Acts 16:26
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone's chains came loose.

New Living Translation
Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!

English Standard Version
and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.

Berean Study Bible
Suddenly a strong earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. At once all the doors flew open, and everyone's chains came loose.

Berean Literal Bible
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that foundations of the prison house were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and the chains of all were loosed.

New American Standard Bible
and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened.

King James Bible
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's chains came loose.

International Standard Version
Suddenly, there was an earthquake so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken. All the doors immediately flew open, and everyone's chains were unfastened.

NET Bible
Suddenly a great earthquake occurred, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Immediately all the doors flew open, and the bonds of all the prisoners came loose.

New Heart English Bible
Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were loosened.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And suddenly there was a great earthquake and the foundation of the prison was shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened and their chains were all released.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Suddenly, a violent earthquake shook the foundations of the jail. All the doors immediately flew open, and all the prisoners' chains came loose.

New American Standard 1977
and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were unfastened.

Jubilee Bible 2000
then suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

King James 2000 Bible
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

American King James Version
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

American Standard Version
and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison-house were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and the bands of all were loosed.

Darby Bible Translation
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison shook, and all the doors were immediately opened, and the bonds of all loosed.

English Revised Version
and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison-house were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened; and every one's bands were loosed.

Webster's Bible Translation
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

Weymouth New Testament
when suddenly there was such a violent shock of earthquake that the prison shook to its foundations. Instantly the doors all flew open, and the chains fell off from every prisoner.

World English Bible
Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were loosened.

Young's Literal Translation
and suddenly a great earthquake came, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken, opened also presently were all the doors, and of all -- the bands were loosed;
Study Bible
The Conversion of the Jailer
25About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly a strong earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. At once all the doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, presuming that the prisoners had escaped.…
Cross References
Psalm 68:6
God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

Acts 4:31
After they had prayed, their meeting place was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Acts 12:7
Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him up, saying, "Get up quickly." And the chains fell off his wrists.

Acts 12:10
They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city, which opened for them by itself. When they had gone outside and walked the length of one block, the angel suddenly left him.
Treasury of Scripture

And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

suddenly.

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled …

Acts 5:19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought …

Acts 12:7,10 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came on him, and a light shined …

Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord …

Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, see, there was …

Revelation 11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part …

and every.

Psalm 79:11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before you; according to the …

Psalm 102:20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed …

Psalm 146:7 Which executes judgment for the oppressed: which gives food to the …

Isaiah 42:7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, …

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed …

Zechariah 9:11,12 As for you also, by the blood of your covenant I have sent forth …

(26) And suddenly there was a great earth quake.--Both the region and the time were, it will be remembered, conspicuous for convulsions of this kind. Cities in Asia, such as Sardis, Apamea and Laodicea, and in Campania, suffered severely under Tiberius. (See Note on Matthew 24:7.) St. Luke apparently reads the fact not as in itself miraculous, but as leading to a display of supernatural calmness and courage on the part of the Apostles, and so to the conversion of the gaoler.

Every one's bands were loosed.--This seems, at first, beyond the range of the usual effects of an earthquake, but the chains of the prisoners were fastened, we must remember, to rings or staples in the wall, and the effect of a great shock would be to loosen the stones and so make it easy to escape. The fact that the "foundations of the prison were shaken" agrees with what has been said above (Note on Acts 16:24), as to the dungeon into which the prisoners had been thrust.

Verse 26. - Prison-house for prison, A.V., as Acts 5:21, 23. All the doors were opened. This would be the natural effect of the earthquake. Bands (δεσμά). St. Luke always follows the Attic usage of δεσμόν, in the neuter (romp. Acts 20:23; Luke 8:29). St. Paul follows the Hellenistic usage of δεσμός, in the masculine (Philippians 1:13; see Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 5:5; Habakkuk 3:13). In many instances (genitive and dative) it is, of course, impossible to determine whether the word is masculine or neuter. And suddenly there was a great earthquake,.... An extraordinary and unusual one; which did not arise from natural causes, from wind being pent up in the earth, but from the prayers and praises of the saints, going up to heaven; when God was pleased to testify his presence and power this way; and the effects which followed upon this earthquake, show it to be a supernatural one:

so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; not the roof and walls only, as is common in earthquakes, but the very foundation also; and yet the edifice was not thrown down, as is usual when the foundation is shaken:

and immediately all the doors were opened; both of the outer and inner prisons, which is another unusual effect of earthquakes:

and everyone's bands were loosed; not only the bands of Paul and Silas, but of the rest of the prisoners; though the Arabic version reads, "all the fetters and bands of both were loosed", referring it only to Paul and Silas; this circumstance shows also, that the earthquake was miraculous, for when was it ever known that such an effect ever followed one? 26-28. And suddenly there was a great earthquake—in answer, doubtless, to the prayers and expectations of the sufferers that, for the truth's sake and the honor of their Lord, some interposition would take place.

every one's bands—that is, the bands of all the prisoners.

were loosed—not by the earthquake, of course, but by a miraculous energy accompanying it. By this and the joyous strains which they had heard from the sufferers, not to speak of the change wrought on the jailer, these prisoners could hardly fail to have their hearts in some measure opened to the truth; and this part of the narrative seems the result of information afterwards communicated by one or more of these men.16:25-34 The consolations of God to his suffering servants are neither few nor small. How much more happy are true Christians than their prosperous enemies! As in the dark, so out of the depths, we may cry unto God. No place, no time is amiss for prayer, if the heart be lifted up to God. No trouble, however grievous, should hinder us from praise. Christianity proves itself to be of God, in that it obliges us to be just to our own lives. Paul cried aloud to make the jailer hear, and to make him heed, saying, Do thyself no harm. All the cautions of the word of God against sin, and all appearances of it, and approaches to it, have this tendency. Man, woman, do not ruin thyself; hurt not thyself, and then none else can hurt thee; do not sin, for nothing but that can hurt thee. Even as to the body, we are cautioned against the sins which do harm to that. Converting grace changes people's language of and to good people and good ministers. How serious the jailer's inquiry! His salvation becomes his great concern; that lies nearest his heart, which before was furthest from his thoughts. It is his own precious soul that he is concerned about. Those who are thoroughly convinced of sin, and truly concerned about their salvation, will give themselves up to Christ. Here is the sum of the whole gospel, the covenant of grace in a few words; Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. The Lord so blessed the word, that the jailer was at once softened and humbled. He treated them with kindness and compassion, and, professing faith in Christ, was baptized in that name, with his family. The Spirit of grace worked such a strong faith in them, as did away further doubt; and Paul and Silas knew by the Spirit, that a work of God was wrought in them. When sinners are thus converted, they will love and honour those whom they before despised and hated, and will seek to lessen the suffering they before desired to increase. When the fruits of faith begin to appear, terrors will be followed by confidence and joy in God.
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