The beast (to thērion). Diminutive of thēr and so little beast. See note on Mar 1:13. Aristotle and the medical writers apply the word to venomous serpents, the viper in particular (Knowling), as Luke does here. Vincent calls attention to the curious history of our word “treacle” for molasses (Latin theriaca) from thēriakē, an antidote made from the flesh of vipers. Coverdale translates Jer 8:22 : “There is no more treacle in Gilead.” Jeremy Taylor: “We kill the viper and make treacle of him.”
Hanging from his hand (kremamenon ek tēs cheiros autou). Vivid picture of the snake dangling from Paul’s hand. Present middle participle of kremamai, late form for kremannumi, to hang up, to suspend (cf. Gal 3:13).
No doubt (pantōs). Literally, By all means, old adverb. Cf. Act 21:22; Luk 4:23; 1Co 9:22. Only by Luke and Paul in the N.T. “They knew that he was a prisoner being taken to Rome on some grave charge, and inferred that the charge was murder” (Page).
Though he hath escaped (diasōthenta). First aorist passive participle of diasōzō (same verb used in Act 27:43, Act 27:44; Act 28:1), so-called concessive use of the participle (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1129).
Yet Justice (dikē). An abstraction personified like the Latin Justitia (Page). The natives speak of @Dikēn as a goddess, but we know nothing of such actual worship in Malta, though the Greeks worshipped abstractions as in Athens.
Hath not suffered (nouk eiasenn). Did not suffer. They look on Paul as a doomed man as good as dead. These people thought that calamity was proof of guilt, poor philosophy and worse theology.