PAUL'S SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY. Ac 15:41-18:22. Ac 15:41-16:5. VISITATION OF THE CHURCHES FORMERLY ESTABLISHED, TIMOTHEUS HERE JOINING THE MISSIONARY PARTY.
41. he went through Syria and Cilicia--(See on
Taking probably the same route as when despatched in haste from
Jerusalem to Tarsus, he then went by land (see on
1-5. Then came he to Derbe and Lystra; and, behold, a certain disciple
was there--that is, at Lystra (not Derbe, as some conclude from
named Timotheus--(See on
As Paul styles him "his own son in the faith"
he must have been gained to Christ at the apostle's first visit; and as
Paul says he "had fully known his persecutions which came on him at
(2Ti 3:10, 11),
he may have been in that group of disciples that surrounded the
apparently lifeless body of the apostle outside the walls of Lystra,
and that at a time of life when the mind receives its deepest
impressions from the spectacle of innocent suffering and undaunted
courage [HOWSON]. His would be one of "the souls
of the disciples confirmed" at the apostle's second visit, "exhorted to
continue in the faith, and" warned "that we must through much
tribulation enter into the kingdom of God"
(Ac 14:21, 22).
the son of a certain . . . Jewess--"The unfeigned
faith which dwelt first in his grandmother Lois" descended to "his
mother Eunice," and thence it passed to this youth
who "from a child knew the Holy Scriptures"
His gifts and destination to the ministry of Christ had already been
(1Ti 1:18; 4:14);
and though some ten years after this Paul speaks of him as still young
"he was already well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra
and consequently must have been well known through all that quarter.
but his father was a Greek--Such mixed marriages, though little
practiced, and disliked by the stricter Jews in Palestine, must have
been very frequent among the Jews of the dispersion, especially in
remote districts, where but few of the scattered people were settled
3. Him would Paul have to go forth with him--This is in harmony with
all we read in the Acts and Epistles of Paul's affectionate and
confiding disposition. He had no relative ties which were of service to
him in his work; his companions were few and changing; and though Silas
would supply the place of Barnabas, it was no weakness to yearn for the
society of one who might become, what Mark once appeared to be, a
son in the Gospel
[HOWSON]. And such he indeed proved to be, the
most attached and serviceable of his associates
1Co 4:17; 16:10, 11;
His double connection, with the Jews by the mother's side and the
Gentiles by the father's, would strike the apostle as a peculiar
qualification for his own sphere of labor. "So far as appears, Timothy
is the first Gentile who after his conversion comes before us as a
regular missionary; for what is said of Titus
refers to a later period"
But before his departure, Paul
took and circumcised him--a rite which every Israelite might perform.
because of the Jews . . . for they knew all that his
father was a Greek--This seems to imply that the father was no
proselyte. Against the wishes of a Gentile father no Jewish mother was,
as the Jews themselves say, permitted to circumcise her son. We thus
see why all the religion of Timothy is traced to the female side of the
"Had Timothy not been circumcised, a storm would have gathered round
the apostle in his farther progress. His fixed line of procedure was to
act on the cities through the synagogues; and to preach the Gospel to
the Jew first and then to the Gentile. But such a course would have
been impossible had not Timothy been circumcised. He must necessarily
have been repelled by that people who endeavored once to murder Paul
because they imagined he had taken a Greek into the temple
The very intercourse of social life would have been almost impossible,
for it was still "an abomination" for the circumcised to eat with the
uncircumcised" [HOWSON]. In refusing to compel
Titus afterwards to be circumcised
at the bidding of Judaizing Christians, as necessary to salvation, he
only vindicated "the truth of the Gospel"
in circumcising Timothy, "to the Jews he became as a Jew that he might
gain the Jews." Probably Timothy's ordination took place now
and it was a service, apparently, of much solemnity--"before many
4, 5. And as they went through the cities, they delivered . . . the
decrees . . . And so were the churches established in the faith, and
increased in number daily--not the churches, but the number of their
members, by this visit and the written evidence laid before them of the
triumph of Christian liberty at Jerusalem, and the wise measures there
taken to preserve the unity of the Jewish and Gentile converts.
