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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - ACTS 16

    Acts 15 - Acts 17 - VINCENT'S STUDY - HELP - FACEBOOK - GR FORUMS - GODRULES ON YOUTUBE    




    16:1 {And he came also to Derbe and Lystra} (katentesen de kai eis derben kai eis lustran). First aorist active of katantaw, 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 qen. {Timothy} (timoqeos). 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 work.

    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 eqelesen ho paulos sun autwi exelqein). this one (note emphatic position) Paul wanted (first aorist active indicative of qelw with temporal augment as if from eqelw the old form). Here was a gifted young man who was both Jew and Greek. {He took and circumcised him} (labwn 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} (hellen hupercen). Imperfect active in indirect assertion where ordinarily the present huparcei 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 dokew, 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 krinw, to judge, emphasizing the permanence of the conclusions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. {For to keep} (fulassein). 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 stereow, old verb to make firm and solid like the muscles (#Ac 3:7,16), these three the only examples in the N.T. {Increased} (eperisseuon). Imperfect active of the old and common verb perisseuw 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} (tˆn Phrugian kai Galatikˆn ch"ran). 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" (galatiken) 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 kwluqentes ("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 kwluw, 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 kwluqentes 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 ten 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 ten biqunian poreuqenai). Conative imperfect of peirazw 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 not} (kai ouk eiasen autous to pneuma iesou). 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 ea", old verb to allow.

    16:8 {Passing by Mysia} (parelqontes ten 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} (aner makedwn). 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} (en hestws). Second perfect active participle of histemi, intransitive, periphrastic imperfect. Vivid picture. {Help us} (boeqeson hemin). Ingressive first aorist active imperative of boeqew (boe, qew), 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} (ezetesamen). 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 sunbibazw, 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} (anacqentes). Same word in #13:13 which see. {We made a straight course} (euqudromesamen). First aorist active indicative of compound verb euqudromew (in Philo) from adjective euqudromos (in Strabo), running a straight course (euqus, 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 samoqraiken). A small island in the Aegean about halfway between Troas and Neapolis. {The day following} (tei epiousei). Locative case of time with hemerai (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 polin). 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 filippous). The plural like aqenai (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 (kolwnia) 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} (prwte tes meridos). Philippi was not the first city of Macedonia nor does Luke say so. That honor 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 _Koin‚_ has examples of this geographical sense (papyri). There is no article with prwte 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} (emen 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" (exw tes pules) 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" (proscucen einai). Infinitive with accusative of general reference in indirect discourse. proseuce is common in the LXX and the N.T. for the act of prayer as in #Ac 2:42 qen 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. Tr.). 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 proseuca. Josephus (_Ant_. XIV. 10, 23) quotes a decree of Halicarnassus which allowed the Jews "to make their prayers (proseucas) 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 sunelqousais 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} (kaqisantes elaloumen). Having taken our seats (aorist active participle of kaqizw) we began to speak or preach (inchoative imperfect of lalew, often used for preaching). 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 speaker.

    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 bafeis) as inscriptions show. {A seller of purple} (porfuropwlis). A female seller of purple fabrics (porfura, pwlis). 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} (sebomene ton qeon). 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 convert 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} (ekouen). Imperfect active of akouw, was listening, really listening and she kept it up, listening to each of these new and strange preachers. {Opened} (dienoixen). First aorist active indicative of dianoigw, old word, double compound (dia, ana, oigw) to open up wide or completely like a folding door (both sides, dia, two). Only the Lord could do that. Jesus had opened (the same verb) the mind of the disciples to understand the Scriptures (#Lu 24:45). {To give heed} (prosecein). To hold the mind (ton noun understood), present active infinitive. She kept her mind centered 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} (hws de ebaptisqe). First aorist passive indicative of baptizw. 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 autes). Who constituted her "household"? The term oikos, originally means the building as below, "into my house" and qen 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 krinw). She had confessed her faith and submitted to baptism as proof that she was "faithful to the Lord" (pisten twi kuriwi), 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 hemas). 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 11:9). So far only women have been won to Christ in Philippi. The use of "us" shows that Luke was not a householder in Philippi.

    16:16 {A spirit of divination} (pneuma puqwna). So the correct text with accusative (apparition, a spirit, a python), not the genitive (puqwnos). Hesychius defines it as daimonion manikon (a spirit of divination). The etymology of the word is unknown. Bengel suggests puqesqai from punqanomai, to inquire. Python was the name given to the serpent that kept guard at Delphi, slain by Apollo, who was called puqios 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 puqwnes was applied to ventriloquists (eggastrimuqoi). 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" (manteuomene). Present middle participle of manteuomai, old heathen word (in contrast with profeteuw) 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} (pareicen). Imperfect active of parecw, a steady source of income. {Much gain} (ergasian pollen). Work, business, from ergazomai, to work. {Her masters} (tois kuriois autes). 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 soothsayers.

    16:17 {The Most High God} (tou qeou tou huyistou). 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 salvation} (hodon swterias). A way of salvation, strictly speaking (no article). There were many "ways of salvation" offered to men qen 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} (diaponeqeis). First aorist passive of diaponew, old verb, to work laboriously, qen 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} (autei tei hwrai). 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} (exelqen). Was gone out of the slave girl, second aorist active indicative of exercomai. "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 epilambanw as in #9:27; 17:19, but here with hostile intent. {Dragged} (heilkusan). First aorist active indicative of helkuw, late form of the old verb helkw (also in #Jas 2:6) to draw as a sword, and qen 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 ten agoran). 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 ageirw, to collect or gather. {Unto the rulers} (epi tous arcontas). General Greek term for "the civil officers."

