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Wednesday, June 29 2016
Acts 28: Paul's Journey From Malta To Rome
"After three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle ... And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days ... And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him"
Malta (also known as Melita in the King James Version, from the Greek Melite), is an island group located in the Mediterranean Sea about 100 kilometers / 60 miles south of Sicily. The largest of its islands, Malta, is about 28 kilometers / 17 miles long and 15 kilometers / 9 miles wide. The bay in which the apostle Paul's shipwreck occurred is today called "St. Paul's Bay" (see map below). The other islands are Gozo, Comino, Comminotto and Filfla.
The King James Version unfortunately and erroneously translates native people as "the barbarous people" - they were actually peaceful, civilized people (there were more "barbarians" on the ship than on Malta) who welcomed Paul's group with "kindness" and "received us every one." The King James Version was using the term as it existed centuries ago in which "barbarian" meant foreigner - but even then, on Malta, it was Paul and his group who were the foreigners (see also Barbarian Language).
Nevertheless, although the Roman ship was lost from the storm (see Paul's Cyclone), all got safely ashore. During the three months that Paul remained there, the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) provided Paul with the miraculous means to powerfully preach and demonstrate the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God there.
"28:1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.
Paul's voyage, as a Roman military prisoner (see Why Was Paul Sent To Rome?), then continued on another ship - from Alexandria, Egypt (see also The Jews Of Alexandria and Children Of Ham - The Origin Of Egypt And Iraq). They sailed across to Italy and made their way to Rome.
"28:11 And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.
The Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?) was known and prophesied by the earlier prophets, including Isaiah as quoted below (see also the Fact Finder question below). It was a time when many were having their "ears" opened to the Truth - to thereafter accept it, or not (see The Church Of God At Rome and Romans: In The Heart Of The Beast).
"28:17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 28:18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. 28:19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. 28:20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
Fact Finder: What did the Messiah quote from Isaiah on the day that His Ministry began in Nazareth?
This Day In History, June 29
1149: During the Second Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), the Syrian army of Nur ad-Din Zangi defeated the Crusader army of Raymond of Antioch (see also Damascus In History And Prophecy and The Syrian Connection).
1194: Sverre became King of Norway.
1438: Albrecht II ("the Bear") was crowned king of Bohemia after being crowned king of Hungary and Germany earlier in the year (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1529: The Second Treaty of Barcelona, a peace settlement between Emperor Charles V and Pope Clement VII which made the Spanish Habsburgs dominant in Italy.
1613: The original Globe Theater in London burned down during the first performance of Shakespeare's Henry VIII.
1644: Charles I of England defeated a Parliamentarian army at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge.
1807: During the Russo-Turkish War, Admiral Dmitry Senyavin defeated the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Athos (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1855: The Daily Telegraph was first published in London.
1880: France annexed Tahiti.
1925: King George V opened Canada House in Trafalgar Square in London. Canada House is the official building for Canada's High Commissioner and staff in Britain.
1937: Joseph Armand Bombardier patented the Bombardier snowmobile.
1943: Germany began to withdraw its U-Boats ("underwater boats" i.e. submarines) from the North Atlantic in anticipation of the Allied invasion of Europe.
1946: In response to murders and bombings by Jewish resistance in "Palestine" (see Where Is Palestine?), including the June 17 blowing up of 10 of the 11 bridges connecting the land of Israel to surrounding nations, the British conducted dawn raids and arrested over 2,700 Jews. The incident was later used as the pretext for the "Zionist" bombing of the King David Hotel a little over 3 weeks later. See A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate, A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace to understand why Britain was given to control much of the Middle East at that time, and how their presence there permitted the people of Judah (who once again failed to recognize their deliverer) to fulfill the prophecy about their return to the land of Israel.
1966: U.S. planes bombed Hanoi and Haiphong for the first time in the Vietnam War - which was actually a civil war between the Vietnamese people whose nation had been divided into "North" and "South" by France in the 1940s when it regarded the country as their colonial property. When the French were driven out at the start of the civil war, the U.S. replaced the French. When the U.S. abandoned the war in the early 1970s, the "North" defeated the "South" and restored Vietnam to the single nation that it had been for centuries (Vietnam existed as a nation long before either France or the U.S.) before foreign interference divided their nation.
1967: Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah) removed barricades to re-unify Jerusalem.
1974: Isabel Peron was sworn in as President of Argentina, taking over from her husband Juan Peron who became ill.
1995: A department store in Seoul collapsed, killing 502 people in South Korea's worst peacetime disaster.
2002: South Korean and North Korean naval forces engaged in a brief firefight. Six South Korean sailors were killed and a North Korean vessel was sunk.
2006: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President George W. Bush's plan to try Guantanamo Bay prisoners in military tribunals (often using evidence and confessions that were obtained through torture e.g. water boarding) violated U.S. and international law. The trials continued anyway, as they did under Barak Obama, who had pledged to close the U.S. base/prison camp in communist Cuba, but never did. The Guantanamo Bay prison also inadvertently set the standard for how U.S. prisoners of war may be treated by other nations who regard themselves above the long-established laws of war.
Water boarding is not a new form of torture however. At the end of the Second World War (1939-1945), some Japanese officers were executed as war criminals for their torture of prisoners of war - with methods that included water boarding.
Water boarding itself originated centuries before, during the "Spanish Inquisition" of Christians in Europe. Pope Gregory IX sent the first Inquisition "investigators" to Aragon in Spain in 1232. Their "conversion" tactics involved many forms of intimidation and torture - including the torture known today as "water boarding" (although those who practice it today typically deny that it's torture if "we" do it, but always torture if "they" do it).