Acts 16
Pulpit Commentary
Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
Verse 1. - And he came also for then came he, A.V. and T.R.; to Lystra for Lystra, A.V.; Timothy for Timotheus, A.V.; of a Jewess for of a certain woman which was a Jewess, A.V. and T.R.; which for and, A.V. For Derbe and Lystra, see Acts 14. and notes. This time St. Paul visited Derbe first, whereas before he came from Lystra to Derbe (Acts 14:6, 8, 21). Was there; viz. at Lystra (see 2 Timothy 3:11). A certain disciple; i.e. a Christian (Acts 11:26). From St. Paul's speaking of Timothy as "my own sou in the faith" (1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2), and from his special mention of Timothy's mother Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5), it is probable that both mother and son were converted by St. Paul at his first visit to Lystra, some years before (Acts 14:7). Timothy. It is a Greek name, meaning "one who honors God" (formed, like Timoleon, Timolaus, Timocrates, etc.). It was a not uncommon name, and occurs repeatedly in the Books of the Maccabees (1 Macc. 5:6; 2 Macc. 8:30, etc.). Another form is Timesitheos. Timothy is uniformly spoken of by St. Paul in terms of eulogy and warm affection (see, besides the passages above quoted, Romans 16:21; 1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 16:10; Philippians 2:19-22; and the general tone of the Epistles to Timothy). A Jewess; viz. Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5), also a Greek name (equivalent to Victoria), though borne by a Jewess. A Greek; i.e. a Gentile (see Hark 7:26; Acts 14:1; Acts 17:4; Acts 19:10; Romans 1:16; Romans 2:9; 1 Corinthians 10:32, etc.; Colossians 3:11). Had his father been a proselyte, it would probably have been said that he was (Bengel).
Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
Verse 2. - The same for which, A.V. This is an improvement, as making it plain that it was Timothy, not his father, who was well reported of. For the phrase, ὅς ἐμαρτυοεῖτο see Acts 6:3; Acts 10:22; Luke 4:22. At Lystra and Iconium; coupled together, as in 2 Timothy 3:11. It appears, too, from Acts 14:19, that there was close communication between Icouium and Lystra. The brethren at Iconium would, therefore, naturally know all about young Timothy (comp. 1 Timothy 3:7).
Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
Verse 3. - He took for took, A.V.; that for which, A.V.; parts for quarters, A.V.; all knew for knew all, A.V. Circumcised him. The Jewish origin of Timothy on his mother's side was a sufficient reason for circumcising him, according to the maxim, Partus sequitur ventrem. And it could be done without prejudice to the rights of Gentile converts as established in the decrees of which St. Paul was bearer. Because of the Jews; not the Christian Jews, who ought to know better than trust in circumcision, but the unbelieving Jews, who would be scandalized if St. Paul had an uncircumcised man for his fellow-laborer (see 1 Corinthians 10:20).
And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.
Verse 4. - Went on their way for went, A.V.; which had been for that were, A.V.; that for which, A.V.
And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Verse 5. - So for and so, A.V.; the Churches were strengthened for were the Churches established, A.V. In number; i.e. in the number of their members (comp. Acts 2:47; Acts 5:14; Acts 6:7; Acts 11:21). For the phrase, Ἐστερεοῦντο τῇ πίστει, "They were made firm in the faith," comp. Colossians 2:5, Τὸ στερέωμα τῆς εἰς Ξριστὸν πίστεως ὑμῶν, "The steadfastness of your faith." The word is used in its physical sense in Acts 3:7, Ἐστερεώθησαν αὐτοῦ αἱ βάσεις κ.τ.λ., "His feet and anklebones received strength," became fast and firm instead of being loose and vacillating.
Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
Verse 6. - And they went for now when they had gone, A.V. and T.R.; through the region of Phrygia and Galatia for throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, A.V. and T.R.; having been for and were, A.V.; speak for preach, A.V. The region of Phrygia and Galatia. But Phrygia is always a noun substantive, and cannot be here taken as an adjective belonging to χώρα: and we have in Acts 18:23 exactly the same collation as that of the A.V. here, only in an inverted order: Τὴν Γαλατικὴν χώραν καὶ Φρυγίας. Even if the τὴν is properly omitted, as in the R.T., before Γαλατικὴν, the passage must equally be construed as in the A.V. The Galatians were Celts, the descendants of those Gauls who invaded Asia in the third century B.C. This passage seems to show conclusively that Derbe and Lystra and Iconium were not comprehended by St. Paul under Galatia, and were not the Churches to whom the Epistle to the Galatians was addressed; and forcibly suggest that the Galatian Churches were founded by St. Paul in the course of the visit here so briefly mentioned by St. Luke. Asia is here used in its restricted sense of that district on the western coast of Asia Minor, of which Ephesus was the capital. It is in this sense that it is used also in Acts 2:9; Acts 6:9; Acts 19:10, etc.; Revelation 1:11. St. Paul apparently wished to go to Ephesus. But the time was not yet come. It was the purpose of the Holy Ghost that the Galatian Churches should be founded first, and then the Churches of Macedonia and Achaia. The apostles were sent, did not go anywhere of their own accord (comp. Matthew 10:5, 6).
After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
Verse 7. - And when for after, A.V. and T.R.; come over against (κατὰ) for come to, A.V.; and the Spirit of Jesus for but the Spirit, A.V. and T.R. But the phrase, "the Spirit of Jesus," occurs nowhere in the New Testament, and is on that account very improbable here, though there is considerable manuscript authority for it. It is accepted by Meyer and Alford and Wordsworth, following Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, etc.
And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
Verse 8. - Passing... they came for they passing... came, A.V. They would have gone north to Bithynia, where, we know from 1 Peter 1:1, there were many Jews. But the Spirit ordered them westwards, to the seacoast of Troas, that they might be ready to sail for Macedonia. In like manner Abraham went out not knowing whither he went (Hebrews 11:8). Truly the footsteps of God's providence are not known!
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
Verse 9. - There was a man... standing, beseeching him, and saying for there stood a man... and prayed him, saying, A.V. Thus was ushered in the most momentous event in the history of Europe, the going forth of the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem to enlighten the nations of the West, and bring them into the fold of Jesus Christ. Paul saw and heard this in a vision in the night. It is net called a dream (Bengel), but was like the vision seen by Ananias (Acts 9:10), and those seen by Paul (Acts 9:12; Acts 10:5; Acts 18:9). A vision (ὅραμα) is distinguished from a dream (ἐνύπνιον, Acts 2:17). It is applied to things of a marvelous character seen objectively, as to the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:9)and to the burning bush (Acts 7:31).
And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
Verse 10. - When for after, A.V.; straightway for immediately, A.V.; sought for endeavored, A.V.; go forth for go, A.V.; concluding fur assuredly gathering, A.V.; God for the Lord, A.V. and T.R. Concluding; συμβιβάζοντες, only here in the sense of "concluding or "gathering." In Acts 9:22 it is "proving." In Ephesians 4:16 and Colossians 2:2 it means to "join together." In classical Greek to "bring together" in the sense of" reconciling," sometimes of" agreeing" to a proposition. In the LXX., to ,' instruct," "teach" (1 Corinthians 2:16). In this verse we first remark the very important introduction of the pronoun we into the narrative, marking the presence of the historian himself, and showing that he first joined St. Paul at Tread He went with him to Philippi (ver. 12), and there he appears to have stopped till St. Paul returned there in his third missionary journey on his way from Achaia to Jerusalem (Acts 20:5, 6), where we find him still with the apostle (Acts 20:17, 18). We again find him with St. Paul at Caesarea, while he was a prisoner there (Acts 27:1), and he accompanied him on the voyage to Rome, which is the last place where we heir of him (Acts 27:2, 3. etc.; Acts 28:2, 11, 14-16; Colossians 4:14; Philemon 1:24). It is quite characteristic of Holy Scripture that things are told, or appear on the face of the narrative, without any explanation. Who Luke was, what brought him to Troas, how he became a companion of St. Paul, whether as his medical adviser or otherwise, we know not. His Christian modesty forbade his speaking about himself.
Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;
Verse 11. - Setting sail therefore for therefore loosing, A.V.; made for came with, A.V. (εὐθυδρόμεω, elsewhere only in Acts 21:1); Samothrace for Samothracia, A.V.; day following for next day, A.V. In the New Testament this latter phrase only occurs in the Acts.
And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.
Verse 12. - A city of Macedonia, the first of the district, a Roman colony for the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony, A.V.: this for that, A.V.; tarrying for abiding, A.V. A city of Macedonia, etc. This is a difficult sentence. The natural way of construing the words undoubtedly is, as in the A.V., "which is the chief city of the [or, ' that'] district of Macedonia, and a colony." The only difficulty in the way of so taking it is that when AEmilius Paulus, as related by Livy (45:29), divided the conquered kingdom of Macedonia into four districts (regiones or partes), Amphi-pelts was made the capital of the district in which Philippi was situated. But the epithet πρώτη does not necessarily mean the capital; it is found on coins applied to cities which were not capitals. Besides, in the interval of above two hundred years between Aemilius Paulus and St. Paul (from s.c. 167 to A.D. ), it is very probable that the city of Philippi, with its gold-mines and its privileges as a colony, may have really become the capital. And so Lewin, following Wetstein, understands it (vol. it. p. 209). We know that in the reign of Theodosius the Younger, when Macedonia was divided into two provinces, Philippi became the ecclesiastical head of Macedonia Prima. It had been made a colony by Augustus Caesar, with the name "Col. Jul. Aug. Philip.," i.e. Colonia Augusta Julia Philippensis ('Dict. of Greek and Roman Geog.'). It must, therefore, anyhow have been a place of first-rate importance at this time. Those, however, who do not accept this explanation, couple κολωνία with πόλις, "which is the first colony-city," etc, Others take πρώτη in a local sense, "the first city you come to in Macedonia" (Conybeare and Howson, Alford, Bengel, etc.). The R.V. seems to take ἥτις ἐστὶ... Μακεδονίας πόλις together, and πρώτη τῆς μερίδος as a further description of it - a most awkward construction. Alford renders it, "which is the first Macedonian city of the district.' But the natural way of construing a passage is almost always the best, and nothing prevents us from believing that St. Luke, who knew Philippi intimately, was strictly accurate in calling it "the chief city of the district of Macedonia," i.e. the district in which it was situated. That μέρις is the technical name of the division of a province appears from the title μεριδάρχης, applied by Josephus to a certain Apollonius, governor, under Antiochus Epiphanes, of the district in which Samaria was included ('Ant. Jud.,' 12. 5:5). The ancient name of Philippi was Dates first, then Krenides - the springs, or wells; and the word used by Livy of the districts of Macedonia, pars prima, secunda, etc., is an exact translation of μέρις It received the name of Philippi, from Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, who extracted a great revenue from its gold-mines. Its great historical celebrity arises from the battle in the plain of Philippi, in which the republican party, under Brutus and Cassius, received its death-blow from Octavius and Antony. (For a full description of Philippi, and of the privileges of a colony, see Conybeare and Howson, vol. 1:311, etc., and Lewin, vol. 1. Acts 11.) This. Alford, following certain manuscripts, reads αὐτῇ, "in the city itself," as distinguished from the place outside the city, where the προσευχή was. But, perhaps, St. Luke uses the word "this" from Philippi being the place of his own residence, and where he may have drawn up the narrative on the spot.
And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
Verse 13. - Sabbath day for sabbath, A.V.; we went forth without the gate for we went out of the city, A.V. and T.R. (πύλης for πολέως); we supposed there Was a place of prayer for prayer was wont to be made, A.V.; were come together for resorted thither, A.V. By a river side. By the river side is the natural way of expressing it in English. The river is not the Strymon, which is a day's journey distant from Philippi, but probably a small stream called the Gangas or Gangites, which is crossed by the Via Eguatia, about a mile out of Philippi. The neighborhood of water, either near a stream or on the seashore, was usually preferred by the Jews as a place for prayer, as affording facility for ablutions (see Josephus, 'Ant. Jud.,' 14:10, 23; and other passages quoted by Alford). The phrase, οϋ ἐνομίζετο προσευχὴ εῖναι, should be rendered, not as in the R.V., but more nearly as the A.V., where a prayer-meeting(of the Jews) was accustomed to be held; i.e. this particular spot was the usual place where such Jews or proselytes as happened to be at Philippi met for prayer. It also appears from Epiphanius (' Hear.,' 80, § 1, quoted by Alford) that the Jews usually had their προσευχαί, whether buildings, or open spaces, ἔξω πολέως, outside the city. The wayside crosses are of the nature of προσευχαί.
