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Monday, July 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Acts 16

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "Then came he to Derbe and Lystra:” (katentesen de kai eis Derben kai eis Lustran) "Then he (Paul) came down also into Derbe and Lystra," from Syria and Cilicia, in this his second missionary journey. The order of the names of the cities indicates the chronological order of this journey, as in Acts 14:20-21.

2) "And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheius," (kai idou mathetes tis en ekei onamati Timotheus) "And behold a certain, (particular) disciple, a learner, was there (lived there), named, or known as Timothy," a convert of Paul on his first journey there, 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2, whom he referred to as his own son in the ministry; an heir to his ministry, Acts 19:22; Romans 16:21; 1 Corinthians 4:17.

3) "The son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess," (huios gunaikos loudias) "The son of a Jewish woman," a special or certain kind of Jewish woman named Eunice, a devout Bible believing and teaching mother; though she was married to a Greek, a thing not sanctioned for men by Jewish Law, Ezra 10:1-44.

4) "And believed;" (pistes) "Of a faithful woman;" a woman of faith and fidelity to God and the Scriptures, 2 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 3:14-15.

5) "But his father was a Greek:" (patros de Hellenos) "Yet his father was a Greek," of native Greece, considered racially as an heathen to the Jews. A Jewess might have a Gentile husband as Esther was married to Ahasuerus, however, the Jewish man could not marry a Gentile wife, Deuteronomy 7:2-3; Ezra 10:2-5; Ezra 10:9-12.

Verse 2

1) "Which was well reported of," (hos emartureito) "Who was of good reputation," who had a good testimony that was well reported, by those who knew him best. For zeal, piety, and intelligence, he had good report or reputation, a good name that is to be desired, Proverbs 22:1; Ecclesiastes 7:1; 1 Timothy 3:7 - as were the brethren in Rome, Romans 1:8.

2) "By the brethren that were at Lystra and lconium." (hupo ton en Lustrois kai Ikonio adelphon) "By the brethren located both in Lystra and lconium," by church brethren who knew his testimony in both local areas, like Ananias had of brethren in Damascus, Acts 22:12; 2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 8:23; as Demetrius had a good report among all brethren, 3 John 1:12.

Verse 3

1) "Him would Paul have to go forth with him;” (touton ethelesen ho Paulos sun auto ekselthein) "This one (Timothy) Paul desired to go forth in colleague mission service with him," as a minister and missionary helper, on the moral, ethical, legal, and spiritual premise that "in the mouth of two or three witnesses" every word should be established, Deuteronomy 17:6; Luke 10:1-2; Matthew 18:20; John 8:15-18.

2) "And took him and circumcised him," (kai labon perietemen auton) "And taking him (or embracing him) he circumcised him," that without offence to the Jews he and Timothy might enter into Jewish Synagogues, 1 Corinthians 9:19-20; Galatians 2:3; Galatians 5:6; Galatians 6:15.

3) "Because of the Jews which were in those quarters:"- (dia tous loudaious tous ontas en tois topois ekeinois) "On account of (because of) the Jews existing in those localities," of Asia Minor, who were prejudiced against both the Gentiles and the church of Jesus Christ, Acts 21:20-30.

4) "For they knew all that his father was a Greek." (edeisan gar hapantes hoti Hellen ho pater autou huparchen) "For they all knew (were aware) that his father was a Greek," a Gentile or heathen in their estimation, though the law age had passed, Luke 16:16; Galatians 3:19-25.

Verse 4

1) "And as they went through the cities," (hos de dieporeuonto tas poleis) "Then as they went about thru the cities (witnessing of their own accord)," perhaps in lconium and Antioch in Pisidia.

2) "They delivered them," (paredidosan autois) "They (Paul and Barnabas) delivered, dispensed, or gave out to them," the churches and brethren of the cities.

3) "The decrees for to keep," (phulassein ta dogmata) "The decrees (dogmas, or declarations) to keep," or by which they should abide, those adopted by the Jerusalem church and council and sent in written resolution form to Antioch, Syria, Cilicia and regions beyond.

4) "That were ordained of the apostles and elders," (ta kekrimena hupo ton apostolon kai presbuteron) "The ones which were having been decided on or sanctioned by the apostles and elders," and even the whole church at Jerusalem, at the conclusion of the Jerusalem council. These dogma, declarations, or moral, ethical, and doctrinal tenets of behavior were set forth Acts 15:19-29.

5) "Which were at Jerusalem." (ton en lerosolumois) "Even those who were back in Jerusalem," at or in the home-base church. Let it be observed that these God called, Holy Spirit anointed, church-sent missionaries (Paul and Silas) did not go about preaching or giving out dogma, declarations of Christian conduct, on their own, unsanctioned or unauthorized by the apostles, elders (mature ordained brethren) and the Jerusalem church. The very trouble and occasion for the Jerusalem council, between the Antioch of Syria and Jerusalem churches, was because some Pharisee brethren had gone out independently, on their own, preaching unbiblical dogma, Acts 15:2; Acts 15:5; Acts 15:24.

Verse 5

1) "And so were the churches," (hai men oun ekklesiai) "Therefore (by means of this declaration of principles set forth)," the plurality of established congregational, local assemblies, the word, especially in Asia Minor at that time.

2) "Established in the faith," (estereounto te pistei) "Were, came to be, strengthened in the faith," rooted and grounded in a proper interpretation, understanding, and conduct in harmony with the general "system of teaching," or body of doctrine and practice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Such was later admonished toward the church at Ephesus, Ephesians 4:1-3; Ephesians 4:12-16; and by Judges 1:1-3; Acts 18:23.

3) "And increased in number daily." (kai eperisseuon to arithmo kath’ hemera) "And they increased (enlarged or grew) in number (numerically) daily, or as the days passed by. The growth of the churches was both of the intensive and extensive nature. There was spiritual, emotional, and knowledge growth, within the souls of the members of the churches; then there was also the outer growth of new members, new fruit, new souls won to the Lord, added to the churches on a regular, daily basis, thru the witness of Christ, by both word and manner of daily conduct of the members of the churches, John 15:5; John 15:8; Matthew 5:16; Matthew 8:31; Acts 6:7; Acts 9:31.

Verse 6


1) "Now when they had gone throughout," (dielthon de) "Then they went through," passed thru on their continuing mission tour, Acts 18:23.