Ac 16:6-12. THEY
6-8. Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of
Galatia--proceeding in a northwesterly direction. At this time must
have been formed "the churches of Galatia"
founded, as we learn from the Epistle to the Galatians (particularly
Ga 4:19), by the apostle Paul, and which were already in existence when he was on
his third missionary journey, as we learn from
where it appears that he was no less successful in Phrygia. Why
these proceedings, so interesting as we should suppose, are not here
detailed, it is not easy to say; for the various reasons suggested are
not very satisfactory: for example, that the historian had not joined
the party [ALFORD]; that he was in haste to bring
the apostle to Europe [OLSHAUSEN]; that the main
stream of the Church's development was from Jerusalem to Rome, and the
apostle's labors in Phrygia and Galatia lay quite out of the line of
that direction [BAUMGARTEN].
and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost--speaking by some prophet,
to preach the word in Asia--not the great Asiatic continent, nor even
the rich peninsula now called Asia Minor, but only so much of its
western coast as constituted the Roman province of Asia.
7. After they were come to Mysia--where, as being part of Roman Asia,
they were forbidden to labor
they assayed--or attempted
to go into--or, towards.
Bithynia--to the northeast.
but the Spirit--speaking as before.
suffered them not--probably because, (1) Europe was ripe for the
labors of this missionary party; and (2) other instruments were to be
honored to establish the Gospel in the eastern regions of Asia Minor,
especially the apostle Peter (see
By the end of the first century, as testified by
the governor, Bithynia was filled with Christians. "This is the first
time that the Holy Ghost is expressly spoken of as determining the
course they were to follow in their efforts to evangelize the nations,
and it was evidently designed to show that whereas hitherto the
diffusion of the Gospel had been carried on in unbroken course,
connected by natural points of junction, it was now to take a leap to
which it could not be impelled but by an immediate and independent
operation of the Spirit; and though primarily, this intimation of the
Spirit was only negative, and referred but to the immediate
neighborhood, we may certainly conclude that Paul took it for a sign
that a new epoch was now to commence in his apostolic labors" [BAUMGARTEN].
8. came down to Troas--a city on the northeast coast of the Ægean Sea,
the boundary of Asia Minor on the west; the region of which was the
scene of the great Trojan war.
9, 10. a vision appeared to Paul in the night--while awake, for it
is not called a dream.
There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over
into Macedonia, and help us--Stretching his eye across the
Ægean Sea, from Troas on the northeast, to the Macedonian hills,
visible on the northwest, the apostle could hardly fail to think this
the destined scene of his future labors; and, if he retired to rest
with this thought, he would be thoroughly prepared for the remarkable
intimation of the divine will now to be given him. This visional
Macedonian discovered himself by what he said. But it was a cry not of
conscious desire for the Gospel, but of deep need of it
and unconscious preparedness to receive it, not only in that
region, but, we may well say, throughout all that western empire which
Macedonia might be said to represent. It was a virtual confession "that
the highest splendor of heathendom, which we must recognize in the arts
of Greece and in the polity and imperial power of Rome, had arrived at
the end of all its resources. God had left the Gentile peoples to walk
in their own ways
They had sought to gain salvation for themselves; but those who had
carried it farthest along the paths of natural development were now
pervaded by the feeling that all had indeed been vanity. This feeling
is the simple, pure result of all the history of heathendom. And
Israel, going along the way which God had marked out for him, had
likewise arrived at his end. At last he is in a condition to realize
his original vocation, by becoming the guide who is to lead the
Gentiles unto God, the only Author and Creator of man's redemption; and
Paul is in truth the very person in whom this vocation of Israel is now
a present divine reality, and to whom, by this nocturnal apparition of
the Macedonian, the preparedness of the heathen world to receive the
ministry of Israel towards the Gentiles is confirmed" [BAUMGARTEN]. This voice cries from heathendom still
to the Christian Church, and never does the Church undertake the work
of missions, nor any missionary go forth from it, in the right spirit,
save in obedience to this cry.
10. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go
into Macedonia--The "we," here first introduced, is a modest intimation
that the historian himself had now joined the missionary party. (The
modern objections to this are quite frivolous). Whether Paul's broken
health had anything to do with this arrangement for having "the beloved
physician" with him [WIES], can never be known with certainty; but that
he would deem himself honored in taking care of so precious a life,
there can be no doubt.
11, 12. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came--literally, "ran."
with a straight course--that is, "ran before the wind."
to Samothracia--a lofty island on the Thracian coast, north from
Troas, with an inclination westward. The wind must have set in strong
from the south or south-southeast to bring them there so soon, as the
current is strong in the opposite direction, and they afterwards took
five days to what they now did in two
(Ac 20:6) [HOWSON].
next day to Neapolis--on the Macedonian, or rather Thracian, coast,
about sixty-five miles from Samothracia, and ten from Philippi, of which
it is the harbor.
12. Philippi . . . the chief--rather, perhaps, "the first"
city of that part of Macedonia--The meaning appears to be--the first
city one comes to, proceeding from Neapolis. The sense given in our
version hardly consists with fact.
a colony--that is, possessing all the privileges of Roman citizenship,
and, as such, both exempted from scourging and (in ordinary cases) from
arrest, and entitled to appeal from the local magistrate to the emperor.
Though the Pisidian Antioch and Troas were also "colonies," the
fact is mentioned in this history of Philippi only on account of the
frequent references to Roman privileges and duties in the sequel of the
Ac 16:12-34. AT
GAINED AND WITH
FREE, AND THE
12, 13. we were in that city abiding certain days--waiting till the
sabbath came round: their whole stay must have extended to some weeks.
As their rule was to begin with the Jews and proselytes, they did
nothing till the time when they knew that they would convene for
13. on the sabbath day--the first after their arrival, as the words
we went out of the city--rather, as the true reading is, "outside of
the (city) gate."
by a river-side--one of the small streams which gave name to the
place ere the city was founded by Philip of Macedon.
where prayer was wont to be made--or a prayer-meeting held. It
is plain there was no synagogue at Philippi (contrast
the number of the Jews being small. The meeting appears to have
consisted wholly of women, and these not all Jewish. The neighborhood
of streams was preferred, on account of the ceremonial washings used on
we sat down and spake unto the women, &c.--a humble
congregation, and simple manner of preaching. But here and thus were
gathered the first-fruits of Europe unto Christ, and they were of the
female sex, of whose accession and services honorable mention will
again and again be made.
14, 15. Lydia--a common name among the Greeks and Romans.
a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira--on the confines of
Lydia and Phrygia. The Lydians, particularly the inhabitants of
Thyatira, were celebrated for their dyeing, in which they inherited the
reputation of the Tyrians. Inscriptions to this effect, yet remaining,
confirm the accuracy of our historian. This woman appears to have been
in good circumstances, having an establishment at Philippi large enough
to accommodate the missionary party
and receiving her goods from her native town.
which worshipped God--that is, was a proselyte to the Jewish faith,
and as such present at this meeting.
whose heart the Lord opened--that is, the Lord Jesus (see
Ac 16:15; and compare
that she attended to the things . . . spoken by Paul--"showing that
the inclination of the heart towards the truth originates not in the
will of man. The first disposition to turn to the Gospel is a work of
grace" [OLSHAUSEN]. Observe here the place assigned to "giving
attention" or "heed" to the truth--that species of attention which
consists in having the whole mind engrossed with it, and in apprehending
and drinking it in, in its vital and saving character.
