And the priest of the Zeus that is before their city, oxen and garlands unto the porches having brought, with the multitudes did wish to sacrifice,
Acts 14:13 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city - There is a meaning here, which ordinary readers will not readily apprehend. Many cities were put under the protection of a particular deity; and the image of that deity placed at the entrance, to signify that he was the guardian and protector. To this St. Luke, every where as accurate as he is circumstantial, refers. Lystra, it appears, was under the guardianship of Jupiter Propulaius, Διος προπυλαιου, which St. Luke translates, του Διος οντος της πολεως, the Jupiter that was before the city, which is another term for Jupiter Custos, or Jupiter the guardian. All these deities, according to the attributes they sustained, had their peculiar priests, rites, and sacrifices; and each a peculiar service and priest for the office he bore; so that Jupiter Brontes, Jupiter the thunderer, had a different service from Jupiter Custos, Jove the guardian. Hence we can see with what accuracy St. Luke wrote: the person who was going to offer them sacrifices was the priest of Jupiter Custos, under whose guardianship the city of Lystra was, and whom the priest supposed had visited the city in a human form; and Barnabas, probably for the reasons already assigned, he imagined was the person; and as Mercury, the god of eloquence, was the general attendant of Jupiter, the people and the priest supposed that Paul, who had a powerful, commanding eloquence, was that god, also disguised. A beautiful figure of such an image of Jupiter as, I suppose, stood before the gate of Lystra, still remains; and a fine engraving of it may be seen in Gruter's Inscriptions, vol. i. p. xx. Jupiter is represented naked, sitting on a curule or consular chair; in his right hand he holds his thunder, and a long staff in his left; at his right, stands the eagle prepared for flight; and, above, the winged cap and caduceus of Mercury. On the base is the inscription, Iuppiter Custom Domus Aug. Jupiter, the guardian of the house of Augustus. As the preserver or guardian of towns, he was generally styled Jupiter Custos, Serenus and Servator. His name, Jupiter, i.e. jurans pater, the helping father, entitled him, in those days of darkness, to general regard. On this false god, who long engrossed the worship of even the most enlightened nations on the earth, much may be seen in Lactantius, Divinar. Institution. lib. i., in the Antiquite expliquee of Montfaucon; and various inscriptions, relative to his character as guardian, etc., may be seen in Gruter, as above.
Oxen and garlands - That is, oxen adorned with flowers, their horns gilded, and neck bound about with fillets, as was the custom in sacrificial rites. They also crowned the gods themselves, the priests, and gates of the temples, with flowers. Of this method of adorning the victims, there are numerous examples in the Greek and Latin writers. A few may suffice. Thus Ovid: -
Victima labe carens et praestantissima forma
Sistitur ante aras; et vittis praesignis et auro.
Ovid, Met. lib. xv. ver. 130.
The fairest victim must the powers appease,
So fatal 'tis sometimes too much to please:
A purple filet his broad brow adorns
With flowery garlands, crown, and gilded horns.
Huic Anius niveis circumdata tempora vittis
Concutiens, et tristis ait; -
Ibid. lib. xiii. ver. 643.
The royal prophet shook his hoary head,
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Acts 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
Daniel 2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, and worshipped Daniel...
Acts 14:13 Parallel CommentariesBullocks Bulls City Company Crowd Doors Entrance Flowers Front Garlands Gates Image Intending Jupiter Multitudes Offer Offering Outside Oxen Porches Priest Sacrifice Temple Wanted Wish Wreaths ZeusBullocks Bulls City Company Crowd Doors Entrance Flowers Front Garlands Gates Image Intending Jupiter Multitudes Offer Offering Outside Oxen Porches Priest Sacrifice Temple Wanted Wish Wreaths ZeusTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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