When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.1
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Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews.2 When they had assembled, Paul said to them: "My brothers,3 although I have done nothing against our people4 or against the customs of our ancestors,5 I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.
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They examined me6 and wanted to release me,7 because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death.8
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But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar9--not that I had any charge to bring against my own people.
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For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel10 that I am bound with this chain."11
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They replied, "We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers12 who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you.
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But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect."13
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They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God14 and tried to convince them about Jesus15 from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.16
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Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.17
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They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: "The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said18 through Isaiah the prophet:
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" 'Go to this people and say, "You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving."
For this people's heart has become calloused;19 they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'20
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"Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation21 has been sent to the Gentiles,22 and they will listen!"
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For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him.
Boldly23 and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God24 and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.
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