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June 28    Scripture

Bible Cities: Malta
Ancient Island of Malta

Map of Ancient Malta

The island of Malta, or Melita, as it is called in Acts 28:1 is noted as the scene of the shipwreck of St. Paul. It is a rocky island in the Mediterranean, sixty-two miles south of Sicily, 17 miles long and 9 broad, containing about 100square miles. The population numbers about 100,000. It is an important military and commercial point, and its possession has always been desired by the great trading nations of Europe. It was seized by the Phoenicians at an early day. These were dispossessed by the Greeks of Sicily, who were driven out by the Carthaginians, who in 242 B.C., were expelled by the Romans. It was a Roman possession in the days of St. Paul. It is now held by the English, who obtained possession of it in 1814. It is regarded as the key to the Mediterranean. The principal city, La Valetta, possesses a fine harbor, and is strongly fortified. St. Paul's Bay, which is believed to be the scene of the Apostle's shipwreck, is a small inlet on the north side of the island, opening towards the East, which answers well to the description in the 27th chapter of Acts. The Apostle spent three months at Malta, and performed many miracles there. - Ancient Geography

Malta in Wikipedia "..Malta has a long Christian legacy and is an Apostolic See. According to the Acts of the Apostles,[10] St. Paul was shipwrecked on the island and ministered there.[11] Catholicism continues to be the official and dominant religion in Malta..."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malta


Melita in Easton's Bible Dictionary (Acts 27:28), an island in the Mediterranean, the modern Malta. Here the ship in which Paul was being conveyed a prisoner to Rome was wrecked. The bay in which it was wrecked now bears the name of "St. Paul's Bay", "a certain creek with a shore." It is about 2 miles deep and 1 broad, and the whole physical condition of the scene answers the description of the shipwreck given in Acts 28. It was originally colonized by Phoenicians ("barbarians," 28:2). It came into the possession of the Greeks (B.C. 736), from whom it was taken by the Carthaginians (B.C. 528). In B.C. 242 it was conquered by the Romans, and was governed by a Roman propraetor at the time of the shipwreck (Acts 28:7). Since 1800, when the French garrison surrendered to the English force, it has been a British dependency. The island is about 17 miles long and 9 wide, and about 60 in circumference. After a stay of three months on this island, during which the "barbarians" showed them no little kindness, Julius procured for himself and his company a passage in another Alexandrian corn-ship which had wintered in the island, in which they proceeded on their voyage to Rome (Acts 28:13, 14).
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/M/Melita/


Melita in Fausset's Bible Dictionary The scene of Paul's shipwreck (Acts 27-28). Not the Melita now Meleda in the gulf of Venice near Dalmatia; but the Melita between Sicily and Africa, Malta, where tradition names the place of the wreck "Paul's bay" (Mr. Smith, of Jordan Hill, Shipwreck of Paul). After leaving Fair Havens in Crete, and while sailing along its S. coast, the wind blew from E.N.E. (Euraquilon in the Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus manuscripts instead of Euroclydon), carrying them under the lee of the island Clauda (or Cauda, Vaticanus manuscript), 20 miles to the S.W. The Greek (Acts 27:15, antofthalmein) is, "when the ship could not keep her eyes to the wind"; either figuratively, or literally eyes were carved or painted on the bows of the ship, an eastern usage still existing. Here, to enable the ship to weather the storm, they hoisted the boat on board, "undergirded the vessel" (trapping it by passing four or five turns of cable round the hull), and "lowered the gear" (chalasantes to skeuos not "struck sail," which if they had done they would have been driven directly toward the Syrtis or quicksand), i.e. brought down the topsails and heavy yard with sail attached. They then turned the ship's head to the N. on the starboard tack. the only course whereby to escape falling into the Syrtis. Thus, for 13 days they drifted through Adria, i.e. the middle of the Mediterranean between Crete and Sicily. If we deduce the ship's course from that of the wind, from the angle of the ship's head with the wind, and from the leeway, she must have drifted nearly W. by N., the precise bearing of the N. of Malta from the S. of Clauda. The rate of drift would average a mile and a half an hour, so that in 13 days she would pass over 468 miles; and Malta is from Clauda, just 476 miles. The striking coincidence at once identifies Malta as the scene, and confirms Luke's accuracy. On the 14th night "the seamen deemed that land was approaching them" (Greek), probably hearing the surf breaking. A ship entering Paul's bay from E. must pass within a quarter of a mile the point of Koura; but before reaching it the land is too low and too far to be seen in a dark night, but at this distance the breakers may be heard and also if the night admit, be seen. The "land" then is the point of Koura E. of Paul's bay. A ship drifting W. by N. toward Paul's bay would come to it without touching any other part of the island, for the coast trends from this bay to the S.E. On Koura point, the bay's S.E. extremity, there must have been breakers with the wind blowing from N.E. Sounding they first found 20 fathoms, and a little further 15; and, fearing rocks ahead, east four anchors from the stern. Purdy ...
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/M/Melita/