15. And when . . . baptized . . . and her household--probably without
much delay. The mention of baptism here for the first time in connection
with the labors of Paul, while it was doubtless performed on all his
former converts, indicates a special importance in this first European
baptism. Here also is the first mention of a Christian household.
Whether it included children, also in that case baptized, is not
explicitly stated; but the presumption, as in other cases of household
baptism, is that it did. Yet the question of infant baptism must be
determined on other grounds; and such incidental allusions form only
part of the historical materials for ascertaining the practice of the
she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the
Lord--the Lord Jesus; that is, "By the faith on Him which ye have
recognized in me by baptism." There is a beautiful modesty in the
And she constrained us--The word seems to imply that they were
reluctant, but were overborne.
16-18. as we went to prayer--The words imply that it was
on their way to the usual place of public prayer, by the river-side,
that this took place; therefore not on the same day with what had just
a . . . damsel--a female servant, and in this case a slave
possessed of a spirit of divination--or, of Python, that is, a spirit
supposed to be inspired by the Pythian Apollo, or of the same nature.
The reality of this demoniacal possession is as undeniable as that of
any in the Gospel history.
17. These men are servants of the most high God, &c.--Glorious
testimony! But see on
this did she many days--that is, on many successive occasions when on
their way to their usual place of meeting, or when engaged in religious
18. Paul being grieved--for the poor victim; grieved to see such power
possessed by the enemy of man's salvation, and grieved to observe the
malignant design with which this high testimony was borne to Christ.
19. when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they
caught Paul and Silas--as the leading persons.
and drew them into the market-place--or Forum, where the courts were.
to the magistrates, saying, &c.--We have here a full and independent
confirmation of the reality of this supernatural cure, since on any
other supposition such conduct would be senseless.
20. These men, being Jews--objects of dislike, contempt, and suspicion
by the Romans, and at this time of more than usual prejudice.
do exceedingly trouble our city--See similar charges,
Ac 17:6; 24:5;
There is some color of truth in all such accusations, in so far as the
Gospel, and generally the fear of God, as a reigning principle of human
action, is in a godless world a thoroughly revolutionary
principle . . . How far external commotion and change will in
any case attend the triumph of this principle depends on the breadth
and obstinacy of the resistance it meets with.
21. And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither
to observe, being Romans--Here also there was a measure of truth; as
the introduction of new gods was forbidden by the laws, and this might
be thought to apply to any change of religion. But the whole charge was
pure hypocrisy; for as these men would have let the missionaries preach
what religion they pleased if they had not dried up the source of their
gains, so they conceal the real cause of their rage under color of a
zeal for religion, and law, and good order: so
Ac 17:6, 7; 19:25, 27.
22. the multitude rose up together against them--so
Ac 19:28, 34; 21:30;
the magistrates rent off their--Paul's and Silas'
clothes--that is, ordered the lictors, or rod-bearers, to tear
them off, so as to expose their naked bodies (see on
The word expresses the roughness with which this was done to prisoners
preparatory to whipping.
and commanded to beat them--without any trial
to appease the popular rage. Thrice, it seems, Paul endured this
23, 24. when they had laid many stripes upon them--the bleeding wounds
from which they were not washed till it was done by the converted jailer
charged the jailer . . . who . . . thrust them
into the inner prison--"pestilential cells, damp and cold, from
which the light was excluded, and where the chains rusted on the
prisoners. One such place may be seen to this day on the slope of the
Capitol at Rome" [HOWSON].