2) "Phrygia and the region of Galatia,"(ten phrugian kai Galatiken choran) "The Phrygian and Galatian country or territory," a part of the west central region of Asia Minor, with no fixed boundaries in the times of the apostles. It then contained Troy, Heirapolis, Colossae and Laodicea, later became a part of the Persian Empire, 537 A.D., then a Turkish province, 1139 A.D., Acts 2:10; Acts 18:25.

3) "And were forbidden of the Holy Ghost," (koluthentes hupo tou hagiou pneumatos) "Being restrained, prevented, or obstructed by the Holy Spirit; How they were restrained or forbidden by inward monitions, outward obstacles or circumstances, regarded as providential warnings, or by prophetic indications, is not stated, but that they were obstructed, as revealed by the Holy Spirit, is certified, Romans 8:14; Romans 8:16.

4) "To preach the word in Asia," (lalesai ton logon en te Asia) "From speaking forth the word in the territory of Asia;" It appears that human desires here yielded to special Divine intervention, to the effect that the Gospel message moved into Europe, westward, rather than deeper into Asia, eastward, Acts 16:9-13.

Verse 7

1) "After they were come to Mysia," (elthontes de kata ten Musian) "Then (upon) coming against(very near to) on the outskirts of Mysia," a northwest province of Asia Minor, separated from Europe only by Propontis, a small territory in that day.

2) "They assayed to go into Bithynia:"(epeirazon eisten Bithunian poreuthenai) "They attempted to go, of their own choice, into Bithynia," mentioned 1 Peter 1:1. It was a Roman province located east of the west maritime province of Asia. They attempted to go out of Asia northward by a land route and were obstructed by the Spirit of the Lord, by Divine intervention into "man’s plans."

3) "But the Spirit suffered them not." (kai ouk eiasen autous to pneuma lesou) "But the Spirit (of Jesus) also allowed them not to do it," or did not permit them to enter Bithynia. How is not explained. In the realm of the Spirit of Christ nothing is to be forced. The message of God is to be diligently proclaimed, fervently taught and preached, but not forced upon unbelievers who stop their ears, harden their hearts, turn their back and walk away. The word of witness does not return to the Lord in vain, when so given, whether then received by the hearer or not, Isaiah 55:10-11; 2 Corinthians 2:14-16. The hindrance may have been, and likely was, thru human instrumentality of passage permit, transportation, or closed roadway overland, etc. God’s Spirit works in Sovereign ways, as He wills, not always as His servants will, Genesis 50:19-20; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Paul later realized that "things" along the way of life had "fallen out" or "fallen in" for the "furtherance of the gospel," Philippians 1:12; Romans 8:28. Joseph’s hindrance from being reared at home, and Moses’ hindrance from being educated by his mother and father, was as surely by the Spirit of God, as their later being used to save their own people from death, Genesis 50:20-21. Exodus 2:1-10.

Verse 8

1) "And they passing by Mysia," (parelthontes de ten Musian) "Then when they had passed by Mysia of their own choice or decision," passed by the outskirts.

2) "Came down to Troas."(katebesan eis Troada) "They came down into Troas," a seaport on the upper Mediterranean Sea, near Hellespont, located four miles south of Ancient Troy, now called Eski Stamboul, mentioned Acts 20:5-6; 2 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Timothy 4:13. Troas was a Roman colony, an important port for commerce and communication between eastern Europe and northwest Asia Minor.

Verse 9

1) "And a vision appeared to Paul in the night." (kai orama dia nuktos to Paulo ophthe) "And a vision appeared to Paul through or during the night;" It was more than a merely intelligible dream, more than a recallable dream, as He spoke to Abraham, Genesis 15:11; to Daniel, Daniel 8:2; to Saul, Acts 9:11-12; to Cornelius, Acts 10:3. God who spoke to men, called men, communicated with them in various ways in olden times, now speaks thru His Spirit in harmony with His Word, Hebrews 1:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 8:16-17; 1 John 4:1-3; 1 John 4:13.

2) "There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him," (aner Makedon tis en hestos kai paralkalon auton) "A certain Macedonian man was standing (in the vision) and beseeching him," appealing or beckoning him; Was it the Philippian jailer who was later to be saved? Or was it Luke, a Greek Doctor, thought to have been a native of Macedonia, though his medical schooling may have led him to Tarsus, where he attended school with Paul, and later to Judea where he met the Master? No one knows, Acts 16:30-34; Luke 1:1-3; Acts 1:1-4.

3) "Saying, Come over into Macedonia and help us." (kai legon diabas eis Makedonian boetheson hemin) "And repeatedly saying, crossing (coming over) into Macedonia, help us," aid us, assist us. The Grecian art and philosophy did not fill the spiritual needs of the Grecians of the Macedonia Province, They needed Christian help; they asked for it; they received it, Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9; Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:27; John 6:37. See also Matthew 9:36-38; Romans 10:14-15.

Verse 10

1) "And after he had seen the vision," (hos de to orama eiden) "Then when he saw the vision," or had seen and related to us the vision of the man he had seen and the voice he had heard crying, appealing for help in Macedonia, from the European continent.

2) "Immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia," (eutheos ezetesamen ekselthein eis Makedonian) "Immediately we made ready to go forth into Macedonia," of our own choice, will or accord. By the term "we" it appears that Luke, the writer of Acts, joined Paul on his second missionary journey, A.D. 52, to remain with him as a missionary, physician helper, for most of Paul’s remaining life; In his final hours of life in Rome he wrote, only Luke is with me," 2 Timothy 4:11.

3) "Assuredly gathering that the Lord had-called us," (sumbibazontes hoti proskeletai hemas ho theos) "Concluding in colleague of agreement, that God had called us all," all of Paul’s missionary colleagues, helpers, or companions in travel. The "king’s business requireth haste." When they understood, they did not delay, they prepared with all their might, to sail for the new field of mission labors, 1 Samuel 21:1; Ecclesiastes 9:10.

4) "For to preach the gospel unto them,

(evangellisasthai autos) "To evangelize or bear the gospel message to them," in Macedonia, on the European continent, as the "power of God unto salvation," Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.


The charter of Massachusetts granted by Charles I contains an expression of the hope that the settlers to whom it is granted "may win and incite the natives of the country to the knowledge and obedience of the only true God and Saviour of mankind and the Christian faith, which, in our royal intention, and the adventurer’s free profession, is the principal end of this plantation." The first seal of the State represents an Indian giving utterance to the words, "Come over and help us."

- W. F. Rae.

Verse 11


1) "Therefore loosing from Troas," (anachthentes de apo Troados) "Then setting sail from Troas," by choice of sailing course.

