28:1When we had come safely through, we found out that the island was called Melita.28:2The people there showed us unusual kindness, kindling a fire and taking us in due to the rain and cold.28:3But as Paul twisted together a bundle of kindling and put it on the fire, a poisonous snake came away from the heat and fastened itself to his hand.
28:4Now when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand they said to each other, “This person must certainly be a murderer. Though he came safely out of the sea, Justice will not let him live.”28:5But he shook it off and into the fire without suffering any harm.28:6They were expecting him to swell up or drop dead, but after waiting quite a while without incident, they decided instead that he was a god.
28:7The land nearby belonged to the leader of the island, Publius. He welcomed us kindly and lodged us for three days.28:8Now it happened that Publius’ father was bedridden with fever and dysentery. But Paul came to him, and after praying and placing his hand on him, miraculously healed him.28:9After this happened, the rest of the islanders with infirmities came and were cured.28:10They gave us many honors, and when it came time to set sail they supplied our needs.
28:11After three months we set out on an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of Castor and Pollux,1 which had wintered at the island.28:12After landing at Syracuse we stayed for three days,28:13then circled around to arrive at Rhegium. When the south wind came up the next day, we reached Puteoli the day after.28:14We found some believers there, who invited us to stay with them for seven days. Then finally we came to Rome.28:15The believers there had heard about us and came to meet us as far as the Appii Forum and Three Taverns. When Paul saw them he thanked God and took courage.28:16And when we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live on his own, along with the soldier assigned to guard him.
28:17Now it happened that three days later he called together the leaders of the Judeans. When they arrived he said to them, “Folks and fellow believers, I, who have done nothing contrary to our people or traditions, was taken prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.28:18They tried me and intended to release me since there was no basis for the death penalty against me.28:19But when the Judeans spoke against me I was compelled to appeal to Caesar, not that I had any complaint against my people.28:20This is the reason I called you here, to see you and speak to you, because I am in chains due to the hope of Israel.”
28:21But they responded, “We have not received any letters about you from Judea, and none of the believers that have come along have said anything good or bad about you.28:22But we still want to hear your thoughts about this sect which is being spoken against everywhere.”28:23A day was set for a meeting, and even more people came to where he was staying. He expounded and testified about the kingdom of God from morning to evening, persuading them about Jesus from both the law of Moses and the prophets.
28:24Some were indeed convinced by what he said, while others were not.28:25They disagreed among themselves and were dismissed after Paul made this one declaration: “The Holy Spirit truly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your ancestors:28:26‘Go to this people and say,
“You will always hear but never understand; you will always see but never perceive.28:27For these people’s minds are calloused; their ears are plugged; they squint with their eyes. Otherwise they might see clearly, listen intently, and understand completely. Then I would turn around and heal them.”’
28:28“Let it be known to you, then, that this salvation of God was sent to the non-Judeans, and they will listen!”
28:30He stayed there for two whole years in his own rented house. He welcomed all who came to him28:31and proclaimed the kingdom of God, teaching about Master Jesus the Anointed, unhindered and with great boldness.
- 1Castor and Pollux were the sons of Zeus (Rom. Jupiter).