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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 14)

14:1 {They entered together} (\kata to auto eiselthein\). Like
\epi to auto\ in 3:1. The infinitive \eiselthein\ is the
subject of \egeneto\. {So spake that} (\lalēsai houtōs hōste\).
Infinitive again parallel to \eiselthein\. With the result that,
actual result here stated with \hōste\ and the aorist infinitive
\pisteusai\ (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 999f.) rather than \hōste\
and the indicative like Joh 3:16. It was a tremendous first

14:2 {That were disobedient} (\hoi apeithēsantes\). First aorist
active articular participle, not the present \apeithountes\ as
the Textus Receptus has it. But the meaning is probably the Jews
that disbelieved, rather than that disobeyed. Strictly \apeitheō\
does mean to disobey and \apisteō\ to disbelieve, but that
distinction is not observed in Joh 3:36 nor in Ac 19:9;
28:24. The word \apeitheō\ means to be \apeithēs\, to be
unwilling to be persuaded or to withhold belief and then also to
withhold obedience. The two meanings run into one another. To
disbelieve the word of God is to disobey God. {Made them evil
(\ekakōsan\). First aorist active indicative of
\kakoō\, old verb from \kakos\, to do evil to, to ill-treat, then
in later Greek as here to embitter, to exasperate as in Ps
105:32 and in Josephus. In this sense only here in the N.T.
Evidently Paul preached the same message as in Antioch for it won
both Jews and Gentiles, and displeased the rabbis. Codex Bezae
adds here that "the chiefs of the synagogue and the rulers"
brought persecution upon Paul and Barnabas just as was argued
about Antioch. Outside the synagogue the Jews would poison the
minds of the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas. "The story of
Thecla suggests a means, and perhaps the apostles were brought
before the magistrates on some charge of interference with family
life. The magistrates however must have seen at once that there
was no legal case against them; and by a sentence of acquittal or
in some other way the Lord gave peace" (Rackham). As we have it,
the story of Paul and Thecla undoubtedly has apocryphal features,
though Thecla may very well be an historical character here at
Iconium where the story is located. Certainly the picture of Paul
herein drawn cannot be considered authentic though a true
tradition may underlie it: "bald, bowlegged, strongly built,
small in stature, with large eyes and meeting eyebrows and
longish nose; full of grace; sometimes looking like a man,
sometimes having the face of an angel."

14:3 {Long time therefore} (\hikanon men oun chronon\).
Accusative of duration of time (possibly six months) and note
\men oun\. There is an antithesis in \eschisthē de\ (verse 4)
and in verse 5 (\egeneto de\). After the persecution and
vindication there was a season of great opportunity which Paul
and Barnabas used to the full, "speaking boldly"
(\parrēsiazomenoi\ as in 13:46 at Antioch in Pisidia, "in the
Lord" (\epi tōi kuriōi\)
, upon the basis of the Lord Jesus as in
4:17f. And the Lord Jesus "bore witness to the word of his
grace" as he always does, "granting signs and wonders to be done
by their hands" (\didonti sēmeia kai terata ginesthai dia tōn
cheirōn autōn\)
. Present participle (\didonti\) and present
infinitive (\ginesthai\) repetition of both signs and wonders
(note both words) just as had happened with Peter and John and
the other apostles (2:43; 4:29f.; 5:12; cf. Heb 2:4). The
time of peace could not last forever with such a work of grace as
this. A second explosion of persecution was bound to come and
some of the MSS. actually have \ek deuterou\ (a second time).