And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
Verse 14. - One that for which, A.V.; to give heed for that she attended, A.V.; by for of, A.V. A certain woman, etc. Whether her personal name was Lydia, or whether she was commonly so called on account of her native country and her trade, must remain uncertain. Thyatira was in Lydia. Lydian women, from the time of Homer downwards, were famous for their purple dyes; and it appears from an inscription found in Thyatira, that there was there a guild of dyers, called οἱ βαφεῖς (Lewin, 2:214). One that worshipped God (σεβομένη τὸν Θεὸν); i.e. a proselyte. So in Acts 13:43 we find οἱ σεβόμενοι προσήλυτοι the devout or religious proselytes. And so αἱ σεβόμεναι γυναῖκες, the devout women. And so, in Acts 18:7, Justus is described as σεβόμενος τὸν Θεὸν one who worshipped God (see too Acts 17:4, 17). In Acts 10:1 Cornelius is spoken of as εὐσεβὴς καὶ φοβούμενος τὸν Θεὸν. It has been suggested that possibly Euodias and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2) were of the same class, and converted at the same time as Lydia. There is certainly a coincidence between the mention of the women in ver. 13 and the prominence given to the Philippian women in Philippians 4:2, 3. It is well observed by Chrysostom, on the latter part of this verse, "The opening of the heart was God's work, the attending was hers: so that it was both God's doing and man's" (camp. Philippians 2:12, 13). To open (διανοίγειν) is applied as here to the heart (2 Macc. 1:4); to the eyes (Luke 24:31); to the ears (Mark 7:34, 35); to the understanding (Luke 24:45); to the Scriptures (Luke 24:32); "Corclausum per se. Dei est id aporire "(Bengel).
And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
Verse 15. - When she was baptized; showing that St. Paul, as St. Peter (Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 10:47), as Philip (Acts 8:38), as Ananias (Acts 22:16), as our Lord himself (Mark 16:16), had put holy baptism in the very forefront of his teaching (camp. Hebrews 6:2). And her household (comp. ver. 33; 1 Corinthians 1:16; 2 Timothy 4:19). This frequent mention of whole households as received into the Church seems necessarily to imply infant baptism. The exhortations to children as members of the Church in Ephesians 6:1, 2, and Colossians 3:20, lead to the same inference. Come into my house, etc. A beautiful specimen of true hospitality; comp. 1 Peter 4:9; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Timothy 5:10 3John 5-8; also 2 Kings 4:8-10, where, however, the Greek word for "constrained" is ἐκράτησεν, not as here παρεβίασατο, which only occurs elsewhere in the New Testament in Luke 24:29. In the LXX. it is used in 1 Samuel 28:23; Gem 19:3 (Cod. Alex.) 9 (in a different sense); 2 Kings 2:17; 2 Kings 5:16. Her large hospitality does not bear out Chrysostom's remark as to her humble station of lift,.
