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earth, and the light of the world. (Matt. v. 13, that Malta was the place, because, from the place 14.) It is a privilege to be related to the friends of his shipwreck, he went directly to Syracuse, of God to be the children of pious parents, or Rbegium, and Puteoli, thus sailing in a direct to be connected with pious partners in life. It course to Rome. In sailing from the other is a privilege to be connected with the friends of Melita to Rhegium, Syracuse would be far out God in business ; or to dwell near them; or to of the direct course. The island now is in the
be associated with them in the various walks and possession of the British. | dangers of life. The streams of blessings which
flow to fertilize their lands, flow also to bless | VER. 2. And the barbarous people showed us others; the dews of heaven, which descend on no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, their habitations, descend on all around ; and the God which crowns them with loving kindness,
and received us, ' every one, because of the often fills the abodes of their neighbours and present rain, and because of the cold. friends with the blessings of peace and salvation.
| 6 Rom. i.14. Col. iii. 11. c Matt. x. 42. Heb. xiii. 2. And commanded.- Probably they were released from their chains.
And the barbarous people.-See Note, Rom. i.
14. The Greeks regarded all as barbarians who VER. 44. And the rest, some on boards, and some I did not speak their language: and applied the on broken pieces of the ship. And so hit name to all other nations but their own. It does came to pass, that they escaped all safe to not denote, as it does sometimes with us, people land.
of savage, uncultivated, and cruel habits, but
simply those whose speech was unintelligible, h Psa. cvii. 28, 30. Ver. 22.
See 1 Cor. xiv. 11. The island is supposed to
have been peopled at first by the Phæcians, and And the rest.--Those who could not swim.
afterwards by the Phænicians, afterwards by a They escaped all safe to land.- According to the
colony from Carthage. The language of the promise which was made to Paul. (Ver. 22.) This Maltese was that of Africa, and hence it was was done by the special providence of God. It
called by the Greeks the language of barbarians. was a remarkable instance of Divine interposition,
It was a language which was unintelligible to the to sare so many through so long continued dan
Greeks and Latins. The rain.-— The continuance gers; and it shows that God can defend in any
of the storm. And of the cold.—The exposure to perils, and can accomplish all his purposes. On
the water in getting to the shore, and probably the ocean, or the land, we are safe in his keeping;
to the cold
the weather. It was now and he can devise ways that shall fulfil all his
the month of October. purposes, and that can protect his people from danger.
VER. 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. CHAPTER XXVIII.
Had gathered a bundle of sticks. For the purVER. I. And when they were escaped, then they | pose of making a fire.
pose of making a fire. There came a viper.--A knew that the island 4 was called Melita.
poisonous serpent. Note, Matt. iii. 7. The vi
per was, doubtless, in the bundle of sticks or a Chap. xxvii. 26.
limbs of trees which Paul had gathered, but was
concealed, and was torpid. But when the bunThey knew.- Either from their former ac dle was laid on the fire, the viper became warmed quaintance with the island, or from the informa
by the heat, and ran out, and fastened on the tion of the inhabitants. Was called Melita.
hand of Paul, And fastened on his hand.-KaNow called Malta. It was celebrated formerly | 3ive. This word properly means “ to join onefor producing large quantities of honey, and is self to; to touch ; to adhere to.” It might have supposed to bave been called Melita from the been by coiling around his hand and arm; or Greek word, signifying honey. It is about twenty | by fastening his fangs in his hand. It is not exmiles in length from east to west, and twelve pressly affirmed that Paul was bitten by the vimiles in breadth from north to south, and about per, yet it is evidently implied; and it is wholly sixty miles in circumference. It is about sixty | incredible that a viper, unless miraculously miles from the coast of Sicily. The island is an prevented, should fasten himself to the hand immense rock of white soft free.stone, with a without biting. covering of earth about one foot in depth, wbich has been brought from the island of Sicily.
