The story is straightforward. Paul had been attacked by the Jerusalem mob and had almost been lynched. Yet he had escaped from the Jews’ hands because of the Roman troops’ intervention. It was the Romans’ job to keep peace in Jerusalem, especially in volatile times like these, and the soldiers did it very well. Paul was taken into custody, and it would have seemed to all who were in Jerusalem, Jews and Romans alike, that in the keeping of this large military force Paul was now certainly very safe. Yet there were men in the city, known as zealots, who were determined that the apostle should not escape their hands. There were about forty of them, and they got together to take an oath that they would not eat or drink until they had killed Paul.