16When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.17Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.
21They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of our people who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you.22But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.”23They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus.24Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.25They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet:26“ ‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”27For this people’s heart has become calloused; 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.’28“Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”30For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him.31He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!