VER. 4. And when the barbarians saw the veThere was also another island formerly called nomous beast hang on his hand, they said Melita, Dow called Meleda, in the Adriatic sea,
among themselves, No doubt this man is a Dear the coast of Illyricum, and some have supposed that Paul was shipwrecked on that island.
murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the But tradition has uniformly said that it was on sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live, the island now called Malta. Besides, the other
d John vii. 24. Jelita would have been far out of the usual track in going to Italy; and it is further evident | The venomous beast.: - The word “ beast" we apply usually to an animal of larger size than a fulfilled the proinise of the Saviour, Mark xvi. viper. But the original word (mpiov) is appli- | 18, “ They shall take up serpents,” &c. cable to animals of any kind, and especially applied by Greek writers to serpents. (See Schleus. VER. 6. Howbeit they looked when he should ber.) No doubt.-The fact that the viper had
have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly. fastened on him, and that, as they supposed he must now certainly die, was the proof from
But after they had looked a great while, and which they inferred his guilt. Is a murderer.
saw no harm come to him, they changed their Why they thought he was a “murderer” rather minds, and said that he was a god. than guilty of some other crime, is not known.
5 Chap. xiv. 11. It might have been, (1.) Because they inferred that he must have been guilty of some very When he should have swollen.- When they er. | atrocious crime, and as murder was the highest
pected he would have swollen from the bite of crime that man could commit, they inferred that
the viper. The poison of the viper is rapid ; and he had been guilty of this. Or, (2.) More pro
they expected that he would die soon. The word bably, they had an opinion that when Divine
rendered “swollen,” (aiun padjai,) means provengeance overtook a man, he would be punished perly to burn : to be inflamed; and then to be in a manner similar to the offence; and as mur
swollen from inflammation. This was what they der is committed usually with the hand, and as
expected bere, that the poison would produce a the viper had fastened on the hand of Paul, they violent inflammation. Ör fallen down dead sudinferred that he had been guilty of taking life. It
denly.- As is sometimes the case from the bite was supposed among the ancients, that persons
of the serpent, when a vital part is affected. were often punished by Divine vengeance in that
They changed their minds.— They saw he was
the cha part of the body which had been the instrument
uninjured, and miraculously preserved; and they of the sin. Whom though he hath escaped the sea.
supposed that none but a god could be thus kept - They supposed that vengeance and justice
from death. That he was a god.--That the Malwould still follow the guilty; that though he
tese were idolaters there can be no doubt. But might escape one form of punishment, yet he
what gods they worshipped is unknown, and would be exposed to another. And this, to a cer
conjecture would be useless. It was natural that tain extent, is true. These barbarians reasoned
they sbould attribute such a preservation to the from great original principles written on the hearts
presence of a divinity. A similar instance ocof all men by nature, that there is a God of jus
| curred at Lystra. See Notes, chap. xir. Jl. tice, and that the guilty would be punished. They reasoned incorrectly, as niany do, only because that they supposed that every calamity is a
VER. 7. In the same quarters were possessions judgment for some particular sin. Men often of the chief man of the island, whose name draw this conclusion ; and suppose that suffering was Publius; who received us, and lodged us is to be traced to some particular crime, and to
three days courteously. be regarded as a direct judgment from Heaven. See Notes, John ix. 1–3. The general propo
In the same quarters.- In that place, or that sition, that all sin will be punished at some time,
part of the island. Possessions. - Property. His is true ; but we are not qualified to affirm of par
place of residence. The chief man.-Gr. “ The ticular calamities always that they are direct
first man.” Probably he was the governor of judgments for sin. In some cases we may. In
the island. the case of the drunkard, the gambler, and the profligate, we cannot doubt that the loss of pro
VER. 8. And it came to pass, that the father of perty, health, and reputation, is the direct result of specific crime. In the ordinary calamities of
Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody life, however, it requires a more profound ac flux: to whom 8 Paul entered in, and prayed, quaintance with the principles of divine govern and laid " his hands on him, and healed him. ment than we possess, to affirm of each instance of suffering, that it is a particular judgment for
James v. 14, 15.
