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And he came also to Derbe and Lystra
(κατηντησεν δε κα εις Δερβην κα εις Λυστραν). First aorist active of κατανταω, late verb to come down to, to arrive at. He
struck Derbe first of the places in the first tour which was the last city reached then.
36733673 Was well reported of (εμαρτυρειτο). Imperfect passive. It was a continuous witness that was borne the young disciple both in his home town of Lystra and in Derbe. Already he had so borne himself that his gifts and graces for the ministry were recognized. It is a wise precaution that the approval of the local church is necessary for the licensing and the ordaining of a preacher. If God has called a man for the work signs of it will be manifest to others.
Him would Paul have to go forth with him
(τουτον ηθελησεν ο Παυλος συν αυτω εξελθειν). This one (note emphatic position) Paul wanted (first aorist active indicative
of θελω with temporal augment as if from εθελω the old form). Here was a gifted young man who was both Jew and Greek.
They delivered them
(παρεδιδοσαν αυτοις). Imperfect active, kept on delivering to them in city after city. This is a proof of Paul's loyalty
to the Jerusalem compact (Knowling). The circumcision of Timothy would indicate also that the points involved were under discussion
and that Paul felt no inconsistency in what he did.
(εστερεουντο). Imperfect passive of στερεοω, old verb to make firm and solid like the muscles (Ac 3:7,16
), these three the only examples in the N.T.
36773677 The region of Phrygia and Galatia (την Φρυγιαν κα Γαλατικην χωραν). This is probably the correct text with one article and apparently describes one "Region" or District in The Province of Galatia which was also Phrygian (the old-ethnographic name with which compare the use of Lycaonia in 14:6). Strictly speaking Derbe and Lystra, though in the Province of Galatia, were not Phrygian, and so Luke would here be not resumptive of the record in verses 1-5; but a reference to the country around Iconium and Antioch in Pisidia in North Galatia is not included. This verse is hotly disputed at every point by the advocates of the North Galatian theory as represented by Chase and the South Galatian theory by Ramsay. Whatever is true in regard to the language of Luke here and in 18:23, it is still possible for Paul in Ga 1:2 to use the term Galatia of the whole province of that name which could, in fact, apply to either South or North Galatia or to both. He could, of course, use it also in the ethnographic sense of the real Gauls or Celts who dwelt in North Galatia. Certainly the first tour of Paul and Barnabas was in the Province of Galatia though touching only the Regions of Pisidia, Phrygia, and Lycaonia, which province included besides the Gauls to the north. In this second tour Lycaonia has been already touched (Derbe and Lystra) and now Phrygia. The question arises why Luke here and in 18:23 adds the term "of Galatia" (Γαλατικην) though not in 13:14 (Pisidian Antioch) nor in 14:6 (cities of Lycaonia). Does Luke mean to use "of Galatia" in the same ethnographic sense as "of Phrygia" or does he here add the province (Galatia) to the name of the Region (Phrygia)? In itself either view is possible and it really matters very little except that the question is raised whether Paul went into the North Galatian Region on this occasion or later (18:23). He could have done so and the Epistle be addressed to the churches of South Galatia, North Galatia, or the province as a whole. But the Greek participle κωλυθεντες ("having been forbidden") plays a part in the argument that cannot be overlooked whether Luke means to say that Paul went north or not. This aorist passive participle of κωλυω, to hinder, can only express simultaneous or antecedent action, not subsequent action as Ramsay argues. No example of the so-called subsequent use of the aorist participle has ever been found in Greek as all Greek grammarians agree (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 860-63, 1112-14). The only natural meaning of κωλυθεντες is that Paul with Silas and Timothy "passed through the region of Phrygia and Galatia" because they were hindered by the Holy Spirit from speaking the word in Asia (the Province of Asia of which Ephesus was the chief city and west of Derbe and Lystra). This construction implies that the country called "the region of Phrygia and Galatia" is not in the direct line west toward Ephesus. What follows in verse 7 throws further light on the point.
Over against Mysia
(κατα την Μυσιαν). This was an ill-defined region rather north and west of Phrygia. The Romans finally absorbed most of it
in the Province of Asia.
Passing by Mysia
(παρελθοντες την Μυσιαν). Literally, passing alongside or skirting Mysia, neglecting it without preaching there. Strictly
they passed through part of it to reach Troas.
