28 1AFTER WE were safe on the island, we knew and recognized that it was called Malta. 2And the natives showed us unusual and remarkable kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed and received us all, since it had begun to rain and was cold. 3Now Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and he was laying them on the fire when a viper crawled out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. 4When the natives saw the little animal hanging from his hand, they said to one another, Doubtless this man is a murderer, for though he has been saved from the sea, Justice [[V]the goddess of avenging] has not permitted that he should live. 5Then [Paul simply] shook off the small creature into the fire and suffered no evil effects. 6However, they were waiting, expecting him to swell up or suddenly drop dead; but when they had watched him a long time and saw nothing fatal or harmful come to him, they changed their minds and kept saying over and over that he was a god. 7In the vicinity of that place there were estates belonging to the head man of the island, named Publius, who accepted and welcomed and entertained us with hearty hospitality for three days. 8And it happened that the father of Publius was sick in bed with recurring attacks of fever and dysentery; and Paul went to see him, and after praying and laying his hands on him, he healed him. 9After this had occurred, the other people on the island who had diseases also kept coming and were cured. 10They showed us every respect and presented many gifts to us, honoring us with many honors; and when we sailed, they provided and put on [board our ship] everything we needed. 11It was after three months’ stay there that we set sail in a ship which had wintered in the island, an Alexandrian ship with the Twin Brothers [Castor and Pollux] as its figurehead. 12We landed at Syracuse and remained there three days, 13And from there we made a circuit [following the coast] and reached Rhegium; and one day later a south wind sprang up, and the next day we arrived at Puteoli. 14There we found some [Christian] brethren and were entreated to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15And the [Christian] brethren there, having had news of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and received new courage. 16When we arrived at Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was permitted to live by himself with the soldier who guarded him. 17Three days after [our arrival], he called together the leading local Jews; and when they had gathered, he said to them, Brethren, though I have done nothing against the people or against the customs of our forefathers, yet I was turned over as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18After they had examined me, they were ready to release me because I was innocent of any offense deserving the death penalty. 19But when the Jews protested, I was forced to appeal to Caesar, though it was not because I had any charge to make against my nation. 20This is the reason therefore why I have begged to see you and to talk with you, since it is because of the Hope of Israel (the Messiah) that I am bound with this chain. 21And they answered him, We have not received any letters about you from Judea, and none of the [Jewish] brethren coming here has reported or spoken anything evil about you. 22But we think it fitting and are eager to hear from you what it is that you have in mind and believe and what your opinion is, for with regard to this sect it is known to all of us that it is everywhere denounced. 23So when they had set a day with him, they came in large numbers to his lodging. And he fully set forth and explained the matter to them from morning until night, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24And some were convinced and believed what he said, and others did not believe. 25And as they disagreed among themselves, they began to leave, [but not before] Paul had added one statement [more]: The Holy Spirit was right in saying through Isaiah the prophet to your forefathers: 26Go to this people and say to them, You will indeed hear and hear with your ears but will not understand, and you will indeed look and look with your eyes but will not see [not perceive, have knowledge of or become acquainted with what you look at, at all]. 27For the heart (the understanding, the soul) of this people has grown dull (stupid, hardened, and calloused), and their ears are heavy and hard of hearing and they have shut tight their eyes, so that they may not perceive and have knowledge and become acquainted with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their souls and turn [to Me and be converted], that I may heal them. 28So let it be understood by you then that [this message of] the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen [to it]! 29[W]And when he had said these things, the Jews went away, arguing and disputing among themselves. 30After this Paul lived there for two entire years [at his own expense] in his own rented lodging, and he welcomed all who came to him, 31Preaching to them the kingdom of God and teaching them about the Lord Jesus Christ with boldness and quite openly, and without being molested or hindered.
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