h Matt. ix. 18. Mark vi. 5; vii. 32; xvi. 1S. Luke some crime. Yet vengeance.-'Hðinn.“ Diké,"
iv. 40; chap. xix. 11. I Cor. xii. 9, 28. or Justice, was represented by the heathen as a goddess, the daughter of Jupiter, whose office it
A bloody flux.—Gr. “ Dysentery."- And laid was to take vengeance, or to inflict punishment his hands
| his hands on him, &c.-In accordance with the for crimes. Suffereth not to live. They re
promise of the Saviour. (Mark xvi. 18.) This garded him as already a dead man. They sup
miracle was a suitable return for the hospitality posed the effect of the bite of the viper would be
of Publius, and would serve to conciliate further so certainly fatal, that they might speak of him
the kindness of the people, and prepare the way as already in effect dead. --Beza.
for the usefulness of Paul. VER. 5. And he shook off the beast into the fire,
Ver. 9. So when this was done, others also, and felt eno harm.
which had diseases in the island, came, and ·
were healed : e Mark xvi. 18. Luke x. 19.
10. Who also honoured i us with many And he shook off, &c.—In this was remarkably
il Thess. ii. 6. I Tim. v. 17.
honours; and when we departed, they laded on the northern side of the bay, and about eight us with such things i as were necessary.
miles north-west from Naples. The town con
tains at present about 10,000 inhabitants. ; Matt. vi. 31–34 ; x. 8-10. 2 Cor. li. 5-11. Phil. iv. 11, 12.
Ver. 14. Where we found brethren, and were Who also honoured us. As men who were
desired to tarry with them seven days : and favoured of Heaven, and who had been the
so we went toward Rome. means of conferring important benefits on them in healing the sick, &c. Probably the word
Brethren.- Christian brethren. But by whom " honours" here means “ gifts," or marks of fa
the gospel had been preached there, is unknown. voir. They laded us. They gave us, or conferred on us. They furnished us with such
VER. 15. And from thence, when the brethren !| things as were pecessary for us on our journey.
heard of us, they came to meet us as far as ! Ver. 11. And after three months we departed Appii Forum, and the Three Taverns : whom
in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. courage.?
k Chap. xxi. 5. 3 John 6, 8. And after three months.- Probably they re
I Josh. i. 6, 7, 9. 1 Sam. xxx. 6. Psa. xxvii. 14. mained there so long, because there was no favourable opportunity for them to go to Rome. And from thence.--From Puteoli. When the If they arrived there, as is commonly supposed, brethren heard of us.-- The Christians who were in October, they left for Rome in January. In at Rome. As far as the Appii Forum.—This
a skip of Alerandria.-See Note, chap. xxvii. 6. was a city about 56 miles from Rome. The re| Whose sign.- Which was ornamented with an mains of an ancient city are still seen there. It | inage of Castor and Pollux. It was common to is on the borders of the Pontine marshes. The
place on the prow of the ship the image of some city was built on the celebrated Appian way, person, or god, whose name the ship bore. This or road from Rome to Capua. The road was custom is still observed. Castor and Pollur.– made by Appius Claudius, and probably the city These were two semi-deities: they were reputed also. It was called the “ forum,” or “ marketto be twin brothers, sons of Jupiter and Leda, place” of Appius, because it was a convenient the wife of Tyndarus, king of Sparta. After their
place for travellers on the Appian way to stop death, they are fabled to have been translated to for purposes of refreshment. It was also a faheaven, and made constellations, under the name mous resort for pedlars and merchants. See of " Gemini," or the twins. They then received Horace, b. i, sat. 5. 3. And the Three Taverns. divine honours, and were called the sons of Ju -This place was about eight or ten miles nearer piter. They were supposed to preside over sail Rome than the Appii Forum. (Cicero ad Att. ii. | Ons, and to be their protectors; hence it was not
10.) It undoubtedly received its name because it | bocommon to place their image on ships. See was distinguished as a place of refreshment on authorities in Lem priere's Dictionary.
