This content is part of a series.
Interpretations (18 of 19)
CONTEXT: If you remember last week we saw that the ship that was transporting Paul to Rome was hit by a Nor-Easter and destroyed. However, by God's Providence they were close to an Island called Malta. So they were able to float to the debris of the ship until all of the 276 passengers were safe. Acts 28:1 picks up with their arrival on the shore of Malta.
Acts 28:1-10 (ESV)
1 After we were brought safely through, we then learned that the island was called Malta. 2 The native people (Some of your translations will say, ''Barbarians'' )showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. 3 When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand.
So this is the story - Paul is warming his hands in the fire and a viper slithers out and strikes him, apparently getting it's fang caught in Paul's garment. Notice what happens next -
4 When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, ''No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.''
One event takes place and these kind people draw a conclusion that to them makes perfect sense.
ILLUSTRATION: Remember the Greeks named Gods after the events they observed in life. One of the things they had notice was that it seemed that Justice seemed to catch up with people one way or another. They said this was the god Nemesis - the god of divine retribution. So they observe this viper strike Paul and instantaneously their minds assign to the circumstance an interpretation. This is the work of Nemesis.
But then - the circumstance changes and so does their interpretation.
4 When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, ''No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has es ...
There are 13218 characters in the full content. This excerpt only shows a 2000 character sample of the full content.