Malta (Melita)
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Malta (Melita)
Bible Meaning: Honey
Strong's Concordance #G3194

Melita, used only in the New Testament (Acts 28:1), is another name for the island of Malta.

The Apostle Paul makes an unintended stop on Malta during his fourth missionary journey. He arrives on the island when the ship he is on, used to escort him as a prisoner to Rome, experiences a shipwreck on the Mediterranean Sea. The cause of the calamity is the well-known and dangerous fall sailing conditions that the ship's owners, who were warned, chose to ignore (Acts 27).

God promises Paul, in spite of the foolish sailing decision, that He and all the passengers of the ship would be saved (Acts 27:21 - 25). The vessel is ultimately ran aground close enough to the island of Malta (Melita) to permit those on the ship to swim to safety.

Where Did They Land?

The Bible does not record the name of the city or port near which the Apostle Paul's vessel ran aground and split apart. Tradition, however, places the shipwreck in a bay near the back of Malta called St. Paul's Bay.

Paul, after a three-month stay on Malta where he performed countless miracles, finally completes his journey to Italy in a ship named the Castor and Pollux.

Island of Malta (Melita) in the New Testament Map
Island of Malta (Melita)

Important Verses

Acts 27:1, 39 - 43, 28:1
And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band . . .

And when it was day, they knew not the land (Malta): but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.

And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore.

And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground . . . And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners . . . But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land (Malta) . . .

And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita (Malta).

Additional Studies

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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).