides Tacito, "If we may believe Tacitus." Pears. Anhal. Paulin. p. 8; Marshall's Tables, at A.D. 49.
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