English Standard Version
Timothy Joins Paul and Silas
16 Paul[a] came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named (A)Timothy, (B)the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by (C)the brothers[b] at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he (D)took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance (E)the decisions (F)that had been reached by (G)the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. 5 (H)So the churches were strengthened in (I)the faith, and they increased in numbers (J)daily.
The Macedonian Call
6 And (K)they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but (L)the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down (M)to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul[c] had seen the vision, immediately (N)we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
The Conversion of Lydia
11 So, setting sail from Troas, we (O)made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to (P)Philippi, which is a leading city of the[d] district of Macedonia and (Q)a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And (R)on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate (S)to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we (T)sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, (U)who was a worshiper of God. The Lord (V)opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, (W)and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she (X)prevailed upon us.
Paul and Silas in Prison
16 As we were going to (Y)the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had (Z)a spirit of (AA)divination and (AB)brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, (AC)crying out, “These men are (AD)servants of (AE)the Most High God, who proclaim to you (AF)the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, (AG)“I command you (AH)in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And (AI)it came out that very hour.
19 But (AJ)when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and (AK)dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. 21 They (AL)advocate customs that are not lawful for us (AM)as Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders (AN)to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner (AO)prison and fastened their feet in (AP)the stocks.
The Philippian Jailer Converted
25 (AQ)About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly (AR)there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately (AS)all the doors were opened, and (AT)everyone's bonds were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and (AU)was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer[e] called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he (AV)fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, (AW)what must I do to be (AX)saved?” 31 And they said, (AY)“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you (AZ)and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them (BA)the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he (BB)was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he (BC)rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.
35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” 36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, (BD)uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.” 38 The police reported these words to the magistrates, and (BE)they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. 39 So they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and (BF)asked them to leave the city. 40 So they went out of the prison and visited (BG)Lydia. And when they had seen (BH)the brothers, they encouraged them and departed.
A Dream Gave Paul His Map
16 1-3 Paul came first to Derbe, then Lystra. He found a disciple there by the name of Timothy, son of a devout Jewish mother and Greek father. Friends in Lystra and Iconium all said what a fine young man he was. Paul wanted to recruit him for their mission, but first took him aside and circumcised him so he wouldn’t offend the Jews who lived in those parts. They all knew that his father was Greek.
4-5 As they traveled from town to town, they presented the simple guidelines the Jerusalem apostles and leaders had come up with. That turned out to be most helpful. Day after day the congregations became stronger in faith and larger in size.
6-8 They went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas.
9-10 That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.
11-12 Putting out from the harbor at Troas, we made a straight run for Samothrace. The next day we tied up at New City and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We lingered there several days.
13-14 On the Sabbath, we left the city and went down along the river where we had heard there was to be a prayer meeting. We took our place with the women who had gathered there and talked with them. One woman, Lydia, was from Thyatira and a dealer in expensive textiles, known to be a God-fearing woman. As she listened with intensity to what was being said, the Master gave her a trusting heart—and she believed!
15 After she was baptized, along with everyone in her household, she said in a surge of hospitality, “If you’re confident that I’m in this with you and believe in the Master truly, come home with me and be my guests.” We hesitated, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Beaten Up and Thrown in Jail
16-18 One day, on our way to the place of prayer, a slave girl ran into us. She was a psychic and, with her fortunetelling, made a lot of money for the people who owned her. She started following Paul around, calling everyone’s attention to us by yelling out, “These men are working for the Most High God. They’re laying out the road of salvation for you!” She did this for a number of days until Paul, finally fed up with her, turned and commanded the spirit that possessed her, “Out! In the name of Jesus Christ, get out of her!” And it was gone, just like that.
19-22 When her owners saw that their lucrative little business was suddenly bankrupt, they went after Paul and Silas, roughed them up and dragged them into the market square. Then the police arrested them and pulled them into a court with the accusation, “These men are disturbing the peace—dangerous Jewish agitators subverting our Roman law and order.” By this time the crowd had turned into a restless mob out for blood.
22-24 The judges went along with the mob, had Paul and Silas’s clothes ripped off and ordered a public beating. After beating them black-and-blue, they threw them into jail, telling the jailkeeper to put them under heavy guard so there would be no chance of escape. He did just that—threw them into the maximum security cell in the jail and clamped leg irons on them.
25-26 Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.
27-28 Startled from sleep, the jailer saw all the doors swinging loose on their hinges. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he pulled out his sword and was about to do himself in, figuring he was as good as dead anyway, when Paul stopped him: “Don’t do that! We’re all still here! Nobody’s run away!”
29-31 The jailer got a torch and ran inside. Badly shaken, he collapsed in front of Paul and Silas. He led them out of the jail and asked, “Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?” They said, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included!”
32-34 They went on to spell out in detail the story of the Master—the entire family got in on this part. They never did get to bed that night. The jailer made them feel at home, dressed their wounds, and then—he couldn’t wait till morning!—was baptized, he and everyone in his family. There in his home, he had food set out for a festive meal. It was a night to remember: He and his entire family had put their trust in God; everyone in the house was in on the celebration.
35-36 At daybreak, the court judges sent officers with the instructions, “Release these men.” The jailer gave Paul the message, “The judges sent word that you’re free to go on your way. Congratulations! Go in peace!”
37 But Paul wouldn’t budge. He told the officers, “They beat us up in public and threw us in jail, Roman citizens in good standing! And now they want to get us out of the way on the sly without anyone knowing? Nothing doing! If they want us out of here, let them come themselves and lead us out in broad daylight.”
38-40 When the officers reported this, the judges panicked. They had no idea that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. They hurried over and apologized, personally escorted them from the jail, and then asked them if they wouldn’t please leave the city. Walking out of the jail, Paul and Silas went straight to Lydia’s house, saw their friends again, encouraged them in the faith, and only then went on their way.