Paul, after his shipwreck, is kindly entertained by the barbarians, 1-2. The viper on his hand does not hurt him, 3-6. He heals many diseases on the island, 7-10. They depart toward Rome, 11-16. He declares to the Jews the cause of his coming, 17-23. After his preaching, some were persuaded and some did not believe, 24-29. He preaches there two years, 30, 31.
1 And when they had escaped, they knew that the island was called Melita. 2 And the barbarous people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and received each of us, 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, a viper came out of the heat and fastened on his hand. 4 And when the barbarians saw the animal hang on his hand, they said among themselves, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet vengeance does not allow to live." 5 And he shook off the animal into the fire and felt no harm. 6 Yet they looked when he would have swelled 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 neighborhood of that place were lands 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 with a fever and dysentery, to whom Paul entered in, prayed, laid his hands on him, and healed him. 9 So when this was done, others also who had diseases on the island came and were healed. 10 They also honored us with many honors, 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 on the island, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. 12 And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days. 13 And from there we made a circuit and came to Rhegium. And after one day the south wind blew, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14 There we found brothers and were desired to tarry with them seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15 And from there when the brothers heard of us, they came to meet us as far as The Forum of Appii, and The Three Taverns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.
16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was allowed to dwell by himself, with a soldier who kept him.
17 And it came to pass, that after three days, Paul called together the chief of the Jews. And when they were assembled, he said to them, "Men, brothers, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans, 18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go because there was no cause of death in me. 19 But when the Jews spoke against it, I was constrained to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything to accuse my nation of. 20 For this cause therefore I have called for you to see you and to speak with you. For because of the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain." 21 And they said to him, "We have neither received letters from Judea concerning you, neither have any of the brothers who came shown or spoken any harm of you. 22 But we desire to hear from you, what you think. For as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against."
23 And when they had appointed him a day, many came to him into his lodging. He expounded to them from morning until evening, testifying about the kingdom of God and persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets. 24 And some believed the things which were spoken and some did not believe. 25 And when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had spoken one word: "The Holy Spirit spoke well by Isaiah the prophet to our fathers,
26 Saying, 'Go to this people, and say, "Hearing you shall hear and shall not understand, and seeing you shall see and not perceive.
27 For the heart of this people has become callous, their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them."'
28 "May it be known therefore to you, that the salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it." 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.
30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house and received all who came to him, 31 Preaching the kingdom of God and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Acts, Chapter 28[➚]
[v.26-27] - Quoting Isaiah 6:9-10 (LXX).