16 Once, while we were going to the place for prayer, a servant girl met us. She had a special spirit[a] in her, and she earned a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God. They are telling you how you can be saved.”
18 She kept this up for many days. This bothered Paul, so he turned and said to the spirit, “By the power of Jesus Christ, I command you to come out of her!” Immediately, the spirit came out.
19 When the owners of the servant girl saw this, they knew that now they could not use her to make money. So they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the city rulers in the marketplace. 20 They brought Paul and Silas to the Roman rulers and said, “These men are Jews and are making trouble in our city. 21 They are teaching things that are not right for us as Romans to do.”
22 The crowd joined the attack against them. The Roman officers tore the clothes of Paul and Silas and had them beaten with rods. 23 Then Paul and Silas were thrown into jail, and the jailer was ordered to guard them carefully. 24 When he heard this order, he put them far inside the jail and pinned their feet down between large blocks of wood.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing songs to God as the other prisoners listened.
16:16spirit This was a spirit from the devil, which caused her to say she had special knowledge.
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