1Once safely ashore, we#Ac 16:10; 27:1 then learned that the island was called Malta.#Ac 27:26,39 2The local people#Rm 1:14; 1Co 14:11; Col 3:11 showed us extraordinary kindness. They lit a fire and took us all in, since it was raining and cold. 3As Paul gathered a bundle of brushwood and put it on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. 4When the local people saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “This man, no doubt, is a murderer. Even though he has escaped the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.”#Lk 13:2,4; Jn 9:2 5But he shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no harm.#Mk 16:18; Lk 10:19 6They expected that he would begin to swell up or suddenly drop dead. After they waited a long time and saw nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.#Ac 8:10; 14:11
Ministry in Malta
7Now in the area around that place was an estate belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8Publius’s father was in bed suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went to him, and praying and laying his hands on him, he healed him.#Ac 9:40; Jms 5:14-15 9After this, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. 10So they heaped many honors on us, and when we sailed, they gave us what we needed.
Rome at Last
11After three months we set sail in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered at the island, with the Twin Gods#28:11 Gk Dioscuri, twin sons of Zeus, Castor and Pollux as its figurehead. 12Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed three days. 13From there, after making a circuit along the coast,#28:13 Other mss read From there, casting off, we reached Rhegium. After one day a south wind sprang up, and the second day we came to Puteoli. 14There we found brothers and sisters#Jn 21:23; Ac 1:16 and were invited to stay a week with them. And so we came to Rome. 15Now the brothers and sisters from there had heard the news about us and had come to meet us as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. 16When we entered Rome,#28:16 Other mss add the centurion turned the prisoners over to the military commander; but Paul was allowed to live by himself with the soldier who guarded him.#Ac 24:23; 27:3
Paul’s First Interview with Roman Jews
17After three days he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had gathered he said to them: “Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.#Ac 6:14; 25:8 18After they examined me, they wanted to release me, since there was no reason for the death penalty in my case.#Ac 22:24; 23:29; 26:31 19Because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar;#Ac 25:11; 26:32 even though I had no charge to bring against my people. 20For this reason I’ve asked to see you and speak to you. In fact, it is for the hope of Israel that I’m wearing this chain.”#Ac 21:33; 26:6-7,29; Eph 6:20; 2Tm 1:16
21Then they said to him, “We haven’t received any letters about you from Judea. None of the brothers has come and reported or spoken anything evil about you. 22But we want to hear what your views are, since we know that people everywhere are speaking against this sect.”#Lk 2:34; Ac 24:5; 1Pt 2:12; 4:14
The Response to Paul’s Message
23After arranging a day with him, many came to him at his lodging. From dawn to dusk he expounded and testified about the kingdom of God. He tried to persuade them about Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets.#Ac 8:35; 17:3; 19:8; 26:22; Phm 22 24Some were persuaded by what he said, but others did not believe.#Ac 14:4; 19:9
25Disagreeing among themselves, they began to leave after Paul made one statement:#28:25 Or after they began to leave, Paul made one statement “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your#28:25 Other mss read our ancestors through the prophet Isaiah 26when he said,
Go to these people and say:
You will always be listening,
but never understanding;
and you will always be looking,
but never perceiving.
27 For the hearts of these people
have grown callous,
their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
otherwise they might see with their eyes
and hear with their ears,
understand with their heart
and I would heal them. # 28:26-27 Is 6:9-10 #
Ps 119:70; Is 6:9-10; Mt 13:14-15; Mk 4:12; Lk 8:10; Jn 12:40; Rm 11:8
28Therefore, let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.” #28:28 Some mss include v. 29: After he said these things, the Jews departed, while engaging in a vigorous debate among themselves.
Paul’s Ministry Unhindered
30Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house. And he welcomed all who visited him, 31proclaiming the kingdom of God#Mt 4:23; Ac 20:25; 28:23 and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness#Ac 4:29,31; 2Tm 2:9 and without hindrance.