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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 16)

16:1 {And he came also to Derbe and Lystra} (\katēntēsen de kai
eis Derbēn kai eis Lustran\)
. First aorist active of \katantaō\,
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. {Timothy} (\Timotheos\). Apparently a native of Lystra
("there," \ekei\), his Hebrew mother named Eunice and grandmother
Lois (2Ti 1:5) and his Greek father's name not known. He may
have been a proselyte, but not necessarily so as Timothy was
taught the Scriptures by his mother and grandmother (2Ti 3:15),
and, if a proselyte, he would have had Timothy circumcised. It is
idle to ask if Paul came on purpose to get Timothy to take Mark's
place. Probably Timothy was about eighteen years of age, a
convert of Paul's former visit a few years before (1Ti 1:2) and
still young twelve years later (1Ti 4:12). Paul loved him
devotedly (1Ti 1:3; 5:23; 2Ti 3:15; Php 2:19f.). It is a
glorious discovery to find a real young preacher for Christ's

16:2 {Was well reported of} (\emartureito\). 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.

16:3 {Him would Paul have to go forth with him} (\touton
ēthelēsen ho Paulos sun autōi exelthein\)
. This one (note
emphatic position)
Paul wanted (first aorist active indicative of
\thelō\ with temporal augment as if from \ethelō\ the old form)
Here was a gifted young man who was both Jew and Greek. {He took
and circumcised him}
(\labōn perietemen auton\). Any one could
perform this rite. Paul had stoutly resisted circumcision in the
case of Titus, a pure Greek (Ga 2:3,5), because the whole
principle of Gentile liberty was at stake. But Timothy was both
Jew and Greek and would continually give offence to the Jews with
no advantage to the cause of Gentile freedom. So here for the
sake of expediency, "because of the Jews" (\dia tous Ioudaious\),
Paul voluntarily removed this stumbling-block to the ministry of
Timothy. Otherwise Timothy could not have been allowed to preach
ln the synagogues. _Idem non est semper idem_. But Timothy's case
was not the case of Titus. Here it was a question of efficient
service, not an essential of salvation. Hovey notes that Timothy
was circumcised because of Jewish unbelievers, not because of
Jewish believers. {Was a Greek} (\Hellēn hupērchen\). Imperfect
active in indirect assertion where ordinarily the present
\huparchei\ would be retained, possibly indicating that his
father was no longer living.

16:4 {They delivered them} (\paredidosan autois\). 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. {The decrees} (\ta dogmata\). Old
word from \dokeō\, to give an opinion. It is used of public
decrees of rulers (Lu 2:1; Ac 17:7), of the requirements of the
Mosaic law (Col 2:14), and here of the regulations or
conclusions of the Jerusalem Conference. Silas was with Paul and
his presence gave added dignity to the passing out of the
decrees, a charter of Gentile freedom, since he was one of the
committee from Jerusalem to Antioch (15:22,27,32). {Which had
been ordained}
(\ta kekrimena\). Perfect passive articular
participle of \krinō\, to judge, emphasizing the permanence of
the conclusions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem.
{For to keep} (\phulassein\). This present active infinitive
likewise accents that it is a charter of liberty for continual
living, not a temporary compromise.

16:5 {Were strengthened} (\estereounto\). Imperfect passive of
\stereoō\, old verb to make firm and solid like the muscles (Ac
, these three the only examples in the N.T. {Increased}
(\eperisseuon\). Imperfect active of the old and common verb
\perisseuō\ from \perissos\ (overplus). The blessing of God was
on the work of Paul, Silas, and Timothy in the form of a
continuous revival.

16:6 {The region of Phrygia and Galatia} (\tēn Phrugian kai
Galatikēn chōran\)
. 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"
(\Galatikēn\) 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 \kōluthentes\ ("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 \kōluō\, 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 \kōluthentes\ 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.