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
Verse 16. - Were going to the place of prayer for went to prayer, A.V. and T.R.; that a certain maid for a certain damsel, A.V.; having for possessed with, A.V. The place of prayer. The ἡ προσευχή of the R.T. undoubtedly means "the place of prayer," the proseuche. They went there, doubtless, every sabbath. What follows happened on one occasion after Lydia's baptism. A spirit of divination (πνεῦμα Πύθωνος, A.V.; Πύθωνα, R.T.). "Πύθων denotat quemlibet ex quo πύθωσθαι datur," "any one of whom inquiry may be made" (Bengel). It was a name of Apollo in his character of a giver of oracles. Delphi itself, where his chief oracle was, was sometimes called Pytho (Schleusner, s.v.), and Pythius was a common epithet of Apollo. The name Python (Plut.,' De Defect. Orac.,' cap. 9) came thence to be applied to a ventriloquist (Hebrew אוב), or to the spirit that was conceived to dwell in ventriloquists and to speak by them, just as in Hebrew the ventriloquist was sometimes called בְעַל אוב (or בַעֻלַת if a woman), the owner of a spirit of divination, or simply אוב, a diviner (see 1 Samuel 28:7 (twice) for the first use, and Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1 Samuel 28:3; for the second). In some passages, as 1 Kings 28:6 and Isaiah 29:4, it is doubtful whether אוב means the ventriloquist or the spirit. The feminine plural אובות (Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; 1 Samuel 28:3, 9; Isaiah 8:19) seems always to denote the women, who, like the damsel in the text, practiced the art of ventriloquistic necromancy, whether really possessed by a spirit or feigning to be so. The word πύθων is only found here in the New Testament. The LXX. usually render אובות by ἐγγαστρίμυθος. Gain (ἐργασία), literally, work, craft, or trade; then, by metonymy, the gain proceeding from such trade (Acts 19:24, 25). By soothsaying (μαντευομένη). So one name of these ventriloquists was ἐγγαστρίμαντις.
The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
Verse 17. - Following after... cried out for followed... and cried, A.V.; servants for the servants, A.V.; proclaim unto you for show unto us, A.V. and T.R. This testimony of the spirit of divination to the doctrine of St. Paul is analogous to that of the unclean spirits who cried out to Jesus, "Thou art the Son of God" (Mark 1:23-26; Mark 3:11; Luke 4:34, 35); and St. Paul's dealing with the spirit of divination was similar to that of our Lord's with the evil spirits in the cases referred to. What was the motive of the damsel, or the spirit by which she was possessed, for so crying out, or St. Paul's for so silencing her, we are not told. Perhaps she interrupted him, and diverted the minds of those to whom he was preaching. And he did not like the mixture of lies with truth. The motive of secrecy which was one cause of our Lord's rebuke to the spirits would not apply in the case of St. Paul.
And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Verse 18. - She did for did she, A.V.; for many for many, A.V.; sore troubled for grieved, A.V.; charge for command, A.V.; it for he, A.V.; that very for the same, A.V. Command (παραγγέλλω, as in Acts 1:4; Acts 5:28; and ver. 23 of this chapter, etc.). The only other instances of exorcism by St. Paul are these recorded in Acts 19:12 and 15. The question of possession by spirits is too large a one to be discussed here. It must suffice to notice that St. Paul in his action (as our Lord before him had done), and St. Luke in his narrative, distinctly treat possession, and expulsion by the power of Christ, as real.
And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
Verse 19. - But for and, A.V.; gain for gains, A.V. (ἐργασία, as ver. 16); bald hold on for caught, A.V.; dragged for drew, A.V.; before for unto, A.V. The rulers (οἱ ἄρχοντες); the archons. Meyer thinks these were the city judges, or magistrates (who always had their court in the ἀγορά, or forum), by whom Paul and Silas were sent to the praetors (στρατηγοί) for judgment. So in Luke 12:58, the litigants go to the ἀρχών, first, and he sends them on to the κριτής, or judge, who orders them for punishment. This seems a more probable explanation than that commonly adopted (Howson, Alford, Renan, Lewin, etc.), that the ἄρχοντες and the στρατηγοί mean the same officers. No reason can be conceived for Luke's calling them ἄρχοντες if he meant στρατηγοί, or for naming the office's twice over when once was sufficient. Nor is it likely that officers of such high rank as the duumviri, or proctors, as they had come to be called, should be always in the forum, to try every petty case (see articles "Colonia, Duumviri," and "Praetor," in 'Dict. of Greek and Roman Antiquities'). It seems, therefore, that Meyer's explanation is right. At Athens the general term ἄρχοντες was applied to inferior magistrates, as well as to the nine archons ('Dict. of Greek and Roman Antiquities' "Archon"). Ver. 20. - When they had brought for brought, A.V.; unto for to, A.V.; they said for saying, A.V. The magistrates; στρατηγοί, i.e. the praetors. Philippi, being a colony, was governed by Roman magistrates called duumviri, corresponding to the two consuls at Rome. But we learn from Cicero that in his time the duuraviri in the colonies were beginning to be called praetors, a little previously used only at Rome ('De Leg. Agrar.,' 34), and to be preceded by lictors (ῤάβδουχαοι of ver. 35). Two inscriptions have been found in which the duumviri of Philippi are mentioned (Lewin, p. 26).
