Acts 281 When we had been brought safely through, then we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The natives showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. 3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live." 5 However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. 6 They waited, expecting him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead; but after they had waited a long time and saw nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god. 7 Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8 It happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed sick with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed. 11 After three months we set sail in a ship which had wintered in the island, an Alexandrian ship, with the Twin Brothers as figurehead. 12 After we put in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13 From there we sailed around and arrived at Rhegium, and a day later a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14 There we found some brethren, and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15 And the brethren, when they heard of us, came from there as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. 16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier that guarded him. 17 After three days Paul called together the local leaders of the Jews; and when they had gathered, he said to them, "Brethren, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 And when they had examined me, they were willing to release me because there was no ground for putting me to death. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—not that I had any charge to bring against my own nation. 20 For this reason therefore I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain." 21 They said to him, "We have not received letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brethren who have come here has reported or spoken anything bad about you. 22 But we desire to hear from you what your views are; for concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against." 23 When they had appointed a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in great numbers. And he explained the matter to them from morning till evening, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25 When they disagreed among themselves, they began to leave, after Paul had made one final statement: "The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: 26 saying, ‘Go to this people and say, "you will be ever hearing, but will never understand; and you will be ever seeing, but will never perceive. 27 For this people’s heart has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and their eyes they have closed; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them."‘ 28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen." 29 30 And he stayed there two whole years in his own rented quarters and welcomed all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and unhindered.
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