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1Once we had made our way to safety, we identified the island as Malta.

2The natives treated us with uncommon kindness: because it had started to rain and was cold they lit a bonfire and made us all welcome.

3Paul had got together an armful of sticks and put them on the fire, when a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened on his hand.

4The natives, seeing the snake hanging on to his hand, said to one another, “The man must be a murderer; he may have escaped from the sea, but divine justice would not let him live.”

5Paul, however, shook off the snake into the fire and was none the worse.

6They still expected him to swell up or suddenly drop down dead, but after waiting a long time without seeing anything out of the way happen to him, they changed their minds and said, “He is a god.”

7In that neighbourhood there were lands belonging to the chief magistrate of the island, whose name was Publius. He took us in and entertained us hospitably for three days.

8It so happened that this man's father was in bed suffering from recurrent bouts of fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and, after prayer, laid his hands on him and healed him;

9whereupon the other sick people on the island came and were cured.

10They honoured us with many marks of respect, and when we were leaving they put on board the supplies we needed.

11Three months had passed when we put to sea in a ship which had wintered in the island; she was the Castor and Pollux of Alexandria.

12We landed at Syracuse and spent three days there;

13then we sailed up the coast and arrived at Rhegium. Next day a south wind sprang up and we reached Puteoli in two days.

14There we found fellow-Christians and were invited to stay a week with them. And so to Rome.

15The Christians there had had news of us and came out to meet us as far as Appii Forum and the Three Taverns, and when Paul saw them, he gave thanks to God and took courage.

16WHEN we entered Rome Paul was allowed to lodge privately, with a soldier in charge of him.

17Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders, and when they were assembled, he said to them: “My brothers, I never did anything against our people or against the customs of our forefathers; yet I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.

18They examined me and would have liked to release me because there was no capital charge against me;

19but the Jews objected, and I had no option but to appeal to Caesar; not that I had any accusation to bring against my own people.

20This is why I have asked to see and talk to you; it is for loyalty to the hope of Israel that I am in these chains.”

21They replied, “We have had no communication about you from Judaea, nor has any countryman of ours arrived with any report or gossip to your discredit.

22We should like to hear from you what your views are; all we know about this sect is that no one has a good word to say for it.”

23So they fixed a day, and came in large numbers to his lodging. From dawn to dusk he put his case to them; he spoke urgently of the kingdom of God and sought to convince them about Jesus by appealing to the law of Moses and the prophets.

24Some were won over by his arguments; others remained unconvinced.

25Without reaching any agreement among themselves they began to disperse, but not before Paul had spoken this final word: “How well the Holy Spirit spoke to your fathers through the prophet Isaiah

26when he said, ‘Go to this people and say: You may listen and listen, but you will never understand; you may look and look, but you will never see.

27For this people's mind has become dull; they have stopped their ears and closed their eyes. Otherwise, their eyes might see, their ears hear, and their mind understand, and then they might turn again, and I would heal them.’

28Therefore take note that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; the Gentiles will listen.”


30He stayed there two full years at his own expense, with a welcome for all who came to him;

31he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught the facts about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and without hindrance.

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