R i 1-3. Preparation to go forth. k 4. Decrees of Council. l 5. Churches prospering. k 6-9. Decree of the Spirit. i 10,11. Preparation to go forth.
1 Then he arrived at Derbe and Lystra (they would reach Derbe first, coming from Cicilia): and, behold, a certain disciple was there, by name Timotheus (from this time closely associated with Paul in the ministry [Rom.16:21]. He was probably one of his converts at his previous visit [14:7]. Cp. my own son in the faith [1 Tim.1:1,18. 2 Tim.1:2]. In six of Paul's epistles Timothy is joined with him in the opening salutation. His name, which means honor of God, or valued by God [timê and theos], suggests the important part he was to take in the revelation of God's eternal purpose), the son of a certain (text omits) woman, which was a Jewess, and a believer (Eunice [2 Tim.1:5], as well as her mother Lois, had instructed Timothy in the Holy Scriptures from his infancy); but his father [was] a Greek (i.e. a Gentile [Gr. Hellên]. His influence doubtless prevented Timothy's being circumcised when eight days old):
2 Which was borne witness to by the brethren that were in Lystra and Iconium.
3 Him Paul proposed to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those places: for they knew all that his father was by race a Greek (Gr. kuparchõ. See Luke 9:48).
4 And as they were going through the cities, they delivered them the decrees (or edicts. Gr. dogma. See 17:7. Luke 2:1. Eph.2:15. Col.2:14) for to observe (or guard), that were decided by the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.
5 The churches indeed therefore established (Gr. stereoõ. A medical word, thus giving us another thumb-print that the Acts written by Luke. See 3:7; 14:22) in the faith, and increased in number daily (i.e. day by day).
6 Now when they had gone throughout (the text reads "They went through") Phrygia and the Galatian country, and were hindered of the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia (see 2:9.),
7 Having come down to Mysia (i.e. to the border of Mysia. R.V. "over against"), they were attempting to go into Bithynia (the province of Bithynia and Pontus, lying on the S.E. shores of Propinis [Sea of Marmora], and the south shore of Pontus Euxinus [Black Sea]): but the Holy Spirit suffered them not (the text adds "of Jesus", but it was the same Spirit Who sent Paul and Barnabas forth from Antioch [13:2,4], and had already hindered Paul and Silas [vv.6,7]. The Spirit promised by the Lord Jesus [2:33. John 16:7]).
8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas (Alexandreia Troas, the port on the coast of Mysia, about 30 miles south of the Dardanelles. Now Eski Stamboul).
9 And a vision was seen by Paul through the night (Gr. horama. See 7:31. It has been suggested that Paul had met Luke, and that it was he who was seen in the vision); A certain man, a Macedonia, was standing, and praying him, saying, “Come over into Macedonia, and help us.”
10 And when he saw the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia (here Luke comes upon the scene), assuredly gathering that the Lord (but the text reads "God", Theos) had called us for to preach the gospel to them (lit. to evangelize them).
11 Therefore loosing from Troas (see 13:13), we came with a straight course (i.e. ran direct, i.e. ran before the wind) to Samothracia (the highest in elevation of the northern Ægean islands, midway between Troas and Philippi), and the following [day] to Neapolis (the harbor of Philippi, distant about 10 miles away. The first Eurpean soil trodden by Paul. It had taken 2 days with a favorable wind. Cp. 20:6);
S V 12. Abiding in Philippi. W m¹ 13. Prayer. n¹ 14. Lydia. Heart opened. o¹ 15. Result. Hospitality. m² 16. Prayer. n¹ 17,18. Damsel. Demon cast out. o² 19-24. Result. Persecution. m³ 25,26. Prayer. n³ 27-34. Jailor. Conversion. o³ 35-39. Result. Vindication. V 40. Departure from Philippi.
12: And from that place to Philippi (the scene of the decisive battle ended in the Roman republic 42 B.C.), which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia (lit. the first of the district, a city of Macedonia, a colony. Amphipolis had been the chief city, and was a rival of Philippi), and a colony (Gr. kolõnia. A Roman military settlement. The word survives in the name of some places in England, e.g. Lincoln. These colonies were settlements of old soldiers and others established by Augustus to influence the native people. Hence the significance of v.37): and we were in that city abiding certain days (see 12:19).
13: And on the first day of the sabbaths (cp. John 20:1) we went outside the city besides the river (no article because the river [the Gangas] was well know to Luke), where prayer was accustomed to be made (the text reads "were we reckoned prayer would be. See 14:19. "prayer", here, Gr. proseuchê = a place of prayer); and we sat down, and spoke to the women which came together.
14: And a certain woman named Lydia (= strife), a seller of purple (Gr. porphuropõlis. The celebrated purple dye was made from the murex, a shell-fish. Referred to by Homer), of the city of Thyatira (on the Lycus in Lydia. Inscriptions of the guild of Dyers at Thyatira), one worshiping God (or Yehovah. Gr. Theos), was hearing us: whose heart (better translated "mind") the Lord (Gr. ho Kurios, used of Christ = Messiah) opened effectually, that she attended to the things which were spoken of Paul.
15: And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, “If you all have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there.” And she constrained us (see also Luke 24:29. Hindered in Asia their first convert is an Asiatic).
