|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 4. - Having found the disciples for finding disciples, A.V. and T.R.; and these for who, A.V.; set foot in for go up to, A.V. and T.R. Having found the disciples, If the R.T. is right, the meaning is that they had sought out the Christians, apparently not a large body, scattered in the city, and perhaps with some difficulty found them and their place of meeting. This would look as if they were not Jews, as the synagogue was always known. He should not set foot in Jerusalem. The R.T. reads ἐπιβαίνειν for ἀναβαίνειν. It is true that, in the LXX. of Deuteronomy 1:36, Τὴν γῆν ἐφ η}ν ἐπέβη means "The land that he hath trodden upon;" and that in Joshua 1:3 again, ποδῶν ὑμῶν means "Every place on which you shall tread with the sole of your feet;" but the phrase ἐπιβαίνειν εἰς Ιερουσαλήμ must surely mean simply "to go to Jerusalem." Through the Spirit. The Holy Spirit revealed to them, as he did to many ethers (ver. 11 and Acts 20:23), that bonds and affliction awaited St. Paul at Jerusalem. The inference that he should not go to Jerusalem was their own.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And finding disciples,.... At Tyre, for the Gospel had been preached in Phoenicia by the ministers of the word, who were scattered by the persecution raised at the death of Stephen; and here were brethren, such as had believed in Christ, embraced and professed his Gospel, and were baptized in his name; see Acts 11:19 and who also had extraordinary gifts, as appears by what follows; and there was no doubt a Gospel church founded in this place, though who presided over it in the first century, we have no account; in the "second" century there was a church here, and Cassius was bishop of it (q); in the "third" century there were some martyrs in this place, who suffered under Dioclesian, and bore innumerable stripes with great courage and constancy, and after that fought with beasts, as bears, leopards, boars, and bulls, and at the same time Tyrannio, bishop of this church, also suffered martyrdom (r); in the "fourth" century there was a synod at Tyre under Constantine, to which he wrote a letter (s). There was a bishop of this church present at the council of Nice, in the times of the said emperor; in this age Paulinus and Dorotheus were bishops of Tyre; in the "fifth" century Irenaeus was bishop of Tyre, and then it was the metropolitan of Phoenicia; and in the "sixth" century, there was a bishop of the same church present at the fifth council of Rome and Constantinople (t). Of the bishops of Tyre in the several centuries, the learned Reland (u) gives a more particular account; according to him, Cassius, bishop of this church, was in the synod held at Caesarea, about the year 198. Paulinus, another bishop of Tyre, was in another council held at the same place, in the year 318. Zeno subscribed in the council of Nice, in the year 325, the first among the bishops of Phoenicia; Vitalis was in the council at Sardica, in the year 347. Uranius subscribed in the council held at Seleucia by the Semiarians, in the year 359; another Zeno bishop of this church was present at the second council at Constantinople, in the year 381; and mention is made of Photius bishop of Tyre, in the acts of the Chalcedon council, held in the year 451, as is also Eusebius in the acts of the council at Constantinople, in the year 553:
we tarried there seven days; either waiting for a ship to proceed on further; or in choice, to enjoy the conversation of the disciples, which was very delightful, and to confirm them in the faith:
who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem; not that the Spirit of God in these persons contradicted his own impulse in the apostle, by which he was moved to go to Jerusalem, see Acts 20:22. The sense is, that these disciples, by the spirit of prophecy, knew that if the apostle went to Jerusalem, many evil things would befall him; wherefore of their own spirit, and out of love to him, they advise him not to go.
(q) Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 5. c. 25. (r) Ib. l. 8. c. 7, 12. (s) Ib. de Vita Constantin. l. 4. c. 41, 42. (t) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccl. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 2. c. 10. p. 553, 554. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 3. c. 7. p. 417. cent. 6. c. (u) Palestina Ilustrata, l. 3. p. 1054, 1055.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4-6. finding disciples—finding out the disciples, implying some search. They would expect such, from what is recorded, Ac 11:19. Perhaps they were not many; yet there were gifted ones among them.
who said to Paul … that he should not go up to Jerusalem—(See on Ac 20:23; also see on Ac 21:11-14).
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