Paul And Silas In Macedonia

One day as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who

was under the control of a spirit that made her clairvoyant, so that she

brought great gain to her owners by fortune-telling. She kept following

Paul and the rest of us, crying, "These men are servants of the Most

High God; they proclaim to you the way of salvation." This she did for

many days until Paul, unable to stand it longer, turned and said to the

spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her."

And it left her at once.

But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized

Paul and Silas and dragged them into the public square before the city

officials. Bringing them before the military rulers, they said, "These

are Jews who are making a disturbance in our city; they proclaim customs

which it is not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or follow." The mob

also joined in the attack upon them, so the military rulers tore their

garments off them and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After beating

them severely, they threw them in prison and ordered the jailer to be

sure to keep them safely. On receiving this strict order, he put them

into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

About midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God,

and while the prisoners were listening to them, there was suddenly such

a great earthquake that the very foundations of the prison were shaken.

Immediately all the doors were opened and the chains that bound all the

prisoners were loosened.

When the jailer suddenly awoke and saw the prison doors wide open, he

drew his sword and was about to kill himself, thinking the prisoners had

escaped. But Paul shouted, "Do no harm to yourself, for we are all

here!" So calling for lights, the jailer rushed in, and trembling with

fear, fell down before Paul and Silas. Then bringing them out of the

prison he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They answered,

"Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your household will be

saved." So Paul and Silas preached the word of the Lord to him and to

all his family. Then the jailer took them at that very hour of the night

and washed their wounds, and he and all his family were at once

baptized. He then brought them to his house and gave them food to eat,

and greatly rejoiced with all his family that they had come to believe

in God.

The next morning the city officials sent the police with the order,

"Release these men." So the jailer told Paul, "The police have brought

an order to have you released; now you may come out and go in peace."

But Paul answered, "They have beaten us publicly without trial, although

we are Roman citizens, and they put us in prison! Now they are going to

send us out secretly! No, indeed. Let them come here themselves and take

us out."

The police reported this to the military rulers, who, when they heard

that they were Roman citizens, were afraid and came to make peace with

them, and when they had brought them out of prison, they begged them to

leave the city. So Paul and Silas left the prison, and went to Lydia's

house; and after they had seen the brothers and encouraged them, they

left the city.

After they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to

Thessalonica, where the Jews had a synagogue. As usual, Paul went in,

and for three weeks he argued with them, to prove to them from the

scriptures that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead, and

Paul said that "this Jesus I proclaim to you is the Christ." Some of the

Jews and a large number of God-fearing Greeks and many of the leading

women believed and threw in their lot with Paul and Silas.

But the Jews were jealous and got hold of the loafers in the

market-place, and raised a mob and started a riot in the city. They

attacked Jason's house, so as to bring Paul and Silas out before the

people, and when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some of

the brothers before the city officials, shouting, "These men who have

upset the whole world have come here too! Jason has welcomed them. They

do not keep the laws of Caesar and declare that some one else called

Jesus is king." On hearing this the crowd and the city officials were

greatly troubled; but after Jason and the others had pledged to keep the

peace, they let them go.

Then the brothers at once sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea.

When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue, where the

people were of a nobler spirit than at Thessalonica, for they were very

ready to hear the teaching about Jesus, and studied their scriptures

daily to see if what Paul said was true. Many of the Jews believed and

also prominent Greek women and many men.

As soon as the Jews at Thessalonica learned that God's message was being

proclaimed by Paul at Beroea, they came there also to stir up the

people to riot. Then the brothers at once sent Paul on his way to the

sea-coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Beroea. The friends who

escorted Paul went with him as far as Athens, and left him there, after

receiving instructions that Silas and Timothy were to come to him as

soon as possible.