Acts 13:1
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
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(1) Now there were in the church that was at Antioch.—The fulness of detail in this narrative suggests the inference that the writer was himself at Antioch at this period.

Certain prophets and teachers.—The two were not necessarily identical, though the higher gift of prophecy commonly included the lower gift of teaching. The former implies a more direct message from God, coming from the Holy Ghost; the latter a more systematic instruction, in which reason and reflection bore their part.

Simeon that was called Niger.—The name seems to indicate the swarth-complexion of Africa; but nothing more is known of him. The epithet was given to him, probably, to distinguish him from the many others of the same name, possibly, in particular, from Simon of Cyrene. (See Note on Acts 11:20.)

Lucius of Cyrene.—Probably one of the company of “men of Cyprus and Cyrene” (Acts 11:20) who had been among the first evangelists of Antioch. On the ground that Cyrene was famous for its School of Medicine, some writers have identified him with the author of the Acts, but the two names Lucius and Lucas are radically distinct, the latter being contracted for Lucanus.

Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch.—Literally, the foster-brother of Herod. Here we enter on a name that has historical associations of some interest. In the early youth of Herod the Great, his future greatness had been foretold by an Essene prophet of the name of Menahem or Manaen (Jos. Ant. xv. 10, § 5). When the prediction was fulfilled, he sought to show honour to the prophet. The identity of name makes it probable that the man who now meets us was the son, or grandson, of the Essene, and that Herod had had him brought up with Antipas as a mark of his favour. Both Antipas and Archelaus were educated at Rome, and Manaen may therefore have accompanied them thither. By what steps he was led to believe in Jesus as the Christ, we can only conjecture; but it seems probable that the austere type of life, so closely resembling that of the Essenes, which was presented by the Baptist, may have impressed him, as he was living in the court of his early companion, and that, through him, he may have been led on to the higher truth, and, in due time, after the Day of Pentecost, have become a sharer in the prophetic gift. The fact that Herod the Great had adorned the city of Antioch with a long and stately colonnade may, perhaps, have given him a certain degree of influence there.

And Saul.—The position of Saul’s name at the end of the list seems to indicate that it was copied from one which had been made before he had become the most prominent of the whole company of the prophets.



Acts 13:1 - Acts 13:13

We stand in this passage at the beginning of a great step forward. Philip and Peter had each played a part in the gradual expansion of the church beyond the limits of Judaism; but it was from the church at Antioch that the messengers went forth who completed the process. Both its locality and its composition made that natural.

I. The solemn designation of the missionaries is the first point in the narrative.

The church at Antioch was not left without signs of Christ’s grace and presence. It had its band of ‘prophets and teachers.’ As might be expected, four of the five named are Hellenists,-that is, Jews born in Gentile lands, and speaking Gentile languages. Barnabas was a Cypriote, Simeon’s byname of Niger {‘Black’} was probably given because of his dark complexion, which was probably caused by his birth in warmer lands. He may have been a North African, as Lucius of Cyrene was. Saul was from Tarsus, and only Manaen remains to represent the pure Palestinian Jew. His had been a strange course, from being foster-brother of the Herod who killed John to becoming a teacher in the church at Antioch. Barnabas was the leader of the little group, and the younger Pharisee from Tarsus, who had all along been Barnabas’s protege, brought up the rear.

The order observed in the list is a little window which shows a great deal. The first and last names all the world knows; the other three are never heard of again. Immortality falls on the two, oblivion swallows up the three. But it matters little whether our names are sounded in men’s ears, if they are in the Lamb’s book of life.

These five brethren were waiting on the Lord by fasting and prayer. Apparently they had reason to expect some divine communication, for which they were thus preparing themselves. Light will come to those who thus seek it. They were commanded to set apart two of their number for ‘the work whereunto I have called them.’ That work is not specified, and yet the two, like carrier pigeons on being let loose, make straight for their line of flight, and know exactly whither they are to go.

If we strictly interpret Luke’s words {‘I have called them’}, a previous intimation from the Spirit had revealed to them the sphere of their work. In that case, the separation was only the recognition by the brethren of the divine appointment. The inward call must come first, and no ecclesiastical designation can do more than confirm that. But the solemn designation by the Church identifies those who remain behind with the work of those who go forth; it throws responsibility for sympathy and support on the former, and it ministers strength and the sense of companionship to the latter, besides checking that tendency to isolation which accompanies earnestness. To go forth on even Christian service, unrecognised by the brethren, is not good for even a Paul.

But although Luke speaks of the Church sending them away, he takes care immediately to add that it was the Holy Ghost who ‘sent them forth.’ Ramsay suggests that ‘sent them away’ is not the meaning of the phrase in Acts 13:3, but that it should be rendered ‘gave them leave to depart.’ In any case, a clear distinction is drawn between the action of the Church and that of the Spirit, which constituted Paul’s real commission as an Apostle. He himself says that he was an Apostle, ‘not from men, neither through man.’

II. The events in the first stage of the journey are next summarily presented.

Note the local colouring in ‘went down to Seleucia,’ the seaport of Antioch, at the mouth of the river. The missionaries were naturally led to begin at Cyprus, as Barnabas’s birthplace, and that of some of the founders of the church at Antioch.