24. made their feet fast in the stocks--an instrument of torture as
well as confinement, made of wood bound with iron, with holes for the
feet, which were stretched more or less apart according to the severity
intended. (ORIGEN at a later period, besides having his neck thrust into
an iron collar, lay extended for many days with his feet apart in the
rack). Though jailers were proverbially unfeeling, the manner in which
the order was given in this case would seem to warrant all that was
25. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises--literally,
"praying, were singing praises"; that is, while engaged in pouring out
their hearts in prayer, had broken forth into singing, and were hymning
loud their joy. As the word here employed is that used to denote the
Paschal hymn sung by our Lord and His disciples after their last
(Mt 26:30), and which we know to have consisted of
which was chanted at that festival, it is probable that it was portions
of the Psalms, so rich in such matter, which our joyous sufferers
chanted forth; nor could any be more seasonable and inspiring to them
than those very six Psalms, which every devout Jew would no doubt know
by heart. "He giveth songs in the night"
Though their bodies were still bleeding and tortured in the stocks,
their spirits, under "the expulsive power of a new affection," rose
above suffering, and made the prison wails resound with their song. "In
these midnight hymns, by the imprisoned witnesses for Jesus Christ, the
whole might of Roman injustice and violence against the Church is not
only set at naught, but converted into a foil to set forth more
completely the majesty and spiritual power of the Church, which as yet
the world knew nothing of. And if the sufferings of these two witnesses
of Christ are the beginning and the type of numberless martyrdoms which
were to flow upon the Church from the same source, in like manner the
unparalleled triumph of the Spirit over suffering was the beginning and
the pledge of a spiritual power which we afterwards see shining forth
so triumphantly and irresistibly in the many martyrs of Christ who were
given up as a prey to the same imperial might of Rome" [NEANDER in BAUMGARTEN].
and the prisoners heard them--literally, "were listening to them,"
that is, when the astounding events immediately to be related took
place; not asleep, but wide awake and rapt (no doubt) in wonder at what
26-28. And suddenly there was a great earthquake--in answer, doubtless,
to the prayers and expectations of the sufferers that, for the truth's
sake and the honor of their Lord, some interposition would take place.
every one's bands--that is, the bands of all the prisoners.
were loosed--not by the earthquake, of course, but by a miraculous
energy accompanying it. By this and the joyous strains which they had
heard from the sufferers, not to speak of the change wrought on the
jailer, these prisoners could hardly fail to have their hearts in some
measure opened to the truth; and this part of the narrative seems the
result of information afterwards communicated by one or more of these
27. the keeper . . . awaking . . . drew
. . . his sword, and would have killed himself,
&c.--knowing that his life was forfeited in that case
(Ac 12:19; and compare
28. But Paul cried with a loud voice--the better to arrest the deed.
Do thyself no harm, for we are all here--What divine calmness and
self-possession! No elation at their miraculous liberation, or haste to
take advantage of it; but one thought filled the apostle's mind at that
moment--anxiety to save a fellow creature from sending himself into
eternity, ignorant of the only way of life; and his presence of mind
appears in the assurance which he so promptly gives to the desperate
man, that his prisoners had none of them fled as he feared. But how, it
has been asked by skeptical critics, could Paul in his inner prison know
what the jailer was about to do? In many conceivable ways, without
supposing any supernatural communication. Thus, if the jailer slept at
the door of "the inner prison," which suddenly flew open when the
earthquake shook the foundations of the building; if, too, as may easily
be conceived, he uttered some cry of despair on seeing the doors open;
and, if the clash of the steel, as the affrighted man drew it hastily
from the scabbard, was audible but a few yards off, in the dead midnight
stillness, increased by the awe inspired in the prisoners by the
miracle--what difficulty is there in supposing that Paul, perceiving in
a moment how matters stood, after crying out, stepped hastily to him,
uttering the noble entreaty here recorded? Not less flat is the
question, why the other liberated prisoners did not make their
escape:--as if there were the smallest difficulty in understanding how,
under the resistless conviction that there must be something
supernatural in their instantaneous liberation without human hand, such
wonder and awe should possess them as to take away for the time not only
all desire of escape, but even all thought on the subject.