(οραμα). Old word, eleven times in Acts, once in Mt 17:9
. Twice Paul had been hindered by the Holy Spirit from going where he wanted to go. Most men would have gone back home with
such rebuffs, but not so Paul. Now the call is positive and not negative, to go "far hence to the Gentiles" (22:21). He had
little dreamed of such a call when he left Antioch. Paul's frequent visions always came at real crises in his life.
(εζητησαμεν). This sudden use of the plural, dropped in
17:1 when Paul leaves Philippi, and resumed in
20:5 when Paul rejoins Luke in Philippi, argues conclusively that Luke, the author, is in the party ("we" portions of Acts)
and shows in a writer of such literary skill as Luke that he is not copying a document in a blundering sort of way. Paul told
his vision to the party and they were all ready to respond to the call.
(αναχθεντες). Same word in
13:13 which see.
(εις Φιλιππους). The plural like Αθηνα (Athens) is probably due to separate sections of the city united (Winer-Moulton, Grammar, p. 220). The city (ancient name Krenides or Wells) was renamed after himself by Philip, the father of Alexander the Great.
It was situated about a mile east of the small stream Gangites which flows into the river Strymon some thirty miles away.
In this valley the Battle of Philippi was fought B.C. 42 between the Second Triumvirate (Octavius, Antonius, Lepidus) and
Brutus and Cassius. In memory of the victory Octavius made it a colony (κολωνια) with all the privileges of Roman citizenship,
such as freedom from scourging, freedom from arrest save in extreme cases, and the right of appeal to the emperor. This Latin
word occurs here alone in the N.T. Octavius planted here a colony of Roman veterans with farms attached, a military outpost
and a miniature of Rome itself. The language was Latin. Here Paul is face to face with the Roman power and empire in a new
sense. He was a new Alexander, come from Asia to conquer Europe for Christ, a new Caesar to build the Kingdom of Christ on
the work of Alexander and Caesar. One need not think that Paul was conscious of all that was involved in destiny for the world.
Philippi was on the Egnatian Way, one of the great Roman roads, that ran from here to Dyrrachium on the shores of the Adriatic,
a road that linked the east with the west.
By a river side
(παρα ποταμον). The little river Gangites (or Gargites) was one mile west of the town. Philippi as a military outpost had
few Jews. There was evidently no synagogue inside the city, but "without the gates" (εξω της πυλης) they had noticed an enclosure
"where we supposed" (ου ενομιζομεν, correct text, imperfect active), probably as they came into the city, "was a place of
prayer" (προσχυχην εινα). Infinitive with accusative of general reference in indirect discourse. Προσευχη is common in the
LXX and the N.T. for the act of prayer as in Ac 2:42
then for a place of prayer either a synagogue (III Macc. 7:20) or more often an open air enclosure near the sea or a river where there was water for ceremonial ablutions. The word occurs
also in heathen writers for a place of prayer (Schurer, Jewish People, Div. II, Vol. II, p. 69, Engl. Tr.). Deissmann (Bible Studies, p. 222) quotes an Egyptian inscription of the third century B.C. with this sense of the word and one from Panticapaeum on
the Black Sea of the first century A.D. (Light from the Ancient East, p. 102). Juvenal (III. 296) has a sneering reference to the Jewish προσευχα. Josephus (Ant. XIV. 10, 23) quotes a decree of Halicarnassus which allowed the Jews "to make their prayers (προσευχας) on the seashore
according to the custom of their fathers." There was a synagogue in Thessalonica, but apparently none in Amphipolis and Apollonia
). The rule of the rabbis required ten men to constitute a synagogue, but here were gathered only a group of women at the
hour of prayer. In pioneer days in this country it was a common thing to preach under bush arbours in the open air. John Wesley
and George Whitfield were great open air preachers. Paul did not have an inspiring beginning for his work in Europe, but he
took hold where he could. The conjecture was correct. It was a place of prayer, but only a bunch of women had come together
(ταις συνελθουσαις γυναιξιν), excuse enough for not preaching to some preachers, but not to Paul and his party. The "man of
Macedonia" turned out to be a group of women (Furneaux). Macedonian inscriptions show greater freedom for women in Macedonia
than elsewhere at this time and confirm Luke's story of the activities of women in Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea.