Melita in Hitchcock's Bible Names affording honey
http://www.bible-history.com/hitchcock/M/Melita/


Melita in Naves Topical Bible (An important island in the Mediterranean Sea) -Paul shipwrecked on the coast of Ac 28:1-10
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/M/MELITA+(MALTA)/


Melita in Smiths Bible Dictionary (honey), the modern Malta. This island lies in the Mediterranean 60 miles south of Cape Passaro in Sicily, 900 miles from Gibraltar and about 1200 from Jerusalem. It is 17 miles long. by 13 or 10 broad. It is naturally a barren rock, with no high mountains, but has been rendered fertile by industry and toil. It is famous for its honey and fruits. It is now in the hands of the English. --McClintock and Strong. This island has an illustrious place in Scripture as the scene of that shipwreck of St. Paul which is described in such minute detail in the Acts of the Apostle. Ac 27:1 ... The wreck probably happened at the place traditionally known as St.Paul's day, an inlet with a creek two miles deep and one broad. The question has been set at rest forever by Mr. Smith of Jordan Hill, in his "Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul," the first published work in which it was thoroughly investigated from a sailor's point of view. The objection that there are no vipers in Malta is overruled by the fact that Mr. Lewin saw such a serpent there and that there may have been vipers in the wilder ancient times, even were none found there now. As regards the condition of the island of Melitu, when St. Paul was there it was a dependency of the Roman province of Sicily. Its chief officer (under the governor of Sicily) appears from inscriptions to have had the title of protos Melitaion, or Primus Melitensium and this is the very phrase which Luke uses. Ac 28:7 Melita, from its position in the Mediterranean and the excellence of its harbors, has always been important in both commerce and war. It was a settlement of the Phoenicians at an early period, and their language in a corrupted form, was still spoken there in St. Paul's day.
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/M/Melita/


Melita in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE mel'-i-ta (Melite, Acts 28:1): Is now generally identified with Malta. The former error in attributing the reference to the island of Meleda on the East coast of the Adriatic Sea was due to the ancient practice of employing the term Adria to include the Ionian and Sicilian seas. Malta is the largest of a group of islands including Gozo and the islets Comino, Cominotto and Filfla, lying about 56 miles from the southern extremity of Sicily, 174 from the mainland of Italy, and 187 from the African coast. Malta itself is 17 1/2 miles long and 9 1/4 broad, and contains an area of 95 square miles. Its modern capital, Valetta, is situated in 35 degrees 54' North latitude and 14 degrees 31' East longitude. The central position of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea gave it great importance as a naval station. It was probably at first a Phoenician colony, and later passed under the influence, if not domination, of the Sicilian Greeks. But the Romans captured it from the Carthaginians in 218 BC (Livy xxi.51) and attached it definitely to the province of Sicily. Under Roman rule the inhabitants were famous for their industry, especially in the production of textile fabrics, probably of native cotton. The celebrated vestis melitensis was a fine and soft material for dresses and for the covering of couches (Cicero Verr. ii.72,176; ii.74,183; iv.46,103; Diodorus v.12,22). At the time when Paul visited the island it would seem that the administration was entrusted to a deputy of the proprietor of Sicily, who is referred to as protos Melitaion (Acts 28:7; CIG, 5754), or Melitensium primus omnium (CIL, x, 7495) (see PUBLIUS). A bay 2 1/2 miles Northwest of Valetta, the mouth of which is held by tradition to be the place where the vessel that bore Paul ran ashore, tallies admirably with the description of the locality in Acts. The Admiralty charts indicate places near the west side of the entrance to the bay, where the depth is first 20 ft. and then 15 ft., while the rush of the breakers in front of the little island of Salmoneta and behind it suit the reference to a place "where two seas met" (Acts 27:41). The inlet is called the Bay of Paul. The topographical question has been exhaustively treated by Ramsay in Paul the Traveler.
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/M/MELITA/


Melita Scripture - Acts 28:1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Acts/28/


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