16:7 {Over against Mysia} (\kata tēn Musian\). This was an
ill-defined region rather north and west of Phrygia. The Romans
finally absorbed most of it in the Province of Asia. {They
assayed to go into Bithynia}
(\epeirazon eis tēn Bithunian
. Conative imperfect of \peirazō\ and ingressive
aorist passive infinitive of \poreuomai\. Now Bithynia is
northeast of Mysia and north of Galatia (province). Clearly Luke
means to say that Paul had, when hindered by the Holy Spirit from
going west into Asia, gone north so as to come in front of
Bithynia. This journey would take him directly through Phrygia
and the North Galatian country (the real Gauls or Celts). This
is, to my mind, the strongest argument for the North Galatian
view in these verses 6,7. The grammar and the topography bring
Paul right up to Bithynia (north of the old Galatia). It is
verses 6,7 that make me pause before accepting the plausible
arguments of Ramsay for the South Galatian theory. In itself the
problem is nothing like so important or so determinative as he
makes it. But shall we smash Luke's grammar to pieces to bolster
up a theory of criticism? {And the Spirit of Jesus suffered them
(\kai ouk eiasen autous to pneuma Iēsou\). The same Spirit
who in verse 6 had forbidden going into Asia now closed the
door into Bithynia. This expression occurs nowhere else, but we
have the spirit of Christ (Ro 8:9) and the Spirit of Jesus
Christ (Php 1:19). \Eiasen\ is first aorist active indicative
of \eaō\, old verb to allow.

16:8 {Passing by Mysia} (\parelthontes tēn Musian\). Literally,
passing alongside or skirting Mysia, neglecting it without
preaching there. Strictly they passed through part of it to reach
Troas. {To Troas} (\eis Troiada\). This city, named Alexandria
Troas after Alexander the Great, was the seaport of Mysia, though
a Roman colony and not counted as part of either Asia or
Bithynia. New Ilium, on the site of the old Troy, was four miles
farther north. It was the place to take ship for Philippi. Twice
again Paul will be here (2Co 2:12; Ac 20:6).

16:9 {A vision} (\horama\). 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. {A man
of Macedonia}
(\anēr Makedōn\). Ramsay follows Renan in the view
that this was Luke with whom Paul had conversed about conditions
in Macedonia. Verse 10 makes it plain that Luke was now in the
party, but when he joined them we do not know. Some hold that
Luke lived at Antioch in Syria and came on with Paul and Silas,
others that he joined them later in Galatia, others that he
appeared now either as Paul's physician or new convert. Ramsay
thinks that Philippi was his home at this time. But, whatever is
true about Luke, the narrative must not be robbed of its
supernatural aspect (10:10; 22:17). {Was standing} (\ēn
. Second perfect active participle of \histēmi\,
intransitive, periphrastic imperfect. Vivid picture. {Help us}
(\boēthēson hēmin\). Ingressive first aorist active imperative of
\boētheō\ (\boē, theō\), to run at a cry, to help. The man uses
the plural for all including himself. It was the cry of Europe
for Christ.

16:10 {We sought} (\ezētēsamen\). 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. {Concluding} (\sunbibazontes\). A very striking word,
present active participle of \sunbibazō\, old verb to make go
together, to coalesce or knit together, to make this and that
agree and so to conclude. Already in 9:22 of Paul's preaching.
This word here gives a good illustration of the proper use of the
reason in connection with revelation, to decide whether it is a
revelation from God, to find out what it means for us, and to see
that we obey the revelation when understood. God had called them
to preach to the Macedonians. They had to go.

16:11 {Setting sail} (\anachthentes\). Same word in 13:13 which
see. {We made a straight course} (\euthudromēsamen\). First
aorist active indicative of compound verb \euthudromeō\ (in
from adjective \euthudromos\ (in Strabo), running a
straight course (\euthus, dromos\). In the N.T. only here and
21:1. It is a nautical term for sailing before the wind. Luke
has a true feeling for the sea. {To Samothrace} (\eis
. A small island in the Aegean about halfway
between Troas and Neapolis. {The day following} (\tēi epiousēi\).
Locative case of time with \hēmerāi\ (day) to be supplied (7:26;
20:15; 21:18; 23:11)
. With adverse winds it took five days to
make the run of 125 miles (20:6). {To Neapolis} (\eis Nean
. To New Town (Newton, Naples, Neapolis). The port of
Philippi ten miles distant, Thracian, but reckoned as Macedonian
after Vespasian.

