Paul and Silas Imprisoned

Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days.

But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.

20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; 21 and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” 22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. — Acts 16:16-24.

Paul and his companions encounter a slave girl possessing a spirit of divination. She brings much profit to her masters by fortune-telling. She follows Paul and his companions and cries out that they are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim the way of salvation. She does this many days. Paul, being greatly annoyed, casts out the spirit in the name of Jesus Christ. The girl is liberated that instant. When her masters see that their hope of profit is gone, seize Paul and Silas and drag them into the marketplace to the authorities.

They accuse Paul and Silas of stirring up trouble and cause the crowds to rise against them. Then the magistrates tear off their clothes and have them beaten with many stripes then thrown into prison. The jailer is charged to keep them secure and puts them in the inner prison in the stocks.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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