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Acts 28

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 1 Now when they had escaped, they found that the island was called Malta.

 2 And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire because of the rain and cold, and received all of us.

 3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, a viper came out of the heat and fastened itself on his hand.

 4 When the natives saw the venomous snake hanging on his hand, they said among themselves, "No doubt this man is a murderer, and although he has escaped the sea, justice will not allow him to live."

 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire, and suffered no harm.

 6 However they were waiting for him to swell up or fall down dead suddenly; but after they had waited a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

 7 Now in the same area there was an estate of the leading man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us courteously and lodged us for three days.

 8 And it so happened, that the father of Publius lay sick with a fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him, and prayed and laid his hands on him and healed him.

 9 So when this happened, others on the island who had diseases came and were healed;

 10 Who honored us in many ways. And when we departed, they provided us with all we needed.

 11 After three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the island, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.

 12 And landing at Syracuse, we stayed there three days.

 13 And from there we circled around, and came to Rhegium; and after one day the south wind blew, and we came to Puteoli the next day.

 14 Here we found brothers, and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome.

 15 When the brothers heard news of us, they came as far as the Appii Forum and The Three Taverns to meet us; and when Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.

 16 So when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was allowed to live by himself with a soldier to guard him.

 17 And it happened after three days, that Paul called the leaders of the Jews together; and when they had come together, he said to them, "Men and brothers, though I have committed nothing against the [Jewish] people, or the customs of our forefathers, yet was I delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.

 18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause for putting me to death.

 19 But when the Jews spoke against it, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar; not that I had anything to accuse my nation of.

 20  For this reason therefore I have requested to see you, and to speak with you; since it because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain."

 21 And they said to him, "We have neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brothers who came reported or spoken any evil about you.

 22 But we desire to hear from you what you know concerning this sect, for we know that it is spoken against everywhere."

 23 So when they had set a day, many of them came to him in his house; to whom he explained and testified about the kingdom of God from morning until evening, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets.

 24 And some believed the things that were spoken, and some did not believe.

 25 And when they disagreed among themselves, they began leaving after that Paul had spoken one last word: "Well spoke the Holy Spirit by Isaiah the prophet to our forefathers,

 26 Saying, 'Go to this people, and say, Surely you will hear, and not understand; and see, but not perceive.

 27 Make the hearts of this people callous, and their ears dull of hearing, and close their eyes; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should repent, and be healed.' [To be healed means to become free of sin, cured from sin, healed from sin, released from the bondage of sin — which is the definition of salvation. See Footnote 1 of Mark 4 for why God makes hearts callous.]

 28 Let it be known to you therefore, that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and that they will hear it!"

 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had great disputes among themselves.

 30 And Paul lived two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him,

 31 Preaching the kingdom of God and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

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