|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-7 Providence must be acknowledged when our affairs go on well. Wherever Paul came, he inquired what disciples were there, and found them out. Foreseeing his troubles, from love to him, and concern for the church, they wrongly thought it would be most for the glory of God that he should continue at liberty; but their earnestness to dissuade him from it, renders his pious resolution the more illustrious. He has taught us by example, as well as by rule, to pray always, to pray without ceasing. Their last farewell was sweetened with prayer.
Verse 3. - And for when, A.V.; come in sight of for discovered, A.V.; leaving it... we sailed for we left it... and sailed, A.V.; unto for into, A.V. Had come in sight of; literally, had been shown Cyprus; had had Cyprus made visible to us; i.e. had sighted Cyprus. It is a nautical expression. Meyer compares the phrase πεπίστευμαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον for the grammatical construction. The verb ἀναφαίνω is peculiar to St. Luke, occur-tug elsewhere in the New Testament only in Luke 19:11. It is, however, used repeatedly in the LXX. of Job. Landed; κατήχθημεν, T.R., just the opposite to the ἀνήθημεν of ver. 2; but the R.T. has κατήλθομεν, with the same meaning, "we came to shore." At Tyre, which they may have reached in about forty-eight hours from Patara with a fair wind (Howson). Tyre at this time was still a city of some commercial importance, with two harbors, one north and one south of the causeway which connected the island with the mainland (see Acts 12:20). Howson thinks the ship in which St. Paul sailed may have brought wheat from the Black Sea, and taken up Phoenician wares in exchange. The sight of Cyprus as he sailed by must have brought many and very various memories to the apostle's mind, of Barnabas, of Sergius Paulus, of Elymas, and many others.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now when we had discovered Cyprus,.... An island, as the Syriac version here calls it, which lay between Syria and Cilicia; See Gill on Acts 4:36; and was, according to R. Benjamin (l), four days sail from Rhodes, before mentioned:
we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria; that part of it called Phoenicia:
and landed at Tyre; the chief city of Phoenicia, famous for navigation and commerce: it stood about four furlongs distant from the shore, and was joined to the continent by Alexander the great (m). The account Jerom (n) gives of it is this,
"Tyre, the metropolis of Phoenicia, in the tribe of Nephthalim, is near twenty miles from Caesarea Philippi; this was formerly an island, but made continent land by Alexander:--its chief excellency lies in shell fish and purple.''
It was a very ancient city, though it seems not so ancient as Sidon, from whence it was distant about two hundred furlongs. Herodotus (o) says, that in his time it had been inhabited two thousand three hundred years; Hiram was king of it in Solomon's time; yea, mention is made of it in Joshua's time, if the text in Joshua 19:29 is rightly translated: some say it was built seventy six years before the destruction of Troy. It is to be distinguished into old Tyre, which was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and the island of Tyre, which was conquered by Alexander, and new Tyre annexed, by him to the continent. In the Hebrew language it is called "Tzur", or "Tzor", which signifies a "rock", being built on one; though some think it has its name from "Tzehor", which signifies "brightness"; it is now called Sur or Suri, and is quite desolate, being only a receptacle of thieves and robbers: though R. Benjamin says, in his time, new Tyre was a very good city, and had a port within it, into which ships go between two towers; and that there were in it four hundred Jews, and some of them skilful in the Talmud; --who further observes, that if anyone ascended the walls of new Tyre, he might see Tyre the crowning city, Isaiah 23:8 which was a stone's cast from the new; but if a man would go in a boat on the sea, he might see towers, streets, and palaces in the bottom (p):
for there the ship was to unlade her burden; which she had taken in, in the ports where she had been, but where is not certain; for that she had been at Ephesus, and took in her lading there, as Grotius thinks, does not appear; since this was not the ship the apostle and his company sailed in from Miletus, but which they went aboard at Patara, Acts 21:1.
(l) Itinerar. p. 30. (m) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 19. Mela, l. 1. c. 12. (n) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. K. (o) Euterpe, l. 2. c. 44. (p) ltinerar. p. 35, 36.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. when we … discovered—"sighted," as the phrase is.
Cyprus, we left it on the left hand—that is, steered southeast of it, leaving it on the northwest.
Syria, and landed at Tyre—the celebrated seat of maritime commerce for East and West. It might be reached from Patara in about two days.
there the ship was to unlade her burden—which gave the apostle time for what follows.
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