Acts 28:16-20
Acts 28:16 (KJB)
And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.
Once they finally arrived in Rome, all the prisoners were handed over to the captain of the guard who would have been the General in charge of the Roman legion which was stationed at the palace. The prisoners were probably all thrown into prison but Paul was allowed to dwell by himself with only one soldier watching him. He was probably a member of the Praetorian guard and there were probably shifts so every few hours a different soldier was chained to Paul. (Phil 1:13 KJV) So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; No doubt the entire Praetorian guard had heard the Gospel and so did all those in the palace. I seriously doubt anyone could be chained to Paul very long before they heard the Gospel. Paul was also permitted to have friends visit him. As a Roman citizen, he had better treatment than the other prisoners. I am sure both Julius and Publius put in a good word for Paul which made his last two years more comfortable.
Acts 28:17 (KJB)
And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
After Paul was in Rome for three days and finally settled in his quarters. He sent out an invitation to the Jewish leaders who lived in Rome. The Romans had actually favored the Jews by allowing them to set up synagogues plus they allowed them to govern themselves with their own laws and ordinances. On his missionary journeys, it was Paulís custom to go to the synagogues first and preach to them the gospel. When the leaders accepted his invitation, he had treated them very courteously by informing them he had committed nothing against the people nor the customs handed down from the fathers. He then tells them that even though he committed no trespass against them, yet they still delivered him up to the Roman authorities as one who did. He was even in the midst of following their customs in the temple when he was seized out of it. Paul wanted this to go on record that he was in no way guilty of any crime against the temple or law of Moses or the traditions.
Acts 28:18 (KJB)
Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.
He then tells them that after the Romans had examined him, they too found no fault nor any crime against Rome. They even knew that he should not have been kept in chains because he was guilty of nothing. He should not even had been placed under arrest or house arrest. It was good that Paul told them this in case they receive a report from Jerusalem about him. This way they are armed with the truth and could make the decision about Paul themselves with all information at hand.
Acts 28:19 (KJB)
But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
Paul had explained his innocence to the leaders here in Rome, that the leaders back in Jerusalem had opposed him and continued to accuse him of defying the law of Moses and defiling the temple. When Paul saw that he could not prevail against them and since he knew about the plot to kill him, to save his own life, he appealed to Caesar and hopefully would reach an end to this episode which has lasted three years already. Paul did not bring any charges against his own people and he could have for filing false charges and he could have also brought a case against Lysias for binding him for a scourging but he did not because he was a very forgiving man. He not only preached the Gospel but lived it.
Acts 28:20 (KJB)
For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
Paul had called the elders together not only to show them that he was innocent of all the charges brought against him, but he was in chains for the hope of Israel. The Hope of Israel is the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Messiah and it was Him that Israel was waiting for from the time of his foretelling in the time of Abraham right up until the present time. Paul is stating that Jesus had already come and died for His people. All the temple sacrifices had looked forward to the coming Messiah. These Old Testament sacrifices did not stand on their own in meaning but the meaning was when Messiah would come, He would be sacrificed for His people as stated in Isaiah 53. When Christ appeared to him on the Damascus road, then Paul knew that all was about to change in his life because the one He was speaking to and heard was dead, was very much alive.