Marcus Antonius Felix was the Roman Procurator (governor) of the Roman Province of Iudaea (Judea) from A.D. 52 to A.D. 59.
Marcus Antonius Felix was the Roman Procurator (governor) of the Roman Province of Iudaea(Judea) from A.D. 52 to A.D. 59. He succeeded Ventidius Cumanus who was the Procurator from A.D. 48-52.
Felix was the younger brother of the Greek freedman Marcus Antonius Pallas. Pallas served as a secretary of the treasury during the reign of the Emperor Claudius. Felix was a Greek who became a freedman under the reign of Emperor Claudius. According to Tacitus, Pallas and Felix descended from the Greek Kings of Arcadia. Felix became the procurator of Iudaea by the petition of his brother.
Tacitus and Josephus tell us that Felix’s cruelty and licentiousness, coupled with his accessibility to bribes, led to a great increase of crime in Judea. The period of his rule was marked by internal feuds and disturbances, which he put down with severity.
The Apostle Luke reports to us that Governor Felix was a key figure in Judea. He is shown in the 23rd and 24th chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, as the governor in Caesarea. Felix holds the Apostle Paul prisoner in Caesarea for two years from the festival of Pentecost in A.D. 57 until late A.D. 58. Felix does this because he is hoping that Paul’s supporter would raise money to bride him to release Paul (Acts 24:26). Felix was succeeded by the new governor Porcius Festus who continued to hold Paul prisoner for another year because “he wanted to do the Jews a favor” (Acts 24:27, KNT version). Felix was not really a good guy. He ruled firmly, but NOT rule wisely.