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Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

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Smith's Bible Dictionary

(Acts 14:20,21; 16:1; 20:4) The exact position of this town has not yet been ascertained, but its general situation is undoubted. It was in the eastern part of the great upland plain of Lycaonia, which stretched from Iconium eastward along the north side of the chain of Taurus. (Rev. L. H. Adams, a missionary, identifies it with the modern Divle , a town of about 4500 inhabitants, on the ancient road between Tarsus and Lystra.--ED.)

ATS Bible Dictionary

A small town of Lycaonia, in Asia Minor, to which Paul and Barnabas fled from Lystra, A. D. 41, Acts 14:20. It lay at the foot of the Taurus mountains on the north, sixteen or twenty miles east of Lystra. The two missionaries gained many disciples here, and among them perhaps Gaius, who afterwards labored with Paul, Acts 14:20; 20:4.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
A small town on the eastern part of the upland plain of Lycaonia, about 20 miles from Lystra. Paul passed through Derbe on his route from Cilicia to Iconium, on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:1), and probably also on his third journey (18:23; 19:1). On his first journey (14:20, 21) he came to Derbe from the other side; i.e., from Iconium. It was the native place of Gaius, one of Paul's companions (20:4). He did not here suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:11).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

dur'-be (Derbe, Acts 14:20, 21; Acts 16:1; Derbaios, 20:4; Derbetes, Strabo, Cicero): A city in the extreme Southeast corner of the Lycaonian plain is mentioned twice as having been visited by Paul (on his first and second missionary journeys respectively), and it may now be regarded as highly probable that he passed through it on his third journey (to the churches of Galatia). The view that these churches were in South Galatia is now accepted by the majority of English and American scholars, and a traveler passing through the Cilician Gates to Southern Galatia must have traversed the territory of Derbe.

1. History:

Derbe is first mentioned as the seat of Antipater, who entertained Cicero, the Roman orator and governor of Cilicia. When the kingdom of Amyntas passed, at his death in 25 B.C., to the Romans, it was made into a province and called Galatia (see GALATIA). This province included Laranda as well as Derbe on the extreme. Southeast, and for a time Laranda was the frontier city looking toward Cappadocia and Cilicia and Syria via the Cilician Gates. But between 37 and 41 A.D. Laranda was transferred to the "protected" kingdom of Antiochus, and Derbe became the frontier city. It was the last city on distinctively Roman territory, on the road leading from Southern Galatia to the East; it was here that commerce entering the province had to pay the customs dues. Strabo records this fact when he calls Derbe a limen or "customs station." It owed its importance (and consequently its visit from Paul on his first journey) to this fact, and to its position on a great Roman road leading from Antioch, the capital of Southern Galatia, to Iconium, Laranda, Heracleia-Cybistra, and the Cilician Gates. Roman milestones have been found along the line of this road, one at a point 15 miles Northwest of Derbe. It was one of those Lycaonian cities honored with the title "Claudian" by the emperor Claudius; its coins bear the legend "Claudio-Derbe." This implied considerable importance and prosperity as well as strong pro-Roman feeling; yet we do not find Derbe standing aloof, like the Roman colonies Iconium and Lystra, from the Common Council of Lycaonian cities (Koinon Lykaonias).

Derbe remained in the province Galatia till about 135 A.D., when it passed to the jurisdiction of the triple province Cilicia-Isauria-Lycaonia. It continued in this division till 295 A.D., and was then included in the newly formed province Isauria. This arrangement lasted till about 372 A.D., when Lycaonia, including Derbe, was formed into a separate province. The statement of Stephanus of Byzantium that Derbe was "a fortress of Isauria" originated in the arrangement which existed from 295 to 372 A.D. Coins of the city represent Heracles, Fortuna and a winged Victory writing on a shield (after the pattern of the Venus of Melos, in the Louvre, Paris). Derbe is mentioned several times in the records of the church councils. A bishop, Daphnus of Derbe, was present at the Council of Constantinople in 381.

