Summary: A viper comes out of the bundle of sticks, laid on the fire, and latches onto Paul's hand. The people witnessing the incident, presumed that he must be a thief, murderer, or some great sinner, and therefore they thought what they saw was an act of Div....
September 26, 2016
Acts of the Apostles
By: Tom Lowe
Title: Paul in Malta (Acts 28:1-15)
Acts 28:1-15, KJV
1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.
2 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.
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.
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 hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
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.
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.
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.
9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
10 Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.
11 And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.
12 And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days.
13 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:
14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.
15 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.
When we left the Apostle Paul and the rest of the crew, they had made it to shore safely after being shipwrecked during a fierce storm. The island on which they were shipwrecked is called Melita (Acts 28:1). They are shown great hospitality by the local populace (Acts 28:2). A viper comes out of the bundle of sticks, laid on the fire, and latches onto Paul's hand (Acts 28:3). The people witnessing the incident, presumed that he must be a thief, murderer, or some great sinner, and therefore they thought what they saw was an act of Divine vengeance (Acts 28:4); but after he shook the creature off his hand without receiving any noticeable injury or ill-effects from its poison, they changed their minds, and supposed him to be a god (Acts 28:5; Acts 28:6). Publius, the governor of the island, treated them courteously, and Paul miraculously heals his father, who is sick with a fever, etc. (Acts 28:7; Acts 28:8). He heals several others also, who show their gratitude by giving them presents (Acts 28:9, Acts 28:10). Paul, the passengers, and ship’s crew stay on Melita for three months before embarking in a ship of Alexandria. Their next stop was at Syracuse where they remained for three days, and then they sailed past the straits of Rhegium, and land at Puteoli. They find some Christians at Puteoli, with whom they fellowshipped for seven days before setting out for Rome (Acts 28:11-14). They are met at Appii Forum by some Christians, and Paul is greatly encouraged (Acts 28:15).