14:4 {But the multitude of the city was divided} (\eschisthē de
to plēthos tēs poleōs\)
. First aorist passive indicative of
\schizō\, old verb to split, to make a schism or factions as
Sadducees and Pharisees (23:7). This division was within the
Gentile populace. Part held (\hoi men ēsan\), literally "some
were with the Jews" (\sun tois Ioudaiois\), part with the
apostles (\hoi de sun tois apostolois\). Common demonstrative of
contrast (\hoi men, hoi de\, Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 694). The
Jewish leaders made some impression on the Gentiles as at Antioch
in Pisidia and later at Thessalonica (17:4f.). This is the
first time in the Acts that Paul and Barnabas are termed
"apostles" (see also verse 14). Elsewhere in the Acts the word
is restricted to the twelve. Certainly Luke does not here employ
it in that technical sense. To have followed Jesus in his
ministry and to have seen the Risen Christ was essential to the
technical use (1:22f.). Whether Barnabas had seen the Risen
Christ we do not know, but certainly Paul had (1Co 9:1f.;
. Paul claimed to be an apostle on a par with the twelve
(Ga 1:1,16-18). The word originally means simply one sent (Joh
like messengers of the churches with the collection (2Co
. The Jews used it of those sent from Jerusalem to collect
the temple tribute. Paul applies the word to James the Lord's
brother (Ga 1:19), to Epaphroditus (Php 2:25) as the
messenger of the church in Philippi, to Silvanus and Timothy
(1Th 2:6; Ac 18:5), apparently to Apollos (1Co 4:9), and to
Andronicus and Junias (Ro 16:6f.). He even calls the Judaizers
"false apostles" (2Co 11:13).

14:5 {An onset} (\hormē\). A rush or impulse as in Jas 3:4. Old
word, but only twice in the N.T. (here and James). It probably
denotes not an actual attack so much as the open start, the
co-operation of both Jews and Gentiles (the disaffected portion),
"with their rulers" (\sun tois archousin autōn\), that is the
rulers of the Jewish synagogue (13:27). The city officials
would hardly join in a mob like this, though Hackett and Rackham
think that the city magistrates were also involved as in Antioch
in Pisidia (13:50). {To entreat them shamefully} (\hubrisai\).
First aorist active infinitive of \hubrizō\, old verb to insult
insolently. See on ¯Mt 22:6; Lu 18:32. {To stone}
(\lithobolēsai\). First aorist active infinitive of \lithoboleō\,
late verb from \lithobolos\ (\lithos\, stone, \ballō\, to throw)
to pelt with stones, the verb used of the stoning of Stephen
(7:58). See on ¯Mt 21:35. The plan to stone them shows that
the Jews were in the lead and followed by the Gentile rabble.
"Legal proceedings having failed the only resource left for the
Jews was illegal violence" (Rackham).

14:6 {They became aware of it} (\sunidontes\). Second aorist
(ingressive) active participle of \sunoraō\ (\suneidon\), old
word to see together, to become conscious of as already in
12:12. In the N.T. only by Luke and Paul. {Fled}
(\katephugon\). Second aorist (effective) active indicative of
\katapheugō\, old verb, but in the N.T. only here and Heb 6:18.
Paul and Barnabas had no idea of remaining to be stoned (lynched)
by this mob. It is a wise preacher who always knows when to stand
his ground and when to leave for the glory of God. Paul and
Barnabas were following the directions of the Lord Jesus given to
the twelve on their special tour of Galilee (Mt 10:23). Lystra
and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia (still part of the Province of
Galatia, though in another _Regio_)
, not far from the base of the
Black Mountain. Professor Sterrett has apparently identified
Lystra by an inscription about six hours (18 miles)
south-southwest from Iconium near the village Khatyn Serai and
Derbe probably near the village Losta or Zosta though its
location is really not known. Lystra had been made a colony in
B.C. 6 and Derbe was the frontier city of the Roman empire in the
southeast. These are the only cities mentioned, but they were of
importance and show that Paul kept to his plan of going to
centres of influence. The new imperial road from Antioch and
Iconium reached these cities. {The region round about} (\tēn
was "a high table land, ill-watered, bleak, but
suited for sheep pasture" (Page).

14:7 {And there they preached the gospel} (\kakei euaggelizomenoi
. Periphrastic imperfect middle. We are to think of
extensive evangelistic work perhaps with the assistance of
disciples from Antioch and Iconium since Paul and Barnabas could
not speak Lycaonian. \Kakei\ is crasis for \kai ekei\.