16:12 {To Philippi} (\eis Philippous\). The plural like \Athēnai\
(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 (\kolōnia\) 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. {The first of the district} (\prōtē tēs meridos\). Philippi
was not the first city of Macedonia nor does Luke say so. That
honour belonged to Thessalonica and even Amphipolis was larger
than Philippi. It is not clear whether by \meris\ Luke means a
formal division of the province, though the _Koinē_ has examples
of this geographical sense (papyri). There is no article with
\prōtē\ and Luke may not mean to stress unduly the position of
Philippi in comparison with Amphipolis. But it was certainly a
leading city of this district of Macedonia. {We were tarrying}
(\ēmen diatribontes\). Periphrastic imperfect active.

16:13 {By a river side} (\para potamon\). 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" (\exō tēs pulēs\) they
had noticed an enclosure "where we supposed" (\hou enomizomen\,
correct text, imperfect active)
, probably as they came into the
city, "was a place of prayer" (\proscuchēn einai\). Infinitive
with accusative of general reference in indirect discourse.
\Proseuchē\ 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.
. 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 \proseucha\. Josephus
(_Ant_. XIV. 10, 23) quotes a decree of Halicarnassus which
allowed the Jews "to make their prayers (\proseuchas\) on the
seashore according to the custom of their fathers." There was a
synagogue in Thessalonica, but apparently none in Amphipolis and
Apollonia (Ac 17:1). 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 (\tais sunelthousais gunaixin\), 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. {We sat
down and spake}
(\kathisantes elaloumen\). Having taken our seats
(aorist active participle of \kathizō\) we began to speak or
preach (inchoative imperfect of \laleō\, often used for
. Sitting was the Jewish attitude for public speaking.
It was not mere conversation, but more likely conversational
preaching of an historical and expository character. Luke's use
of the first person plural implies that each of the four (Paul,
Silas, Timothy, Luke)
preached in turn, with Paul as chief

16:14 {Lydia} (\Ludia\). 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 (\hoi bapheis\) as inscriptions show. {A seller of
(\porphuropōlis\). A female seller of purple fabrics
(\porphura, pōlis\). Late word, masculine form in an inscription.
There was a great demand for this fabric as it was used on the
official toga at Rome and in Roman colonies. We still use the
term "royal purple." See on ¯Lu 16:19. Evidently Lydia was a
woman of some means to carry on such an important enterprise from
her native city. She may have been a freed-woman, since racial
names were often borne by slaves. {One that worshipped God}
(\sebomenē ton theon\). A God-fearer or proselyte of the gate.
There was a Jewish settlement in Thyatira which was especially
interested in the dyeing industry. She probably became a
proselyte there. Whether this was true of the other women we do
not know. They may have been Jewesses or proselytes like Lydia,
probably all of them employees of hers in her business. When Paul
writes to the Philippians he does not mention Lydia who may have
died meanwhile and who certainly was not Paul's wife. She was
wealthy and probably a widow. {Heard us} (\ēkouen\). Imperfect
active of \akouō\, was listening, really listening and she kept
it up, listening to each of these new and strange preachers.
{Opened} (\diēnoixen\). First aorist active indicative of
\dianoigō\, old word, double compound (\dia, ana, oigō\) to open
up wide or completely like a folding door (both sides, \dia\,
. Only the Lord could do that. Jesus had opened (the same
the mind of the disciples to understand the Scriptures (Lu
. {To give heed} (\prosechein\). To hold the mind (\ton
noun\ understood)
, present active infinitive. She kept her mind
centred on the things spoken by Paul whose words gripped her
attention. She rightly perceived that Paul was the foremost one
of the group. He had personal magnetism and power of intellect
that the Spirit of God used to win the heart of this remarkable
woman to Christ. It was worth coming to Philippi to win this fine
personality to the Kingdom of God. She will be the chief spirit
in this church that will give Paul more joy and co-operation than
any of his churches. It is not stated that she was converted on
the first Sabbath, though this may have been the case. "One
solitary convert, a woman, and she already a seeker after God,
and a native of that very Asia where they had been forbidden to
preach" (Furneaux). But a new era had dawned for Europe and for
women in the conversion of Lydia.

