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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 2 - Verse 10

Verse 10. Phrygia, and Pamphylia. These were also two provinces of Asia Minor. Phrygia was surrounded by Galatia, Cappadocia, and Pisidia. Pamphylia was on the Mediterranean, and was bounded north by Pisidia. The language of all these places was doubtless the Greek, more or less pure.

In Egypt. This was that extensive country, well known, on the south of the Mediterranean, watered by the Nile. It extends 600 miles from north to south, and from 100 to 120 east and west. The language used there was the Coptic. At present the Arabic is spoken. Vast numbers of Jews dwelt in Egypt; and many from that country would be present at the great feasts at Jerusalem. In this country the first translation of the Old Testament was made, which is now called the Septuagint.

In the parts of Libya. Libya is a general name for Africa. It properly denoted the region which was near to Egypt; but the Greeks gave the name to all Africa.

About Cyrene. This was a region about 500 miles west of Alexandria in Egypt. It was also called Pentapolis, because there were in it five celebrated cities. This country now belongs to Tripoli. Great numbers of Jews resided here. A Jew of this place, Simon by name, was compelled to bear Our Saviour's cross after him to the place of crucifixion, Mt 27:32; Lu 23:26. Some of the Cyrenians are mentioned among the earliest Christians, Ac 11:20; 13:1. The language which they spoke is not certainly known.

Strangers of Rome. This literally means, "Romans dwelling, or tarrying;" i.e., at Jerusalem. It may mean either that they were permanently fixed, or only tarrying at Jerusalem—oi epidhmountev Pwmaioi—. They were doubtless Jews who had taken up their residence in Italy, and had come to Jerusalem to attend the great feasts. The language which they spoke was the Latin. Great numbers of Jews were at that time dwelling at Rome. Josephus says, that there were eight synagogues there. The Jews are often mentioned by the Roman writers. There was a Jewish colony across the Tiber from Rome. When Judea was conquered, about sixty years before Christ, vast numbers of Jews were taken captive and carried to Rome. But they had much difficulty in managing them as slaves. They pertinaciously adhered to their religion, observed the Sabbath, and refused to join in the idolatrous rites of the Romans. Hence they were freed, and lived by themselves across the Tiber.

Jews. Native born Jews, or descendants of Jewish families.

Proselytes. Those who had been converted to the Jewish religion from among the Gentiles. The great zeal of the Jews to make proselytes is mentioned by our Saviour as one of the peculiar characteristics of the Pharisees, Mt 23:15. Some have supposed that the expression, Jews and proselytes, refers to the Romans only. But it is more probable that reference is made to all those that are mentioned. It has the appearance of a hurried enumeration; and the writer evidently mentioned them as they occurred to his mind, just as we would in giving a rapid account of so many different nations.

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