And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
Verse 21. - Set forth for teach, A.V.; it is for are, A.V.; or for neither, A.V. Romans; in a special sense, as members of a colony.
And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
Verse 22. - Rent their garments off them for rent off their clothes, A.V.; beat them with rods for beat them, A.V. Beat them; ῤαβδίζειν, marking that they were beaten by the lictors, or ῤαβδοῦχοι (see ver. 35). The phrase rent ... off (περιῥῤήξαντες) is only found here in the New Testament, but it is frequently used of stripping off garments, in classical Greek and in 2 Macc. 4:38; and by Josephus ('Ant. Jud.,' 6. 14:6) of David rending his garments - a circumstance not mentioned in the Bible narrative (1 Samuel 30:4).
And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
Verse 24. - Cast for thrust, A.V. In the stocks; Greek τὸ ξύλον, sometimes called ξυλοπέδη. The ξύλον was of different forms, and used as a punishment. Sometimes it was a kind of heavy wooden collar put on the neck of a prisoner, whence the phrase, Χύλῳ φιμοῦν τὴν αὐχένα (Aristoph., 'Nubes,' 592)," To make fast his neck in the pillory." Sometimes it was what Aristophanes calls πεντεσύριγγον ξύλον, "stocks with five holes," two for the feet, two for the hands, and one for the neck. Here, as in Job 13:27 (where the LXX. word is ἐν κυλύματι, Hebrew סֵד, a stake, or log), it is simply" the stocks." Thus Paul and Silas, first stripped and 1,catch, then put in the inner prison, and further made fast in the stocks, were treated with the utmost possible rigour and severity. See St. Paul's vivid reminiscence of the outrage (1 Thessalonians 2:2, ὑβρισθέντες).
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Verse 25. - But about for and at, A.V.; were praying and singing hymns for prayed and sang praises, A.V.; were listening to(imperfect) for heard, A.V. Prayed, etc. Their proseuche was now the dungeon and the sleeks. But, though they were but two, the Lord was in the midst of them, according to his promise, and manifested his gracious presence in the striking deliverance which follows. Were listening to them; ἐπακροάομαι, found only here in the New Testament. But the substantive, ἐπακρόασις, hearkening ("to hearken," A.V.), occurs in the LXX. of 1 Samuel 15:22. What a scene I The dark inner dungeon; the prisoners fast in the stocks, their backs still bleeding and smarting from the stripes; the companionship of criminals and outcasts of society; the midnight hour; and not groans, or curses, or complaints, but joyous trustful songs of praise ringing through the vault! while their companions in the jail listened with astonishment to the heavenly sound in that place of shame wad sorrow.
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
Verse 26. - Prison-house for prison, A.V., as Acts 5:21, 23. All the doors were opened. This would be the natural effect of the earthquake. Bands (δεσμά). St. Luke always follows the Attic usage of δεσμόν, in the neuter (romp. Acts 20:23; Luke 8:29). St. Paul follows the Hellenistic usage of δεσμός, in the masculine (Philippians 1:13; see Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 5:5; Habakkuk 3:13). In many instances (genitive and dative) it is, of course, impossible to determine whether the word is masculine or neuter.
And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
Verse 27. - The jailor being roused for the keeper of the prison awaking, A.V.; sleep for his sleep, A.V.; drew for he drew out, A.V.; was about to kill for would have killed, A.V.; escaped for been fled, A.V. This readiness to kill himself rather than incur the disgrace of failure in his charge is characteristic of the Roman soldier (comp. Acts 27:43).
But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
Verse 29. - And he called for lights for then he called for a light, A.V. (φῶτα is the accusative plural, though not a very common form; φῶς is often used in the sense of "a lamp," or, as we say, "a light"); trembling for fear for came trembling and, A.V.
