New American Standard Bible
When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, "Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live."
King James Bible
And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
Darby Bible Translation
And when the barbarians saw the beast hanging from his hand, they said to one another, This man is certainly a murderer, whom, though saved out of the sea, Nemesis has not allowed to live.
World English Bible
When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said one to another, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped from the sea, yet Justice has not allowed to live."
Young's Literal Translation
And when the foreigners saw the beast hanging from his hand, they said unto one another, 'Certainly this man is a murderer, whom, having been saved out of the sea, the justice did not suffer to live;'
Acts 28:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
The venomous beast - The English word "beast" we usually apply to an animal of larger size than a viper. But the original θηρίον thērion is applicable to animals of any kind, and was especially applied by Greek writers to serpents. See Schleusner.
No doubt - The fact that the viper had fastened on him; and that, as they supposed, he must now certainly die, was the proof from which they inferred his guilt.
Is a murderer - Why they thought he was a murderer rather than guilty of some other crime is not known. It might have been:
(1) Because they inferred that he must have been guilty of some very atrocious crime, and as murder was the highest crime that man could commit, they inferred that he had been guilty of this. Or,
(2) More probably, they had an opinion that when divine vengeance overtook a man, he would be punished in a manner similar to the offence; and as murder is committed usually with the hand, and as the viper had fastened on the hand of Paul, they inferred that he had been guilty of taking life. It was supposed among the ancients that persons were often punished by divine vengeance in that part of the body which had been the instrument of the sin.
Whom, though he hath escaped the sea - They supposed that vengeance and justice would still follow the guilty; that, though he might escape one form of punishment, yet he would be exposed to another. And this, to a certain extent, is true. These barbarians reasoned from great original principles, written on the hearts of all people by nature, that there is a God of justice, and that the guilty will be punished. They reasoned incorrectly, as many do, only because that they supposed that every calamity is a judgment for some particular sin. People often draw this conclusion, and suppose that suffering is to be traced to some particular crime, and to be regarded as a direct judgment from heaven. See the notes on John 9:1-3. The general proposition that all sin will be punished at some time is true, but we are not qualified to affirm of particular calamities always that they are direct judgments for sin. In some cases we may. In the case of the drunkard, the gambler, and the profligate, we cannot doubt that the loss of property, health, and reputation is the direct result of specific crime. In the ordinary calamities of life, however, it requires a more profound acquaintance with the principles of divine government than we possess to affirm of each instance of suffering that it is a particular judgment for some crime.
Yet vengeance - ἡ δίκη hē dikē. "Justice" was represented by the pagan as a goddess, the daughter of Jupiter, whose office it was to take vengeance, or to inflict punishment for crimes.
Suffereth not to live - They regarded him as already a dead man. They supposed the effect of the bite of the viper would be so certainly fatal that they might speak of him as already, in effect, dead (Beza).
LibraryPaul in Rome
And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31. Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.' --ACTS xxviii. 30, 31. So ends this book. It stops rather than ends. Many reasons might be suggested for closing here. Probably the simplest is the best, that nothing more is said for nothing more had yet been done. Probably the book was written during these two years. …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
The Supremacy of Christ
Mission and Return of the Seventy.
Ancient Versions of the Old Testament.
And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?
"Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?
And His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?"
The natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us all.
But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand.
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Jump to NextAllowed Barbarians Beast Creature Doubt Escaped Hand Hang Hanging Islanders Justice Live Murderer Natives Permit Saved Sea Snake Someone Suffereth Themselves Undoubtedly Vengeance Venomous
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