(Λυδια). Her birthplace was Thyatira in Lydia. She may have been named after the land, though Lydia is a common female name
(see Horace). Lydia was itself a Macedonian colony (Strabo, XIII. 4). Thyatira (note plural form like Philippi and one of
the seven churches of Asia here Re 2:18
) was famous for its purple dyes as old as Homer (Iliad, IV. 141) and had a guild of dyers (ο βαφεις) as inscriptions show.
And when she was baptized
(ως δε εβαπτισθη). First aorist passive indicative of βαπτιζω. The river Gangites was handy for the ordinance and she had
now been converted and was ready to make this public declaration of her faith in Jesus Christ.
A spirit of divination
(πνευμα πυθωνα). So the correct text with accusative (apparition, a spirit, a python), not the genitive (πυθωνος). Hesychius
defines it as δαιμονιον μανικον (a spirit of divination). The etymology of the word is unknown. Bengel suggests πυθεσθα from
πυνθανομα, to inquire. Python was the name given to the serpent that kept guard at Delphi, slain by Apollo, who was called
Πυθιος Απολλο and the prophetess at Delphi was termed Pythia. Certainly Luke does not mean to credit Apollo with a real existence
). But Plutarch (A.D. 50-100) says that the term πυθωνες was applied to ventriloquists (εγγαστριμυθο). In the LXX those with
familiar spirits are called by this word ventriloquists (Le 19:31; 20:6,27
, including the witch of Endor 1Sa 28:7
). It is possible that this slave girl had this gift of prophecy "by soothsaying" (μαντευομενη). Present middle participle
of μαντευομα, old heathen word (in contrast with προφητευω) for acting the seer (μαντις) and this kin to μαινομα, to be mad,
like the howling dervishes of later times. This is the so-called instrumental use of the circumstantial participles.
The Most High God
(του θεου του υψιστου). Pagan inscriptions use this language for the Supreme Being. It looks like supernatural testimony
like that borne by the demoniacs to Jesus as "son of the Most High God" (Lu 8:28
. Cf; also Mr 1:24; 3:11; Mt 8:29; Lu 4:41
, etc.). She may have heard Paul preach about Jesus as the way of salvation.
(εποιε). Imperfect active, kept it up for many days. The strange conduct gave Paul and the rest an unpleasant prominence
in the community.
(εξηλθεν). Was gone out of the slave girl, second aorist active indicative of εξερχομα. "The two most important social revolutions
worked by Christianity have been the elevation of woman and the abolition of slavery" (Furneaux). Both are illustrated here
(Lydia and this slave girl). "The most sensitive part of 'civilized' man is the pocket" (Ramsay).
Unto the magistrates
(τοις στρατηγοις). Greek term (στρατοσ, αγω) for leader of an army or general. But in civic life a governor. The technical
name for the magistrates in a Roman colony was duumviri or duumvirs, answering to consuls in Rome. Στρατηγο here is the Greek rendering of the Latin praetores (praetors), a term which they preferred out of pride to the term duumviri. Since they represented consuls, the praetors or duumvirs were accompanied by lictors bearing rods (verse
36923692 Customs which it is not lawful for us to receive, or to observe, being Romans (εθη α ουκ εστιν ημιν παραδεχεσθα ουδε ποιειν Ρωμαιοις ουσιν). Note the sharp contrast between "being Jews" in verse 20 and "being Romans" here. This pose of patriotism is all sound and fury. It is love of money that moves these "masters" far more than zeal for Rome. As Roman citizens in a colony they make full use of all their rights of protest. Judaism was a religio licita in the Roman empire, only they were not allowed to make proselytes of the Romans themselves. No Roman magistrate would pass on abstract theological questions (18:15), but only if a breach of the peace was made (εκταρασσουσιν ημων την πολιν) or the formation of secret sects and organizations. Evidently both of these last points are involved by the charges of "unlawful customs" by the masters who are silent about their real ground of grievance against Paul and Silas. Εθος (kin to ηθος, 1Co 15:33 ) is from εθω, to be accustomed or used to a thing. The Romans granted toleration to conquered nations to follow their religious customs provided they did not try to win the Romans. But the Jews had made great headway to favour (the God-fearers) with increasing hatred also. Emperor worship had in store grave peril for both Jews and Christians. The Romans will care more for this than for the old gods and goddesses. It will combine patriotism and piety.