2) "We came with a straight course to Samothracia," (euthudromesamen eis Samothraken) "We ran a straight course of sail into Samothracia," a lofty high mountain island north of Lemnos off the coast of Thrace, first inhabited by the Thracians, then later by Samians. It is now called Samotraki or Samandraki, located about half way between Troas and Neapolis.

3) "And the next day to Neapolis," (te de epiouse eis Nean polin) "Then on the next we sailed straight (directly) into Neapolis," mentioned Acts 20:1-6. The name means "new city," a seaport on the northeastern coast of the Aegean Sea. It is now known as Kavala, with some 25,000 inhabitants.

Verse 12


1) "And from thence to Philippi," (kakeithen eis Philippos) "And from that place (Neapolis) we went into Philippi," inland some twenty miles. The city is named for Philip, the founder, the father of Alexander the Great, Philippians 1:1. At Philippi there was a confluence (merging flow) of European and Asiatic life.

2) "Which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia," (hetis estin tes meridos Makedonias polis) "Which is (exists as) the most prominent city in that part of Macedonia."

3) "And a colony:” (kolonia) "A territorial colony area," of Eastern Macedonia, under control of Rome, a Roman colony, in contrast with many Greek colonies throughout Macedonia.

4) "And were in that city abiding certain days." (hemen de en taute te polei diatribontes hemeras tinas) "Then we were in that city tarrying for a period of some days," or staying for several days in Philippi, 1 Thessalonians 2:2.

Verse 13

1) "And on the sabbath," (te hemera ton sabbaton) "Then on the day of the Sabbath," the Jewish or law sabbath of the week.

2) "We went out of the city by a river side," (ekselthomen ekso tes pules para potamon) "We (our missionary tour group) went outside of the city gate of Philippi, alongside a river," the Gangas, a small torrent winter stream, but often dry in summer.

3) "Where prayer was wont to be made;” (ou enomizomen proseuchen einai) "Where we supposed to be a place of prayer," for the Christians of Philippi, Luke 18:1; James 5:16.

4) "And we sat down," (kai kathisantes) "And sitting down," to be at ease, to meditate, to fellowship, and to worship, Psalms 1:1-3.

5) "And spake unto the women which resorted thither." (elaloumen tais sunelthousais gunaiksen) "We spoke to the women who were coming together in colleague, (personal covenant)," for prayer. It is altogether possible that some of these who were coming together for prayer had been saved on Pentecost and returned to carry on a simple mission fellowship before Paul’s arrival, Acts 2:8; Acts 2:11. Wherever Paul went he led his missionary colleagues in seasons of prayer, witnessing, teaching, preaching and living an exemplary life for Christ, 1 Corinthians 9:20-27; Romans 1:14-16; Romans 12:1-2.

Verse 14


1) "And a certain woman named Lydia," (kai tis gune onomati Ludia) "And a specific woman by name of (known as) Lydia," a woman of piety, who received the Lord in Philippi of Macedonia, on the European continent, away from the home of her nativity, then entertained the missionary brethren, Acts 16:15

2) "A seller of purple of the city of Thyatira," (porphuropolis poleos Thuatiron) "A dealer or merchandise person in purple-dyed fabrics and garments of the city of Thyatira, "across the Aegean Sea in Asia Minor, some two hundred or more miles from her home; She came as an unsaved successful, prosperous, worldly woman, who like Cornelius, felt a need of prayer and worship, Acts 10:1-3; Acts 17:27.

3) "Which worshipped God, heard us:" (sebomune ton theon ekousen) "Who was worshipping God, of her own accord, gave attention to us," Luke 14:35, "he that hath ears to hear, let him hear," for "faith cometh by hearing," Romans 10:17; John 6:44; Acts 11:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6.

4) "Whose heart the Lord opened," (es ho kurios dienoiksen ten kardian) "Whose heart the Lord opened up;" by His Spirit to receive the gospel, Matthew 1:11-25; Luke 24:45; Proverbs 16:1. Paul preached, Lydia gave heed, but the Lord opened her heart (her understanding and affections) by His word, and convicting spirit, Proverbs 1:22-23; Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 4:7.

5) "That she attended unto the things," (prosechein tois) "To take heed or give emotional response to the things," to give heed, hear was Lydia’s part, to open her heart that she might believe, was God’s part, Proverbs 16:1; Proverbs 1:22-23; Hebrews 4:7, The message of salvation and service, that salvation calls for profession and service, Romans 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:8-10; James 1:22; Mark 8:34-38; Matthew 5:15-16.

6) "That were spoken of Paul." (laloumenois hupo Paulou) "That were being repeatedly and effectively spoken by Paul," that one (a sinner) must be saved by repentance toward God and faith on Jesus Christ, accompanied or succeeded, by baptism, an outward symbol of commitment to bear the message of salvation to others, Acts 20:21; Galatians 3:26-27.

Verse 15

1) "And when she was baptized," (hos de ebaptisthe) "And when she had been baptized," in response to Paul’s preaching, who taught only that responsible believers should be baptized, never infants, or the irresponsible, Romans 1:14-16; Romans 10:9-10; Romans 10:13; Acts 16:31; Acts 20:21; Galatians 3:26.

2) "And her household," (kai ho oikos autes) "As well as her household," her responsible family members and household servants, those capable of hearing and giving responsible obedience to the gospel call to salvation and service, (which Paul preached) those who had accompanied her in her move to Philippi.

3) "She besought us, saying," (parekalesen legousa) "She appealed to us, repeatedly saying," desiring fellowship with Paul, Silas, Luke and their witnessing missionary colleagues, John 13:34-35, appealing for them to be guests in her home, a genuine expression of hospitality, as taught Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 5:10; 3 John 1:5.

4) "if ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord," (ei kekrikate me pisten to kurio einai) "if you all have decided me to be (that I am) faithful to or toward the Lord," in my commitment and appeal to my family (household), to commit themselves to Christ and His service, that I am sincere, honest, earnest, 1 Corinthians 3:9.

5) "Come into my house and abide there." (eiselthontes eis ton oikon mou menete) "Be willing to come into my home of your own accord and stay a little while," accept my hospitality. Giving and sharing is one very basic evidence of sincerity and of Love, John 3:16; Acts 20:35; Hebrews 13:1.

6) "And she constrained us." (kai parebiasato hemas) "And she urged us," earnestly appealed to us to come and share her hospitality and our testimony for a time with her and her household, as the Philippian jailer also did later, Acts 16:34; as the Emmaus disciples did their Lord after His resurrection, Luke 24:29.