14:8 {At Lystra} (\en Lustrois\). Neuter plural as in 16:2; 2Ti
3:11 while feminine singular in 14:6,21; 16:1. There was
apparently no synagogue in Lystra and so not many Jews. Paul and
Barnabas had to do open-air preaching and probably had difficulty
in being understood by the natives though both Greek and Latin
inscriptions were discovered here by Professor Sterrett in 1885.
The incident narrated here (verses 8-18) shows how they got a
real hearing among these rude heathen. {There sat} (\ekathēto\).
Imperfect middle of \kathēmai\. Was sitting. This case is very
much like that in 3:1-11, healed by Peter. Possibly outside the
gate (verse 13) or some public place. {Impotent in his feet}
(\adunatos tois posin\). Old verbal, but only here in the N.T. in
this sense except figuratively in Ro 15:1. Elsewhere it means
"impossible" (Mt 19:26). Locative case. Common in medical
writers in the sense of "impotent." So Tobit 2:10; 5:9. {Had
(\periepatēsen\). So best MSS., first aorist active
indicative "walked," not \periepepatēkei\, "had walked" (past
perfect active)

14:9 {The same} (\houtos\). Just "this one." {Heard} (\ēkouen\).
Imperfect active, was listening to Paul speaking (\lalountos\).
Either at the gate or in the market place (17:17) Paul was
preaching to such as would listen or could understand his Greek
(_Koinē_). Ramsay (_St. Paul the Traveller_, pp. 114, 116) thinks
that the cripple was a proselyte. At any rate he may have heard
of the miracles wrought at Iconium (verse 3) and Paul may have
spoken of the work of healing wrought by Jesus. This man was "no
mendicant pretender," for his history was known from his birth.
{Fastening his eyes upon him} (\atenisas autōi\). Just as in
13:9 of Paul and 1:10 which see. Paul saw a new hope in the
man's eyes and face. {He had faith} (\echei pistin\). Present
active indicative retained in indirect discourse. {To be made
(\tou sōthēnai\). Genitive of articular first aorist
passive infinitive (purpose and result combined) of \sōzō\, to
make sound and also to save. Here clearly to make whole or well
as in Lu 7:50 (cf. Ac 3:16; 4:10).

14:10 {Upright} (\orthos\). Predicate adjective. In this sense
Galen and Hippocrates frequently use \orthos\ (erect, straight).
Paul spoke in a loud (\megalēi\) voice so that all could hear and
know. {He leaped up and walked} (\hēlato kai periepatei\).
Rather, He leaped up with a single bound and began to walk. The
second aorist middle indicative (with first aorist vowel \a\) of
\hallomai\ (late verb, in papyri) and inchoative imperfect active
of \peripateō\, common verb to walk around. This graphic picture
is concealed by the usual English rendering. It is possible that
Luke obtained the vivid report of this incident from Timothy who
may have witnessed it and who was probably converted during
Paul's stay here (16:3). His father was a prominent Greek and
his mother Eunice, possibly a widow, may have lived here with her
mother Lois (2Ti 1:5).

14:11 {Lifted up their voice} (\epēran tēn phōnēn autōn\). First
aorist active of \epairō\. In their excitement they elevated
their voices. {In the speech of Lycaonia} (\Lukaonisti\). Adverb
from verb \lukaonizō\, to use the language of Lycaonia found here
alone, but formed regularly like \Ebraisti\ (Joh 5:2),
\Hellēnisti\ (Ac 21:37), \Rōmaisti\ (Joh 19:20). Paul was
speaking in Greek, of course, but the excitement of the crowd
over the miracle made them cry out in their native tongue which
Paul and Barnabas did not understand. Hence it was not till
preparations for offering sacrifice to them had begun that Paul
understood the new role in which he and Barnabas were held. {In
the likeness of men}
(\homoiōthentes anthrōpois\). First aorist
passive participle of \homoiō\, to liken, with the associative
instrumental case. In this primitive state the people hold to the
old Graeco-Roman mythology. The story of Baucis and Philemon
tells how Jupiter (Zeus) and Mercury (Hermes) visited in human
form the neighbouring region of Phrygia (Ovid, _Meta_. VIII.
. Jupiter (Zeus) had a temple in Lystra.

