2 The Barbarians’ courtesy towards Paul and his company. 3 A viper on Paul’s hand: 6 He shaketh it off without harm: 8 Publius 9 and others are by him healed. 11 They depart from Malta, 16 and come to Rome. 17 Paul openeth to the Jews, 20 the cause of his coming: 22 He preacheth Jesus 30 two years. And when they were come safe, then they knew that the Isle was called Malta.
After our escape we discovered that the island was called Melita. The natives treated us with uncommon kindness. Because of the driving rain and cold they lit a fire and made us all welcome. Then when Paul had collected a large bundle of sticks and was about to put it on the fire, a viper driven out by the heat fastened itself on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand they said to each other, “This man is obviously a murderer. He has escaped from the sea but justice will not let him live.” But Paul shook off the viper into the fire without suffering any ill effect. Naturally they expected him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing untoward happen to him, they changed their minds and kept saying he was a god.
Once everyone was accounted for and we realized we had all made it, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. The natives went out of their way to be friendly to us. The day was rainy and cold and we were already soaked to the bone, but they built a huge bonfire and gathered us around it.
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