Verse 16


1) "And it came to pass," (egenbto de) "Then it happened or occurred," it came to be, shortly following this event.

2) "As we went to prayer," (poreuomenon hemon eis ten proseuchen) "That as we were going by choice to or toward the place of prayer," where prayer was offered, by believers as a custom in that area, in Philippi, out by the riverside, Acts 16:13.

3) "A certain damsel," (paidisken tina) "A certain or particular damsel," a certain or particular kind of damsel, a female slave girl, out of the ordinary, described as follows:

4) "Possessed with a spirit of divination met us," (echousan pneuma puthon hupantesai hemin) "Having or possessing a spirit of a python (a venom of a serpent, the devil) met us," devil possessed, John 8:44.

5) "Which brought her masters much gain," (hetis ergasian pollen pareichen tois kuriois autes) "Who brought (in) to her masters (those who held her contract for services) much unjust gain, dividend, or profit," Acts 19:24. The root word "masters" is plural, denoting that more than one person had a controlling slave-stock ownership over her, 1 Timothy 6:10, for the love of money, root of all kinds of evil, which satisfies not, Ecclesiastes 5:10.

6) "By soothsaying," (manteuomen) "By repeatedly engaging in (practicing) soothsaying, trickery, or magic arts," an art of cunning carnal deception for a purpose of exciting and entertaining masses or large crowds, much it appears as Elymas the sorcerer, Acts 13:8-11.

Verse 17

1) "The same followed Paul and us," (aute katakolouthousa to Paulo kai hemin) "This one (certain, special damsel) or maid, female slave girl, continually following after, trailing around after Paul and us," our missionary team or band.

2) "And cried, saying," (ekrazed legousa) "She cried out, spoke out loudly, above the din of noise of the crowd, saying, distinctly," in demonic like ravings:

3) "These men are servants of the most high God," (houtoi hoi anthropoi douloi tou theou tou hupsistou eisin) "These men (Paul, Silas, Luke, and perhaps other missionary helpers) are slave-like servants (free-slaves) of the most high God," the God of heaven and earth, the one God. Tho demon incited this mentally deranged girl gave supernatural testimony to the mission of Paul and his friends, as also found in Matthew 8:29; Mark 3:11; Luke 4:41; Luke 8:28.

4) "Which shew unto us the way of salvation." (oitines katangellousin humin hodon soterias) "Who announce or herald to you all a way of salvation," a way of deliverance, which was as "a way" also "the way" besides or apart from which there is none other, John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:14-16; John 8:24. This seems to have been the alternating testimony of a slave-girl whose conscious, frustrated soul alternated between sanity and insanity, fear and hope.

Verse 18

1) "And this did she many days," (touto de epoiei epi pollas hemeras) "Then this she did day after day," or day upon day, continuing many days, repeatedly - witnessing of the salvation that Paul and Silas preached to deliver her from the python-like venom of the spirit of the devil, John 3:14-16.

2) "But Paul being grieved," (diaponetheis de Paulos) "Then Paul becoming greatly troubled," or became seriously troubled, with grief, pain and anger, at what the demon power had done and was doing to the slave girl.

3) "Turned and said to the spirit," (kai epistrepsas to pneumati eipen) "And turning to the spirit he said," in a direct address, imperatively:

4) "I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ," (parangello soi en onomati lesou Christou) "I charge you (individually or personally) in the name (by the authority) of Jesus Christ," as directed in the Scriptures, Mark 5:8; Colossians 3:17.

5) "To come out of her." (ekselthein ap’ autes) "To come out and away from domination of her," much as the Lord directed demon spirits, Matthew 12:43; Matthew 17:18; and as further witnessed by Luke, the medical doctor, Luke 10:17.

6) "And he came out the same hour." (kai ekselthen aute te hora) "And he came out (and away from domination of her) in the very same hour," as he did from the demon father of Gadara, who was instructed to go home and tell his friends what great things from the Lord, had happened to him, in liberating him, saving him, setting him free from demon possession, subjection, Luke 8:26-39; John 8:36.

Verse 19


1) "And when her masters saw," (idontes de hoi kurioi autes) "Then her masters (stockholders) realizing," recognizing, or comprehending, that the deranged demon possessed damsel or slave girl had been restored, and with it,

2) "That the hope of their gains was gone," (hoti ekselthen he elpis tes ergasias auton) "That the (or any) hope of their profit or personal gain, dividend, or further profiteering was gone out of her;" Note the cruelty of the covetous souls who for greed, for money had rather see her soul writhing in a demon tormented state, than lose their money, like a pimp controlling a house of prostitution, or a saloon keeper making drunks for money, 1 Timothy 6:10; Ecclesiastes 5:10; Acts 19:24-25.

3) "They caught Paul and Silas," (epilabomenoi ton Paulon kai ton Silan) "They seized (having seized) Paul and Silas," leaders of the worshipping mission band or party. Luke and Timothy were spared, perhaps because they were thought to be Greeks.

4) "And drew them into the marketplace," (eilkusan eis ten agoran) "They boisterously dragged (them) unceremoniously into the marketplace," before the masses of the public, probably dragging them by their feet, Acts 14:19. For here the local magistrates would sit in public judgement similar to the Roman forum in open hearing in examination of the accused.

5) "Unto the rulers," (epi tous archontas) "Before the rulers," for a stacked, prejudicial judgement, and quick condemnation, without fair and due process of Roman law, because they recognized them to be Jew, Acts 16:20.

Verse 20

1) "And brought them to the magistrates, saying," (kai prosagagontes autous tois strategois eipan) "And leading them with a strong arm to the magistrates they alleged," to the examining council known in Roman colonies as praetors," alleging as follows:

2) "These men, being Jews," (houtoi hoi anthropoi loudaioi huparchontes) "These men (Paul and Silas) being (as is apparent) Jews," persons of dislike, suspicion, and even contempt by the Romans, were charged, and as was thereafter charged against messengers of God, 1 Kings 18:17; Acts 17:6; Acts 24:5.

3) "Do exceedingly trouble our city," (ektarassousin hemon ten polin) "Are greatly troubling (disturbing) our city," Truth was that their preaching was not troubling "the city," of which were:

1. The Philippian jailer and his household.

2. Lydia and her household.

3. And many church brethren in Philippi.

So much as it had troubled these covetous former slave holders of the once devil possessed damsel who had lost their profiteering from her, after she had been saved, See? It was their loss of "money that cankers" that troubled them most, much as it was when the city oi Ephesus was so disturbed over the possibility of loss of prestige of the goddess Diana and her profiteering trade, Acts 19:24-29; yet the word declares that silver satisfieth not, Ecclesiastes 5:10.