the Appian way. Probably the greater part of
the company of Christians remained at this place, | VER. 12. And landing at Syracuse, we tarried while the remainder went forward to meet Paul, there three days.
and to attend him on his way. The Christians
at Rome had doubtless heard much of Paul. His : And landing at Syracuse.-Syracuse was the
epistle to them had been written about the year capital of the island of Sicily, on the eastern of our Lord 57, or at least five years before this coast. It was in the direct course from Malta to time. The interest which the Roman Christians Rome. It contains at present about 18,000 inha felt in the apostle was thus manifested by their bitants.
coming so far to meet him, though he was a pri
soner. He thanked God. - He had long ardently VER. 13. And from thence we fetched a com desired to see the Christians of Rome. (Rom. i.
pass, and came to Rhegium : and after one 9-11; xv. 23, 32.) He was now grateful to God day the south wind blew, and we came the
that the object of his long desire was at last
granted to him, and that he was permitted to next day to Puteoli:
see them, though in bonds. And took courage.We fetched a compass.- We coasted about;
From their society and counsel. The presence Or we coasted along the eastern side of Sicily.
and counsel of Christian brethren is often of in
estimable value in encouraging and strengthenThe course can be seen on the map. And came I to Rhegium. This was a city of Italy, in the
ing us in the toils and trials of life. kingdom of Naples, on the coast near the southWest extremity of Italy. It was nearly opposite
VER. 16. And when we came to Rome, the cento Messina, in Sicily. It is now called “Reg turion delivered the prisoners to the captain of 10." See the map. The south wind.--A wind the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by favourable for their voyage. To Puteoli.—The Wells. It was celebrated for its warm baths, and
himself m with a soldier that kept him. from these, and its springs, it is supposed to have
m Chap. xxiv. 25; xxvii. 3. derived its name of the wells." It is now called Pozzuoli," and is in the campania of Naples, The captain of the guard.--The commander of
the Pretorian cohort or guard. The custom was, the Christian religion, he here says that he that those who were sent from the provinces to cherished no unkind feelings towards them. Rome for trial were delivered to the custody of this guard. The name of the prefect or captain | VER. 20. For this cause therefore have I called of the guard at this time, was Burrhus Afranius.
for you, to see you, and to speak with you : (Tac. Ann. 12. 42. 1.) But Paul was suffered, &c. --Evidently by the permission of the centurion,
because that for the hope of Israel I am whose favour he had so much conciliated on the bound with this chain. voyage. See chap. xxvii. 43. With a soldier that
Chap. xxvi. 6, 7. Chap. xxvi. 29. Eph. iii, 1; kept him.---That is, in the custody of a soldier, Liv. 1; vl. 20.2 T'im. i. 16
iv. 1; vi. 20. 2 Tim. i. 16; ii. 9. Philem. 10, 13, to whom he was chained, and who, of course, constantly attended him. See chap. xxiv. 23. Because for the hope of Israel. -On account of Note, chap. xii. 6.
the hope which the Jews cherished of the com
ing of the Messiah ; of the resurrection ; and of VER. 17. And it came to pass, that after three the future state through him. See this explained days Paul called the chief of the Jews toge in the note on chap. xxii. 6. I am bound with
this chain.-See Note, chap. xxvi. 29. ther: and when they were come together, he
| he was attached constantly to a soldier by a said unto them, Men and brethren, though » Ichain. have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered • VER. 21. And they said unto him, We neither prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the received letters out of Judea concerning thee, Romans :
neither any of the brethren that came showed
or spake any harm of thee. n Chap. xxiv. 12, 13 ; xxv. 8. o Chap. xxi. 33, &c.