29, 30. Then he called for a light, and sprang in . . . and fell down
before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said--How graphic this
rapid succession of minute details, evidently from the parties
themselves, the prisoners and the jailer, who would talk over every
feature of the scene once and again, in which the hand of the Lord had
been so marvellously seen.
30. Sirs, what must I do to be saved?--If this question should
seem in advance of any light which the jailer could be supposed to
possess, let it be considered (1) that the "trembling" which came over
him could not have arisen from any fear for the safety of his
prisoners, for they were all there; and if it had, he would rather have
proceeded to secure them again than leave them, to fall down before
Paul and Silas. For the same reason it is plain that his trembling had
nothing to do with any account he would have to render to the
magistrates. Only one explanation of it can be given--that he had
become all at once alarmed about his spiritual state, and that though,
a moment before, he was ready to plunge into eternity with the guilt of
self-murder on his head, without a thought of the sin he was committing
and its awful consequences, his unfitness to appear before God, and his
need of salvation, now flashed full upon his soul and drew from the
depths of his spirit the cry here recorded. If still it be asked how it
could take such definite shape, let it be considered (2) that the
jailer could hardly be ignorant of the nature of the charges on which
these men had been imprisoned, seeing they had been publicly whipped by
order of the magistrates, which would fill the whole town with the
facts of the case, including that strange cry of the demoniac from day
to-day--"These men are the servants of the most high God, which show
unto us the way of salvation"--words proclaiming not only the
divine commission of the preachers, but the news of salvation they were
sent to tell, the miraculous expulsion of the demon and the rage of her
masters. All this, indeed, would go for nothing with such a man, until
roused by the mighty earthquake which made the building to rock; then
despair seizing him at the sight of the open doors, the sword of
self-destruction was suddenly arrested by words from one of those
prisoners such as he would never imagine could be spoken in their
circumstances--words evidencing something divine about them. Then would
flash across him the light of a new discovery; "That was a true cry
which the Pythoness uttered, 'These men are the servants of the most
high God, which show unto us the way of salvation! That I now must
know, and from them, as divinely sent to me, must I learn that way of
salvation!'" Substantially, this is the cry of every awakened sinner,
though the degree of light and the depths of anxiety it expresses will
be different in each case.
31-34. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved--The
brevity, simplicity, and directness of this reply are, in the
circumstances, singularly beautiful. Enough at that moment to have his
faith directed simply to the Saviour, with the assurance that this would
bring to his soul the needed and sought salvation--the how being a
matter for after teaching.
thou shalt be saved, and thy house--(See on
32. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord--unfolding now,
doubtless, more fully what "the Lord Jesus Christ" was to whom they had
pointed his faith, and what the "salvation" was which this would bring
and to all that were in his house--who from their own dwelling (under
the same roof no doubt with the prison) had crowded round the apostles,
aroused first by the earthquake. (From their addressing the Gospel
message "to all that were in the house" it is not necessary to infer
that it contained no children, but merely that as it contained adults
besides the jailer himself, so to all of these, as alone of course fit
to be addressed, they preached the word).
33. And he took them--the word implies change of place.
the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes--in the well
or fountain which was within or near the precincts of the prison
[HOWSON]. The mention of "the same hour of the night" seems to imply
that they had to go forth into the open air, which, unseasonable as the
hour was, they did. These bleeding wounds had never been thought of by
the indifferent jailer. But now, when his whole heart was opened to his
spiritual benefactors, he cannot rest until he has done all in his
power for their bodily relief.
and was baptized, he and all his, straightway--probably at the same
fountain, since it took place "straightway"; the one washing on his part
being immediately succeeded by the other on theirs.
34. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before
them and rejoiced, believing--that is, as the expression implies,
"rejoiced because he had believed."
in God--as a converted heathen, for the faith of a Jew would not
be so expressed [ALFORD].
with all his house--the wondrous change on himself and the whole house
filling his soul with joy. "This is the second house which, in the Roman
city of Philippi, has been consecrated by faith in Jesus, and of which
the inmates, by hospitable entertainment of the Gospel witnesses, have
been sanctified to a new beginning of domestic life, pleasing and
acceptable to God. The first result came to pass in consequence simply
of the preaching of the Gospel; the second was the fruit of a testimony
sealed and ennobled by suffering" [BAUMGARTEN].
35, 36. when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying,
Let those men go--The cause of this change can only be conjectured.
When the commotion ceased, reflection would soon convince them of the
injustice they had done, even supposing the prisoners had been entitled
to no special privileges; and if rumor reached them that the prisoners
were somehow under supernatural protection, they might be the more awed
into a desire to get rid of them.
36. the keeper--overjoyed to have such orders to execute.
told this . . . to Paul . . . now therefore . . . go in peace--Very
differently did Paul receive such orders.
37. Paul said unto them--to the sergeants who had entered the prison
along with the jailer, that they might be able to report that the men
They have beaten us openly--The publicity of the injury
done them, exposing their naked and bleeding bodies to the rude
populace, was evidently the most stinging feature of it to the
apostle's delicate feeling, and to this accordingly he alludes to the
Thessalonians, probably a year after: "Even after we had suffered
before, and were shamefully entreated (or 'insulted') as ye know
uncondemned--unconvicted on trial.
being Romans--(See on
and cast us into prison--both illegal. Of Silas' citizenship, if meant
to be included, we know nothing.
and now do they thrust us out--hurry us out--see
privily?--Mark the intended contrast between the public insult
they had inflicted and the private way in which they ordered them to
nay verily--no, indeed.
but let them come themselves and fetch us out--by open and formal act,
equivalent to a public declaration of their innocence.
38. they feared when they heard they were Romans--their
authority being thus imperilled; for they were liable to an action for
what they had done.
39, 40. And they came--in person.
and besought them--not to complain of them. What a
contrast this suppliant attitude of the preachers of Philippi to the
tyrannical air with which they had the day before treated the
brought them out--conducted them forth from the prison into the
street, as insisted on.
them to depart out of the city--perhaps fearing again to excite
40. And they went out of the prison--Having attained their object--to
vindicate their civil rights, by the infraction of which in this
case the Gospel in their persons had been illegally affronted--they had
no mind to carry the matter farther. Their citizenship was valuable to
them only as a shield against unnecessary injuries to their Master's
cause. What a beautiful mixture of dignity and meekness is this!
Nothing secular, which may be turned to the account of the Gospel, is
morbidly disregarded; in any other view, nothing of this nature is set
store by:--an example this for all ages.
and entered into the house of Lydia--as if to show by this leisurely
proceeding that they had not been made to leave, but were at full
liberty to consult their own convenience.
and when they had seen the brethren--not only her family and the
jailer's, but probably others now gained to the Gospel.
they comforted them--rather, perhaps, "exhorted" them, which would
include comfort. "This assembly of believers in the house of Lydia was the first church that had been founded in Europe"
and departed--but not all; for two of the company remained
behind (see on
Timotheus, of whom the Philippians "learned the proof" that he
honestly cared for their state, and was truly like-minded with Paul,
"serving with him in the Gospel as a son with his father"
and Luke, "whose praise is in the Gospel," though he never
praises himself or relates his own labors, and though we only trace his
movements in connection with Paul, by the change of a pronoun, or the
unconscious variation of his style. In the seventeenth chapter the
narrative is again in the third person, and the pronoun is not
changed to the second till we come to
Ac 20:5. The modesty with which Luke leaves out all mention of his own labors
need hardly be pointed out. We shall trace him again when he rejoins
Paul in the same neighborhood. His vocation as a physician may have
brought him into connection with these contiguous coasts of Asia and
Europe, and he may (as MR.
SMITH suggests, "Shipwreck," &c.) have been
in the habit of exercising his professional skill as a surgeon at sea