16:15 {And when she was baptized} (\hōs de ebaptisthē\). First
aorist passive indicative of \baptizō\. 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. {And her household} (\kai ho oikos autēs\). Who
constituted her "household"? The term \oikos\, originally means
the building as below, "into my house" and then it includes the
inmates of a house. There is nothing here to show whether Lydia's
"household" went beyond "the women" employed by her who like her
had heard the preaching of Paul and had believed. "Possibly
Euodia and Syntyche and the other women, Php 4:2,3, may have
been included in the family of Lydia, who may have employed many
slaves and freed women in her trade" (Knowling). "This statement
cannot be claimed as any argument for infant baptism, since the
Greek word may mean her servants or her work-people" (Furneaux).
In the household baptisms (Cornelius, Lydia, the jailor, Crispus)
one sees "infants" or not according to his predilections or
preferences. {If ye have judged me} (\ei kekrikate me\).
Condition of the first class, assumed to be true (\ei\ and the
indicative, here perfect active of \krinō\)
. She had confessed
her faith and submitted to baptism as proof that she was
"faithful to the Lord" (\pistēn tōi kuriōi\), believing on the
Lord. "If she was fit for that, surely she was fit to be their
hostess" (Furneaux). And Paul and his party had clearly no
comfortable place to stay while in Philippi. The ancient hotels
or inns were abominable. Evidently Paul demurred for there were
four of them and he did not wish to sacrifice his independence or
be a burden even to a woman of wealth. {And she constrained us}
(\kai parebiasato hēmas\). Effective first aorist middle of
\parabiazomai\, late word, in the N.T. only here and Lu 24:29.
Some moral force (\bia\) or hospitable persuasion was required
(cf. 1Sa 28:23), but Lydia had her way as women usually do. So
he accepted Lydia's hospitality in Philippi, though he worked for
his own living in Thessalonica (2Th 3:8) and elsewhere (2Co
. So far only women have been won to Christ in Philippi.
The use of "us" shows that Luke was not a householder in

16:16 {A spirit of divination} (\pneuma puthōna\). So the correct
text with accusative (apparition, a spirit, a python), not the
genitive (\puthōnos\). Hesychius defines it as \daimonion
manikon\ (a spirit of divination). The etymology of the word is
unknown. Bengel suggests \puthesthai\ from \punthanomai\, to
inquire. Python was the name given to the serpent that kept guard
at Delphi, slain by Apollo, who was called \Puthios Apollo\ and
the prophetess at Delphi was termed Pythia. Certainly Luke does
not mean to credit Apollo with a real existence (1Co 8:4). But
Plutarch (A.D. 50-100) says that the term \puthōnes\ was applied
to ventriloquists (\eggastrimuthoi\). 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" (\manteuomenē\). Present middle participle of
\manteuomai\, old heathen word (in contrast with \prophēteuō\)
for acting the seer (\mantis\) and this kin to \mainomai\, to be
mad, like the howling dervishes of later times. This is the
so-called instrumental use of the circumstantial participles.
{Brought} (\pareichen\). Imperfect active of \parechō\, a steady
source of income. {Much gain} (\ergasian pollēn\). Work,
business, from \ergazomai\, to work. {Her masters} (\tois kuriois
. Dative case. Joint owners of this poor slave girl who
were exploiting her calamity, whatever it was, for selfish gain,
just as men and women today exploit girls and women in the "white
slave" trade. As a fortune-teller she was a valuable asset for
all the credulous dupes of the community. Simon Magus in Samaria
and Elymas Barjesus in Cyprus had won power and wealth as

16:17 {The Most High God} (\tou theou tou hupsistou\). 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. {The way of
(\hodon sōtērias\). A way of salvation, strictly
speaking (no article). There were many "ways of salvation"
offered to men then as now.