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Verse 31. - Jesus for Jesus Christ, A.V. and T.R.; thou and thy house for and thy house, A.V.
And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
Verse 32. - They spake the Word, etc., unto him for they spake unto him the Word, etc., A.V.; with for and to, A.V. Observe that Paul and Silas preached the Word of God's saving health to the penitent and contrite jailor before they thought of having their own smarting wounds washed and dressed. Observe, too, that they spake the Word of life to illuminate his soul before they administered the sacrament of baptism.
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
Verse 33. - Immediately for straightway, A.V. Washed their stripes. Mark the jailor's faith working by love. He and all his. The phrase seems purposely adapted to include family, slaves, and all under his roof. If the conversion of the jailor and his house was sudden, the circumstances which led to it were of unusual power - the earthquake, the loosing of the prisoners' bands, the midnight hour, the words of grace and love and lifo from the apostle's mouth.
And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
Verse 34. - He brought them up... and set for when he had brought them... he set, A.V.; rejoiced greatly for rejoiced, A.V. (ἀγαλλιάομαι, a stronger word than χαίρειν, Matthew 5:12; 1 Peter 1:6); with all his house, having believed in God for believing in God with all his house, A.V. The word πανοικί. rendered "with all his house," occurs only here in the New Testament. But it is used by the LXX. in Exodus 1:1 and elsewhere, and by Josephus, etc. The more classical form is πανοικεσίᾳ or πανοικησίᾳ. The A.V. gives the meaning better than the R.V. The faith and the joy were both common to the jailor and his house.
And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
Verse 35. - But for and, A.V. The magistrates; i.e. the printers or duumviri, as in ver. 22 (where see note). The sergeants; i.e. the lictors (ver. 22, note).
And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace.
Verse 36. - Jailor for keeper of the prison, A.V., as ver. 27; reported the words... saying for told this saying, A.V. and T.R.; come forth for depart, A.V.
But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.
Verse 37. - Publicly for openly A.V. δημοσίᾳ, Acts 18:28; Acts 20:20); men that are for being, A.V.; do they now cast for now do they thrust, A.V.; bring for fetch, A.V. Men that are Romans. We have exactly the same phrase in Acts 22:25, on a similar occasion, where also is the only other example of the word ἀκατάκριτος, uncondemned. Ἄκριτος with a like meaning ("untried," "without trial"), is common in classical Greek. The Latin phrase is indicta causa. By the Lex Valeria (A.U.C. 254), "No quis magistratus civem Romanum adversus provocationem necaret neve verberaret," every Roman citizen had a right to appeal (provocare) to the populace against any sentence of death or stripes pronounced by the consuls or any other magistrate; and by the Lex Porcia (A.U.C. 506), no Roman citizen could be scourged. Silas, it appears from the phrase, "us... men that are Romans," was also a civis Romanus. But nothing more is known about it. It does not appear why their exemption as Roman citizens was not made good before; but probably the magistrates refused to listen to any plea in their haste and violence.
And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans.
Verse 38. - Reported for told, A.V.
And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.
Verse 39. - When they had brought them out they asked for brought them out and desired, A.V.; to go away from for to depart out of, A.V.
And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.
Verse 40. - Departed; i.e. from Philippi, according to the magistrates' request in ver. 39. This is much clearer in the T.R. and A.V. than in the Revised Text and Version, because the same word, ἐξελθεῖν, is used in both places. The R.T. in ver. 39 - ἀπελθεῖν ἀπὸ destroys the reference, and rather suggests that they merely" went out "of Lydia's house, which they had "entered into." It appears from the first verse of Acts 17. ("they had passed," etc.) that St. Luke stopped at Philippi, and probably made it his head-quarters till St. Paul's last journey from Macedonia to Jerusalem, some six or seven years later (Acts 20:6). What became of Timothy we are not expressly told, only we find him at Beroea in Acts 17:14 and 1 Thessalonians 3:5; and at Corinth (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:6). Probably he accompanied St. Paul, but is not named, being still only a subordinate person in the mission.

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