Verse 21

1) "And teach customs," (kai katangellousin ethe) "And advocate customs or ethics," a code of conduct they espouse, that believers should follow the morals, ethics, and doctrines of Christ in separated living, Luke 9:43; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 John 2:15-17.

2) "Which are not lawful for us to receive," (a ouk eksestin hemin paradechesthai) "Which is not lawful (existing) for us to embrace," a standard of conduct that is just not for us to emulate or espouse. This charge was pure hypocrisy- they really cared not what, they preached or how they worshipped, so long as it did not dry up the source of their silver or gold, demonstrating that the "love of money is the root of all (all kinds of) evil," 1 Timothy 6:10.

3) "Neither to observe, being Romans." (oude poiein Romaiois) "Not at all to do as Romans," to hold our reputation as Romans. Why? Because their code of conduct was one of sensual behavior, patterned after the philosophy that truth and good for each was to do what brought each the greatest degree of pleasure or sensual gratification, without regards for moral consequences. This was the "humanism" concept of many that day, as it still is of many today. These "losers of gain" from the healed damsel, their major investment, sought to hide their religion, law, and good order, see also Acts 17:5-9; Acts 19:23; Acts 19:29.


Every city had its own special protecting deities; to bring into it a new worship was an invasion which the people were as ready to resent as the magistrates to punish. Observe that in the superstitious city of Philippi these prejudices were easily aroused, but not in the philosophical and skeptical city of Athens, nor in the commercial city of Corinth (Acts 17:1 to Acts 18:28). "How often in the ages of our fathers was it given in charge to the magistrates, to prohibit the performance of any foreign religious rites; to banish strolling sacrificers and soothsayers from the forum, the circus, and the city; to search for, and burn, books of divination; and to abolish every mode of sacrificing that was not conformable to the Roman practice."

(Livy, B. 39, ch. 14) -Abbott.

Verse 22

1) "And the multitude rose up together against them:”(kai sunepeste ho ochlos kat’ auton) "And the motley crowd rose up in arms in colleague against them," against Paul, Silas, in particular, and those praying, believing church brethren, followers of Jesus Christ in Philippi, as in other places, Acts 19:28-34; Acts 21:30; Luke 23:18.

2) "And the magistrates rent off their clothes," (kai hoi strategoi perireksantes auton a himatia) "And the magistrates unceremoniously tearing and roughly ripping off their clothes," (from Paul and Silas) to humiliate them publicly, to incite the sensual pleasure of the motley sensual crowd, and to expose their naked bodies to the beating rods, or whips, Acts 16:37.

3) "And commanded to beat them." (ekeleuon hrabdizein) "Ordered, gave instructions to flog them," to whip or beat them up, publicly, there in the open marketplace in Philippi; without any trial, to satisfy the popular anger and rage of the "losing, covetous, former stockholders" of their once gain-bearing demon possessed damsel-slave girl. It appears that this public beating was repeated; Three times he was beaten with the lictor rods, 2 Corinthians 6:5; 2 Corinthians 11:23; 2 Corinthians 11:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:2. Our Lord forewarned of such cruel mockery and humiliation, Matthew 5:11-12; John 15:20; 2 Timothy 2:12; 2 Timothy 3:12.

Verse 23

1) "And when they had laid many stripes upon them," (pollas de epithentes autois plegas) "Then when they the (Roman soldiers, magistrates and crowd) had put many stripes on them," on both Paul and Silas, perhaps no less than 39 stripes to each, and Paul may have been beaten three times on this occasion, 2 Corinthians 11:23-25. The stripes were open gashes that ran blood and it was not washed off until after midnight, by the Philippian jailer, after he was saved, Acts 16:33.

2) "They cast them into prison," (ebalon eis phulaksen) "They tossed him uncompassionately into prison," known thereafter as the Philippian jail, much as Paul had once beaten and unceremoniously imprisoned followers of Jesus Christ, Acts 8:3; Acts 9:1; Acts 9:13; Acts 9:21; Acts 22:4; Acts 26:9-11; Galatians 1:13-14; 1 Timothy 1:13-14. Paul once was a zealous, persecuting, religious, profiteer of the perverted Jewish religion, but after he was redeemed, he "reaped what he sowed," Galatians 6:6-8.

3) "Charging the jailer to keep them safely:”(parangelantes to desmophulakai asphalos terin autous) "Specifically, repeatedly, or explicitly ordering the jailer to guard them securely," to keep them safely in custody from escape or any outside help or relief from their suffering and anguish, Acts 16:27. Satan is a cruel master, delighting in the suffering of his slaves, using and abusing them with glee, as he did the damsel there in Philippi and the Gadarene demoniac, bound in the open field among the tombs, isolated, quarantined from his family, cutting himself upon the stones, with wounds long untreated, scar tissues upon his body, Luke 8:26-39.

Verse 24

1) "Who, having received such a charge," (hos parangellian toi auten labon) "Who after having received such an accountable charge or mandate," to keep them in secure custody from any possible escape, Acts 16:23.

2) "Thrust them into the inner prison," (ebalen autous eis ten esoteran phulaken) "Brusquely tossed them into the inner prison," into solitary confinement, bruised, bleeding, faint, untreated medically. It was a remote cell, perhaps dark and cold, though not necessarily underground; the chains often rusted on the prisoners.

3) "And made their feet fast in the stocks." (kai tous podas espalisato auton eis to ksulon) "And secured their feet (fastened them securely) into the wooden stocks," stocks made of wood, that were anchored securely, and fastened around their feet at, and just above the ankle bone. The "ksulon" might be either an iron or wooden bar that, after being secured around the ankle bones, could be pulled and locked far apart to spread their legs to torture the prisoners, with repeated torture, at the will of the prison keepers; Such are to be remembered in prayer, Hebrews 13:3; Romans 12:15.


For three hundred years Christianity was a persecuted religion in the Roman empire, and during this period all who assumed the public confession of it did so at the hazard of their lives. But the severest persecutions of all are those which the Papal community has inflicted. Her character and history are written in blood, as the doings of her Inquisition in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, her wars of extermination against the Vaudois, her horrid massacres in France and the Netherlands, and the burning of Smithfield loudly declare.

-T. Jackson.

Verse 25


1) "And at midnight," (kata de to mesounuktion) "Then about (around the time of) midnight," about half through the night of darkness that followed their public, humiliating beating and imprisonment.

