Acts 14:25
And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:
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(25) And when they had preached the word in Perga.—The travellers retrace their steps. There is a coincidence more or less striking in the report of what they did at Perga. In Acts 13:13 there is no mention of their having preached in that city. We are simply told that Mark left them there, and that they then went on to Antioch. On their return, accordingly, they did what they had then left undone.

They went down into Attalia.—On their first journey they had gone straight from Paphos to Perga up the Cestrus. Now they made a détour which led them to the port at the mouth of the Catarrhactes, named after Attalus Philadelphus, King of Pergamus. There is no record of any work done there, and they probably only went to it as the port where they were most likely to find a sailing-vessel that would take them to Antioch. Their ship would naturally pass between Cilicia and Cyprus, enter the Orontes at Seleucia, and sail up to Antioch.

Whence they had been recommended.—Better, perhaps, commended, the compound form having slightly changed its meaning. The words seem to imply a mental survey on the part of the travellers of all that had passed since they had started on their journey. The “grace of God,” to which they had then been commended, had not failed them.

14:19-28 See how restless the rage of the Jews was against the gospel of Christ. The people stoned Paul, in a popular tumult. So strong is the bent of the corrupt and carnal heart, that as it is with great difficulty that men are kept back from evil on one side, so it is with great ease they are persuaded to evil on the other side. If Paul would have been Mercury, he might have been worshipped; but if he will be a faithful minister of Christ, he shall be stoned, and thrown out of the city. Thus men who easily submit to strong delusions, hate to receive the truth in the love of it. All who are converted need to be confirmed in the faith; all who are planted need to be rooted. Ministers' work is to establish saints as well as to awaken sinners. The grace of God, and nothing less, effectually establishes the souls of the disciples. It is true, we must count upon much tribulation, but it is encouragement that we shall not be lost and perish in it. The Person to whose power and grace the converts and the newly-established churches are commended, clearly was the Lord Jesus, on whom they had believed. It was an act of worship. The praise of all the little good we do at any time, must be ascribed to God; for it is He who not only worketh in us both to will and to do, but also worketh with us to make what we do successful. All who love the Lord Jesus, will rejoice to hear that he has opened the door of faith wide, to those who were strangers to him and to his salvation. And let us, like the apostles, abide with those who know and love the Lord.In Perga - See the notes on Acts 13:13.

They went down into Attalia - "Attalia had something of the same relation to Perga which Cadiz has to Seville. In each case the latter city is approached by a river voyage, and the former is more conveniently placed on the open sea. Attalus Philadelphus, king of Pergamus, whose dominions extended from the northwestern corner of Asia Miner to the Sea of Pamphylia, had built this city in a convenient position for commanding the trade of Syria or Egypt. When Alexander the Great passed this way, no such city was in existence; but since the days of the kings of Pergamus, who inherited a fragment of his vast empire, Attalia has always existed and flourished, retaining the name of the monarch who built it. Its ancient site is not now certainly known" (Life and Epistles of Paul, vol. i. pp. 200, 201). It is probable that it is the modern Satalia.

25. when they had preached the word in Perga—now doing what, for some reason, they had not done on their former visit, but probably with no visible fruit.

they went down into Attaila—a seaport on the Gulf of Pamphylia, drawing to itself the commerce of Egypt and Syria.

The word; the gospel, the word of the Lord; or Christ, who is the word, and who is the sum of what the ministers of the gospel preach about.

Perga: mentioned Acts 8:13; a city, or as some, a country, in Pamphylia, by the sea side. But the bounds of provinces were often altered by the Romans, and some made larger, and others lesser.

And when they had preached the word in Perga,.... A city in Pamphylia, Acts 13:13. The Alexandrian copy, and others, and three manuscripts of Beza's, read, "the word of the Lord"; as do the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions: they went down into "Attalia"; not Italia or Italy, as some Latin copies, and as the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read; but a city in Pamphylia, bordering on the sea, as Ptolomy writes (b); as this place did, as appears by what follows. So Jerom says (c), that Attalia is a city of Pamphylia, on the sea coast; it was formerly the metropolis of it: it is now in the hands of the Turks, and is called Sattalia; near it is a bay, called Golfo di Sattalia, where there is a considerable mart for the whole country: it is famous for tapestry, which is made in it: it had its name from Attalus, king of Pergamus, the first founder of it. Beza's ancient copy here adds, "preaching the Gospel to them"; to the inhabitants of Attalia, and doubtless with success, though no mention is made of it here, nor elsewhere, nor of any church in this place; nor do we read of any in ecclesiastical history until the "sixth" century, when Dionysius, bishop of Attalia, is said to be present in the fifth synod at Rome (d); unless Attalia, called a city of Lycia, can be thought to be the same with this, of which another Dionysius was bishop in the fifth century; and assisted at the council of Chalcedon (e).

(b) Geograh. l. 5, c. 5. (c) De locis Hebraicis. fol. 95. K. (d) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 4. (e) Ib. cent. 5. c. 10. p. 589.

And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into {h} Attalia:

(h) Attalia was a sea city of Pamphylia, near to Lycia.

Acts 14:25-26. Πέργῃ] see on Acts 13:13.

Attalia (now Adalia; see Fellows, Travels in Asia Minor, p. 133 ff.) was a seaport of Pamphylia, at the mouth of the Catarrhactes, built by Attalus Philadelphus, king of Pergamus. Strabo, xiv. 4, p. 667.

ʼΑντιοχ.] They returned to Syria, to the mother church which had sent them forth.

ὅθεν ἦσαν παραδεδ. κ.τ.λ.] from which they were commended to the grace of God for (the object) the work which they had accomplished. ὅθεν denotes the direction outwards, in which the recommendation of the apostles to the grace of God had taken place at Antioch. See Acts 13:3 f. Comp. Acts 15:40.

Acts 14:25. καὶ λ. ἐν Πέργῃ τὸν λόγον: in the beginning of their journey they probably made a slight stay at Perga, but without preaching there—possibly for the reason mentioned above which prompted them to hurry on to Antioch, and possibly because, as C. and H. (so Felten) think, the inhabitants at the time of the Apostles’ first visit were all leaving Perga for the cool mountain districts, their summer retreats, whereas on the return journey of the missionaries Perga would again be full (C. and H., pp. 131, 158, smaller edition).—ἐν Π., see critical notes.—κατέβησαν, went down, i.e., to the sea coast where Attalia lay, cf. Acts 16:8 (Acts 13:4), Jonah 1:3, so in classical Greek ἀναβαίνω, to go up from the coast.—Ἀττάλειαν: mentioned because it was the harbour of embarkation, and so called from Attalus II. Philadelphus, king of Pergamus, its builder, B.C. 159–138; is a port for the trade of Egypt and Syria, Strabo, xiv., 4. It bears the modern name of Adalia, and until quite recent days it was the chief harbour of the south coast of Asia Minor. See B.D.2, and Hastings’ B.D., “Attalia” (Ramsay). The distance from Perga was about sixteen miles, and the travellers would reach it across the plain: formerly they had gone up the Cestrus to Perga, and probably they now go to Attalia to find a ship for Antioch. See Hackett, in loco, and C. and H.

25. when they had preached (spoken) the word in Perga] which they do not appear to have done when they passed through it before. See Acts 13:13-14, note.

Attalia] A seaport of Pamphylia, at the mouth of the river Catarrhactes. For its history see Dictionary of the Bible. The Apostles had sailed, as they came from Paphos, directly to Perga, which they reached by coming some way up the river Cestrus. Now they go by land from Perga to the seacoast at Attalia, where there was more likelihood of finding a vessel in which they could sail into Syria.

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