2. Situation:

The site of Derbe was approximately fixed by the American explorer Sterrett, and more accurately by Sir W. M. Ramsay, who, after carefully examining all the ruins in the neighborhood, placed it at Gudelisin. Up to 1911, certain epigraphic evidence fixing the site had not been found, but Ramsay's identification meets all the conditions, and cannot be far wrong. On the East, Derbe was conterminous with Laranda, on the Northeast with Barata in the Kara Dagh. It bordered on the territory of Iconium on the Northwest, and on Isauria on the West. Its territory touched the foothills of Taurus on the South, and the site commands a fine view of the great mountain called Hadji Baba or the Pilgrim Father. The Greeks of the district say that the name is a reminiscence of Paul, "over whose travels" the mountain "stood as a silent witness."

The remains are mostly of the late Roman and Byzantine periods, but pottery of an earlier date has been found on the site. An inscription of a village on the territory of Derbe records the erection of a building by two architects from Lystra. A line of boundary stones, separating the territory of Derbe from that of Barata, is still standing. It probably belongs to an early delimitation of the territory of the frontier town of Galatia (Ramsay).

3. Paul at Derbe:

In Acts 14:20, 21, it is narrated that Paul and Barnabas, after being driven out of Lystra, departed to Derbe, where they "preached the gospel. and made many disciples." But they did not further. Paul's mission included only the centers of Greco-Roman civilization; it was no part of his plan to pass over the frontier of the province into non-Roman territory. This aspect of his purpose is illustrated by the reference to Derbe on his second journey (Acts 16:1). Paul started from Antioch and "went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches" (Acts 15:41). "Then he came to Derbe and Lystra" (Acts 16:1 the King James Version). The unwarned reader might forget that in going from Cilicia to Derbe, Paul must have, passed through a considerable part of Antiochus' territory, and visited the important cities of Heracleia-Cybistra and Laranda. But his work ends with the Roman Cilicia and begins again with the Roman Galatia; to him, the intervening country is a blank. Concentration of effort, and utilization only of the most fully prepared material were the characteristics of Paul's missionary journeys in Asia Minor. That Paul was successful in Derbe may be gathered (as Ramsay points out) from the fact that he does not mention Derbe among the places where he had suffered persecution (2 Timothy 3:11). Gaius of Derbe (among others) accompanied Paul to Jerusalem, in charge of the donations of the churches to the poor in that city (Acts 20:4).


The only complete account of Derbe is that given in Sir W. M. Ramsay's Cities of Paul, 385-404. On Paul's mission there, see the same author's Paul the Traveler and Roman Citizen, 119, 178. Many inscriptions of the later Roman period are collected in Sterrett, Wolfe Expedition to Asia Minor, Numbers 18-52. The principal ancient authorities, besides Acts, are Cicero Ad Fam. xiii0.73; Strabo xxx0.569; Ptolemeus, v.6, 17; Steph. Byz., Hierocl., 675; Notit, Episcop., I, 404, and the Acta Conciliorum.

W. M. Calder

1191. Derbe -- Derbe, a city of Lycaonia
... 1190b, 1191. Derbe. 1192 . Derbe, a city of Lycaonia. Part of Speech:
Noun, Feminine Transliteration: Derbe Phonetic Spelling: (der ...
// - 6k

1190b. Derbaios -- of Derbe
... Derbaios. 1191 . of Derbe. Transliteration: Derbaios Short Definition: Derbe.
Word Origin from Derbe Definition of Derbe NASB Word Usage Derbe (1). ...
// - 5k

1190. Derbaios -- fear, reverence
... fear, reverence. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: Derbaios Phonetic Spelling:
(der-bah'-ee-os) Short Definition: belonging to Derbe Definition: Derbean ...
// - 5k

3071. Lukaonia -- Lycaonia, a region in Asia Minor
... Lycaonia, the country of the Lykaones, a district of Asia Minor, comprised within
the Roman province Galatia and including the cities of Derbe and Lystra. ...
// - 6k

