Acts 16

Timothy Joins Paul and Silas

[Paul] came to Derbe and then to Lystra, [where] [he found] a disciple named Timothy, [the] son of a believing Jewish woman and a Greek father. The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of [him] . Paul wanted [Timothy] to accompany him, [so] he took [him] [and] circumcised him on account of the Jews in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered the decisions handed down by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for [the people] to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

Paul's Vision of the Macedonian

{After] the Holy Spirit prevented them from speaking the word in [the province of] Asia, they traveled through the region of Phrygia and Galatia. And when they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, [but] the Spirit of Jesus would not permit them. [So] they passed by Mysia [and] went down to Troas. During the night, Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia [and] help us.” 10  As soon as [Paul] had seen the vision, we got ready to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi

11  We sailed from Troas straight to Samothrace, and the following day on to Neapolis. 12  From there [we went] to [the Roman] colony of Philippi, [the] leading city of [that] district of Macedonia. And we stayed [there] [several] days. 13  On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate along [the] river, where [it] was customary to find [a place of] prayer. [After] sitting down, we spoke to the women who had gathered [there] . 14  Among those listening [was a] woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple [cloth] from [the] city of Thyatira, [who was] a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15  And when [she] and her household had been baptized, she urged [us] , “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come [and] stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

Paul and Silas Imprisoned

16  One day as we were going to the [place of] prayer, we were met by a slave girl with a spirit of clairvoyance,
Greek Python, a spirit of divination named after the mythical serpent slain by Apollo
who earned a large income for her masters by fortune-telling.
17  [This girl] followed Paul and [the rest of] us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you [the] way of salvation.” 18  She continued this for many days. [Eventually] Paul grew so aggravated [that] he turned [and] said to the spirit, “In [the] name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” And [the spirit] left her at that very moment. 19  [When] [the girl’s] owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas [and] dragged [them] before the authorities in the marketplace. 20  They brought them to the magistrates [and] said, “These men are Jews [and] are throwing our city {into turmoil} 21  [by] promoting customs that are unlawful for us Romans to adopt [or] practice.” 22  The crowd joined in the attack against [Paul and Silas] , and the magistrates ordered that they be stripped [and] beaten with rods. 23  And after striking them with many blows, they threw [them] into prison [and] ordered the jailer to guard them securely. 24  On receiving [this] order, he placed them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

The Conversion of the Jailer

25  About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying [and] singing hymns to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them. 26  Suddenly a strong earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. At once all the doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27  [When] the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword [and] was about to kill himself, presuming that the prisoners had escaped. 28  But Paul called out in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself! We are all here!” 29  Calling for lights, [the jailer] rushed in and fell trembling {before} Paul and Silas. 30  Then he brought them out [and] asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31  They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32  Then [Paul and Silas] spoke the word of the Lord to him [and] to everyone in his house. 33  At that hour of the night, [the jailer] took them [and] washed [their] wounds. And without delay, he and all his household were baptized. 34  Then he brought them into [his] home and set [a meal before them] . [So] {he} and all [his] household rejoiced that they had come to believe in God.

An Official Apology

35  [When] daylight came, the magistrates sent [their] officers with the order: “Release those men.” 36  The jailer informed Paul: “The magistrates have sent orders to release you. Now you may go on your way in peace.” 37  But Paul said to [the officers] , “They beat us publicly without a trial [and] threw [us] into prison, [even though] we are Roman citizens. And now do they want to send us away secretly? Absolutely not! Let them come themselves and escort us out!” 38  [So] the officers relayed this message to the magistrates, [who] were alarmed to hear that [Paul and Silas] were Roman citizens. 39  They came to appease them and led them out, requesting that they leave the city. 40  After [Paul and Silas] came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house to see the brothers and encourage [them] . Then they left [ the city ] .
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