14:12 {They called} (\ekaloun\). Inchoative imperfect began to
call. {Barnabas, Jupiter} (\ton Barnaban Dia\). Because Barnabas
was the older and the more imposing in appearance. Paul admits
that he was not impressive in looks (2Co 10:10). {And Paul,
(\ton de Paulon Hermēn\). Mercury (\Hermēs\) was the
messenger of the gods, and the spokesman of Zeus. \Hermēs\ was of
beautiful appearance and eloquent in speech, the inventor of
speech in legend. Our word hermeneutics or science of
interpretation comes from this word (Heb 7:2; Joh 1:38).
{Because he was the chief speaker} (\epeidē autos ēn ho
hēgoumenos tou logou\)
. Paul was clearly "the leader of the
talk." So it seemed a clear case to the natives. If preachers
always knew what people really think of them! Whether Paul was
alluding to his experience in Lystra or not in Ga 4:14,
certainly they did receive him as an angel of God, as if
"Mercury" in reality.

14:13 {Whose temple was before the city} (\tou ontos pro tēs
. The god (Zeus) is identified with his temple. He had a
statue and temple there. {Oxen and garlands} (\taurous kai
. Probably garlands to put on the oxen before they were
slain. It was common to sacrifice bullocks to Jupiter and
Mercury. {Would have done sacrifice} (\ēthelen thuein\).
Imperfect indicative, wanted to offer sacrifice. He was planning
to do it, and his purpose now became plain to Paul and Barnabas.

14:14 {Having heard} (\akousantes\). Such elaborate preparation
"with the multitudes" (\sun tois ochlois\) spread rumours and
some who spoke Greek told Paul and Barnabas. It is possible that
the priest of Jupiter may have sent a formal request that the
visiting "gods" might come out to the statue by the temple gates
to make it a grand occasion. They rent their garments
(\diarrēxantes\). First aorist active participle from
\diarrēgnumi\, old verb to rend in two. Like the high priest in
Mt 26:65 as if an act of sacrilege was about to be committed.
It was strange conduct for the supposed gods! {Sprang forth}
(\exepēdēsan\). First aorist (ingressive) active indicative of
\ekpēdaō\ (note \ek\), old verb, here only in the N.T. It was all
a sign of grief and horror with loud outcries (\krazontes\).

14:15 {Sirs} (\andres\). Literally, Men. Abrupt, but courteous.
{We also are men of like passions with you} (\kai hēmeis
homoiopatheis esmen humin anthrōpoi\)
. Old adjective from
\homoios\ (like) and \paschō\, to experience. In the N.T. only
here and Jas 5:17. It means "of like nature" more exactly and
affected by like sensations, not "gods" at all. Their conduct was
more serious than the obeisance of Cornelius to Peter
(10:25f.). \Humin\ is associative instrumental case. {And bring
you good tidings}
(\euaggelizomenoi\). No "and" in the Greek,
just the present middle participle, "gospelizing you." They are
not gods, but evangelists. Here we have Paul's message to a pagan
audience without the Jewish environment and he makes the same
line of argument seen in Ac 17:21-32; Ro 1:18-23. At Antioch in
Pisidia we saw Paul's line of approach to Jews and proselytes
(Ac 13:16-41). {That ye should turn from these vain things}
(\apo toutōn tōn mataiōn epistrephein\). He boldly calls the
worship of Jupiter and Mercury and all idols "vain" or empty
things, pointing to the statues and the temple. {Unto the living
(\epi theon zōnta\). They must go the whole way. Our God is
a live God, not a dead statue. Paul is fond of this phrase (2Co
6:16; Ro 9:26)
. {Who made} (\hos epoiēsen\). The one God is
alive and is the Creator of the Universe just as Paul will argue
in Athens (Ac 17:24). Paul here quotes Ps 146:6 and has Ge
1:1 in mind. See also 1Th 1:9 where a new allegiance is also
claimed as here.

14:16 {In the generations gone by} (\en tais parōichēmenais
. Perfect middle participle from \paroichomai\, to go
by, old verb, here alone in the N.T. {Suffered} (\eiasen\).
Constative aorist active indicative of \eaō\ (note syllabic
. Paul here touches God in history as he did just before
in creation. God's hand is on the history of all the nations
(Gentile and Jew), only with the Gentiles he withdrew the
restraints of his grace in large measure (Ac 17:30; Ro
, judgment enough for their sins. {To walk in their
(\poreuesthai tais hodois autōn\). Present middle
infinitive, to go on walking, with locative case without \en\.
This philosophy of history does not mean that God was ignorant or
unconcerned. He was biding his time in patience.

14:17 {And yet} (\kaitoi\). Old Greek compound particle (\kai
. In the N.T. twice only, once with finite verb as here,
once with the participle (Heb 4:3). {Without witness}
(\amarturon\). Old adjective (\a\ privative and \martus\,
, only here in the N.T. {Left} (\aphēken\). First aorist
active (\k\ aorist indicative of \aphiēmi\). {In that he did
(\agathourgōn\). Present active causal participle of
\agathourgeō\, late and rare verb (also \agathoergeō\ 1Ti
, reading of the oldest MSS. here for \agathopoieō\, to do
good. Note two other causal participles here parallel with
\agathourgōn\, viz., \didous\ ("giving you") present active of
\didōmi, empiplōn\ ("filling") present active of \empimplaō\
(late form of \empimplēmi\). This witness to God (his doing good,
giving rains and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts with food
and gladness)
they could receive without the help of the Old
Testament revelation (Ro 1:20). Zeus was regarded as the god of
rain (Jupiter Pluvius) and Paul claims the rain and the fruitful
(\karpophorous, karpos\, and \pherō\, fruit bearing, old word,
here alone in N.T.)
seasons as coming from God. Lycaonia was
often dry and it would be an appropriate item. "Mercury, as the
God of merchandise, was also the dispenser of food" (Vincent).
Paul does not talk about laws of nature as if they governed
themselves, but he sees the living God "behind the drama of the
physical world" (Furneaux). These simple country people could
grasp his ideas as he claims everything for the one true God.
{Gladness} (\euphrosunēs\). Old word from \euphrōn\ (\eu\ and
, good cheer. In the N.T. only Ac 2:28 and here.
Cheerfulness should be our normal attitude when we consider God's
goodness. Paul does not here mention Christ because he had the
single definite purpose to dissuade them from worshipping
Barnabas and himself.

14:18 {Scarce} (\molis\). Adverb in same sense as old \mogis\,
from \molos\, toil. {Restrained} (\katepausan\). Effective first
aorist active indicative of \katapauō\, old verb in causative
sense to make abstain from. {From doing sacrifice unto them}
(\tou mē thuein autois\). Ablative case of the articular
infinitive with redundant negative after \katepausan\, regular
Greek idiom (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 1094, 1171). It had been a
harrowing and well-nigh a horrible ordeal, but finally Paul had
won. If only nobody else had interposed!

14:19 {But there came thither Jews from Antioch and Iconium}
(\Epēlthan de apo Antiocheias kai Ikoniou Ioudaioi\). Came to or
upon them, \epēlthan\, second aorist (ingressive) indicative of
\eperchomai\. Whether news of the miracle had reached those
cities we do not know. These may have been travelling grain
merchants. At any rate there was an interval in which Paul and
Barnabas won some disciples (verse 22). There would be a
natural reaction, even revulsion, in the minds of many who had
come so near to worshipping Paul and Barnabas. The pendulum
swings easily from one extreme to the other. The hostile Jews
from Antioch and Iconium may even have followed Paul and Barnabas
along the fine Roman road on purpose to keep them on the run.
They had driven them out of Antioch and out of Iconium and now
appear at Lystra at an opportune moment for their work. {Having
persuaded the multitudes}
(\peisantes tous ochlous\). First
aorist (effective) active participle of \peithō\. They had
complete success with many and struck at the psychological
moment. {They stoned Paul} (\lithasantes ton Paulon\). First
aorist active participle of \lithazō\, late verb from \lithos\
for throwing stones (used by Paul referring to this one incident
when alone he was stoned, 2Co 11:25)
. The wounds inflicted may
have left some of the scars (\stigmata\) mentioned in Ga 6:17.
They stoned Paul as the chief speaker (Mercury) and passed by
Barnabas (Jupiter). It was a Jewish mode of punishment as against
Stephen and these Jews knew that Paul was the man that they had
to deal with. Hackett notes that the Jews with two exceptions
incited the persecutions which Paul endured. The exceptions were
in Philippi (16:16-40) and Ephesus (19:23-41). {Dragged him
out of the city}
(\esuron exō tēs poleōs\). They hurled Stephen
outside of the city before stoning him (\7:58\). It was a hurried
and irregular proceeding, but they were dragging (imperfect
active of \surō\, old verb)
Paul out now. {Supposing that he were
(\nomizontes auton tethnēkenai\). Present active participle
with infinitive (second perfect active of \thnēskō\) in indirect
discourse with accusative of general reference. The Jews are
jubilant this time with memories of Paul's escape at Antioch and
Iconium. The pagan mob feel that they have settled accounts for
their narrow escape from worshipping two Jewish renegade
preachers. It was a good day's work for them all. Luke does not
say that Paul was actually dead.

14:20 {Stood round about him} (\kuklōsantōn auton\). Genitive
absolute with first aorist active participle of \kukloō\, old
verb from \kuklos\ (circle, cycle) to make a circle round, to
encircle. The would-be murderers left and a group of disciples
gathered round to see if Paul was dead or alive and, if dead, to
bury him. In that group Timothy may very well have been along
with Eunice and Barnabas. Timothy, a lad of about fifteen, would
not soon forget that solemn scene (2Ti 3:11). But Paul suddenly
(apparently a miraculous recovery) rose up (\anastas\) and
entered the city to the surprise and joy of the disciples who
were willing to brave persecution with Paul. {With Barnabas}
(\sun tōi Barnabāi\). With the assistance of Barnabas. It was
plainly unwise to continue in Lystra so that they set out on the
next day (\tēi epaurion\, ten times in Acts), shaken and bruised
as Paul was. Derbe was some forty miles distant, near the pass to
the Cilician Gates.

14:21 {When they had preached the gospel to that city}
(\euaggelisamenoi tēn polin ekeinēn\). Having evangelized (first
aorist middle participle)
that city, a smaller city and
apparently with no trouble from the Jews. {Had made many
(\mathēteusantes hikanous\). First aorist active
participle of \mathēteuō\ from \mathētēs\, a learner or disciple.
Late verb in Plutarch, to be a disciple (Mt 27:57 like Joh
and then to disciple (old English, Spenser), to make a
disciple as in Mt 28:19 and here. Paul and Barnabas were
literally here obeying the command of Jesus in discipling people
in this heathen city. {They returned to Lystra and to Iconium,
and to Antioch}
(\hupestrepsan eis tēn Lustran kai eis Ikonion
kai eis Antiocheian\)
. Derbe was the frontier city of the Roman
empire. The quickest way to return to Antioch in Syria would have
been by the Cilician Gates or by the pass over Mt. Taurus by
which Paul and Silas will come to Derbe in the second tour (Ac
, but difficult to travel in winter. But it was
necessary to revisit the churches in Lystra, Iconium, Antioch in
Pisidia and to see that they were able to withstand persecution.
Paul was a Roman citizen though he had not made use of this
privilege as yet for his own protection. Against mob violence it
would count for little, but he did not hesitate. Paul had been
stoned in Lystra, threatened in Iconium, expelled in Antioch. He
shows his wisdom in conserving his work.

