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Bible Commentaries

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Acts 28

Verses 1-10

They soon discovered the island's name was Malta. The natives, who were descendants of Phoenicia, did not speak Greek, but they did show considerable kindness to those recently shipwrecked. Paul helped gather sticks to lay on the fire they had built. A viper, upon feeling the heat of the fire, latched onto the apostle's arm. Paul shook it off into the fire. The superstitious islanders believed he must truly have been guilty since a snake bit him after he had survived the sea. When he did not die, they decided he was a god.

They, perhaps meaning the centurion and ship's officers, along with Paul and his company, were invited to stay at the house of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius. He entertained them for three days, during which time Paul healed Publius' father of a fever and dysentery by praying and laying his hands on him. Naturally, others who were sick were also brought to the apostle and he healed them. They bestowed honor on the apostle while he was with them and sent the whole company on their way with adequate provisions ( Act_28:1-10 ).

Verses 11-16

Paul's Completes His Journey to Rome!

They set sail aboard another Alexandrian ship after three months, likely after the worst of the winter storms were over. Their first stop was at Syracuse, then Rhegium and, finally, Puteoli. This was the principle port of call for ships carrying wheat from Egypt to Rome. They found brethren there and stayed with them for seven days. Then, they went on to Rome. Brethren from the city heard Paul was coming and travelled some 43 miles to greet him at the Market of Appius and others met him at the Three Taverns. Seeing them caused the apostle to thank God and gave him courage to go on. In Rome, Paul was permitted to live with a guard by himself ( Act_28:11-16 ).

Verses 17-31

After three days in Rome, Paul called for the leaders of the Jews. He explained to them that he was in Rome because of charges brought against him by their brethren in Jerusalem. The authorities had wanted to release him, but he had to appeal to Caesar because the Jews were opposed to Paul being at liberty. The apostle remained chained, as he explained, because of following Christ, the true fulfillment of Israel's hope. The leaders of the Jews in Rome knew nothing of the charges against Paul and reported that no one had come from Jerusalem. However, they did express their desire to hear from Paul concerning Christianity, which they said was spoken against "everywhere."

On the appointed day, a large group returned and Paul preached all day using Moses and the prophets to testify concerning God's kingdom. The group was divided as to whether to believe Paul. He finally spoke one word, which Coffman suggests was "Gentiles," which ended all discussion. Paul quoted from Isa_6:9-10 to show their rejection of the gospel had been foretold by the Holy Spirit. The apostle then told them that salvation would be taken to the Gentiles and there find a good reception.

Luke reports that Paul spent two years in his own rented house. He received guests there and taught concerning the kingdom of God. He spoke boldly and no one forbid him to continue ( Act_28:17-31 ).

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Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Acts 28". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". 2014.