16:18 {She did} (\epoiei\). Imperfect active, kept it up for many
days. The strange conduct gave Paul and the rest an unpleasant
prominence in the community. {Being sore troubled}
(\diaponētheis\). First aorist passive of \diaponeō\, old verb,
to work laboriously, then in passive to be "worked up,"
displeased, worn out. In the N.T. only here and 4:2 which see
(there of the Sadducees about Peter's preaching). Paul was
grieved, annoyed, indignant. He wanted no testimony from a source
like this any more than he did the homage of the people of Lystra
(14:14). {That very hour} (\autēi tēi hōrāi\). Locative case of
time and familiar Lukan idiom in his Gospel, "at the hour
itself." The cure was instantaneous. Paul, like Jesus,
distinguished between the demon and the individual.

16:19 {Was gone} (\exēlthen\). Was gone out of the slave girl,
second aorist active indicative of \exerchomai\. "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). {Laid
hold on}
(\epilabomenoi\). Second aorist middle participle of
\epilambanō\ as in 9:27; 17:19, but here with hostile intent.
{Dragged} (\heilkusan\). First aorist active indicative of
\helkuō\, late form of the old verb \helkō\ (also in Jas 2:6)
to draw as a sword, and then to drag one forcibly as here and
21:30. It is also used of spiritual drawing as by Jesus in Joh
12:32. Here it is by violence. {Into the marketplace} (\eis tēn
. Into the Roman forum near which would be the courts of
law as in our courthouse square, as in 17:17. Marketing went on
also (Mr 7:4), when the crowds collect (Mr 6:56), from
\ageirō\, to collect or gather. {Unto the rulers} (\epi tous
. General Greek term for "the magistrates."

16:20 {Unto the magistrates} (\tois stratēgois\). Greek term
(\stratos, agō\) 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. \Stratēgoi\ 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 35). {These men} (\houtoi hoi anthrōpoi\). Contemptuous
use. {Being Jews} (\Ioudaioi huparchontes\). The people of
Philippi, unlike those in Antioch (11:26), did not recognize
any distinction between Jews and Christians. These four men were
Jews. This appeal to race prejudice would be especially pertinent
then because of the recent decree of Claudius expelling Jews from
Rome (18:2). It was about A.D. 49 or 50 that Paul is in
Philippi. The hatred of the Jews by the Romans is known otherwise
(Cicero, _Pro Flacco_, XXVIII; Juvenal, XIV. 96-106). {Do
exceedingly trouble}
(\ektarassousin\). Late compound (effective
use of \ek\ in composition)
and only here in the N.T.

16:21 {Customs which it is not lawful for us to receive, or to
observe, being Romans}
(\ethē ha ouk estin hēmin paradechesthai
oude poiein Rōmaiois ousin\)
. 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
(\ektarassousin hēmōn tēn polin\) 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. \Ethos\ (kin to \ēthos\, 1Co 15:33) is from \ethō\, 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.

16:22 {Rose up together} (\sunepestē\). Second aorist
(ingressive) active of the double compound \sunephistēmi\,
intransitive, old verb, but only here in the N.T. (cf.
\katepestēsan\ 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. {Rent their garments
off them}
(\perirēxantes autōn ta himatia\). First aorist active
participle of \perirēgnumi\, old verb, to break off all around,
to strip or rend all round. Here only in the N.T. The duumvirs
probably gave orders for Paul and Silas to be stripped of their
outer garments (\himatia\), though not actually doing it with
their own hands, least of all not stripping off their own
garments in horror as Ramsay thinks. That would call for the
middle voice. In II Macc. 4:38 the active voice is used as here
of stripping off the garments of others. Paul in 1Th 2:2 refers
to the shameful treatment received in Philippi, "insulted"
(\hubristhentas\). As a Roman citizen this was unlawful, but the
duumvirs looked on Paul and Silas as vagabond and seditious Jews
and "acted with the highhandedness characteristic of the fussy
provincial authorities" (Knowling). {Commanded} (\ekeleuon\).
Imperfect active, repeatedly ordered. The usual formula of
command was: "Go, lictors; strip off their garments; let them be
scourged." {To beat them with rods} (\rhabdizein\). Present
active infinitive of \rhabdizō\, old verb, but in the
N.T.=_virgis caedere_ only here and 2Co 11:25 where Paul
alludes to this incident and two others not given by Luke (\tris
. He came near getting another in Jerusalem (Ac
. Why did not Paul say here that he was a Roman citizen as
he does later (verse 37) and in Jerusalem (22:26f.)? It might
have done no good in this hubbub and no opportunity was allowed
for defence of any kind.

