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Melita ; an island about sixty miles south of Sicily, now called Malta. It is a little north of west from the island of Clauda. See note to chap Acts 27:16 .
The barbarous people ; a term applied to the islanders as not speaking the Greek language. Compare Romans 1:14 .
A viper ; a poisonous serpent. Matthew 3:7 .
Vengeance suffereth not to live ; that divine vengeance which even heathen persons believe to follow evil-doers. The sentiment that murderers deserve themselves to die, and that justice requires them to be put to death, is not only a dictate of revelation, but seems to be graven upon the hearts of all men.
Swollen ; from the effect of poison.
Whose sign was Castor and Pollux ; having on its prow painted or carved figures of Castor and Pollux, two heathen divinities, who were supposed to watch over sailors.
Syracuse ; a city in the south-eastern part of Sicily. It lay on the way from Malta to Rome.
Fetched a compass ; sailed in a winding course; either because they followed the irregularities of the coast, or because they were compelled to beat against a head wind.
Rhegium ; a city near the south-west extremity of Italy, in the present kingdom of Naples.
The south wind blew ; which was a favorable wind, as they were sailing north.
Puteoli ; north of Rhegium, towards Rome. It was about eight miles from the modern city of Naples.
The brethren ; Christians at Rome.
Appii - forum ; a town about forty-three miles south of Rome.
The Three Taverns ; ten miles further towards Rome.
Whom ; the brethren from Rome, a part of whom met Paul at Appii-forum, and a part at The Three Taverns. The presence of Christian friends, especially in time of trouble, is delightful. Their countenance and support afford encouragement in duty, and the blessings which come through them should awaken new gratitude, and cause the offering of new thanksgiving to God.
With a soldier ; to whom he is supposed to have been chained.
Against it ; against Paul’s being set at liberty.
I was constrained ; induced by a suitable regard to his safety, knowing that the Jews intended to kill him. Chap Acts 23:16 ; Acts 25:11 .
The hope of Israel ; the Messiah. All proper efforts should be made to communicate to men correct information, and prevent their becoming so prejudiced as to hinder them from candidly hearing the truth and cordially embracing it.
This sect ; Christians. The fact that some persons are very unpopular, and that many speak against them, is no certain evidence that they are wrong. This opposition may arise from the fact, that the prevalence of their doctrines and practices would interfere with the selfishness, pride, indolence, covetousness, and other vices of their opposers.
Expounded and testified ; explained to them the meaning of the predictions of the Messiah, in the Old Testament, and showed that they were filled in Jesus Christ.
The same divine truths, presented by the same speaker, are treated by different men in a totally different manner. Some receive and treat them as truths; others reject, and treat them as errors. It is not enough, therefore, that men hear these truths, and the evidences which support them; they must also, by the Holy Spirit, be led to believe, or they will reject them. Hence ministers, while they preach to men, should also pray to God that his truth may be attended with his power, and be not only heard and understood, but also believed and obeyed, and thus be the means of eternal life.
Well spake the Holy Ghost ; he spoke the truth.
Esaias ; Isaiah 6:9-10 ; Matthew 13:14 ; John 12:39-40 .
The salvation of God ; the gospel, which makes known his salvation and the way to obtain it. Chap Acts 13:46 .
Great reasoning ; about what Paul had said to them.
Two whole years ; during that time he was kept as a prisoner, preaching the gospel to such as visited him, and writing it as he had opportunity to others.
Preaching the kingdom of God ; making known the gospel, and urging men to embrace it. We are very incompetent judges as to the time, place, and condition in which we may be most useful. If Paul, during the two years of his confinement as a prisoner at Rome, not only preached the gospel to all who came to him, but as has been supposed, also wrote the epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, to Timothy and Philemon, and to the Hebrews, he may thus already have done more good than he could have done by being at liberty, and preaching the gospel to all who would hear him during his whole life.
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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Acts 28". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany