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Chapter 28

1After our escape we learned that the island was called Malta. 2The natives showed us remarkable kindness, for they made a fire and welcomed us, because of the rain that had come on and the cold. 3Paul gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, when a viper crawled out of them because of the heat and fastened on his hand. 4When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another,

“This man is undoubtedly a murderer, for though he has been saved from the sea, justice will not let him live.”

5But he only shook the creature off into the fire and was unharmed. 6They expected to see him swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

7The governor of the island, whose name was Publius, had estates in that part of the island, and he welcomed us and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8Publius’ father happened to be sick in bed with fever and dysentery, and Paul went to see him and after praying laid his hands on him and cured him. 9After that, the other sick people on the island came and were cured. 10They made us many presents, and when we sailed, they provided us with everything that we needed.

11Three months later, we sailed on an Alexandrian ship named the Dioscuri, which had wintered at the island. 12We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days, 13then we weighed anchor and reached Rhegium. A day later, a south wind sprang up and the following day we arrived at Puteoli. 14There we found some of the brothers, and they urged us to spend a week with them. Then we went on to Rome. 15The brothers there had had news of our coming, and came as far as Appius’ Forum and Three Taverns to meet us, and when Paul saw them he thanked God and was greatly encouraged.

16When we reached Rome, Paul was given permission to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.

17Three days later, he invited the leading Jews to come to see him, and when they came he said to them,

“Brothers, I have done nothing against our people, or the customs of our forefathers, yet I was turned over to the Romans as a prisoner at Jerusalem. 18They examined me and were ready to let me go, as I was innocent of any crime that deserved death. 19But the Jews objected, and I was obliged to appeal to the emperor—not that I had any charge to make against my own nation. 20That is why I asked to see you and speak with you, for it is on account of Israel’s hope that I have to wear this chain.”

21“We have had no letters about you from Judea,” they answered, “and none of the brothers who have come here has reported or said anything against you. 22But we want to hear you state your views, for as far as this sect is concerned, we understand that everywhere it is denounced.”

23So they fixed a day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying, and from morning till night he explained to them the Kingdom of God and gave his testimony, trying to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and the Prophets. 24Some of them were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25As they could not agree among themselves, they started to leave, when Paul added one last word.

“The holy Spirit put it finely,” he said, “when it said to your forefathers through the prophet Isaiah,

26“ ‘Go to this Nation and say to them,

“You will listen, and listen, and never understand,

And you will look, and look, and never see!

27For this nation’s mind has grown dull,

And they hear faintly with their ears,

And they have shut their eyes,

So as never to see with their eyes,

And hear with their ears,

And understand with their minds, and turn back,

And let me cure them!” ’

28“Understand then that this message of God’s salvation has been sent to the heathen. They will listen to it!”

30So he stayed for two full years in rented lodgings of his own, and welcomed everybody who came to see him, 31preaching the Kingdom of God to them and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ openly and unhindered.

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