We neither received letters, &c.---Why the Paul called the chief of the Jews.-He probably | Jews in Judea had not forwarded the accusahad two objects in this; one was to vindicate him- | tion against Paul to their brethren at Ronie, self from the suspicion of crime, or to convince that they might continue the prosecution before them that the charges alleged against him were the emperor, is not known. It is probable that false ; and the other, to explain to them the gos they regarded their cause as hopeless, and chose pel of Christ. In accordance with his custom to abandon the prosecution. Paul had been acevery where, he seized the earliest opportunity quitted successively by Lysias, Felix, Festus, and of making the gospel known to his own country- | Agrippa ; and as they had not succeeded in promen ; and he naturally supposed that charges curing his condemnation before them, they saw highly unfavourable to his character had been no prospect of doing it at Rome, and chose theresent forward against him to the Jews at Rome fore not to press the prosecution any farther. by those in Judea. Against the people.- Against | Neither any of the brethren that came, -- Any of the Jews. (Chap. xxiv. 12.) Or customs, &c. the Jews. There was a very constant intercourse The religious rites of the nation. Note, chap. between Judea and Rome; but it seems that the vi. 14. Was I delivered prisoner, &c.—By the Jews who had come before Paul had arrived, had Jews. (Chap. xxi. 33, &c.)
not mentioned his case, so as to prejudice them
against him. VER. 18. Who, P when they had examined me,
Ver. 22. But we desire to hear of thee what would have let me go, because there was no
thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we cause of death in me.
know that every where it is spoken against p Chap. xxiv. 10; xxvi. 31.
t Luke ii. 34. Chap. xxiv. 5, 14. 1 Pet. ii. 12; iv. 14. When they had examined me, &c.-Chap. xxiv. 10—27 ; xxv. ; xxvi. 31, 32. No cause of death.
What thou thinkest.—What your belief is; or -No crime worthy of death.
what are the doctrines of Christians respecting the Messiah. This sect.—The sect of Christians.
Spoken against. — Particularly by Jews. This, Ver. 19. But when the Jews spake against it,
was the case then ; and, to a great extent, is the I was constrained to appeal ? unto Cæsar ; case still. It has been the common lot of the not that I had aught to accuse my nation of followers of Christ to be spoken of with con
tempt. Comp. chap. xxiv. 5. q Chap. xxv. 11.
VER. 23. And when they had appointed him : The Jews spake against it.- Against my being set at liberty. I was constrained.-By a regard
day, there came many to him into his lodging :| to my own safety and character. To appeal unto n to whom he expounded and testified the Cæsar.-Note, chap. xxv. 11. Not that I had
kingdom of God, persuading them concerning aught, &c.—I did it for my own preservation
Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out and safety; not that I wished to accuse my own countrymen. It was not from motives of re
of the prophets, from morning till evening. venge, but for safety. Paul had been unjustly I u Philem. 2. « Luke xxiv. 27. Chap. xvii. 3; vix. 8. accused and injured; yet with the true spirit of
w Chap. xxvi. 6, 22.
Appointed him a duy.- A day when they would the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, hear him. To his lolging.- To the house where and that they will hear it. he resided. (Ver. 30.) He expounded.--He explained or declared the principles of the Chris & Matt. xxi. 41. Chap. xiii. 46, 47; xviii. 6; xxii. 21; tian religion. And testified the kingdom of God.
xxvi. 17, 18. Rom. xi 11. -- Bore witness to, or proclaimed the principles
The salvation of God. — The knowledge of and doctrines of the reign of the Messiah. See Note, Matt. iii. 2. Persuading them concerning
God's mode of saving men. Is sent unto the
19 Gentiles.—Since you have rejected it, it will be Jesus. — Endeavouring to convince them that
a. I offered to them. See Note, chap. xiii. 46. Jesus was the Messiah. Both out of the law of
And Moses.-Endeavouring to convince them that he | Paul was never discouraged.
that they will hear it. They will embrace it.