16:23 {When they had laid} (\epithentes\). Second aorist
(constative) active participle of \epitithēmi\, to place upon.
{Many stripes} (\pollas plēgas\). The Jewish law was forty
stripes save one (2Co 11:24). The Roman custom depended on the
caprice of the judge and was a terrible ordeal. It was the custom
to inflict the stripes on the naked body (back) as Livy 2.5 says:
"_Missique lictores ad sumendum supplicium, nudatos virgis
caedunt_." On \plēgas\ (from \plēssō\, to strike a blow) see on
¯Lu 10:30; 12:47f. {The jailor} (\tōi desmophulaki\). Late word
(\desmos, phulax\, keeper of bonds), in the N.T. only here
(verses 23,27,36). The LXX has the word \archidesmophulax\ (Ge
. Chrysostom calls this jailor Stephanus, he was of
Achaia (1Co 16:15). {To keep safely} (\asphalōs tērein\).
Present active infinitive, to keep on keeping safely, perhaps "as
dangerous political prisoners" (Rackham). He had some rank and
was not a mere turnkey.

16:24 {Into the inner prison} (\eis tēn esōteran phulakēn\). The
comparative form from the adverb \esō\ (within), Ionic and old
Attic for \eisō\. 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. {Made their feet fast} (\tous podas
ēsphalisato autōn\)
. First aorist (effective) middle of
\asphalizō\, from \asphalēs\ (safe), common verb in late Greek,
in the N.T. only here and Mt 24:64ff. The inner prison was safe
enough without this refinement of cruelty. {In the stocks} (\eis
to xulon\)
. \Xulon\, from \xuō\, to scrape or plane, is used for
a piece of wood whether a cross or gibbet (Ac 5:30; 10:39;
13:29; Ga 3:13; 1Pe 2:24)
or a log or timber with five holes
(four for the wrists and ankles and one for the neck) or two for
the feet as here, \xulopedē\, Latin _vervus_, to shackle the feet
stretched apart (Job 33:11). This torment was practiced in
Sparta, Athens, Rome, and Adonirom Judson suffered it in Burmah.
\Xulon\ is also used in the N.T. for stick or staff (Mt 26:47)
and even a tree (Lu 23:31). Tertullian said of Christians in
the stocks: _Nihil crus sentit in vervo, quum animus in caelo
est_ (Nothing the limb feels in the stocks when the mind is in

16:25 {About midnight} (\kata de mesonuktion\). Middle of the
night, old adjective seen already in Mr 13:35; Lu 11:5 which
see. {Were praying and singing} (\proseuchomenoi humnoun\).
Present middle participle and imperfect active indicative:
Praying they were singing (simultaneously, blending together
petition and praise)
. \Humneō\ is an old verb from \humnos\ (cf.
Isa 12:4; Da 3:23)
. Paul and Silas probably used portions of
the Psalms (cf. Lu 1:39f.,67f.; 2:28f.) with occasional
original outbursts of praise. {Were listening to them}
(\epēkroōnto autōn\). Imperfect middle of \epakroaomai\. Rare
verb to listen with pleasure as to a recitation or music (Page).
It was a new experience for the prisoners and wondrously
attractive entertainment to them.

16:26 {Earthquake} (\seismos\). Old word from \seiō\, to shake.
Luke regarded it as an answer to prayer as in 4:31. He and
Timothy were not in prison. {So that the foundations of the
prison house were shaken}
(\hōste saleuthēnai ta themelia tou
. Regular construction of the first aorist passive
infinitive and the accusative of general reference with \hōste\
for actual result just like the indicative. This old word for
prison house already in Mt 11:2; Ac 5:21,23 which see.
\Themelia\ is neuter plural of the adjective \themelios\, from
\thema\ (thing laid down from \tithēmi\). So already in Lu 6:48;
14:29. If the prison was excavated from rocks in the hillside,
as was often the case, the earthquake would easily have slipped
the bars of the doors loose and the chains would have fallen out
of the walls. {Were opened} (\ēneōichthēsan\). First aorist
passive indicative of \anoigō\ (or \-numi\) with triple augment
(\ē, e, ō\), while there is no augment in \anethē\ (first aorist
passive indicative of \aniēmi\, were loosed)
, old verb, but in
the N.T. only here and 27:40; Eph 6:9; Heb 13:5.

