|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:13-16 Paul hastened to Jerusalem, but tried to do good by the way, when going from place to place, as every good man should do. In doing God's work, our own wills and those of our friends must often be crossed; we must not spend time with them when duty calls us another way.
Verse 13. - But for and, A.V.; going for went, A.V.; the ship for ship, A.V.; set sail for and sailed, A.V.; for for unto, A.V.; intending for minding, A.V.; by land for afoot, A.V. Assos. A seaport on the coast of Troas, twenty-four Roman miles from Troas. The town was built on a high and precipitous cliff. Luke does not tell us why on this occasion he was separated from Paul. Had he appointed. The passive διατεταγμένος ῆν is acre used in an active sense, as in Died. Sic. (quoted by Kuinoel) and other Greek writers (see Steph., 'Thesaur.'). But some consider it as the middle voice (Meyer).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And we went before to ship,.... That is, Luke, the writer of this history, and the rest of the apostle's company, went before him to a ship, which lay at Troas, and went aboard it:
and sailed unto Assos; a city of Aeolia, or Mysia; and is said by Pliny to be the same with Apollonia; and which he places on the sea shore, where it is evident this Assos was. His words are (m),
"on the shore Antandros, formerly called Edonis, then Cimmeris and Assos, the same with Apollonia.''
And in another place (n) he calls it Assos of Troas; and says of it, that about Assos of Troas a stone grows, by which all bodies are consumed, and is called "sarcophagus", (a flesh devourer,) of which he also makes mention elsewhere (o), and observes, that in Assos of Troas the stone sarcophagus is cut in the pits, in which the bodies of the dead being put, are consumed within forty days, excepting their teeth: and with him Jerom (p) agrees, as to the name and situation of this place, who says that Assos is a maritime city of Asia, the same that is called Apollonia. It is represented by Strabo (q) as a place very much fortified by art, and very difficult of ascent on that part which lies to the sea; unless another Assos in Lycia is designed by him: if this was the situation of the Assos in the text, it seems to furnish us with a reason, from the nature of the place, why the apostle chose to go on foot thither. Pausanias (r) speaks of it as in Troas, and near Mount Ida. Sodamos of Assos in Troas, which lies near Ida, was the first of the Aeolians, who conquered in the Olympic race of the boys. In this place was born the famous philosopher Cleanthes, a disciple and successor of Zeno; hence he is called Cleanthes the Assian (s). No mention is made of the Gospel being preached here, or of any church until the eighth century, when John, bishop of Assos, is said to be in the Nicene council (t). Some exemplars read Thassos, as the Syriac and Arabic versions seem to have done:
there intending to take in Paul; who stayed behind, willing to have a little more Christian conversation with the saints at Troas.
For so had he appointed; that these should go before hand to Assos, and meet him there, and take him in:
minding himself to go afoot; from Troas to Assos, which were not very far off from one another; hence Assos is, by Pliny, called Assos of Troas; and by Pausanias, Assos, which is in Troas; that is, in the country of Troas, as before observed: what was his reason for going by foot thither, is not very evident; whether that he might have the opportunity of conversing with the disciples of Troas, who might accompany him thither; or whether that he might be alone, and have leisure for private meditation, and free converse with God.
(m) Nat. Hist, l. 5. c. 30. (n) Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 96. (o) Ib. l. 36. c. 17. (p) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 95. K. (q) Geograph. l. 13. (r) Eliac. 2. sive l. 6. p. 351. (s) Laert. Vit. Philosoph. l. 7. p. 541. (t) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccl. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ac 20:13-38. Continuing His Route to Jerusalem He Reaches Miletus, Whence He Sends for the Elders of Ephesus—His Farewell Address to Them.
13, 14. we … sailed—from Troas.
unto Assos; there … to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot—"to go by land." (See on Mr 6:33). In sailing southward from Troas to Assos, one has to round Cape Lecture, and keeping due east to run along the northern shore of the Gulf of Adramyttium, on which it lies. This is a sail of nearly forty miles; whereas by land, cutting right across, in a southeasterly direction, from sea to sea, by that excellent Roman road which then existed, the distance was scarcely more than half. The one way Paul wished his companions to take, while he himself, longing perhaps to enjoy a period of solitude, took the other, joining the ship, by appointment, at Assos.
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