Acts 25:13-27 … This is an interesting passage on several counts. Festus is the new “sheriff in town” (so to speak); he’s the Roman governor who followed Pontius Pilate and Felix, who were his predecessors. Festus has an immediate problem on his hands. He’s there to uphold Roman law and maintain peace in the conquered territory of Judea. But he finds he’s got some leftover business his predecessor Felix didn’t take care of … the Roman named Paul has appealed to Caesar, as was his right, and Festus has the dilemma of figuring out how to send him to Caesar when there are no violations of Roman law. And so, enter King Agrippa II (v.13). (Agrippa I beheaded John the Baptist.)
Agrippa II was raised and educated in Rome and was a close, personal friend of the Caesar. Historically, it’s worth remembering that the Herod families are descendants of Esau – they’re Edomites (or Idumeans… same thing), and not Jews, and came to be kings of Israel for several generations because of their loyalty to and cultivation of the Roman emperors. Agrippa came to Caesarea with a great deal of royal pomp and circumstance for a diplomatic courtesy call. There is fascinating historical detail here. Festus is certainly thinking: if anybody can help him out of this embarrassing fix with Caesar, it’s got to be Agrippa.