16:27 {Being roused out of sleep} (\exupnos genomenos\). Becoming
\exupnos\ (rare word, only here in N.T., in LXX and Josephus). An
earthquake like that would wake up any one. {Open}
(\aneōigmenos\). Perfect passive participle with double
reduplication in predicate position, standing open. {Drew his
(\spasamenos tēn machairan\). First aorist middle
participle of \spaō\, to draw, as in Mr 14:47, drawing his own
sword himself. Our word spasm from this old word. {Was about}
(\ēmellen\). Imperfect active of \mellō\ with both syllabic and
temporal augment and followed here by present infinitive. He was
on the point of committing suicide as Brutus had done near here.
Stoicism had made suicide popular as the escape from trouble like
the Japanese _harikari_. {Had escaped} (\ekpepheugenai\). Second
perfect active infinitive of \ekpheugō\, old verb with perfective
force of \ek\, to flee out, to get clean away. This infinitive
and accusative of general reference is due to indirect discourse
after \nomizōn\. Probably the prisoners were so panic stricken by
the earthquake that they did not rally to the possibility of
escape before the jailor awoke. He was responsible for the
prisoners with his life (12:19; 27:42).

16:28 {Do thyself no harm} (\mēden praxēis seautōi kakon\). The
usual construction (\mē\ and the aorist subjunctive) for a
prohibition not to {begin} to do a thing. The older Greek would
probably have used \poiēsēis\ here. The later Greek does not
always preserve the old distinction between \poieō\, to do a
thing, and \prassō\, to practice, though \prassete\ keeps it in
Php 4:9 and \poieō\ is rightly used in Lu 3:10-14. As a
matter of fact \prassō\ does not occur in Matthew or in Mark,
only twice in John, six times in Luke's Gospel, thirteen in Acts,
and elsewhere by Paul. {Sprang in} (\eisepēdēsen\). First aorist
active of \eispēdaō\, old verb, but here only in the N.T. Cf.
\ekpēdaō\ in 14:14. The jailor was at the outer door and he
wanted lights to see what was inside in the inner prison.

16:29 {Trembling for fear} (\entromos genomenos\). "Becoming
terrified." The adjective \entromos\ (in terror) occurs in N.T.
only here and 7:32; Heb 12:21. {Fell down} (\prosepesen\).
Second aorist active indicative of \prospiptō\, old verb. An act
of worship as Cornelius before Peter (10:25), when
\prosekunēsen\ is used.

16:30 {Brought them out} (\progagōn autous exō\). Second aorist
active participle of \proagō\, 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.

16:31 {To be saved} (\hina sōthō\). Final clause with \hina\ 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 in verse 17. {Believe on the Lord
(\Pisteuson epi ton kurion Iēsoun\). This is what Peter
told Cornelius (10:43). This is the heart of the matter for
both the jailor and his house.

16:32 {They spake the word of God} (\elalēsan ton logon tou
. 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.

16:33 {Washed their stripes} (\elousen apo tōn plēgōn\).
Deissmann (_Bible Studies_, p. 227) cites an inscription of
Pergamum with this very construction of \apo\ and the ablative,
to wash off, though it is an old verb. This first aorist active
indicative of \louō\, to bathe, succinctly shows what the jailor
did to remove the stains left by the rods of the lictors (verse
. \Niptō\ was used for washing parts of the body. {And was
baptized, he and all his, immediately}
(\kai ebaptisthē autos kai
hoi autou hapantes parachrēma\)
. The verb is in the singular
agreeing with \autos\, but it is to be supplied with \hoi autou\,
and it was done at once.

