|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-6 Though Paul was entitled to support from the churches he planted, and from the people to whom he preached, yet he worked at his calling. An honest trade, by which a man may get his bread, is not to be looked upon with contempt by any. It was the custom of the Jews to bring up their children to some trade, though they gave them learning or estates. Paul was careful to prevent prejudices, even the most unreasonable. The love of Christ is the best bond of the saints; and the communings of the saints with each other, sweeten labour, contempt, and even persecution. Most of the Jews persisted in contradicting the gospel of Christ, and blasphemed. They would not believe themselves, and did all they could to keep others from believing. Paul hereupon left them. He did not give over his work; for though Israel be not gathered, Christ and his gospel shall be glorious. The Jews could not complain, for they had the first offer. When some oppose the gospel, we must turn to others. Grief that many persist in unbelief should not prevent gratitude for the conversion of some to Christ.
Verse 1. - He for Paul, A.V. and T.R. After these things, etc. No hint is given by St. Luke as to the length of Paul's sojourn at Athens. But as the double journey of the Beroeans, who accompanied him to Athens, back to Beraea, and of Timothy from Beraea to Athens, amounted to above five hundred miles (Lewin, p. 268), we cannot suppose it to have been less than a month; and it may have been a good deal more. His reasonings in the synagogue with the Jews and devout Greeks, apparently on successive sabbaths, his daily disputations in the Agora, apparently not begun till after he had "waited" some time for Silas and Timothy, the knowledge he had acquired of the numerous temples and altars at Athens, and the phrase with which this chapter begins, all indicate a stay of some length. Came to Corinth. If by land, a forty miles' or two days' journey, through Eleusis and Megara; if by sea, a day's sail. Lewin thinks he came by sea, and that it was in winter, and that possibly one of the shipwrecks mentioned in 2 Corinthians 11:25 may have occurred at this time. Corinth, at this time a Roman colony, the capital of the province of Achaia, and the residence of the proconsul. It was a great commercial city, the center of the trade of the Levant, and consequently a great resort of the Jews. It had a very large Greek population. Ancient Corinth had been destroyed by Mummins, surnamed Achaicus, R.C. 146, and remained waste (ἐρήμη) many years. Julius Caesar founded a Roman colony on the old site (Howson), "consisting principally of freedmen, among whom were great numbers of the Jewish race." Corinth, as a Roman colony, had its duumviri, as appears by coins of the reign of Claudius (Lewin, p. 270.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
After these things,.... The Arabic version renders it, "after these words, or discourses"; after the apostle's disputation with the philosophers, and his sermon in the Areopagus, the effects of which are before related:
Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; the metropolis of Achaia, or Peloponnesus. The city was formerly called Ephyra, from Ephyra (p), the daughter of Oceanus, and had its name of Corinth from Corinthus, the son of Maratho, who repaired it when destroyed; or, as others say, from Corinthus the son of Pelops, others of Orestes, and others of Jupiter: though more probably it was so called from the multitudes of whores in this place, as if it was , "corai entha, here are girls, or whores"; for in the temple of Venus there were no less than a thousand whores provided, to be prostituted to all comers thither; See Gill on 2 Corinthians 12:21. It was situated between two great seas, the Aegean and Ionean; hence (q) Horace calls it Bimaris: it had a very strong tower, built on a high mount, called Acrocorinthus, from whence these two seas might be seen, and where was the fountain Pirene, sacred to the Muses: the city was about sixty furlongs, or seven miles and a half, from the shore (r): it was a city that abounded in riches and luxury. Florus (s) calls it the head of Achaia, and the glory of Greece; and Cicero (t), the light of all Greece: it was in time so much enlarged, and became so famous, that it was little inferior to Rome itself, on which account it grew proud and haughty; and using the Roman ambassadors with some degree of insolence, who were sent into Greece, on some certain occasion, first Metellus, and then Mummius, were sent against it, which latter took it, and burnt it; and the city then abounding with images and statues of gold, silver, and brass, were melted down together in the fire, and made what was afterwards called the Corinthian brass, which became so famous, and is often spoken of in history (u): but Julius Caesar, moved with the commodious situation of the place, rebuilt it (w), and it became a colony of the Romans, as Pliny (x) and Mela (y) both call it: and so it was at this time when the apostle was there. After this it came into the hands of the Venetians, from whom it was taken by Mahomet, the second son of Amurath, in the year 1458 (z); but is now again in the hands of the Venetians; and that and the country about it are called the Morea. And as the Gospel was to be preached to the worst of sinners, among whom God's chosen ones lay, the apostle was directed to come hither; and it appears by the sequel, that God had much people here, even more than at Athens, among the wise and learned.
(p) Vellei Patercull Hist. Rom. l. 1. Pausanias, Corinthiaca, sive l. 2. p. 85. (q) Carmin. l. 1. Ode 7. (r) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 4. (s) Hist. Rom. l. 2. c. 16. (t) Pro Lege Manilia Orat. 13. p. 636. (u) Florus, ib. (w) Pausauias, Corinthiaca, sive l. 2. p. 85, 89. (x) Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 4. (y) De Situ Orbis, l. 2. c. 10. (z) Petav. Rationar. Temp. par. 1. p. 476.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ac 18:1-22. Paul's Arrival and Labors at Corinth, Where He Is Rejoined by Silas and Timothy, and, under Divine Encouragement, Makes a Long Stay—At Length, Retracing His Steps, by Ephesus, Cæsarea, and Jerusalem, He Returns for the Last Time to Antioch, Thus Completing His Second Missionary Journey.
1-4. came to Corinth—rebuilt by Julius Cæsar on the isthmus between the Ægean and Ionian Seas; the capital of the Roman province of Achaia, and the residence of the proconsul; a large and populous mercantile city, and the center of commerce alike for East and West; having a considerable Jewish population, larger, probably, at this time than usual, owing to the banishment of the Jews from Rome by Claudius Cæsar (Ac 18:2). Such a city was a noble field for the Gospel, which, once established there, would naturally diffuse itself far and wide.
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