Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The Song in the Prison

After Paul and Barnabas brought to Antioch the news that the Gentiles had turned to the Lord, a great question arose in the Church. Some of the strict Jews said, "All these Gentile believers must become Jews, and keep the Jewish laws about food, and feasts, and washings and offerings."

Others said that the laws were made for Jews only, and that Gentiles who believed in Christ were not called upon to live as Jews. After many words on both sides, Paul and Barnabas, with other believers, went up to Jerusalem to lay this matter before the apostles and the elders of the Church. They listened to Paul's story of God's great work among the Gentiles, and talked about it, and sought God in prayer, and at last the apostles, and elders, and the whole Church in Jerusalem, sent a message to the Gentiles who believed, telling them that Jews and Gentiles were alike before God, that both were saved by believing in Christ, and that Gentiles who believed were not called upon to keep the laws given to the Jews only.

The apostles sent with Paul and Barnabas two men, Judas and Silas, to bring this news to the Church at Antioch. They came, and read the letter, which brought great joy to the Gentiles Believers. For now the Gentiles who believed in Christ were able to serve the Lord without obeying all the rules which the Jews themselves found very hard to keep.

After a time Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go again and visit the brethren in the cities where we preached the gospel, and see how they are doing."

Barnabas was willing to go and wished to take again with them John Mark as their helper in the work. But Paul did not think it well to take with them the young man who went home in the middle of their journey, and left them to visit strange lands alone. Barnabas was determined to take Mark, and Paul refused to have him go, so at last Paul and Barnabas separated. Barnabas took Mark, and went again to the island of Cyprus. Paul chose as his helper Silas who had come from Jerusalem to Antioch, and Paul and Silas went together through the lands in Asia Minor, which Paul had visited on his earlier journey. Everywhere they sought out the churches, which before had been planted by Paul and Barnabas, and they encouraged the disciples to be faithful in the Lord.

When Paul came to Derbe and Lystra he found a young man named Timothy, whose mother was of the Jewish race and a believer in Christ. Timothy had known the word of God from his childhood; he had given his heart to Christ, and all the believers in Christ at Lystra and Iconium knew him and spoke well of him. Paul asked this young man Timothy to leave his home and to go out with him as his helper in the gospel. Timothy went and from that time was with Paul as a friend and a fellow-worker, dearly beloved by Paul. Paul, and Silas, and Timothy went through many lands in Asia Minor, Preaching the gospel and planting the church. The Spirit of the Lord would not let them go to some places, which were not yet ready for the gospel, and they came down to Troas, which was on the sea, and opposite to the land of Macedonia in Europe.

While they were at Troas a vision came to Paul in the night. He saw a man of Macedonia standing before him, and pleading with him and saying, "Come over into Macedonia, and help us."

When Paul told this vision to his friends they all knew that this was a call from the Lord to carry the gospel of Christ to Macedonia. As soon as they could find a vessel sailing across the sea they went on board, and with them went a doctor named Luke, who at this time joined Paul. Luke stayed with Paul for many years, and Paul called him "the beloved physician." Afterward Luke wrote two books, which are in the Bible, "The Gospel according to Luke," and "The Acts of the Apostles."

Paul and his three friends set sail from Troas; and on the third day they came to the city of Philippi, in Macedonia; and there they stayed for some days. There was no synagogue in that city, and scarcely any Jews; and on the Sabbath-day Paul and his company went out of the city gate to the riverside where was a place of prayer. There they sat down and talked with a few women, who had met together to pray. One of there was a woman named Lydia, who had come from Thyatira in Asia Minor, and was a seller of purple dyes. She was one who was seeking after God, and the Lord opened her heart to hear the words of Paul, and to believe in Christ. She was baptized, the first one brought to the Lord in all Europe; and with her all in her house were baptized also. Lydia said to Paul and to his company, "If you count me as one who is faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay there."

She urged them so strongly that they all went to Lydia's house, and made it their home while they were in the city. One day while they were going to the place of prayer, a young woman who had in her an evil spirit, met them. She was a slave-girl, and through the spirit in her, her owners pretended to tell what was to happen; and by her they made great gains of money. As soon as she saw Paul and his friends, she cried out, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who tell you the way to be saved."

And this she did day after day, following Paul and his companions. Paul was troubled to see her held in the power of the evil spirit; and he spoke to the spirit, " I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!"

And in that very hour the spirit left the girl. But with the evil spirit gone from her, there were no more gains to her masters. They were very angry, and took hold of Paul and Silas, and dragged them before the rulers of the city, and they said, "These men, who are Jews, are making great trouble in our city, and are teaching the people to do what is against the law for Romans."

And they stirred up the crowd of the lowest of the people against them. To please the throng, the rulers stripped off their garments from Paul and Silas, and commanded that they should be beaten with rods. When they had received many cruel blows, they were thrown into the prison, and the jailor was charged to keep them carefully. He took them, all beaten and wounded, into the dungeon, which was in the very middle of the prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison-house were shaken; every door was opened, and all the chains on the prisoners were loosed, and all could have gone out free if fear had not held them in their places. The jailor of the prison was suddenly roused out of sleep and saw the prison-doors wide open. By the laws of the Romans, a man in charge of a prisoner must take his place if his prisoner escaped, and the jailor, thinking that the men in the prison had gotten away, drew out his sword, and was just going to kill himself, when Paul called out, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here."

Then the jailor called for lights, and sprang into the room where Paul and Silas were, and, trembling with fear, fell down at their feet and cried out, "O, sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

And they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and those in your house with you."

And that night, in the prison, they spoke the word of the Lord to the jailor, and to all that were with him. The jailor washed their wounds, and he and all his family were baptized in that hour. Afterward, he brought them from the prison into his own house, and set food before them. And the jailor and his household were all happy in the Lord, believing in Christ.

The rulers of the city knew well that they had done an unjust act in beating Paul and Silas, and thrusting them into prison; but they did not know that Paul and Silas, though Jews, were also free citizens of Rome, whom it was unlawful to beat or to put in prison without a fair trial. In the morning the rulers sent their officers to the jailor, saying, "Let those men go." And the jailor brought their words to Paul and said, "The rulers have sent to me to let you go; therefore, now come out of the prison, and go in peace."

But Paul said, "We are free citizens of Rome, and without a trial they have beaten us, and have cast us into prison. And now do they turn us out secretly? No, indeed, let those rulers come themselves and bring us out!"

The officers told these words to the rulers, and when the learned that these men were Roman citizens, they were frightened; for their own lives were in danger for having beaten them. They came to Paul and Silas, and begged them to go away from the prison and from the city. Then Paul and Silas walked out of the prison, and went to the house of Lydia. They met the brethren who believed in Jesus, and spoke to them words of comfort and of help. And then they went out of the city. In Philippi, from this time there was a church which Paul loved greatly and to which in after-times he wrote "The Epistle (or letter) to the Philippians."