And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.
And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.
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.
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 hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
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.
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.
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.
So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.
And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.
A.M. 4067. A.D. 63.
And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days.
Syracuse was the capital of Sicily, situated on the eastern side of the island, 72 miles S. by E. of Messina, and about 112 of Palermo. In its ancient state of splendour it was 22Æ in extent, according to Strabo; and such was its opulence, that when the Romans took it, they found more riches than they did at Carthage.
And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli:
Rhegium, now Reggio, was a maritime city and promontory in Italy, opposite Messina.
Puteoli, now Puzzuoli, is an ancient sea-port of Campania, in the kingdom of Naples, about eight miles S. W. of that city, standing upon a hill in a creek opposite to Baiae.
Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.
And from thence, 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.
Appii Forum, now Borgo Longo, was an ancient city of the Volsci, fifty miles S. of Rome.
The three taverns
The Three Taverns was a place in the Appian Way, thirty miles from Rome.
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.
Rome, the capital of Italy, and once of the whole world, is situated on the banks of the Tiber, about sixteen miles from the sea; 410 miles S. S .E. of Vienna, 600 S. E. of Paris, 730 E. by N. of Madrid, 760 W. of Constantinople, and 780 S. E. of London.
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.
Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.
But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
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.
That is, the chain with which he was bound to the "soldier that kept him;" (ver. 16;) a mode of custody which Dr. Lardner has shown was in use among the Romans. It is in exact conformity, therefore, with the truth of St. Paul's situation at this time, that he declares himself to be "an ambassador in a chain," [en
And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.
But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
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 till evening.
And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
St. Paul, after his release, is supposed to have visited JudÊa, in the way to which he left Titus at Crete, (Tit 1:5,) and then returned through Syria, Cilicia, Asia Minor, and Greece, to Rome; where, according to primitive tradition, he was beheaded by order of Nero, A.D. 66, at Aquae Saiviae, three miles from Rome, and interred in the Via Ostensis, two miles from the city, where Constantine erected a church.
Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
A.M. 4069. A.D. 65. Preaching.