Rose up together
(συνεπεστη). Second aorist (ingressive) active of the double compound συνεφιστημ, intransitive, old verb, but only here in
the N.T. (cf. κατεπεστησαν in
18:12). There was no actual attack of the mob as Paul and Silas were in the hands of the officers, but a sudden and violent
uprising of the people, the appeal to race and national prejudice having raised a ferment.
When they had laid
(επιθεντες). Second aorist (constative) active participle of επιτιθημ, to place upon.
Into the inner prison
(εις την εσωτεραν φυλακην). The comparative form from the adverb εσω (within), Ionic and old Attic for εισω. In the LXX,
but in the N.T. only here and Heb 6:19
. The Roman public prisons had a vestibule and outer prison and behind this the inner prison, a veritable dungeon with no
light or air save what came through the door when open. One has only to picture modern cells in our jails, the dungeons in
feudal castles, London prisons before the time of Howard, to appreciate the horrors of an inner prison cell in a Roman provincial
town of the first century A.D.
(κατα δε μεσονυκτιον). Middle of the night, old adjective seen already in Mr 13:35; Lu 11:5
(σεισμος). Old word from σειω, to shake. Luke regarded it as an answer to prayer as in
4:31. He and Timothy were not in prison.
Being roused out of sleep
(εξυπνος γενομενος). Becoming εξυπνος (rare word, only here in N.T., in LXX and Josephus). An earthquake like that would
wake up any one.
Do thyself no harm
(μηδεν πραξηις σεαυτω κακον). The usual construction (μη and the aorist subjunctive) for a prohibition not to
Trembling for fear
(εντρομος γενομενος). "Becoming terrified." The adjective εντρομος (in terror) occurs in N.T. only here and 7:32; Heb 12:21
37013701 Brought them out (προγαγων αυτους εξω). Second aorist active participle of προαγω, to lead forward. He left the other prisoners inside, feeling that he had to deal with these men whom he had evidently heard preach or had heard of their message as servants of the Most High God as the slave girl called them. There may have been superstition behind his fear, but there was evident sincerity.
To be saved
(ινα σωθω). Final clause with ινα and first aorist passive subjunctive. What did he mean by "saved"? Certainly more than
escape from peril about the prisoners or because of the earthquake, though these had their influences on him. Cf. way of salvation
37033703 They spake the word of God (ελαλησαν τον λογον του θεου). So Paul and Silas gave fuller exposition of the way of life to the jailor "with all that were in his house." It was a remarkable service with keenest attention and interest, the jailor with his warden, slaves, and family.
Washed their stripes
(ελουσεν απο των πληγων). Deissmann (Bible Studies, p. 227) cites an inscription of Pergamum with this very construction of απο and the ablative, to wash off, though it is
an old verb. This first aorist active indicative of λουω, to bathe, succinctly shows what the jailor did to remove the stains
left by the rods of the lictors (verse
22). Νιπτω was used for washing parts of the body.
He brought them up
(αναγαγων). Second aorist active participle of αναγω. It looks as if his house was above the prison. The baptism apparently
took place in the pool or tank in which he bathed Paul and Silas (De Wette) or the rectangular basin (impluvium) in the court for receiving the rain or even in a swimming pool or bath (κολυμβηθρα) found within the walls of the prison
(Kuinoel). Meyer: "Perhaps the water was in the court of the house; and the baptism was that of immersion, which formed an
essential part of the symbolism of the act."
37063706 The serjeants (τους ραβδουχους). Fasces-bearers, regular Greek word (ραβδοσ, εχω) for Latin lictores though Cicero says that they should carry baculi, not fasces. Was this message because of the earthquake, the influence of Lydia, or a belated sense of justice on the part of the magistrates (praetors)? Perhaps a bit of all three may be true. The Codex Bezae expressly says that the magistrates "assembled together in the market place and recollecting the earthquake that had happened they were afraid."
(προς αυτους). The lictors by the jailor. The reply of Paul is a marvel of brevity and energy, almost every word has a separate
indictment showing the utter illegality of the whole proceeding.
(εφοβηθησαν). This is the explanation. They became frightened for their own lives when they saw what they had done to Roman
Into the house of Lydia
(προς την Λυδιαν). No word in the Greek for "house," but it means the house of Lydia. Note "the brethren" here, not merely
Luke and Timothy, but other brethren now converted besides those in the house of the jailor. The four missionaries were guests
of Lydia (verse
15) and probably the church now met in her home.
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