Acts 16

Timothy Joins Paul and Silas

16:1 He also came to Derbe1 and to Lystra.2 A disciple3 named Timothy was there, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer,4 but whose father was a Greek.5 16:2 The brothers in Lystra6 and Iconium7 spoke well8 of him.9 16:3 Paul wanted Timothy10 to accompany him, and he took11 him and circumcised12 him because of the Jews who were in those places,13 for they all knew that his father was Greek.14 16:4 As they went through the towns,15 they passed on16 the decrees that had been decided on by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem17 for the Gentile believers18 to obey.19 16:5 So the churches were being strengthened in the faith and were increasing in number every day.20

Paul’s Vision of the Macedonian Man

16:6 They went through the region of Phrygia21 and Galatia,22 having been prevented23 by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message24 in the province of Asia.25 16:7 When they came to26 Mysia,27 they attempted to go into Bithynia,28 but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow29 them to do this,30 16:8 so they passed through31 Mysia32 and went down to Troas.33 16:9 A34 vision appeared to Paul during the night: A Macedonian man was standing there35 urging him,36 “Come over37 to Macedonia38 and help us!” 16:10 After Paul39 saw the vision, we attempted40 immediately to go over to Macedonia,41 concluding that God had called42 us to proclaim the good news to them.

Arrival at Philippi

16:11 We put out to sea43 from Troas44 and sailed a straight course45 to Samothrace,46 the next day to Neapolis,47 16:12 and from there to Philippi,48 which is a leading city of that district49 of Macedonia,50 a Roman colony.51 We stayed in this city for some days. 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 down52 and began to speak53 to the women54 who had assembled there.55 16:14 A56 woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth57 from the city of Thyatira,58 a God-fearing woman, listened to us.59 The Lord opened her heart to respond60 to what Paul was saying. 16:15 After she and her household were baptized, she urged us,61 “If62 you consider me to be a believer in the Lord,63 come and stay in my house.” And she persuaded64 us.

Paul and Silas Are Thrown Into Prison

16:16 Now65 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.66 She67 brought her owners68 a great profit by fortune-telling.69 16:17 She followed behind Paul and us and kept crying out,70 “These men are servants71 of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way72 of salvation.”73 16:18 She continued to do this for many days. But Paul became greatly annoyed,74 and turned75 and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ76 to come out of her!” And it came out of her at once.77 16:19 But when her owners78 saw their hope of profit79 was gone, they seized80 Paul and Silas and dragged81 them into the marketplace before the authorities. 16:20 When82 they had brought them83 before the magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion.84 They are85 Jews 16:21 and are advocating86 customs that are not lawful for us to accept87 or practice,88 since we are89 Romans.”

16:22 The crowd joined the attack90 against them, and the magistrates tore the clothes91 off Paul and Silas92 and ordered them to be beaten with rods.93 16:23 After they had beaten them severely,94 they threw them into prison and commanded95 the jailer to guard them securely. 16:24 Receiving such orders, he threw them in the inner cell96 and fastened their feet in the stocks.97

16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying98 and singing hymns to God,99 and the rest of100 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 bonds101 of all the prisoners came loose. 16:27 When the jailer woke up102 and saw the doors of the prison standing open,103 he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,104 because he assumed105 the prisoners had escaped. 16:28 But Paul called out loudly,106 “Do not harm yourself,107 for we are all here!” 16:29 Calling for lights, the jailer108 rushed in and fell down109 trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 16:30 Then he brought them outside110 and asked, “Sirs, what must111 I do to be saved?” 16:31 They replied,112 “Believe113 in the Lord Jesus114 and you will be saved, you and your household.” 16:32 Then115 they spoke the word of the Lord116 to him, along with all those who were in his house. 16:33 At117 that hour of the night he took them118 and washed their wounds;119 then120 he and all his family121 were baptized right away.122 16:34 The jailer123 brought them into his house and set food124 before them, and he rejoiced greatly125 that he had come to believe126 in God, together with his entire household.127 16:35 At daybreak128 the magistrates129 sent their police officers,130 saying, “Release those men.” 16:36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying,131 “The magistrates have sent orders132 to release you. So come out now and go in peace.”133 16:37 But Paul said to the police officers,134 “They had us beaten in public135 without a proper trial136 – even though we are Roman citizens137 – and they threw us138 in prison. And now they want to send us away139 secretly? Absolutely not! They140 themselves must come and escort us out!”141 16:38 The police officers reported these words to the magistrates. They were frightened when they heard Paul and Silas142 were Roman citizens143 16:39 and came144 and apologized to them. After145 they brought them out, they asked them repeatedly146 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 then147 departed.

Next Chapter