Atos 28

1 WHEN we were safe ashore, we found that the island was called Melita.

2 The foreign people showed us uncommon kindness. For they kindled a fire and welcomed us all because of the rain that was falling and the cold.

3 Paul had collected a bundle of sticks and laid it on the fire, when a snake came out of the heat and fastened on his hand.

4 When the foreigners saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "Certainly this man is a murderer, whom, although he has escaped the sea, Justice does not permit to live."

5 He however shook off the creature into the fire and felt no harm.

6 They kept watching to see him swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after watching a long time and seeing nothing amiss happen to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

7 In the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the Governor of the island, whose name was Publius. He welcomed us and for three days hospitably entertained us.

8 It happened that the father of Publius was lying ill with fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and prayed and laid his hands on him and healed him.

9 After this happened, the rest in the island who had infirmities came also and were healed.

10 They bestowed many honors on us and when we sailed they put on board supplies for our needs.

11 After three months we sailed in a ship that had wintered in the island. She was from Alexandria and her figure-head was the Twin Brothers.

12 Landing at Syracuse we remained there three days.

13 From there we came around and got to Rhegium. After one day there, a south wind sprang up and we came on the second day to Puteoli.

14 Here we found brethren and were begged by them to stay seven days. And so we came to Rome.

15 From there the brethren, when they got news of us, came to meet us as far as the Market of Appius and the Three Taverns. On seeing them Paul thanked God and took courage.

16 When we reached Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself with a soldier who guarded him.

17 After three days he invited the leading men among the Jews, and when they had assembled, he said to them, "Brethren, although I had done nothing against our people or our ancestral customs, I was delivered up as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.

18 They, after investigating my case, wished to set me free because I had done nothing deserving of death.

19 But when the Jews spoke against it, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar, not that I have any charge to bring against my own nation.

20 For this reason I have invited you to see me and talk with me; because it is for the sake of the hope of Israel that I have this chain around me."

21 They said to him, "We on our part have received no letters about you from Judaea nor has any one of the brethren come and reported or spoken anything evil of you.

22 We think it well to hear from you what your views are; for as to this sect we know that it is everywhere spoken against."

23 They appointed a day for him and many came to him at his lodging. He explained to them, testifying to the kingdom of God, trying to persuade them concerning Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from early morning until evening.

24 Some were persuaded by what he said and some did not believe.

25 They dispersed, disagreeing with one another, after Paul had said one word, "Well said the Holy Spirit through Isaiah, the prophet, to your fathers,

26 'Go to this people and say, You will hear plainly but you will not understand, and you will see plainly but you will not perceive.

27 For the heart of this people has grown fat and with their ears they are hard of hearing and their eyes they have shut, so that they may never see with their eyes nor hear with their ears nor understand with their heart and repent, so that I may heal them.'

28 Therefore be it known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles. They will listen."

29 TEXT OMITTED

30 Paul remained two whole years in his own rented lodging and received all who came to him,

31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all freedom of speech, unhindered.