2) "Paul and Silas prayed," (Paulso kai Silas proseuchomenoi) "While Paul and Silas were praying; “He "giveth songs in the night," Job 35:10; Our Lord sang in the night, after His passover, Matthew 26:30.

3) "And sang praises unto God:” (humnon ton theon) "And as they praised God in an hymn," gave to Him expressions of gratitude and thanksgiving for His grace, salvation, and sustaining help for every need. The idea is 11 they were singing prayer hymns," hymns of praise and thanksgiving, Acts 4:31; Romans 5:3; Colossians 1:11; 1 Peter 4:13. It was a spiritual festival of triumph in the night, consisting perhaps of the six festival hymn Psalms, Psalms 113:1 to Psalms 118:29.

4) "And the prisoners heard them." (epekroonto de auton hoi desmioi) "As then the prisoners listened to them intently," listened with awe and astonishment. Paul and Silas let their light shine in testimony, prayer, praise, and song in solitary confinement that night, because they were not alone, nor altogether confined or in the dark, Matthew 5:13-16; John 8:12; Hebrews 13:5. And God’s Word did not return to Him void, Isaiah 55:10-11; John 4:34-38; Psalms 126:5-6.

Verse 26

1) "And suddenly there was a great earthquake," (aphno de seismoa egeneto) "Then (about that time, at midnight) suddenly there came an earthquake," one of high register vibration on the Richter scale, of the earth’s tremor in Philippi. It no doubt came in answer to their prayers, for both their benefit (of all in prison there), and for our lesson, as we read and interpret it. There is a prayer-hearing and delivering God, Daniel 3:16-17; Daniel 6:19; Daniel 6:23; Acts 4:1-3; Acts 4:29-31; Acts 5:17-29.

2) "So that the foundations of the prison were shaken:" (hoste saleuthenai ta themelia tou Desmoteriou) "So trembling and strong in nature that it caused to be shaken, moved out of place, the theme-structure, or whole foundation and supporting structure of the jail," including the solitary confinement inner cell where Paul and Silas were held, fixed in stocks, were shaken, came apart, were loosed.

3) "And immediately all the doors were opened," (enechthesan de parachrema hai thumai pasai) "And all the doors of the prison were suddenly opened," by the power of Him who sends the earthquakes and controls His universe, as illustrated, Acts 4:31; Acts 5:19; Acts 12:7; Acts 12:10. God overrules all wicked designs against His children for their eternal good and His glory, according to His omniscience, Romans 8:28; Psalms 34:7; Psalms 34:12-19.

4) "And every one’s bands were loosed," (kai panton ta desma anethe) "And the bonds, bands, or chains of everyone, in both the inner and outer prison cells were loosed, broken, let loose," so that the prisoners were no longer restrained by them. Tho all the prisoners were loosed from their restraints and all the prison doors were opened (ajar), by terror of the supernatural power that had intervened, they did not attempt to escape. In this time of imprisonment and upheaval Paul and Silas had learned in whatever state they were "therewith to be content," Philippians 4:11; Hebrews 13:5.

Verse 27

1) "And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep," (eksupos de genomenos ho desmophulaks) "Then when the jailer had become awakened from out of his sleep," apparently by the great earthquake or high praise hymn singing that immediately preceded and accompanied it, Acts 16:25.

2) "And seeing the prison doors open," (kai idon aneogmenos tas thuras tes phulakes) "And seeing the doors of the prison had been opened," by the unseen hand of the delivering God, as in Acts 4:31; Acts 5:19; Acts 12:7; Acts 12:10.

3) "He drew out his sword," (spasamenos ten machairan) "Having drawn the sword," an instrument of death, self destruction, with suicidal intentions. For suicide was approved by the stoics among the Greeks and Romans.

4) "And would have killed himself," (emellen heauton anairein) "He was about to kill himself," knowing that in letting the prisoners under his guard escape he forfeited or was obligated to give up his own life for carelessness, or neglect of duty, not keeping his trust, Acts 12:19; Acts 27:42,

5) "Supposing the prisoners had been fled." (nomizon ekepheugetai tous desmious) "Just Supposing or concluding that the prisoners were escaped," or already fled and death was decreed for him, by Roman law, had he let the prisoners escape.

Verse 28

1) "But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying," (epouesen de Paulos megale phone legon) "Then Paul called with a megaphone-like voice saying," repeatedly saying, over and over to the jailer, to deter him from committing suicide; He cared for the life and soul of the one who guarded and held him in solitary confinement, as he cared for the souls of lost men, Jew and Gentile, Romans 1:14-16; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.

2) "Do thyself no harm:” (meden prakes seauto kakon) "Do not do to thyself harm," or permanent injury, which is evil. Did he see the jailer by some accompanying light? or did he hear him draw his clanging steel sword in the darkness of the inner cell door? No one knows. But that he held or detained a lost sinner, from a suicide’s grave and a devil’s hell, because he cared for his soul, is evident, and was blessed, Proverbs 11:30.

3) "For we are all here." (hapantes gar esmen enthade) "For we (prisoners), all who are in your custody, are all here." Why did the prisoners not all make their escape? Apparently an awe of the sudden supernatural intervention, accompanying the prayer and praise hymns of the imprisoned saints of God (Paul and Silas), simply overwhelmed them and took from them any desire to escape. Paul was interested in the souls of the others when he sounded his appeal, as expressed, Daniel 12:3; Acts 20:21; Romans 10:1-4; 1 Corinthians 16:9.

Verse 29

1) "Then he called for a light and sprang in," (aitesas de phota eisepedesen) "Then asking (appealing for) lights by which to see he rushed into the prison cells," the "he" was the jailkeeper, the gaoler. He "sprang in," indicating joy he had in hearing and to see that all prisoners were in the jail, John 6:37.

2) "And came trembling," (kai entromos genomenos) "And in a traumatic state or condition he became while entering into the solitary confinement area," with trembling he entered, in awe that the prisoners had not attempted to escape, leaving him to be put to death. His trembling also indicated conviction and remorse for his sins, Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10.

3) "And fell down before Paul and Silas," (prosepesen to Paulo kai Sila) "He fell face down toward them," as if in worship or as a servant in their hands. He fell in fear, in wonder, and in gratitude, toward Paul and Silas. Not only had he near lost his life, but best of all, he realized he was nigh losing his soul, according to their prayers and testimonies and songs, John 3:3; John 8:24; Acts 4:12.

Verse 30


1) "And brought them out, and said," (kai proagagon autous ekso ephe) "And going outside before them, or leading them outside, he said," he responded to their gracious testimony of grace, James 5:16. Their prayers had availed much. He led them at least out of the solitary confinement cell into his apartment in the prison.

