16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying 1 and singing hymns to God, 2 and the rest of 3 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 4 of all the prisoners came loose.
1 tn Grk “praying, were singing.” The participle προσευχόμενοι (proseucomenoi) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
2 sn Praying and singing hymns to God. Tertullian said, “The legs feel nothing in the stocks when the heart is in heaven” (To the Martyrs 2; cf. Rom 5:3; Jas 1:2; 1 Pet 5:6). The presence of God means the potential to be free (cf. v. 26).
3 tn The words “the rest of” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.
4 tn Or perhaps, “chains.” The translation of τὰ δεσμά (ta desma) is to some extent affected by the understanding of ξύλον (xulon, “stocks”) in v. 24. It is possible (as mentioned in L&N 18.12) that this does not mean “stocks” but a block of wood (a log or wooden column) in the prison to which prisoners’ feet were chained or tied.