1050. Gaios -- Gaius, the name of several Christian
... Gaios Phonetic Spelling: (gah'-ee-os) Short Definition: Gaius Definition: Gaius,
(a) a Corinthian, (b) a Macedonian, (c) a citizen of Derbe, (d) an Ephesian. ...
// - 6k


The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians
... In this province were Pisidian Antioch, Derbe, Iconium, and Lystra, where St.
Paul founded Churches in AD47, on his first missionary journey. ...
/.../pullan/the books of the new testament/chapter xii the epistle of.htm

The Acts of the Apostles
... From Antioch Barnabas and Saul set out on the first missionary journey, including
visits to Cyprus, Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe, from where ...
/.../drummond/introduction to the new testament/the acts of the apostles.htm

The Epistle to the Galatians
... hand, identifies the Galatian churches with those founded by Paul on his first
missionary journey at Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe, not excluding ...
/.../drummond/introduction to the new testament/the epistle to the galatians.htm

Acts xx. 1
... "And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians,
Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia ...
/.../chrysostom/homilies on acts and romans/homily xliii acts xx 1.htm

Paul and Barnabas in Foreign Lands
... by the Jews, with the help of their rulers, to attack and stone the apostles; but
they learned of it and escaped to the towns of Lystra and Derbe, and there ...
/.../sherman/the childrens bible/paul and barnabas in foreign.htm

Acts XIV
... Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone time, (6) they, being aware
of it, fled down to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, and Derbe, and the ...
/.../mcgarvey/a commentary on acts of the apostles/acts xiv.htm

Acts XVI
... XVI: 1, 2. Without giving the least detail of Paul's labors in Syria and Cilicia,
Luke hurries us forward to his arrival in Derbe and Lystra, the scenes ...
/.../mcgarvey/a commentary on acts of the apostles/acts xvi.htm

Acts xiv. 14, 15
... (h) Then they went over all the cities in which they had been in danger. "And
on the morrow," it says, "he went forth with Barnabas to Derbe. ...
/.../chrysostom/homilies on acts and romans/homily xxxi acts xiv 14.htm

The Extension of the Church Throughout the World
... [Sidenote: The Apostles confirm and ordain.] Their Jewish persecutors followed them
and drove them to Derbe, the farthest limit of their journey; and from ...
/.../blunt/a key to the knowledge of church history/chapter iii the extension of.htm

The Propagation of Christianity.
... Jews and Greeks believed:" (Acts 14:1.) and afterwards, in the course of this very
progress, he is represented as "making many disciples" at Derbe, a principal ...
/.../paley/evidences of christianity/chapter ix the propagation of.htm

Derbe (4 Occurrences)
... Paul passed through Derbe on his route from Cilicia to Iconium, on his second
missionary journey (Acts 16:1), and probably also on his third journey (18:23; 19 ...
/d/derbe.htm - 15k

Lycaonia (2 Occurrences)
... and the south of Galatia. It was a Roman province, and its chief towns were
Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. The "speech of Lycaonia" (Acts ...
/l/lycaonia.htm - 10k

Gaius (5 Occurrences)
... Some have identified this Gaius with No. (2). (2.) A man of Derbe who
accompanied Paul into Asia on his last journey to Jerusalem. ...
/g/gaius.htm - 10k

Lystra (6 Occurrences)
... 19). On recovering, Paul left for Derbe; but soon returned again, through
Lystra, encouraging the disciples there to steadfastness. ...
/l/lystra.htm - 14k

Timothy (28 Occurrences)
... 1:2 he addresses him as "Timothy my beloved child." 2. A Native of Lystra: He was
a resident, and apparently a native, either of Lystra or Derbe, cities which ...
/t/timothy.htm - 38k

Galatia (6 Occurrences)
... the regiones coincided roughly with the old national divisions Pisidia, Phrygia
(including Antioch, Iconium, Apollonia), Lycaonia (including Derbe, Lystra and ...
/g/galatia.htm - 23k