2) "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (kurioi ti me dei poiein hina sotho?) "Sirs, what does it behoove me to do in order to be saved?" that I may be saved? He was not inquiring how he might be safe from a prisoner escape, for none had escaped. His question concerned his lost soul, that Jesus came to seek and to save, Luke 3:10; Luke 19:10; Acts 2:37; Acts 9:6. Paul and Silas, as mandated (sent missionaries) from the church He established and commissioned, were the very emissaries of God to tell him, and they did, John 15:16; John 15:27: Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Jeremiah 29:13.

This Philippian jailer realized in his soul that what the demon possessed damsel had said, for which Paul and Silas having cast the demon out of the damsel, taking from her shareholders their hope of monetary gain, they had been imprisoned- - -Remember the Divine message that God preached thru this deranged damsel repeatedly was: "These men are servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation," Acts 16:17. And now, this jailer asked to hear the old, old story - - - Paul didn’t tell him; Silas didn’t tell him; But "they said," neither waiting on the other, in the need of the moment- -"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house," those needing salvation who will also trust Him, or believe in Him.

Verse 31

1) "And they said," (hoi de eipen) "Then they said," both Paul and Silas simultaneously asserted, responded affirmed in concord or in harmony to this convicted, emotionally stirred, unsaved, dissatisfied, sinner. They came directly to the point of what he then needed to be saved. He had heard the word, thru their testimony, Romans 10:17; Luke 14:35; He had been convinced and convicted that he was a sinner and needed salvation, in penitent trembling words he asked, and was firmly told:

2) "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," (pesteuson epi ton kurion lesoun) "Believe thou (for yourself) on the Lord Jesus." Imperatively, they commanded or exhorted this sinner, who had heard the word, and been convicted that he was not saved, to believe on or place his trust upon the Lord Jesus, with the following assurance for all who seek the Lord, Isaiah 45:22; Isaiah 55:6-7; John 1:16; John 1:18; John 5:24; 1 John 5:10; Acts 4:12.

3) "And thou shalt be saved," (kai sothese su) "And thou shalt (personally) be saved," exist in a saved or delivered state or condition, even as all ever saved before him had done, Acts 10:43; Romans 1:16; Romans 4:3-5; Romans 4:16.

4) "And thy house," (kai ho oikos sou) "And your household," the responsible people of your household, family, and servants, who are convicted and desire to be saved as you do, John 6:37; Romans 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:8-10. If and when responsible sinners believe, they each and all promised and assured salvation, Acts 11:13-14; Acts 13:38-39.

Verse 32

1) "And they spake unto him," (kai elalesan auto) "And they (Paul and Silas) witnessed together to him," the jailer, to the seeker, who sought in trembling, with all his heart, Isaiah 45:22; Jeremiah 29:13.

2) "The word of the Lord," (ton logon tou theou) "The word of God," which is quick, sharp, and powerful, Hebrews 4:12, by which faith comes to a sinner who hears, and salvation comes to the one who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 10:17; Acts 10:43; Romans 1:16; John 1:11-12; John 20:31; 1 Peter 1:23.

3) "And to all that were in his house." (sun pasin tois en te oikia autou) "In colleague with, close association with, all that were in his house," at this after midnight hour of service, perhaps servants of his own house, and assistants to him who lived in the prison area who had gathered to hear these men of God and their further witness, which did bring forth fruit, even from their imprisonment, Isaiah 55:10-11; Ecclesiastes 11:1-6; John 4:34-38; Psalms 126:5-6.

Verse 33

1) "And he took them," (kai paralabon autous) "And taking them," the jailer accompanied them, Paul and Silas, he went along with them; the term suggests to another place, perhaps a short way to the same river where prayer was wont to be made and Lydia had been baptized, Acts 16:13-15.

2) "The same hour of the night,"(en ekeine te hora tes nuktos) "in that same hour of the night," a post midnight hour, after the earthquake tremor had gone, and the prisoners were all quieted in their cells.

3) "And washed their stripes," (elousen apoten plegon) "He washed (blood) from their stripes," where they had been cruelly beaten the day before; How tender the hardened jailer suddenly became, thru his new birth experience. Such is evidence of genuine repentance toward God and faith in Jesus, which Paul preached, Acts 10:21; Matthew 25:40.

4) "And was baptized," (kai ebaptisthe) "And he was baptized, immersed, or submerged, like Jesus was, Matthew 3:15-16, as the Eunuch was, Acts 8:36-39, as Cornelius and his household were, Acts 10:47-48.

5) "He and all his, straightaway." (autos kai hoi autou hapantes parachrema) "He and each or all of his household, at one time," all who like he, had believed on the Lord Jesus, as instructed by Paul and Silas, and as Cornelius, Acts 10:47-48.

Verse 34

1) "And when he had brought them into his house," anagagon te autous eis ton oikon) "And bringing them up into the house," after the post-midnight baptismal service. They perhaps were baptized in the river by which the women resorted, went aside frequently, for prayer. And upon returning to the house or home of the new Christian, home of new disciples, to show hospitality and comfort to them, Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9.

2) "He set meat before them," (parentheken trapzan) "He set a table (of food) before them," as an act of Christian hospitality, Psalms 23:5; Hebrews 13:1-2.

3) "And rejoiced," (kai egalliasato) "And he exulted, or simply exuded great joy," with Paul, Silas, and his household, Philippians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Romans 12:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:16; 1 Peter 4:13.

4) "Believing in God with all of his house." (panoikei pepisteukos to theo) "With all his household who had believed in and were believing in God," not only for salvation but also to lead them in obedient service and stewardship to Christ, 1 Corinthians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Ephesians 2:10; James 1:22; Matthew 5:15-16.

Two homes had now been dedicated to Christ in Philippi:

1) One from preaching the gospel - Lydia’s home.

2) One from suffering, prayer, singing and in-house witnessing- -the Philippian jailer’s.

Three saved parties were reached there:

1) Lydia - - - a proselyte.

2) The slave girl - - - Greek damsel.

3) The Philippian jailer, the Romans.

Verse 35


1) "And when it was day," (hemeras de genomenes) "Then when day came;" the day following the arrest of Paul and Silas, and the day following the midnight earthquake and conversion and baptism of the jailer and his household.

2) "The magistrates sent the serjeants, saying," (apesteilan hoi strategoi tous hrabdouchous) "The magistrates mandated (gave orders to) the sergeants at arm," (legontes) "Saying or specifically ordering or directing them," the same magistrates who had ordered Paul and Silas to be publicly whipped, Acts 16:22-24. The sergeants were "rod-bearers," "lictors" was their technical name.

