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Acts xvi. 31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy household.
32. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
34. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his household,
35. And when it was day, the magistrates - either from a misgiving that they had acted with unjust severity, or being already informed of the
amazing events which had taken place in the prison sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
36. And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go : now therefore depart, and go
peace. 37. But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans (i. e. Roman citizens), and have cast us into prison : and now would they thrust us out privily? Nay verily; but let them come themselves, and fetch us out.
38. And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates; and they feared when they heard that they (Silas as well as Paul) were Roman citizens.
39. And the magistrates came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city, -- to prevent farther tumult.
40. And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia : and when they had seen the brethren (who could not then be very numerous), they comforted them, and departed from Philippi.
And here it may deserve remark, as the narrative after this proceeds in the third person, THEY, and not WE, that Luke must now have remained at Philippi : accordingly, A. xx. 5., he is found there again, then and not before re-appearing in his own person. This will not seem extraordinary, if we consider, that as Luke had already taken some part in the work of teaching there, A. xvi. 13., he might very properly be left behind, on purpose to give farther instruction to the Philippians in the truths of the gospel. Then, too, Luke the Gentile (H. P. 148, 9.) would of course be the more acceptable to the brethren there, who were all Gentile converts : while, on the other hand, if he was a Gentile, as we suppose, then not being qualified for admission into the Jewish synagogues, he could not on this account have
gone with Paul as his privileged attendant. That, we have seen, was hereafter to be the proper office of Timothy.
That froin his residence at Troas where Paul found him, (A. xvi. 10.) a place commercially connected with Philippi, he who is elsewhere called “the beloved physician,” (Coloss. iv. 14.) might have become previously known to the Philippians in that character; may be forgiven at least as an innocent conjecture.
Acts xvii, 1, Now when they (Paul, Silas, and Timothy) had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia without stopping in either place, they came to Thessalonica, where was the synagogue of the Jews :
- the synagogue which they expected to find, there being none in the other two cities.
2. And Paul, in the first instance, as his manner was, (A. xiii. 46., H. P. 158.) went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Acts xvii. 3. Opening and alledging, that Christ (i. e. the expected Messiah) ought (according to the prophecies) to have suffered and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is that Messiah.
4. And some of them (the Jews) believed and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks (or proselytes) a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few, (being proselytes, as elsewhere, A. xiii. 50., xvii. 12.)
Upon the whole, Paul must have continued at Thessalonica more than three weeks, the time apparently given by the sacred historian.
“ For though he resorted to the synagogue only three sabbath days, yet he remained in the city and in the exercise of his ministry among the Gentile citizens much longer; and until the success of his preaching had provoked the Jews to excite the tumult and insurrection by which he was driven away." H. P. 158.
On another ground the apostle's longer stay in Thessalonica may fairly be established. What we read elsewhere of liberality from Philippi sent to him “ once and again” (Philip. iv. 16.) while in that city, would evidently require a greater space of time for its accomplishment; not to mention that during his continuance in Thessalonica (1 Thess. ii. 9.) he “ laboured night and day,” that to the believers there he might not be chargeable, a consideration which alone would clearly justify the same inference. - Vide Dr. Benson's History of the first planting of the Christian Religion, &c., vol. ii. p. 99.
A. xvii. 5. But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain worthless fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, in which Paul and his companions were entertained, and sought to bring them out to the people.
Acts xvii. 6. And when they found them not then in the house, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These men that have turned the world upside down, are come hither also ;
7. Whom Jason hath entertained : and these all act contrary to the decrees of Cesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
8. And the unbelieving Jews alarmed the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
9. And when the rulers had taken security of Jason and of the others, they let them go.
Of Jason, as afterwards the companion of Paul at Corinth, Rom. xvi. 21., vide H. P. 16. note.
10. And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea : who on coming thither, according to their custom, went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11. These Jews were more noble, than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, to see whether those things (the predictions of the Messiah as fulfilled in Jesus) were so or not.
12. Therefore, being convinced by that search, many of them believed ; also of honourable women, which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
13. But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither, and stirred up
Acts xvii. 14. And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to the sea-coast, to take shipping there (see the Note): but Silas and Timothy abode still at Berea.
15. And they that conducted Paul by sea, brought him unto Athens : and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timothy for to come to him with all speed, they departed.
PAUL AT ATHENS.
Singularly enough, the apostle is not represented in the following narrative as originally purposing to preach the tidings of salvation to “ the wise men and disputers of this world” (1 Cor. i. 20.) at Athens ; which, be it remembered, had long ceased to rank high either in a political or a commercial light, retaining only its philosophical celebrity
Paul had only intended to stop in that city, till his two companions overtook him from Berea : observe, then, how justly in the result he appears to have estimated the unfitness of those proud Greeks who “ sought after wisdom," to receive the doctrine of a pure theism with which he so beautifully began his discourse, much less to admit the humiliating and stirring truths of the gospel.
A. xvii. 16. Now while Paul waited for Silas and Timothy at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.
17. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews and with the devout persons (i. e. proselytes) and in the public square daily with them (any of the Athenians) that came in his way.