Acts 28:3

When Paul had gathered (sustrepsanto tou Paulou). Genitive absolute with first aorist active participle of sustrepw, old verb to twist or turn together or roll into a bundle. In N.T. only here and Matthew 17:22 . A bundle of sticks (pruganwn ti plhqo). "Some multitude (or pile) of dry twigs" (pruganwn from prugw or prussw, to dry. Only here in N.T.). Laid (epiqento). So genitive absolute again with second aorist active participle of epitiqhmi, to place upon. Few things show Paul to better advantage than this incident. By reason of the heat (apo th qermh). Old word, only here in N.T. Ablative case with apo (from the heat). The viper was in a state of torpor in the bundle of sticks. The heat wakened him. A viper (ecidna). The old word used by the Baptist of the Pharisees ( Matthew 3:7 ; Luke 3:7 ) and by Jesus also ( Matthew 12:34 ; Matthew 23:33 ). It is objected that there is little wood in the island today and no vipers, though Lewin as late as 1853 believes that he saw a viper near St. Paul's Bay. But the island now has 1,200 people to the square mile and snakes of any kind have a poor chance. The viper has also disappeared from Arran as the island became more frequented (Knowling). Ramsay thinks that the small constrictor (Coronella Austriaca) which still exists in the island may be the "viper," though it has no poison fangs, but clings and bites. The natives thought that it was a poisonous viper. Fastened on his hand (kaqhpse th ceiro autou). First aorist active indicative of kaqaptw, to fasten down on with the genitive case. Old verb, here only in N.T. Cf. Mark 16:18 .