If the gospel was corresponded with the predictions respecting the Messiah in the books of Moses. See Gen. xlix.
rejected by one class of people, he was ready to 10. Deut. xviii. 18. And with the types which
offer it to another. If his own countrymen reMoses had instituted to prefigure the Messiah.
jected and despised it, he never allowed himself
to suppose that Christ had died in vain, but beAnd out of the prophets.—Showing that he cor
| lieved that others would be inclined to embrace responded with the predictions of the prophets.
its saving benefits. How happy would it be if See Note, chap. xvii. 3. From morning until
all Christians had the same unwavering faith erening.- An instance of Paul's indefatigable toil | in endeavouring to win his own countrymen to
and zeal as Paul! Jesus as the Messiah.
VER. 29. And when he had said these words, the VER. 24. And some * believed the things which
Jews departed, and had great reasoning among
themselves. were spoken, and some believed not. 2 Chap. xiv. 4; xvii. 4; xix. 9. Rom. iii. 3.
And had great reasoning.–Great discussion or
debates. That is, the part which believed that And some believed, &c.—See Note, chap. xiv. 4. Jesus was the Messiah, (ver. 24,) discussed the
subject warmly with those who did not believe. VER. 25. And when they agreed not among This whole verse is wanting in the Syriac ver
themselves, they departed, after that Paul had | sion, and in some Greek MSS., and is supposed spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost
| by Mill and Griesbach to be spurious. by Esaias y the prophet unto our fathers,
VER. 30. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his y Psa. lxxxi. 11. Isa. vi. 9. Jer. v. 21. Ezek. iii. 6, 7; xii. 2. Matt. xiii. 14, 15. Rom. xi. 8.
own hired house, and received all that came in
unto him. Had spoken one word. -- One declaration of solemn prophecy, reminding them that it was Paul dwelt two whole years.-Doubtless, in the the characteristic of the nation to reject the tes- custody of the soldiers. Why he was not prosetimony of God, and that it was to be expected. cuted before the emperor, during this time, is not It was the last solemn warning which we know known. It is evident, however, (ver. 21,) that Paul to have delivered to his countrymen the the Jews were not disposed to carry the case beJews. Well spake.-Or, he spoke the truth : he fore Nero, and the matter, during this time, was justly described the character of the Jewish suffered quietly to sleep. There is great propeople. The passage here quoted was as ap- | bability that the Jews durst not prosecute him
licable in the time of Paul as of Isaiah. The before the emperor. It is clear that they had Holy Ghost.—A full proof of the inspiration of never been in favour of the appeal to Rome, and Isaiah. By Esaias. — By Isaiah. (Isa. vi. 9, that they had no hope of gaining their cause. 10.)
Probably they might remember the former treat
ment of the Roman emperor of their people, V'ER. 26. Saying, Go unto this people, and say,
(Note, chap. xviii. 2 ;) they might remember Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not under
that they were despised at the Roman capital,
and not choose to encounter the scorn and indigstand; and seeing ye shall see, and not per nation of the Roman court; and, as there was no ceive:
prosecution, Paul was suffered to live in quiet27. For the heart of this people is waxed
ness and safety. Lardner, however, supposes,
(vol. v. p. 528, 529. Ed. 8vo. Lond. 1829,) that gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and
the case of Paul was soon brought before Nero, their ears have they closed ; lest they should
and decided ; and that the method of confinement see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, was ordered by the emperor himself. Lightfoot and understand with their heart, and should be
also supposes that Paul's “accusers, who had
come from Judea to lay their charge against converted, and I should heal them.
him, would be urgent to get their business desSaying, &c.-See this passage explained in the
patched, that they might be returning to their Notes on Matt. xiii. 14, and John xii. 39, 40.
own home again, and so would bring him to trial as soon as they could.” But nothing certainly
is known on the subject. It is evident, indeed, V'ER. 28. Be it known therefore unto you, that from 2 Tim. iv. 16, that he was at some time