3) "Let those men go." (apoluson tous anthropous ekeinous) "Release those men." Let Paul and Silas go, set them free, release or liberate them. Why? One may only conjecture that better judgement and fear had caught up with the conscience of the magistrates so that they felt it the better part of valor and security for their lives to be free from further entanglement with these saints of God, Luke 20:19; Luke 22:2; Acts 5:26.

Verse 36

1) "And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul," (anengeilen de ho desmophulaks tous logous pros ton Paulon) "And the jailer announced the words to Paul," no doubt the new Christian jailkeeper was overjoyed to have such orders to execute, to convey to Paul, now safely back in his cell.

2) "The magistrates have sent to let you go:” (hoti apestalkan hoi strategoi hina apoluthete) "That the magistrates have mandated that (in order that) you all may be released," or set free to go, the same magistrates who had the day before had them beaten and placed in stocks in solitary confinement, Acts 16:22-24.

3) "Now therefore depart," (nun oun ekselthontes) "Now and hereafter therefore you all are going forth," to keep walking, wherever you please. But the Lord sees not as man sees, from the outward appearance only, neither do God’s people, 1 Samuel 16:7.

4) "And go in peace." (proeuesthe en eirene) "So proceed as you will, of your own will and accord, without further restraint, going on in peace," or be gone, get out of here while you can peacefully, was the veiled freedom threat or liberation of the magistrates. But Paul received the orders, however, with a different attitude, explained as follows: Paul looked on the welfare of "others," as he declined to leave the city under any public cloud of wrong, because of the believers’ welfare, whom he was to leave behind, Philippians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 10:24; 1 Corinthians 10:33.

Verse 37

1) But Paul said unto them," (ho de Paulos ephe pros autos) "Then Paul replied to them" Paul responded to their method of proposed release or liberationfor him and Silas as follows:

2) "They have beaten us openly uncondemned," (deirantes hemas demosia akatkritous) "They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned," without a trial or examination of charges leveled against us, Acts 16:22-24. Paul demanded a reasonable reparation from the magistrates, to strengthen the reputation of the Philippian converts.

3) "Being Romans," (anthropous hromaious huparchotas) "As responsible men who exist as Romans," who are Roman citizens, the magic word; For to bind a Roman citizen was an outrage, and to scourge or whip him publicly, was a crime, Acts 22:25-26. It appears from this that both Paul and Silas were Romans.

4) "And have cast us into prison;" (ebalon eis phulaken) "They threw us unceremoniously into prison," uncondemned, illegally without a fair or honest forum, or public hearing of any kind, a humiliating experience of which he later wrote to the Thessalonian brethren, 1 Thessalonians 2:2.

5) "And now do they thrust us out privily?" (kai nun lathra hemas ekballousin) "And now, and for hereafter, do they secretly want to expel us?" Without letting the general public know about the issues at stake? To leave a blight on the reputation of other believers? Paul looked on the welfare of others after him, Philippians 2:4; Romans 15:2.

6) "But let them come themselves," (ou gar alla elthontes autoi) "No indeed (at this point, under these conditions) we will not go, but instead let them come themselves," let them publicly admit and announce their illegal wrong, Romans 14:11-12.

7) "And fetch us out." (humas eksagagelosan) "Let them bring us out," and release us before the general public, just as they publicly humiliated us, and beat us, without a legal trial, Galatians 6:7-8. Let them admit their illegal actions.

Verse 38

1) "And the serjeants told these words," (apengeilan de hoi hrabdouchoi ta hremata tauta) "Then the serjeants reported these words of clear explanation."

2) "Unto the magistrates:" (tois strategois) "To the magistrates of the city of Philippi," to those who had them publicly beaten on the previous day.

3) "And they feared," (ephobethesan de) "Then they were filled with fear,’’ for their reputation, their jobs, and perhaps their lives because of their illegal, impulsive, criminal like conduct the previous day, toward the apostles, Acts 16:22-24.

4) "When they heard that they were Romans." (akousantes hoti hromaioi eisin) "Hearing evidence that they were Romans," who had been by them illegally detained, and publicly demeaned, and humiliated without a due, fair legal trial or public hearing, Acts 22:24-30; John 15:20; Matthew 5:10-12; 2 Timothy 3:12.

Verse 39

1) "And they came and besought them " (kai elthontes parekalesan autos) "And they came and appealed to them repeatedly," in person, not sending the "lictors" or sergeants, they besought them to forgive them for their wrong to them, and not to inform Rome against them. This was quite different from their tyrannical, brutal, blood-thirsting attitude of the day before, Revelation 3:9.

2) "And brought them out," (kai eksagagontes) "And bringing them out," leading them out, or going out before them," leading them out of the prison themselves, personally, not leaving it to the jailer or sergeants. They cared not for the apostles, any more than the day before, but chiefly for their own safety, they treated them respectfully.

3) "And desired them to depart out of the city." (eroton apelthein apo tes poleos) "They, the magistrates, asked them to go away from the City," just anywhere they pleased, Matthew 8:34. The presence of God’s people among the wicked is usually unappreciated, unwanted, and feared because of their own disharmony with God, Isaiah 48:22; Isaiah 57:20-21; Isaiah 59:8.

Verse 40

1) "And they went out of the prison," (ekselthontes de apo phulakes) "Then they (Paul and Silas) went out of, and away from, the prison," with honor, Matthew 5:11-12; Acts 5:41 ; Romans 5:3; Hebrews 10:34; James 1:2.

2) "And entered into the house of Lydia:" (eiselthon pros ten Ludian) "They entered into the house of Lydia," the residence of the gracious and hospitable new Christian businesswoman, Acts 16:14-15. Leisurely and boldly they went there to demonstrate that they were not law-breakers, and to strengthen the faith of the brethren, before leaving, 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9.

3) "And when they had seen the brethren," (kai idonies tous adelphous) "And when they saw the brethren," perhaps the brethren of a church of Philippi that met in her home, Acts 16:15. To them the book of Philippians was later written, Philippians 1:1.

4) "They comforted them and departed." (parekalesan kai ekselthan) "They exhorted them (in the faith) and comforted them, then went forth from the city of their own accord," 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. But two of the party, Timothy and Luke, seem to have remained behind to strengthen or help the brethren, as indicated, Philippians 2:19-23.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Acts 16". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/acts-16.html. 1985.
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