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The Book of Acts Chapter 28 (44 of 44)
Dr. Harley Howard
1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the
island was called Melita.
They landed on Melita or today Malta, about 180 miles
from Italy and about 60 miles from Sicily.
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
And the natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for
because of the rain that had set in and because of the
cold, they kindled a fire and received us all. Now
the words, barbarous people, means, one who speaks a
foreign or strange language, which is not understood
by another. It was used by the Greeks of any
foreigner ignorant of the Greek language. These
natives of Melita showed the passengers great love. I
believe that you can translate the words, no little
kindness, as their love for humanity! They started a
fire for them and received them, which means that they
receive into one's home, with the collateral idea of
kindness. It also means to receive, i.e. grant one
access to one's heart or to take into friendship and
intercourse, or to feed. They did this to all of the
passengers, no exception.
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.
Evidently this viper, being poisonous, was stirred up
by the fire and bit Paul's hand and would not let it
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.
It is interesting to note here that these uncultured
peoples had knowledge of justice and of right and
wrong. They though that he got what he deserved,
thinking that he was a murderer.
5 And he shook off the beast int ...
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