|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:35-40 Paul, though willing to suffer for the cause of Christ, and without any desire to avenge himself, did not choose to depart under the charge of having deserved wrongful punishment, and therefore required to be dismissed in an honourable manner. It was not a mere point of honour that the apostle stood upon, but justice, and not to himself so much as to his cause. And when proper apology is made, Christians should never express personal anger, nor insist too strictly upon personal amends. The Lord will make them more than conquerors in every conflict; instead of being cast down by their sufferings, they will become comforters of their brethren.
Verse 40. - Departed; i.e. from Philippi, according to the magistrates' request in ver. 39. This is much clearer in the T.R. and A.V. than in the Revised Text and Version, because the same word, ἐξελθεῖν, is used in both places. The R.T. in ver. 39 - ἀπελθεῖν ἀπὸ destroys the reference, and rather suggests that they merely" went out "of Lydia's house, which they had "entered into." It appears from the first verse of Acts 17. ("they had passed," etc.) that St. Luke stopped at Philippi, and probably made it his head-quarters till St. Paul's last journey from Macedonia to Jerusalem, some six or seven years later (Acts 20:6). What became of Timothy we are not expressly told, only we find him at Beroea in Acts 17:14 and 1 Thessalonians 3:5; and at Corinth (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:6). Probably he accompanied St. Paul, but is not named, being still only a subordinate person in the mission.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they went out of the prison,.... In a public manner, with great honour and reputation, at the request of the magistrates that put them there:
and entered into the house of Lydia; whom Paul had baptized, Acts 16:14. The word "house" is rightly supplied, for the sense is not, that they went into the country of Lydia, as some have been tempted to think; but they went to the woman Lydia, whose heart the Lord had opened, and was become a disciple and follower of Christ; they went to her house it being in the city of Philippi, where she now abode,
and when they had seen the brethren: the men of Lydia's house, her servants, who were converted, and had been baptized with her, and are therefore called brethren; and whomsoever else they might have been instrumental in the conversion of, who might meet them in Lydia's house: in Beza's above mentioned copy, it is here added, "they declared what the Lord had done for them"; they related the earthquake and the effects of it, and how they had been useful for the conversion of the jailer and his family, who had been baptized by them, and by what means they were released from prison; all which they ascribe to the Lord, who has all power, and the hearts of all in his hands: and thus,
they comforted them; with what God had done for them, or exhorted them: to cleave to the Lord, to continue in the faith, and abide by the truths and ordinances of the Gospel:
and departed; that is, out of the city of Philippi; this is wanting in the Syriac and Arabic versions here, but is placed in the beginning of the next chapter: and now these two families, Lydia's and the jailer's, laid the foundation of a Gospel church in this city of Philippi, and which continued for ages after; Erastus, of whom mention is made in Acts 19:22 is said to be bishop of this church, and it may be also Epaphroditus, for there were more bishops than one in this church in the apostle's time, Philippians 1:1, in the "second" century there was a church, to which Ignatius and Polycarp are said to send epistles; and there are epistles to the Philippians which go under their names, that are still extant: in the "third" century, Tertullian (o), among other churches, makes mention of the church at Philippi, as sound in the faith; and in the "fourth" and "fifth" centuries we read of a church in this place; in the "seventh" century, when it went by the name of Chrysopolis, there was a church in it, and a bishop of it, who was present at the sixth council in Constantinople; there were Christians dwelling here in the "ninth" century (p).
(o) De praescript. Heret. c. 36. (p) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 6. & cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 3, 5. cent. 9. c. 2. p. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
40. And they went out of the prison—Having attained their object—to vindicate their civil rights, by the infraction of which in this case the Gospel in their persons had been illegally affronted—they had no mind to carry the matter farther. Their citizenship was valuable to them only as a shield against unnecessary injuries to their Master's cause. What a beautiful mixture of dignity and meekness is this! Nothing secular, which may be turned to the account of the Gospel, is morbidly disregarded; in any other view, nothing of this nature is set store by:—an example this for all ages.
and entered into the house of Lydia—as if to show by this leisurely proceeding that they had not been made to leave, but were at full liberty to consult their own convenience.
and when they had seen the brethren—not only her family and the jailer's, but probably others now gained to the Gospel.
they comforted them—rather, perhaps, "exhorted" them, which would include comfort. "This assembly of believers in the house of Lydia was the first church that had been founded in Europe" [Baumgarten].
and departed—but not all; for two of the company remained behind (see on Ac 17:14): Timotheus, of whom the Philippians "learned the proof" that he honestly cared for their state, and was truly like-minded with Paul, "serving with him in the Gospel as a son with his father" (Php 2:19-23); and Luke, "whose praise is in the Gospel," though he never praises himself or relates his own labors, and though we only trace his movements in connection with Paul, by the change of a pronoun, or the unconscious variation of his style. In the seventeenth chapter the narrative is again in the third person, and the pronoun is not changed to the second till we come to Ac 20:5. The modesty with which Luke leaves out all mention of his own labors need hardly be pointed out. We shall trace him again when he rejoins Paul in the same neighborhood. His vocation as a physician may have brought him into connection with these contiguous coasts of Asia and Europe, and he may (as Mr. Smith suggests, "Shipwreck," &c.) have been in the habit of exercising his professional skill as a surgeon at sea [Howson].
Ac 15:41-16:5. Visitation of the Churches Formerly Established, Timotheus Here Joining the Missionary Party.
41. he went through Syria and Cilicia—(See on Ac 15:23). Taking probably the same route as when despatched in haste from Jerusalem to Tarsus, he then went by land (see on Ac 9:30).
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