Unit 27: Answers
In English the answer to a question is direct.
In this it differs from many other languages and that is a very hard thing to get used to.
It comes only with practice.
In a direct answer the word Yes means that the answer to the question is in agreement with the form of the question.
The word No means that it is not in agreement.
Yes and No may be complete answers in themselves, but they may also be joined with a statement that has been shortened.
When a shortened form is used the statement consists merely of the operator and the verb:
There may be a fuller statement in the answer, too, but the meaning that is understood, is always that of "Yes", there is agreement, or "No", there is not agreement.
The Keeper Goes Down On His Knees
And when they had given them a great number of blows, they put them in prison, giving orders to the keeper of the prison to keep them safely:
And he, having such orders, put them into the inner prison with chains on their feet.
But about the middle of the night, Paul and Silas were making prayers and songs to God in the hearing of the prisoners;
and suddenly there was an earth-shock, so that the base of the prison was moved:
and all the doors came open, and everyone's chains came off.
And the keeper, coming out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, took his sword and was about to put himself to death, fearing that the prisoners had got away.
But Paul said in a loud voice, Do yourself no damage, for we are all here.
And he sent for lights and came rushing in and, shaking with fear, went down on his face before Paul and Silas, and took them out and said, Sirs, what have I to do to get salvation?
And they said, Have faith in the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will have salvation.
There was a great mixture among those persons who were in Paul's new church group at Phillipi.
Really, it was not a regular church but a group which met by the riverside.
Phillipi had become an important Roman town.
Much earlier it had been called "the springs", and it had been a place where gold was got in mines.
The father of Alexander the Great had made it a very strong town, but the Romans took it by war.
This meant that men from the Roman army who were too old to fight in war, came to build their houses in Philippi.
That was the usual way in Roman towns.
Naturally, these persons were very conscious of their rights as Romans, and to give a Roman punishment with whips was a crime for which one was put to death.
Now, Paul and Silas were Romans by birth, so when they were given many blows with the whip, it was a very serious thing for the authorities to do.
It shows to us that Paul and Silas were not putting their own safety first, for they could have said they were Romans and got free of their whipping.
It was only later when they saw the need to give help to the brothers in Philippi that they told the keeper of the prison that they were Romans.
The reason for all their troubles was that Paul had made a slave-girl free of a twisted mind which had given her the power to say what would happen in the future.
In those days there was a strange respect for such persons.
Evil men got money from her by using her seeming knowledge of the future.
And when their hopes for profit were gone they made Paul and his friend come before the judges.
She became a true believer.
There was also another person in the group of believers in the church there.
That was a lady who sold "purple cloth" whose name was Lydia.
This kind of cloth was very dear because the bluish color came drop by drop from a kind of sea animal and was quite hard to get.
She was a very special person in the society of those days because she did business with the people who had a lot of money.
The slave-girl was at the lowest end of society, but Lydia was at the top.
In between was the keeper of the prison.
He only joined the church group when the prison was shaken by the earth-shock.
These were the persons for whom Paul and Silas made the decision to say they were Romans, and so be able to spend some time supporting the brothers in their new beliefs.
The keeper of the prison put the two men in "the inner prison with chains on their feet".
The doors of the prison were kept tight by wooden boards across them and the prisoner's hands and feet were put between wooden boards that kept them in a tight grip.
It was not the place where they would be likely to make songs to God.
But the strange thing is that they did, and that the other prisoners were listening to them.
When there was the earth-shock and the keeper got the idea that all the prisoners would be free he "took his sword and was about to put himself to death, fearing that the prisoners had got away."
It was Roman law that when a prisoner got away his keeper must be put to death.
No doubt, the keeper saw no hope for himself in the future.
But he had no idea how close he was to help.
The two prisoners had the very way he should take to get salvation from his trouble.
The prisoners had not got away from the prison and Paul quickly gave him knowledge of the way to have salvation.
The interesting thing about the keeper is that he soon showed by his actions how completely he came to believe.
He washed the backs of Paul and Silas, gave them a meal and had all the persons in his house show their respect for the new beliefs.
He then brought the authorities to the prison to make a strong request to overlook the crime they had done to our two friends.
Paul and Silas were three days with the brothers and gave them much help in building up their new beliefs.
||saying their words to God.
||we now say, an earth-quake.
|took his sword
||probably a short blade, in Roman times.
|shaking with fear
|Alexander the Great
||a general who controlled from Greece to India.
|Romans by birth
||some paid to be Romans, by birth was better twisted mind
||with her mind not well.
|supporting the brothers
||giving help and example.
||the feet and neck were held fast, often the hand too.
|saw no hope
||no value in his future.
|washed the backs
||the whips cut the flesh making bleeding.
Interesting Facts And Records
Paul, A Scholar On The Road
Today it is common for fathers and mothers to give their sons the name, Paul.
They give their dogs, Nero, as their name.
It was the opposite in Paul's day.
Only Paul had the power of decision to say at that time, "He who has faith in God will not be put to shame".
Certainly there is no shame for Paul today.
Paul was a man who had gone to the best schools.
He was a scholar.
Others said of him, "Paul your great learning has made you unbalanced".
But time has shown he was not unbalanced, only much learned.
Paul had great ability with languages.
Greek and Latin were the general languages of that time.
Paul spoke both, but also Hebrew and other languages, as is clear from the Scriptures.
He took regular journeys to far distant lands.
There is a street in England with the name, "Old Jewry".
The story goes that Paul's voice was heard there.
It is certain that he was tireless in his journeys.
He speaks of his interest in going to Spain, and we know he went to Rome and many parts of Asia.
He said to the Corinthians that three times his ship came to destruction and he spent a day and a night in the deep sea.
He was an experienced sailor with a full knowledge of sail.
After the shock of losing the ship he had to be swimming to land.
He had knowledge of the dangers of going from a safe harbor.
When winter was coming, he said to the ship's company not to take the chance of going to sea.
They did and when the ship was lost on an island it was Paul whose talking was firm and strong.
He took some cheese and bread as his food before them all.
It was he who was lighting a fire for warmth.
He was bitten by a poisonous snake that came from the smoke and flames.
But he lived.
The feelings of those present were quickly changed from disgust to approval.
Paul put his hands on the sick and they were made well by God.
They were freed from such things as malaria, stomach diseases, coughs and colds.
Paul saw no national differences between men.
He desired that all men should come to a knowledge of God's love.
In such a cause he experienced bitter punishment.
The whole apparatus of the Jewish nation was against him with its propaganda.
Attacks were made on him every where.
He was a refugee within his own nation.
But he had no regrets.