And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness
The inhabitants of this island are called barbarians, not from the country of Barbary, near to which they were; nor so much on account of their manners, for, though Heathens, they were a civil and cultivated people, being, as appears from the name of the chief man of the island, under the Roman government; but because of their language, see ( 1 Corinthians 14:11 ) , it being neither Hebrew, Greek, nor Latin; for as the inhabitants were originally a colony of the Phoenicians, they spoke their language; and now though it is inhabited by such as are called Christians, they speak the Saracen or Arabic language, and little different from the old Punic or Phoenician language: however, though the inhabitants could not understand their language, they understood their case, and were very civil and humane to them, and showed them extraordinary kindness:
for they kindled a fire;
or set fire to a large pile of wood; for a large fire it must be to be of service to such a number of people, in such a condition as they were:
and received us everyone:
though their number were two hundred threescore and sixteen;
because of the present rain, and because of the cold;
for a violent rain fell on them, as is usual upon a storm, and much wetted them, so that a fire was very necessary; and it being winter or near it, it was cold weather; and especially they having been so long in a storm, and now shipwrecked; and some having thrown themselves into the sea, and swam to the island; and others having been obliged to put themselves on boards and planks, and get ashore, and were no doubt both wet and cold; so that nothing was more needful and more agreeable to them than a large fire.