Acts 16:34

ESV Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.
NIV The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God--he and his whole household.
NASB And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and was overjoyed, since he had become a believer in God together with his whole household.
CSB He brought them into his house, set a meal before them, and rejoiced because he had come to believe in God with his entire household.
NLT He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.
KJV And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

What does Acts 16:34 mean?

An hour before, Paul and Silas had been chained in a dark prison cell, blood drying on their bodies from a horrific, illegal attack (Acts 16:22–23). Unjustly beaten, unjustly imprisoned, they sat and sang praises to God while the other prisoners listened (Acts 16:25). They refused to allow their circumstances to dictate their trust in God (Philippians 4:11–13).

When an earthquake opens all the prison doors and unlatches all the shackles, Paul, Silas, and the other prisoners stay. In doing so, they save the jailer's life from execution. The jailer, who apparently knows the pair were arrested for spreading a message of salvation, asks if he can have that message. He and his family believe. He washes the blood from Paul's and Silas's bodies and they symbolically wash his family's sins away in baptism (Acts 16:27–33).

Now, like Paul and Silas in the prison, the family rejoices. After being bound to the Roman Empire's hundreds of household, civil, and national idols, they have found the True God. The family that makes a living chaining up prisoners is free.

This is the first record of Paul being imprisoned, but it's far from the last. In his first imprisonment in Rome, he will bring the message of reconciliation with God to Caesar's household (Philippians 4:22) and imperial guard (Philippians 1:13) and write his letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. In another imprisonment, he will write his personal letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:8). Paul knew from the beginning he would suffer in his ministry (Acts 9:16); when persecution comes, he doesn't let it slow him down.
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