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Chapter 16

1He went to Derbe and Lystra also. At Lystra there was a disciple named Timothy whose mother was a Jewish Christian while his father was a Greek, 2and who was highly thought of by the brothers in Lystra and Iconium. 3Paul wished to take this man on with him, and so on account of the Jews in that district he had him circumcised, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4As they traveled on from one town to another, they passed on to the brothers for their observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. 5So the churches became stronger and stronger in the faith, and their numbers increased from day to day.

6Thus they crossed Phrygia and Galatia. The holy Spirit prevented them from delivering the message in Asia, 7and when they reached Mysia they tried to get into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not permit it, 8and they passed Mysia and came down to Troas. 9There Paul had a vision one night; a Macedonian was standing appealing to him and saying,

“Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

10As soon as he had this vision, we made efforts to get on to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to tell them the good news.

11So we sailed from Troas, and ran a straight course to Samothrace, and next day to Neapolis. 12From there we went to Philippi, a Roman garrison town, and the principal place in that part of Macedonia.

In this town we stayed for some days. 13On the Sabbath we went outside the gates, to the bank of the river where we supposed there was a praying place, and we sat down and talked with the women who gathered there. 14One of our hearers was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple goods, from the town of Thyatira. She was a believer in God, and the Lord touched her heart, and led her to accept Paul’s teaching. 15When she and her household were baptized, she appealed to us, and said,

“If you are really convinced that I am a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.” And she insisted upon our coming.

16Once as we were on our way to the praying place a slave-girl met us who had the gift of ventriloquism, and made her masters a great deal of money by her fortune-telling. 17This girl would follow Paul and the rest of us, crying out,

“These men are slaves of the Most High God, and they are making known to you a way of salvation.”

18She did this for a number of days, until Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit in her,

“In the name of Jesus Christ I order you to come out of her!” And it came out instantly.

19But when her masters saw that their hopes of profits were gone, they seized Paul and Silas, dragged them to the public square, to the authorities, 20and brought them before the chief magistrates.

“These men,” they said, “are Jews, and they are making a great disturbance in our town. 21They are advocating practices which it is against the law for us as Romans to adopt or observe.”

22The crowd also joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates had them stripped and beaten. 23After beating them severely, they put them in jail, and gave the jailer orders to keep close watch of them. 24He, having had such strict orders, put them into the inner cell, and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26suddenly there was such an earthquake that the jail shook to its foundations; all the doors flew open, and everybody’s chains were unfastened. 27It woke up the jailer, and when he saw that the doors of the jail were open, he drew his sword and was just going to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted out,

“Do not do yourself any harm! We are all here!”

29Then he called for lights and rushed in, and fell trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 30He led them out of the jail and said to them,

“Gentlemen, what must I do to be saved?”

31“Believe in the Lord Jesus,” they said, “and you and your household will be saved!”

32Then they told God’s message to him and to all the members of his household. 33And right then in the night, he took them and washed their wounds, and he and all his household were baptized immediately. 34Then he took them up to his house and offered them food, and he and all his household were very happy over their new faith in God. 35In the morning the magistrates sent policemen with instructions to let the men go. 36The jailer reported this message to Paul, saying,

“The magistrates have sent orders that you are to be released. So you can take your leave and go unmolested.”

37But Paul said to them,

“They had us beaten in public without giving us a trial, and put us in jail, although we are Roman citizens! And now are they going to dismiss us secretly? By no means! Have them come here themselves and take us out!”

38The policemen delivered this message to the magistrates, and they were alarmed when they heard that they were Roman citizens, 39and came and conciliated them, and took them out of the jail, and begged them to leave the town. 40After leaving the jail they went to Lydia’s house, and saw the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left the town.

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