Acts 28:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

New Living Translation
The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn't harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.

English Standard Version
They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

New American Standard Bible
But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.

King James Bible
Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They expected that he would swell up or suddenly drop dead. But after they waited a long time and saw nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

International Standard Version
They were expecting him to swell up or suddenly drop dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

NET Bible
But they were expecting that he was going to swell up or suddenly drop dead. So after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But the Barbarians were thinking that he would immediately swell up and drop dead on the ground. When they had waited for a long time and saw that no evil effect had occurred to him, they changed their talk and they said, “He is a god.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The people were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But after they had waited a long time and saw nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But they were waiting to see when he should have swollen or fallen down dead suddenly; but after they had waited a great while and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

King James 2000 Bible
However they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

American King James Version
However, they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

American Standard Version
But they expected that he would have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but when they were long in expectation and beheld nothing amiss came to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But they supposed that he would begin to swell up, and that he would suddenly fall down and die. But expecting long, and seeing that there came no harm to him, changing their minds, they said, that he was a god.

Darby Bible Translation
But *they* expected that he would have swollen or fallen down suddenly dead. But when they had expected a long time and saw nothing unusual happen to him, changing their opinion, they said he was a god.

English Revised Version
But they expected that he would have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but when they were long in expectation, and beheld nothing amiss came to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

Webster's Bible Translation
Yet they looked when he would have swelled, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

Weymouth New Testament
They expected him soon to swell with inflammation or suddenly fall down dead; but, after waiting a long time and seeing no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

World English Bible
But they expected that he would have swollen or fallen down dead suddenly, but when they watched for a long time and saw nothing bad happen to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

Young's Literal Translation
and they were expecting him to be about to be inflamed, or to fall down suddenly dead, and they, expecting it a long time, and seeing nothing uncommon happening to him, changing their minds, said he was a god.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

28:1-10 God can make strangers to be friends; friends in distress. Those who are despised for homely manners, are often more friendly than the more polished; and the conduct of heathens, or persons called barbarians, condemns many in civilized nations, professing to be Christians. The people thought that Paul was a murderer, and that the viper was sent by Divine justice, to be the avenger of blood. They knew that there is a God who governs the world, so that things do not come to pass by chance, no, not the smallest event, but all by Divine direction; and that evil pursues sinners; that there are good works which God will reward, and wicked works which he will punish. Also, that murder is a dreadful crime, one which shall not long go unpunished. But they thought all wicked people were punished in this life. Though some are made examples in this world, to prove that there is a God and a Providence, yet many are left unpunished, to prove that there is a judgment to come. They also thought all who were remarkably afflicted in this life were wicked people. Divine revelation sets this matter in a true light. Good men often are greatly afflicted in this life, for the trial and increase of their faith and patience. Observe Paul's deliverance from the danger. And thus in the strength of the grace of Christ, believers shake off the temptations of Satan, with holy resolution. When we despise the censures and reproaches of men, and look upon them with holy contempt, having the testimony of our consciences for us, then, like Paul, we shake off the viper into the fire. It does us no harm, except we are kept by it from our duty. God hereby made Paul remarkable among these people, and so made way for the receiving of the gospel. The Lord raises up friends for his people in every place whither he leads them, and makes them blessings to those in affliction.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 6. - But they expected that he would for howbeit, they looked when he should, A.V.; when they were long in expectation for after they had looked a great while, A.V.; beheld nothing amiss for stay no harm, A.V. They expected; προσεδόκων. This word is used eleven times by St. Luke, twice by St. Matthew, and three times in the Second Epistle of Peter (see Acts 3:5; Luke 1:21, etc.). It is also common in the LXX. But it is a word much employed by medical writers in speaking of the course they expect a disease to take, and the results they look for. And this is the more remarkable here because there are no fewer than three other medical phrases in this verse, τίμπρασθαι καταπίπτειν, and μηδὲν ἄτοπον, besides those immediately preceding διεξέρχεσθαι (according to several good manuscripts and editions) θέρμη καθάπτειν, and θηρίον. So that it looks as if, having once got into a medical train of thought from the subject he was writing about, medical language naturally came uppermost in his mind. Have swollen; πίμπρασθαι, only here in the Bible, and not found in this sense in older classical writers. But it is the usual medical word for "inflammation" in any part of the body. Fallen down; καταπίπτειν, only here and in Acts 26:14, and twice in the LXX.; but common in Homer and elsewhere, and especially frequent in medical writers of persons falling down in fits, or weakness, or wounded, or the like. Nothing amiss (μηδὲν ἄτοπον). Mr. Hobart quotes a remarkable parallel to this phrase from Damocrites, quoted by Galen. He says that whosoever, having been bitten by a mad dog, drinks a certain antidote (εἰς οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἐμπεσοῦται ῤᾳδίως), "shall suffer no harm." It is used in medical writers in two senses - of" unusual symptoms," and of fatal consequences. In the New Testament it only occurs elsewhere in Luke 23:41, "Nothing amiss;" and 2 Thessalonians 3:2, Ἀτόπων καὶ πονηρῶν ἀνθρώπων. It is also used in the LXX. for wickedness, doing wickedly, etc. They changed their minds; as in an opposite direction the Lycaonians did (Acts 14:11, 19). It is a graphic picture of the fickleness of an untutored mind yielding to every impulse. The impunity with which St. Paul endured the bite of the viper was a direct fulfillment of our Lord's promise in Mark 16:18 (see further note on ver. 8).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen,.... With the venomous bite of the viper; swelling is one of the symptoms following the bite of this creature; and if the bite does not issue in death, yet the swelling continues inflamed for some time. The symptoms following the bite of a viper are said to be (r) an acute pain in the place wounded; swelling, first red, afterwards livid, spreading by degrees; great faintness; a quick, low, and sometimes interrupted pulse; sickness at the stomach; bilious convulsions: vomiting; cold sweats; sometimes pains about the navel; and death itself, if the strength of the patient, or the slightness of the bite, do not overcome it: if he does overcome it, the swelling continues inflamed for some time; and the symptoms abating, from the wound runs a sanious liquor, little pustules are raised about it, and the colour of the skin is as if the patient were icterical or jaundice; or had the jaundice: the Arabic and Ethiopic versions render it, "that he should burn", or "burnt"; that is, inflamed, for the bite of the viper causes an inflammation, a hot swelling, which rises up in pustules or blisters:

or fallen down dead suddenly; for immediate death is sometimes the effect of such poison. Pliny (s) relates, that the Scythians dip their arrows in the sanies or corrupt matter of vipers, and in human blood, which by the least touch causes immediate death; and Pausanias (t) reports from a certain Phoenician, that a man fleeing from a viper got up into a tree, where the viper could not reach him, but it blew, or breathed out its poison on the tree, and the man immediately died: though the force of this creature's poison does not always, and in all places, and in all persons operate alike; some die within a few hours, and others live some days, some to the third day, and some to the seventh (u):

but after they had looked a great while; upon the apostle, to observe whether any inflammation or swelling arose, or death ensued, as they expected: when they had waited some time, perhaps an hour or two,

and saw no harm come to him; that he was neither inflamed, nor swelled, nor dead; that it had no manner of effect upon him, and no evil of punishment was inflicted on him hereby, from whence they could conclude that he was guilty of any notorious crime:

they changed their minds, and said that he was a god: before they took him to be a murderer, and now they even ascribe deity to him, as was usual with the Gentiles, when anything extraordinary was performed by men: so the Lystrians took Paul for Mercury, and Barnabas for Jupiter, upon the apostle's curing the cripple, Acts 14:11; but what god the inhabitants of Melita thought him to be, is not certain; some think Hercules, who was worshipped in this island. The inhabitants of this island now believe that the apostle expelled all poison and venom out of it when he was there; and it is reported, that the children born in this place fear not any snakes, neither are hurt by anything that is venomous, insomuch that they will take scorpions, and eat them without danger; although, in all other parts of the world, those kind of creatures are most pernicious, and yet do no manner of hurt to men in this island; yea, it is affirmed, that there is a sort of earth found here, which kills serpents: as for the eating of them, the viper itself may be eaten; most authors agree (w), that there is no part, humour, or excrement, not even the gall itself, of a viper, but may be swallowed without much harm; accordingly the ancients, and, as several authors assure us, the Indians at this day, both of the east and west, eat them as we do eels--viper's flesh either roasted or boiled, physicians unanimously prescribe as an excellent restorative, particularly in the elephantiasis, incurable consumptions, leprosy, &c.

(r) Chambers's Cyclopaedia, ut supra. (the word "Viper") (s) L. 11. c. 53. (t) Boeotica, vel, l. 9. p. 583. (u) Alberus de Animal. l. 25. c. ult. (w) Chambers's Cyclopaedia, ut supra. (the word "Viper")

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

6. they looked—"continued looking."

when he should have swollen or fallen down dead—familiar with the effects of such bites.

and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said … he was a god—from "a murderer" to "a god," as the Lycaonian greeting of Paul and Silas from "sacrificing to them" to "stoning them" (Ac 14:13, 19). What has not the Gospel done for the uncultivated portion of the human family, while its effects on the educated and refined, though very different, are not less marvellous! Verily it is God's chosen restorative for the human spirit, in all the multitudinous forms and gradations of its lapsed state.

Acts 28:6 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul at Malta
5However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. 6But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god. 7Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us courteously three days.…
Cross References
Acts 8:10
and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, "This man is rightly called the Great Power of God."

Acts 14:11
When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!"

Acts 28:7
There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days.
Treasury of Scripture

However, they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

said.

Acts 12:22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

Acts 14:11-13 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their …

Matthew 21:9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, …

Matthew 27:22 Pilate said to them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called …

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