16: And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel having a spirit of divination met us (she was a witch with evil spirit. The text reads "a spirit, a Python". The Phython was a serpent destroyed, according to Greek Mythology, by Apollo, who was hence called Pythius, and the priestess at the famous temple at Delph was called the Pythoness. Through her the oracle was delivered. See an instance of these oracular utterances in Pember's "Earth Earliest Ages", ch. XII. The term Python became equivalent to a soothsaying demon, as in the case of this slave-girl who had an evil spirit as "control". She would be nowadays called a medium. The Lord's commission in Mark 16 was to cast out demons [v.17]. To say that the girl was a ventriloquist, who was disconcerted, and so lost her power, shows what shifts are restored to in order to get rid of the supernatural), which brought her owners much gain (Gr. ergasia = work; hence wages, pay) by soothsaying (= fortune-telling. Gr. manteuomai. In Sept. used of false prophets. Deut.18:10. 1 Sam.28:8, &c.):
17: This one followed Paul and (= followed persistently) us, and kept crying (i.e. the demon in her. Cp. Matt.8:29. Luke 4:33), saying, “These men are the bond-servants of the Most High God (see note on Luke 1:32 and cp. Mark 5:7. Not necessarily a testimony to the true God, as the term was applied to Zeus), which proclaim to us (the text reads "you") the way of salvation (cp. Luke 4:34, where a demon testifies to the Lord, to discredit Him).
18: And this was she doing for many days. But Paul, being worn out with annoyance, turned and said to the spirit, “I command (see 1:4) you in the name (see 2:38) of Jesus Christ to come out from her.” And he came out the same hour.
19: And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains came out (same word as v.18. Perhaps the demon rent and tore her in coming out, as in Mark 9:26. Luke 9:42), they laid hold on Paul and Silas, and dragged them (Gr. helkuõ. Cp. 21:30, where helkõ, the classical form, is used, and see John 12:32) into the marketplace (Gr. agora. Where the courts were held. Lat. forum.) to the authorities,
20: And brought them to the magistrates (these were Romans. Gr. statêgos. Showing Luke's accuracy. The magistrates of this colony bore the same title as at Rome, prætors, for which stratêgos is the Greek rendering, though before this it is applied to the captain of the Temple guard), saying, “These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city” (Gr. ektarassõ. It suggests that a riot was feared),
21: And proclaim customs (Gr. ethos. See 6:14), which it is not lawful for us to receive, neither to do, being Romans” (note the distinction. These men, being Jews to begin with.....us who are Romans, as is well known).
22: And the crowd rose up together against them: and the magistrates tore off their clothes, and commanded to beat them with rods (rabdizõ. Only here and 2 Cor. 11:25. The lictors who attended the prætors carried rods or staves for the purpose, and were called rod-bearers. See v.35).
23: And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor (Gr. desmophulax, i.e. keeper of the prison) to keep (cp. 12:5,6) them safely (see Mark 14:44):
24: Who, having received such a charge, cast them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast (= made safe) in the stocks (lit. to the wood).
25: And at midnight Paul and Silas praying, sang praises (lit. were hymning. The first 2 passages refer to the great Hallel. See Matt. 26:30. Ps. 113. If this were sung by Paul and Silas, note the beautiful significance of Psalms 115:11; 116:3,4,15,17; 118:6,29, and in the result, Ps.114:7. The noun hummos [hymn] only in Eph. 5:19. Col. 3:16) to God (see v.14): and the prisoners were listening to them.
26: And suddenly (see 2:2) there was a great earthquake (see Matt.8:24), so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
27: And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep (lit. becoming awake), and seeing the prison doors open, he drew his sword, and was about to kill himself (see 2:23), supposing (see 14:19) that the prisoners had escaped (cp. 12:19; 27:42. Roman soldiers were responsible with their lives for prisoners in their charge).
28: But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, “Do nothing evil to yourself: for we are all here.”
29: Then he asked for a light, and sprang in, and becoming in a tremble (see 7:32), and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30: And brought them outside, and said, “Sirs (Gr. kurios, same word as "master" ["owner" v.16]), what must I do in order that I may be saved?” (this man was under deep conviction of sin, "shaken to his foundations". He was ready to be told of the Lord Jesus Christ. To bid people to believe, who are not under conviction, is vain)
31: And they said, “Believe on the Lord (see v.10) Jesus Christ (The text leaves out. Cp. Matt.1:21), and you shall be saved, and your house” (i.e. on the same condition of faith).
32: And they spoke to him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33: And he took them in the same hour of the night, and bathed them from their wounds; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway (same as immediately [v.26]. See 3:7).
34: And when he had brought them into his house, he placed a table before them (cp. Ps.23:5), and rejoiced (see note on "was glad", 2:26), believing in God (see v.14) with all his house.
35: And when it was day, the magistrates sent the lictors (Gr. rabdouchos. See v.22. Only here and v.38), saying, “Let those men go” (= Release).
36: And the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul, “The magistrates have sent in order that you may be released now therefore come forth, and go in peace.”
37: But Paul said to them, “They have beaten (Gr. derõ, as in 5:40) us publicly without investigation (see 5:14), being Romans (= men [Gr. anthrõpos] Romans. The charge was that they were Jews, introducing alien customs, and the magistrates condemned them without inquiry. Cp. 21:39; 22:25), and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out secretly? (note the contrast, "openly....secretly") no indeed; but let them come themselves and lead us out.
38: And the lictors told these words to the magistrates (Gr. rhêma. See Mark 9:32): and they were alarmed (cp. 22:29. They had violated the Roman law by which no Roman citizen could be scourged, or put to death, by any provincial governor without an appeal to the Emperor. Cp. 25:11,12), when they heard that they were Romans.
39: And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and were praying them to depart out of the city.
40: And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia and when they had seen the brethren, they exhorted them, and departed.