Acts 28:7-10 — Paul Heals on Malta

7 In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days.

8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him.

9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed.

10 They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.

chief man (v.7) — It may possibly represent a title which the Romans found attached to the principal person of Malta and which they adopted as the official name for their local governor, who would be the deputy of the propraetor of Sicily. Otherwise, it must be regarded as denoting the honorary rank of a native magnate, who was allowed, under Roman rule, to retain his former title and, possibly, some of his former possessions and authority. — Walker, page 571.

bloody flux (v.8) — dysentery

us (v.10) — Luke, as a doctor, may have had a part in the healings.

Whether Publius was a Roman official or a native of Malta allowed some local rule under Rome, it is very probably that his courteousness toward Julius the centurion was motivated, in part, by this connection, although the passage seems to make it clear that he went beyond the call of duty in his kindness toward the shipwreck survivors.

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