14:22 {Confirming} (\epistērizontes\). Late verb (in LXX), in
N.T. only in Ac 14:22; 15:32,41, to make more firm, to give
additional (\epi\) strength. Each time in Acts the word is used
concerning these churches. {To continue in the faith} (\emmenein
tēi pistei\)
. To remain in with locative, old verb. It is
possible that \pistis\ here has the notion of creed as Paul uses
it later (Col 1:23 with \epimenō\; 1Ti 5:8). It seems to be
here more than trust or belief. These recent converts from
heathenism were ill-informed, were persecuted, had broken family
and social ties, greatly needed encouragement if they were to
hold out. {We must} (\dei hēmās\). It does not follow from this
use of "we" that Luke was present, since it is a general
proposition applying to all Christians at all times (2Ti 3:12).
Luke, of course, approved this principle. Knowling asks why
Timothy may not have told Luke about Paul's work. It all sounds
like quotation of Paul's very language. Note the change of
construction here after \parakalountes\ (infinitive of indirect
command, \emmenein\, but \hoti dei\, indirect assertion)
. They
needed the right understanding of persecution as we all do. Paul
frankly warned these new converts in this heathen environment of
the many tribulations through which they must enter the Kingdom
of God (the culmination at last) as he did at Ephesus (Ac
and as Jesus had done (Joh 16:33). These saints were
already converted.

14:23 {And when they had appointed for them elders in every
(\cheirotonēsantes de autois kat' ekklēsian
. They needed also some form of organization,
though already churches. Note distributive use of \kata\ with
\ekklēsian\ (2:46; 5:42; Tit 1:5). \Cheirotoneō\ (from
\cheirotonos\, extending the hand, \cheir\, hand, and \teinō\, to
is an old verb that originally meant to vote by show of
the hands, finally to appoint with the approval of an assembly
that chooses as in 2Co 8:19, and then to appoint without regard
to choice as in Josephus (_Ant_. XIII. 2, 2) of the appointment
of Jonathan as high priest by Alexander. So in Ac 10:41 the
compound \procheiratoneō\ is used of witnesses appointed by God.
But the seven (deacons) were first selected by the Jerusalem
church and then appointed (\katastēsomen\) by the apostles. That
is probably the plan contemplated by Paul in his directions to
Titus (Tit 1:5) about the choice of elders. It is most likely
that this plan was the one pursued by Paul and Barnabas with
these churches. They selected the elders in each instance and
Paul and Barnabas "ordained" them as we say, though the word
\cheirotoneō\ does not mean that. "Elders" were mentioned first
in 11:30. Later Paul will give the requirements expected in
these "elders" or "bishops" (Php 1:1) as in 1Ti 3:1-7; Tit
1:5-9. It is fairly certain that these elders were chosen to
correspond in a general way with the elders in the Jewish
synagogue after which the local church was largely copied as to
organization and worship. Paul, like Jesus, constantly worshipped
and spoke in the synagogues. Already it is plain, as at Antioch
in Syria (11:26), that the Christians can no longer count on
the use of the Jewish synagogue. They must have an organization
of their own. The use of the plural here implies what was true at
Philippi (Php 1:1) and Ephesus (Ac 20:17,28) that each church
(one in each city) "had its college of elders" (Hackett) as in
Jerusalem (21:18). Elder (\presbuteros\) was the Jewish name
and bishop (\episkopos\) the Greek name for the same office.
"Those who are called elders in speaking of Jewish communities
are called bishops in speaking of Gentile communities" (Hackett).
Hovey rightly holds against Hackett that teaching was a normal
function of these elders, pastors or bishops as they were
variously called (1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:9; 1Co 12:28,30; Eph 4:11).
{Had prayed with fasting} (\proseuxamenoi meta nēsteiōn\). It was
a serious matter, this formal setting apart of these "elders" in
the churches. So it was done in a public meeting with prayer and
fasting as when Paul and Barnabas were sent forth from Antioch in
Syria (13:3) on this mission tour. {They commended them to the
(\parethento autous tōi kuriōi\). Second aorist middle
indicative of \paratithēmi\. Old and solemn word, to entrust, to
deposit as in a bank (1Ti 1:18; 2Ti 2:2). Cf. \parathēkē\ in
1Ti 6:20; 2Ti 1:12,14. It was all that they could now do, to
commit them to the Lord Jesus. Jesus used this word on the cross
(Lu 22:32). {On whom they had believed} (\eis hon
. Past perfect indicative (without augment) of
\pisteuō\. They had "trusted" in Jesus (2Ti 1:12) and Paul now
"entrusts" them to him with confidence. It was a solemn and
serious occasion in each instance as it always is to set apart
men for the ministry. These men may not have been ideal men for
this service, but they were the only ones available and they were
chosen from the actual membership in each instance, men who knew
local conditions and problems.

