v16: “Possessed with a spirit” – she was able to predict the future but not by her own abilities.
- She had masters. She was enslaved. If we are under the influence of an unclean spirit it will lead to bondage and oppression.
v17: This is a true statement but it does not make what the girl is doing acceptable and nor does it make her a prophet of G-d. She knew truth. She spoke truth but she was NOT being used by G-d.
v18: Even though she spoke truth she did it in a distressing way.
- When the spirit left her she was healed.
v19: They were not interested in her spiritual condition but were only interested in profit.
v20-21: This is an untrue and anti-Semitic statement.
v24: Stocks were pieces of wood probably fastened in such a way as to elevate the prisoners legs, forcing the prisoners to lie on their beaten backs.
v25: Midnight implies they could not sleep. Midnight also often speaks of a time of redemption (exodus from Egypt, Ruth, 10 virgins etc) – setting free those who are in bondage.
- Paul and Silas were a testimony to these other prisoners. They were praising instead of complaining.
v26: G-d set ALL of the prisoners free physically (?spiritually🤔)
v27: To flee would have been what the prisoners would have done normally/naturally but what is happening here is not normal. This is a Kingdom happening and justice was maintained.
v28: Paul took leadership in this situation. Suicide is not G-d’s will for our lives.
v29: “Called for a light” – request for illumination.
- The jailer was filled with great fear (he fell under conviction) as he saw an unusual sight – none of the prisoners were gone.
v30: The jailer took them out of prison as he knew they didn’t belong there.
- There is nothing we can “do” to save ourselves or others. Salvation has been done for us!
v31: The promise of salvation is for us and for our households (Deut 6:7)
v34: The jailer gave them something to eat – in Biblical context eating food is synonymous with praising G-d (Deut 8:10)
- The testimony of Paul and Silas, in the midst of suffering, caused an impression to be made on the inmates, as well as on the jailer and his family.
v37: Paul refused to leave the prison as if nothing had happened. As Roman citizens the fact that they had been beaten and imprisoned without trial or witnesses etc violated Roman law.
v39 :They wanted Paul and Silas to leave the prison and also the city.
v40: Their intent had been to go from congregation to congregation from city to city to encourage and instruct the believers in the entire region. G-d had greater things for them to do than to just remain in one city.