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 1 of all the prisoners came loose. 16:27 When the jailer woke up 2 and saw the doors of the prison standing open, 3 he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, 4 because he assumed 5 the prisoners had escaped. 16:28 But Paul called out loudly, 6 “Do not harm yourself, 7 for we are all here!” 16:29 Calling for lights, the jailer 8 rushed in and fell down 9 trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 16:30 Then he brought them outside 10 and asked, “Sirs, what must 11 I do to be saved?” 16:31 They replied, 12 “Believe 13 in the Lord Jesus 14 and you will be saved, you and your household.” 16:32 Then 15 they spoke the word of the Lord 16 to him, along with all those who were in his house. 16:33 At 17 that hour of the night he took them 18 and washed their wounds; 19 then 20 he and all his family 21 were baptized right away. 22 16:34 The jailer 23 brought them into his house and set food 24 before them, and he rejoiced greatly 25 that he had come to believe 26 in God, together with his entire household. 27 16:35 At daybreak 28 the magistrates 29 sent their police officers, 30 saying, “Release those men.” 16:36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, 31 “The magistrates have sent orders 32 to release you. So come out now and go in peace.” 33 16:37 But Paul said to the police officers, 34 “They had us beaten in public 35 without a proper trial 36 – even though we are Roman citizens 37 – and they threw us 38 in prison. And now they want to send us away 39 secretly? Absolutely not! They 40 themselves must come and escort us out!” 41 16:38 The police officers reported these words to the magistrates. They were frightened when they heard Paul and Silas 42 were Roman citizens 43 16:39 and came 44 and apologized to them. After 45 they brought them out, they asked them repeatedly 46 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 then 47 departed.
1 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.
2 tn L&N 23.75 has “had awakened” here. It is more in keeping with contemporary English style, however, to keep the two verbal ideas parallel in terms of tense (“when the jailer woke up and saw”) although logically the second action is subsequent to the first.
3 tn The additional semantic component “standing” is supplied (“standing open”) to convey a stative nuance in English.
5 tn Or “thought.”
6 tn Grk “But Paul called out with a loud voice, saying.” The dative phrase μεγάλῃ φωνῇ (megalh fwnh) has been simplified as an English adverb (“loudly”), and the participle λέγων (legwn) has not been translated since it is redundant in English.
7 sn Do not harm yourself. Again the irony is that Paul is the agent through whom the jailer is spared.
8 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the jailer) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
9 tn Or “and prostrated himself.”
sn Fell down. The earthquake and the freeing of the prisoners showed that God’s power was present. Such power could only be recognized. The open doors opened the jailer’s heart.
10 tn Grk “And bringing them outside, he asked.” The participle προαγαγών (proagagwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun by supplying the conjunction “then” to indicate the logical sequence.
11 tn The Greek term (δεῖ, dei) is used by Luke to represent divine necessity.
12 tn Grk “said.”
13 sn Here the summary term of response is a call to believe. In this context it refers to trusting the sovereign God’s power to deliver, which events had just pictured for the jailer.
14 tc The majority of
15 tn Grk “And they.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the continuity with the preceding verse. Greek style often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” but English style does not.
16 sn The word of the Lord is a technical expression in OT literature, often referring to a divine prophetic utterance (e.g., Gen 15:1, Isa 1:10, Jonah 1:1). In the NT it occurs 15 times: 3 times as ῥῆμα τοῦ κυρίου (rJhma tou kuriou; Luke 22:61, Acts 11:16, 1 Pet 1:25) and 12 times as λόγος τοῦ κυρίου (logo" tou kuriou; here and in Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 19:10, 20; 1 Thess 1:8, 4:15; 2 Thess 3:1). As in the OT, this phrase focuses on the prophetic nature and divine origin of what has been said.
17 tn Grk “And at.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
18 tn Grk “taking them…he washed.” The participle παραλαβών (paralabwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
19 tn On this phrase BDAG 603 s.v. λούω 1 gives a literal translation as “by washing he freed them from the effects of the blows.”
20 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the logical sequence.
21 sn All his family. It was often the case in the ancient world that conversion of the father led to the conversion of all those in the household.
22 tn Or “immediately.”
23 tn Grk “He”; the referent (the jailer) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
24 tn Grk “placed [food] on the table” (a figurative expression). Since the actual word for food is not specified, it would also be possible to translate “set a meal before them,” but since this is taking place in the middle of the night, the preparations necessary for a full meal would probably not have been made. More likely Paul and Silas were given whatever was on hand that needed little or no preparation.
25 tn Or “he was overjoyed.”
26 tn The translation “come to believe” reflects more of the resultative nuance of the perfect tense here.
27 tn The phrase “together with his entire household” is placed at the end of the English sentence so that it refers to both the rejoicing and the belief. A formal equivalence translation would have “and he rejoiced greatly with his entire household that he had come to believe in God,” but the reference to the entire household being baptized in v. 33 presumes that all in the household believed.
28 tn The translation “day is breaking” for ἡμέρα γίνεται (Jhmera ginetai) in this verse is given by BDAG 436 s.v. ἡμέρα 1.a.
29 tn On the term translated “magistrates,” see BDAG 947-48 s.v. στρατηγός 1. These city leaders were properly called duoviri, but were popularly known as praetors (στρατηγοί, strathgoi). They were the chief officials of Philippi. The text leaves the impression that they came to the decision to release Paul and Silas independently. God was at work everywhere.
30 tn On the term ῥαβδοῦχος (rJabdouco") see BDAG 902 s.v. The term was used of the Roman lictor and roughly corresponds to contemporary English “constable, policeman.”
31 tn The word “saying” is not in the Greek text, but is implied; it is necessary in English because the content of what the jailer said to Paul and Silas is not the exact message related to him by the police officers, but is a summary with his own additions.
32 tn The word “orders” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.
33 tn Grk “So coming out now go in peace.” The participle ἐξελθόντες (exelqonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
34 tn Grk “to them”; the referent (the police officers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
35 tn Grk “Having us beaten in public.” The participle δείραντες (deirante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
36 tn Or “in public, uncondemned.” BDAG 35 s.v. ἀκατάκριτος has “uncondemned, without due process” for this usage.
37 tn The participle ὑπάρχοντας (Juparconta") has been translated as a concessive adverbial participle.
38 tn The word “us” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.
39 tn L&N 28.71 has “send us away secretly” for this verse.
40 tn Grk “But they.”
41 sn They themselves must come and escort us out! Paul was asking for the injustice he and Silas suffered to be symbolically righted. It was a way of publicly taking their actions off the record and showing the apostles’ innocence, a major public statement. Note the apology given in v. 39.
42 tn Grk “heard they”; the referents (Paul and Silas) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
43 sn Roman citizens. This fact was disturbing to the officials because due process was a right for a Roman citizen, well established in Roman law. To flog a Roman citizen was considered an abomination. Such punishment was reserved for noncitizens.
44 tn Grk “and coming, they apologized.” The participle ἐλθόντες (elqonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
45 tn Grk “and after.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.
46 tn The verb ἐρώτων (erwtwn) has been translated as an iterative imperfect; the English adverb “repeatedly” brings out the iterative force in the translation.
47 tn “Then” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied to clarify the logical sequence in the translation.