14:24 {When they had spoken the word in Perga} (\lalēsantes en
Pergēi ton logon\)
. Now they stopped and preached in Perga which
they had apparently not done before (see 13:13f.). After
leaving Antioch they passed on through Pisidia, as if Antioch was
not strictly in Pisidia (see on 13:14) and into Pamphylia. They
crossed from Perga to Attaleia, the port of Perga, sixteen miles
down the Cestus, and capital of Pamphylia, to find a ship for
Antioch in Syria. It is now called Adala and for long was the
chief harbour of the south coast of Asia Minor. We do not know
why they did not revisit Cyprus, perhaps because no permanent
Gentile churches were founded there.

14:26 {They sailed away to Antioch} (\apepleusan eis
. Effective aorist active indicative of \apopleō\,
to sail off. They had been gone some eighteen months. {They had
been committed}
(\ēsan paradedomenoi\). Periphrastic past perfect
passive of \paradidōmi\, old and common verb. High and serious
thoughts filled the hearts of these first returned missionaries
as they neared home. The grace of God had been with them. They
had fulfilled (\eplērōsan\) the work to which they had been set
apart by the Holy Spirit with the prayers of the Antioch church.
They now had a wondrous story to tell.

14:27 {Gathered the church together} (\sunagagontes tēn
. Second aorist active participle of \sunagō\. It "was
the first missionary meeting in history" (Furneaux). It was not
hard to get the church together when the news spread that Paul
and Barnabas had returned. "The suitability of the Gospel to
become the religion of the world had not before been put to the
test" (Furneaux). Doubtless many "wise-acres" had predicted
failure as they did for William Carey and for Adoniram Judson and
Luther Rice. {Rehearsed} (\anēggellon\). Imperfect active. It was
a long story for they had many things to tell of God's dealings
"with them" (\met' autōn\) for God had been "with them" all the
while as Jesus had said he would be (Mt 28:20, \meth' h–mōn\).
Paul could recount some of the details given later in 2Co 11.
{And how} (\kai hoti\). Or "and that" in particular, as the
upshot of it all. {He had opened a door of faith unto the
(\ēnoixen tois ethnesin thuran pisteōs\). Three times
in Paul's Epistles (1Co 16:9; 2Co 2:12; Col 4:3) he employed
the metaphor of "door," perhaps a reminiscence of the very
language of Paul here. This work in Galatia gained a large place
in Paul's heart (Ga 4:14f.). The Gentiles now, it was plain,
could enter the kingdom of God (verse 22) through the door of
faith, not by law or by circumcision or by heathen philosophy or

14:28 {And they tarried no little time} (\dietribon de chronon
ouk oligon\)
. Imperfect active of \diatribō\, old verb to rub
hard, to consume, with accusative of extent of time. It was a
happy time of fellowship. The experiment entered upon by the
church of Antioch was now a pronounced success. It was at the
direct command of the Holy Spirit, but they had prayed for the
absent missionaries and rejoiced at their signal success. There
is no sign of jealousy on the part of Barnabas when Paul returns
as the chief hero of the expedition. A new corner has been turned
in the history of Christianity. There is a new centre of
Christian activity. What will Jerusalem think of the new
developments at Antioch? Paul and Barnabas made no report to

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 14)