Act 28:1 ¶ And when they were escaped, then they knew
that the island was called Melita.
COMMENT: Our mapmaker has marked the island
of Malta just south of Sicily off of the boot of Italy. He may
Act 28:2 And the barbarous people showed us no little
kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every
one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.
COMMENT: Barbarians are not always barbaric.
The Indians in America were sometimes of the most hospitable nature
until they found their very dangerous guests were sinners too.
Act 28:3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and
laid [them] on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat,
and fastened on his hand.
Act 28:4 And when the barbarians saw the [venomous]
beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves,
No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has
escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffers not to live.
COMMENT: The barbarians knew the viper was
deadly and were of a mind that Paul had not long to live.
Act 28:5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and
felt no harm.
COMMENT: Thus fulfilling the promise in Holy
Scripture to the Lord's anointed that "NOTHING BY ANY MEANS SHALL
Act 28:6 Howbeit they looked when he should
have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but
after they had looked a great while, and saw no
harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said
that he was a god.
COMMENT: Now God Almighty gave the barbarians
confidence in Paul like he had given those escaped from the
ship confidence in him.
Act 28:7 In the same quarters were possessions of the
chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who
received us, and lodged us three days courteously.
COMMENT: The "us" is the Apostle's
missionary team who are now back in business being reverenced by
Act 28:8 And it came to pass, that the father of
Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to
whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on
him, and healed him.
COMMENT: This was one of Saint Paul's
business cards. He healed the father of the chief man of the island.
Act 28:9 So when this was done, others also, which
had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
COMMENT: The word is out now, that a man
with supernatural healing powers is present, and others came
and were healed of their diseases.
Act 28:10 Who also honoured us with many honours; and
when we departed, they laded [us] with such things as were necessary.
COMMENT: Now the missionary team has all it
needs for the next three months.
Act 28:11 ¶ And after three months we departed in a ship of
Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor
COMMENT: There was a ship that had wintered
in the island. It was apparently empty enough of passengers to
take such a large number of people on board.
Act 28:12 And landing at Syracuse, we tarried [there] three days.
COMMENT: Syracuse is on the east side of
Sicily not too far north of the island of Malta.
Act 28:13 And from there we fetched a compass, and came
to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and
we came the next day to Puteoli:
COMMENT: Rhegium is just a little further
North over on the tip of the boot of Italy and Puteoli,
if you think about the
sound of it; is a western port off of the coast of Italy.
The Italians have many words that end in "i". We say Naples. They
Act 28:14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry
with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.
Act 28:15 And from there, when the brethren
heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum,
and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God,
and took courage.
COMMENT: God is encouraging Saint Paul on his
journey to martyrdom in Rome, and though you might not think it
a fearful thing; you will remember how they drove nails through
the hands and feet of the Lord Jesus Christ to crucify him.
Act 28:16 And when we came to Rome, the Centurion delivered
the prisoners to the Captain of the guard: but Paul was
suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.
COMMENT: Now we find Saint Paul not locked up
in some dark dank dungeion, but he is housed with a soldier to
Act 28:17 ¶ And it came to pass, that after three days
Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they
were come together, he said unto them, "Men [and] brethren,
though I have committed nothing against the people, or
customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from
Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans."
COMMENT: Paul has called the most imminent of
the Jewish men together. He might not have had the freedom to
do such a thing had not the Lord worked miraculously through him
on the voyage. But although he is a prisoner, he had enough
freedom to gather a crowd of his countrymen to speak with them.
Act 28:18 Who, when they had examined me, would have
let [me] go, because there was no cause of death in me.
COMMENT: Paul gives them the facts.
Act 28:19 But when the Jews spoke against [it], I was
constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had
ought to accuse my nation of.
COMMENT: In his explanation, Paul clears the
air of any possible fear that he might accuse Israel in order to
get free of his jailers.
Act 28:20 For this cause therefore have I called for you,
to see [you], and to speak with [you]: because that for
the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
COMMENT: Now we find Paul is housed
separately with a soldier guarding him and he is chained. Paul
tells his visitors he has committed no crime, but is bound
with that chain because of the hope Israel has of a Messiah
which he has not yet named.
Act 28:21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters
out of Judaea concerning you, neither any of the brethren that
came showed or spoke any harm of you.
COMMENT: Here we find the way Israelites
think corporately rather than individually as Gentiles are
inclined to do. They do not speak saying, "I" have not
received letters nor heard anything, but "we" ...
Act 28:22 But we desire to hear of you what you think:
or as concerning this sect, we know that every where it
is spoken against.
COMMENT: They must have recognized what Paul
meant when he said he was a prisoner for the hope of Israel, for
they identify Paul with the sect of believers in Jesus Christ.
Act 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day,
there came many to him into [his] lodging; to whom he
expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading
them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and
[out of] the prophets, from morning til evening.
COMMENT: What a wonderful picture we have here
of Saint Paul discoursing with Israelites in Rome all the day long
in the Scriptures concerning the many prophecies regarding Jesus.
Act 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken,
and some believed not.
COMMENT: Once again, the Jewish people are
divided upon receiving the message concerning Jesus being the
Messiah they were looking for.
Act 28:25/26 And when they agreed not among themselves,
they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well
spoke the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet unto our fathers,
Saying, "Go unto this people, and say, Hearing you shall hear,
and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see,
and not perceive:
COMMENT: There Paul shows us the reason he
went to the Jews first whereever he traveled, and he delivered
the message from Isaiah the Prophet even as he had delivered
it previously when their discourses were ended together.
Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross,
and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they
closed; lest they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with
[their] ears, and understand with [their] heart, and should
be converted, and I should heal them.
COMMENT: The prophecy puts the blame for
the troubles of the Jews on them. The hearts of the Israelites
had "waxed gross" before A.D. 72 when they were dispersed into
all the world by Co-emperor Titus of Rome who emptied Israel
of much of their population after they rebelled against the
Act 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the
salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and [that]
they will hear it.
Act 28:29 And when he had said these words, the Jews
departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
COMMENT: Paul's closing reproofs got the
attention of the Jewish men who "had great reasoning among
themselves" to attempt to understand the message.
Act 28:30 And Paul dwelled two whole years in his own
hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
COMMENT: The miracles Paul worked and the
prophecy he spoke regarding the shipwreck all worked to Saint
Paul's benefit, so he was able to rent a house and receive all
who came to see him, but he was not so free to be able to come
and go; although it appears he was no longer kept in chains.
Act 28:31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching
those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all
confidence, no man forbidding him.
COMMENT: Now we have to go to the holy
epistles Saint Paul wrote to the churches he established if we
wish to find out a little more about his incarceration in Rome,
and ultimately his martyrdom which has come down to us