16:34 {He brought them up} (\anagagōn\). Second aorist active
participle of \anagō\. 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 (\kolumbēthra\) 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." {Set meat}
(\parethēken trapezan\). Set a "table" before them with food on
it. They had probably had no food for a day. {With all his house}
(\panoikei\). Adverb, once in Plato, though usually \panoikiāi\.
In LXX, but here alone in the N.T. It is in an amphibolous
position and can be taken either with "rejoiced" (\ēgalliasato\)
or "having believed" (\pepisteukōs\, perfect active participle,
permanent belief)
, coming between them. The whole household
(family, warden, slaves) heard the word of God, believed in the
Lord Jesus, made confession, were baptized, and rejoiced.
Furneaux considers the haste in baptism here "precipitate" as in
the baptism of the eunuch. But why delay?

16:35 {The serjeants} (\tous rhabdouchous\). Fasces-bearers,
regular Greek word (\rhabdos, echō\) 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."

16:36 {Now therefore} (\nun oun\). Note both particles (time and
. It was a simple matter to the jailor and he was full
of glee over this happy outcome.

16:37 {Unto them} (\pros autous\). 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. {They have beaten us} (\deirantes hēmas\).
First aorist active participle of \derō\, old verb to flay, to
skin, to smite. The _Lex Valeria_ B.C. 509 and the _Lex Poscia_
B.C. 248 made it a crime to inflict blows on a Roman citizen.
Cicero says, "To fetter a Roman citizen was a crime, to scourge
him a scandal, to slay him--parricide." Claudius had "deprived
the city of Rhodes of its freedom for having crucified some
citizen of Rome" (Rackham). {Publicly} (\dēmosiāi\). This added
insult to injury. Common adverb (\hodōi\) supplied with
adjective, associative instrumental case, opposed to \idiāi\ or
\kat' oikous\, Ac 20:20) {Uncondemned} (\akatakritous\). This
same verbal adjective from \kata-krinō\ with \a\ privative is
used by Paul in 22:25 and nowhere else in the N.T. Rare in late
Greek like \akatagnōstos\, but in late _Koinē_ (papyri,
. The meaning is clearly "without being tried." Paul
and Silas were not given a chance to make a defence. They were
sentenced unheard (25:16). Even slaves in Roman law had a right
to be heard. {Men that are Romans} (\anthrōpous Romaious
. The praetors did not know, of course, that Paul
and Silas were Roman citizens any more than Lysias knew it in Ac
22:27. Paul's claim is not challenged in either instance. It was
a capital offence to make a false claim to Roman citizenship.
{Have cast us into prison} (\ebalan eis phulakēn\). Second aorist
active indicative of \ballō\, old verb, with first aorist ending
as often in the _Koinē_ (\-an\, not \-on\). This was the climax,
treating them as criminals. {And now privily} (\kai nun
. Paul balances their recent conduct with the former.
{Nay verily, but} (\ou gar, alla\). No indeed! It is the use of
\gar\ so common in answers (\ge+ara\) as in Mt 27:23. \Alla\
gives the sharp alternative. {Themselves} (\autoi\). As a public
acknowledgment that they had wronged and mistreated Paul and
Silas. Let them come themselves and lead us out (\exagagetōsan\,
third person plural second aorist active imperative of \exagō\)
It was a bitter pill to the proud praetors.

16:39 {They feared} (\ephobēthēsan\). This is the explanation.
They became frightened for their own lives when they saw what
they had done to Roman citizens. {They asked} (\ērōtōn\).
Imperfect active of \erōtaō\. They kept on begging them to leave
for fear of further trouble. The colonists in Philippi would turn
against the praetors if they learned the facts, proud as they
were of being citizens. This verb in the _Koinē_ is often used as
here to make a request and not just to ask a question.

16:40 {Into the house of Lydia} (\pros tēn Ludian\). 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. {They departed} (\exēlthan\). Paul
and Silas, but not Luke and Timothy. Note "they" here, not "we."
Note also the \-an\ ending instead of \-on\ as above. The
movements of Timothy are not perfectly clear till he reappears at
Beroea (17:15). It seems unlikely that he came to Thessalonica
with Paul and Silas since only Paul and Silas obtained security
there (17:9) and were sent on to Beroea (17:10). Probably
Timothy was sent to Thessalonica from Philippi with gifts of
which Paul spoke later (Php 4:15f.). Then he followed Paul and
Silas to Beroea.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 16)