    16:20 {Unto the civil officers} (tois strategois). Greek term (stratos, agw) for leader of an army or general. But in civic life a governor. The technical name for the civil officers in a Roman colony was _duumviri_ or duumvirs, answering to consuls in Rome. strategoi 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 anqrwpoi). Contemptuous use. {Being Jews} (ioudaioi huparcontes). 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 qen 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} (eqe ha ouk estin hemin paradecesqai oude poiein rwmaiois 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 convert of the Romans themselves. No Roman civil officer would pass on abstract theological questions (#18:15), but only if a breach of the peace was made (ektarassousin hemwn ten 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. eqos (kin to eqos, #1Co 15:33) is from eqw, 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 favor (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} (sunepeste). Second aorist (ingressive) active of the double compound sunefistemi, intransitive, old verb, but only here in the N.T. (cf. katepestesan 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} (perirexantes autwn ta himatia). First aorist active participle of periregnumi, 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" (hubrisqentas). 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 rhabdizw, 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 erhabdisqen). He came near getting another in Jerusalem (#Ac 22:25). 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} (epiqentes). Second aorist (constative) active participle of epitiqemi, to place upon. {Many stripes} (pollas plegas). 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 plegas (from plessw, to strike a blow) see on ¯Lu 10:30; 12:47f. {The jailor} (twi desmofulaki). Late word (desmos, fulax, keeper of bonds), in the N.T. only here (verses #23,27,36). The LXX has the word arcidesmofulax (#Ge 39:21-23). Chrysostom calls this jailor Stephanus, he was of Achaia (#1Co 16:15). {To keep safely} (asfalws terein). 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 ten eswteran fulaken). The comparative form from the adverb es" (within), Ionic and old Attic for eis". 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 esfalisato autwn). First aorist (effective) middle of asfalizw, from asfales (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 xu", 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, xulopede, 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 heaven).

    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} (proseucomenoi humnoun). Present middle participle and imperfect active indicative: Praying they were singing (simultaneously, blending together petition and praise). humnew 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} (epekrownto autwn). 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 seiw, 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} (hwste saleuqenai ta qemelia tou desmwteriou). Regular construction of the first aorist passive infinitive and the accusative of general reference with hwste for actual result just like the indicative. this old word for prison house already in #Mt 11:2; Ac 5:21,23 which see. qemelia is neuter plural of the adjective qemelios, from qema (thing laid down from tiqemi). 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} (enewicqesan). First aorist passive indicative of anoigw (or -numi) with triple augment (e, e, w), while there is no augment in aneqe (first aorist passive indicative of aniemi, 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} (anewigmenos). Perfect passive participle with double reduplication in predicate position, standing open. {Drew his sword} (spasamenos ten macairan). First aorist middle participle of spaw, to draw, as in #Mr 14:47, drawing his own sword himself. Our word spasm from this old word. {Was about} (emellen). Imperfect active of mellw 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} (ekpefeugenai). Second perfect active infinitive of ekfeugw, 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 nomizwn. 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} (meden praxeis seautwi kakon). The usual construction (me and the aorist subjunctive) for a prohibition not to {begin} to do a thing. The older Greek would probably have used poieseis here. The later Greek does not always preserve the old distinction between poiew, to do a thing, and prassw, to practice, though prassete keeps it in #Php 4:9 and poiew is rightly used in #Lu 3:10-14. As a matter of fact prassw 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} (eisepedesen). First aorist active of eispedaw, old verb, but here only in the N.T. Cf. ekpedaw 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 prospiptw, old verb. An act of worship as Cornelius before Peter (#10:25), when prosekunesen is used.

    16:30 {Brought them out} (progagwn autous exw). Second aorist active participle of proagw, 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 swqw). 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 Jesus} (pisteuson epi ton kurion iesoun). 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} (elalesan ton logon tou qeou). 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 twn plegwn). 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 louw, to bathe, succinctly shows what the jailor did to remove the stains left by the rods of the lictors (verse #22). niptw was used for washing parts of the body. {And was baptized, he and all his, immediately} (kai ebaptisqe autos kai hoi autou hapantes paracrema). 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} (anagagwn). Second aorist active participle of anagw. 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 (kolumbeqra) 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} (pareqeken 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 panoikiai. In LXX, but here alone in the N.T. It is in an amphibolous position and can be taken either with "rejoiced" (egalliasato) or "having believed" (pepisteukws, 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 rhabdoucous). Fasces-bearers, regular Greek word (rhabdos, ecw) 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 civil officers (praetors)? Perhaps a bit of all three may be true. The Codex Bezae expressly says that the civil officers "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 inference). 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 hemas). First aorist active participle of derw, 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} (demosiai). this added insult to injury. Common adverb (hodwi) supplied with adjective, associative instrumental case, opposed to idiai or kat' oikous, #Ac 20:20) {Uncondemned} (akatakritous). this same verbal adjective from kata-krinw with a privative is used by Paul in #22:25 and nowhere else in the N.T. Rare in late Greek like akatagnwstos, but in late _Koin‚_ (papyri, inscriptions). 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} (anqrwpous romaious huparcontas). 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 fulaken). Second aorist active indicative of ballw, old verb, with first aorist ending as often in the _Koin‚_ (-an, not -on). this was the climax, treating them as criminals. {And now privily} (kai nun laqrai). 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 (exagagetwsan, third person plural second aorist active imperative of exagw). It was a bitter pill to the proud praetors.

    16:39 {They feared} (efobeqesan). this is the explanation. They became frightened for their own lives when they saw what they had done to Roman citizens. {They asked} (erwtwn). Imperfect active of erwtaw. 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 _Koin‚_ is often used as here to make a request and not just to ask a question.

    16:40 {Into the house of Lydia} (pros ten 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} (exelqan). 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.). qen he followed Paul and Silas to Beroea.

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