Timotheus (24 Occurrences)
... Acts 16:1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was
there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and ...
/t/timotheus.htm - 15k

Trophimus (3 Occurrences)
... The eight were Sopater of Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus, both from Thessalonica,
Gaius of Derbe, Timothy, Tychicus and Trophimus, both "Asians," and lastly ...
/t/trophimus.htm - 15k

Deputy (7 Occurrences)

/d/deputy.htm - 11k

Vicinity (18 Occurrences)
... (See NAS). Acts 14:6 Being apprised of it, they fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities
of Lycaonia, and to the region in that vicinity. (WBS). ...
/v/vicinity.htm - 11k

Bible Concordance
Derbe (4 Occurrences)

Acts 14:6 they became aware of it, and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, Derbe, and the surrounding region.

Acts 14:20 But as the disciples stood around him, he rose up, and entered into the city. On the next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe.

Acts 16:1 He came to Derbe and Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess who believed; but his father was a Greek.

Acts 20:4 These accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater of Beroea; Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians; Gaius of Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.



Derbe: Gaius Born In

Derbe: Paul Flees To

Derbe: Visited by Paul and Silas

Related Terms

Lycaonia (2 Occurrences)

Gaius (5 Occurrences)

Lystra (6 Occurrences)

Timothy (28 Occurrences)

Galatia (6 Occurrences)

Timotheus (24 Occurrences)

Trophimus (3 Occurrences)

Deputy (7 Occurrences)

Vicinity (18 Occurrences)

Neighbouring (11 Occurrences)

Jewess (3 Occurrences)

Lieth (135 Occurrences)

Lycaonian (2 Occurrences)

Lycao'nia (1 Occurrence)

Learned (70 Occurrences)

Greek (19 Occurrences)

Ga'ius (5 Occurrences)

Ware (6 Occurrences)

Flight (325 Occurrences)

Flee (187 Occurrences)

Fled (181 Occurrences)

Tych'icus (5 Occurrences)

Troph'imus (3 Occurrences)

Thessalo'nians (3 Occurrences)

Encircled (17 Occurrences)

Deride (7 Occurrences)

Pyrrhus (1 Occurrence)

Believer (15 Occurrences)

Berean (1 Occurrence)

Berea (4 Occurrences)

Beroe'a (3 Occurrences)

Beroean (1 Occurrence)

Collected (55 Occurrences)

Asiatics (1 Occurrence)

Accompanying (5 Occurrences)

Aristarchus (6 Occurrences)

Apprised (2 Occurrences)

Aristar'chus (6 Occurrences)

Accompanied (43 Occurrences)

Asians (1 Occurrence)

Aware (44 Occurrences)

Beroea (4 Occurrences)

Surrounding (78 Occurrences)

Secun'dus (1 Occurrence)

Sop'ater (1 Occurrence)

Secundus (1 Occurrence)

Sopater (1 Occurrence)

Surrounded (51 Occurrences)

Escape (142 Occurrences)

Jewish (49 Occurrences)

Towns (450 Occurrences)

Tychicus (5 Occurrences)

Morrow (113 Occurrences)

Believing (84 Occurrences)

Round (664 Occurrences)

Region (96 Occurrences)

Christian (41 Occurrences)

Province (66 Occurrences)

John (154 Occurrences)

Disciple (38 Occurrences)

Barnabas (33 Occurrences)

Believed (135 Occurrences)

Gathered (384 Occurrences)

Though (623 Occurrences)

Departed (270 Occurrences)

Risen (169 Occurrences)

Rose (279 Occurrences)

Thessalonica (8 Occurrences)

Howbeit (103 Occurrences)

Ministry (44 Occurrences)

News (453 Occurrences)

Stood (491 Occurrences)

Entered (291 Occurrences)

Macedonia (23 Occurrences)

Minor (2 Occurrences)

Asia (22 Occurrences)

Thessalonians (6 Occurrences)

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