Bible: Acts 16:13-40

16:13 On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate to the side of the river, where we thought there would be a place of prayer, and we sat down 1  and began to speak 2  to the women 3  who had assembled there. 4  16:14 A 5  woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth 6  from the city of Thyatira, 7  a God-fearing woman, listened to us. 8  The Lord opened her heart to respond 9  to what Paul was saying. 16:15 After she and her household were baptized, she urged us, 10  “If 11  you consider me to be a believer in the Lord, 12  come and stay in my house.” And she persuaded 13  us.

Paul and Silas Are Thrown Into Prison

16:16 Now 14  as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who had a spirit that enabled her to foretell the future by supernatural means. 15  She 16  brought her owners 17  a great profit by fortune-telling. 18  16:17 She followed behind Paul and us and kept crying out, 19 These men are servants 20  of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way 21  of salvation.” 22  16:18 She continued to do this for many days. But Paul became greatly annoyed, 23  and turned 24  and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ 25  to come out of her!” And it came out of her at once. 26  16:19 But when her owners 27  saw their hope of profit 28  was gone, they seized 29  Paul and Silas and dragged 30  them into the marketplace before the authorities. 16:20 When 31  they had brought them 32  before the magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion. 33  They are 34  Jews 16:21 and are advocating 35  customs that are not lawful for us to accept 36  or practice, 37  since we are 38  Romans.”

16:22 The crowd joined the attack 39  against them, and the magistrates tore the clothes 40  off Paul and Silas 41  and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 42  16:23 After they had beaten them severely, 43  they threw them into prison and commanded 44  the jailer to guard them securely. 16:24 Receiving such orders, he threw them in the inner cell 45  and fastened their feet in the stocks. 46 

16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying 47  and singing hymns to God, 48  and the rest of 49  the prisoners were listening to them. 16:26 Suddenly a great earthquake occurred, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Immediately all the doors flew open, and the bonds 50  of all the prisoners came loose. 16:27 When the jailer woke up 51  and saw the doors of the prison standing open, 52  he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, 53  because he assumed 54  the prisoners had escaped. 16:28 But Paul called out loudly, 55 Do not harm yourself, 56  for we are all here! 16:29 Calling for lights, the jailer 57  rushed in and fell down 58  trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 16:30 Then he brought them outside 59  and asked, “Sirs, what must 60  I do to be saved? 16:31 They replied, 61 Believe 62  in the Lord Jesus 63  and you will be saved, you and your household.” 16:32 Then 64  they spoke the word of the Lord 65  to him, along with all those who were in his house. 16:33 At 66  that hour of the night he took them 67  and washed their wounds; 68  then 69  he and all his family 70  were baptized right away. 71  16:34 The jailer 72  brought them into his house and set food 73  before them, and he rejoiced greatly 74  that he had come to believe 75  in God, together with his entire household. 76  16:35 At daybreak 77  the magistrates 78  sent their police officers, 79  saying, “Release those men.” 16:36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, 80 The magistrates have sent orders 81  to release you. So come out now and go in peace.” 82  16:37 But Paul said to the police officers, 83 They had us beaten in public 84  without a proper trial 85 even though we are Roman citizens 86 and they threw us 87  in prison. And now they want to send us away 88  secretly? Absolutely not! They 89  themselves must come and escort us out! 90  16:38 The police officers reported these words to the magistrates. They were frightened when they heard Paul and Silas 91  were Roman citizens 92  16:39 and came 93  and apologized to them. After 94  they brought them out, they asked them repeatedly 95  to leave the city. 16:40 When they came out of the prison, they entered Lydia’s house, and when they saw the brothers, they encouraged them and then 96  departed.

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