So, for the first time, the Gospel went to sea, the precursor of so many voyages. It was an ‘epoch-making moment’ when that ship dropped down with the tide and put out to sea. Salamis was the nearest port on the south-eastern coast of Cyprus, and there they landed,- Barnabas, no doubt, familiar with all he saw; Saul probably a stranger to it all. Their plan of action was that to which Paul adhered in all his after work,-to carry the Gospel to the Jew first, a proceeding for which the manner of worship in the synagogues gave facilities. No doubt, many such were scattered through Cyprus, and Barnabas would be well known in most.

They thus traversed the island from east to west. It is noteworthy that only now is John Mark’s name brought in as their attendant. He had come with them from Antioch, but Luke will not mention him, when he is telling of the sending forth of the other two, because Mark was not sent by the Spirit, but only chosen by his uncle, and his subsequent defection did not affect the completeness of their embassy. His entirely subordinate place is made obvious by the point at which he appears.

Nothing of moment happened on the tour till Paphos was reached. That was the capital, the residence of the pro-consul, and the seat of the foul worship of Venus. There the first antagonist was met. It is not Sergius Paulus, pro-consul though he was, who is the central figure of interest to Luke, but the sorcerer who was attached to his train. His character is drawn in Luke’s description, and in Paul’s fiery exclamation. Each has three clauses, which fall ‘like the beats of a hammer.’ ‘Sorcerer, false prophet, Jew,’ make a climax of wickedness. That a Jew should descend to dabble in the black art of magic, and play tricks on the credulity of ignorant people by his knowledge of some simple secrets of chemistry; that he should pretend to prophetic gifts which in his heart he knew to be fraud, and should be recreant to his ancestral faith, proved him to deserve the penetrating sentence which Paul passed on him. He was a trickster, and knew that he was: his inspiration came from an evil source; he had come to hate righteousness of every sort.

Paul was not flinging bitter words at random, or yielding to passion, but was laying the black heart bare to the man’s own eyes, that the seeing himself as God saw him might startle him into penitence. ‘The corruption of the best is the worst.’ The bitterest enemies of God’s ways are those who have cast aside their early faith. A Jew who had stooped to be a juggler was indeed causing God’s ‘name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles.’

He and Paul each recognised in the other his most formidable foe. Elymas instinctively felt that the pro-consul must be kept from listening to the teaching of these two fellow-countrymen, and ‘sought to pervert him from the faith,’ therein perverting {the same word is used in both cases} ‘the right ways of the Lord’; that is, opposing the divine purpose. He was a specimen of a class who attained influence in that epoch of unrest, when the more cultivated and nobler part of Roman society had lost faith in the old gods, and was turning wistfully and with widespread expectation to the mysterious East for enlightenment.

So, like a ship which plunges into the storm as soon as it clears the pier-head, the missionaries felt the first dash of the spray and blast of the wind directly they began their work. Since this was their first encounter with a foe which they would often have to meet, the duel assumes importance, and we understand not only the fulness of the narrative, but the miracle which assured Paul and Barnabas of Christ’s help, and was meant to diffuse its encouragement along the line of their future work. For Elymas it was chastisement, which might lead him to cease to pervert the ways of the Lord, and himself begin to walk in them. Perhaps, after a season, he did see ‘the better Sun.’

Saul’s part in the incident is noteworthy. We observe the vivid touch, he ‘fastened his eyes on him.’ There must have been something very piercing in the fixed gaze of these flashing eyes. But Luke takes pains to prevent our thinking that Paul spoke from his own insight or was moved by human passion. He was ‘filled with the Holy Ghost,’ and, as His organ, poured out the scorching words that revealed the cowering apostate to himself, and announced the merciful punishment that was to fall. We need to be very sure that we are similarly filled before venturing to imitate the Apostle’s tone.

III. The shifting of the scene to the mainland presents some noteworthy points.

It is singular that there is no preaching mentioned as having been attempted in Perga, or anywhere along the coast, but that the two evangelists seem to have gone at once across the great mountain range of Taurus to Antioch of Pisidia.

A striking suggestion is made by Ramsay to the effect that the reason was a sudden attack of the malarial fever which is endemic in the low-lying coast plains, and for which the natural remedy is to get up among the mountains. If so, the journey to Antioch of Pisidia may not have been in the programme to which John Mark had agreed, and his return to Jerusalem may have been due to this departure from the original intention. Be that as it may, he stands for us as a beacon, warning against hasty entrance on great undertakings of which we have not counted the cost, no less than against cowardly flight from work, as soon as it begins to involve more danger or discomfort than we had reckoned on.

John Mark was willing to go a-missionarying as long as he was in Cyprus, where he was somebody and much at home, by his relationship to Barnabas; but when Perga and the climb over Taurus into strange lands came to be called for, his zeal and courage oozed out at his finger-ends, and he skulked back to his mother’s house at Jerusalem. No wonder that Paul ‘thought not good to take with them him who withdrew from them.’ But even such faint hearts as Mark’s may take courage from the fact that he nobly retrieved his youthful error, and won back Paul’s confidence, and proved himself ‘profitable to him for the ministry.’Acts 13:1. There were in the church at Antioch certain prophets and teachers — Some of them, it seems, the stated pastors of the church, and some only occasionally resident there: Paul and Barnabas were of the latter. Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod — His foster- brother, now freed from the temptations of a court. As they ministered to the Lord — Which all diligent faithful teachers do: for while they minister to the church in praying and preaching (both which are here included) they minister also unto the Lord, being the servants of the people for Jesus’s sake, (2 Corinthians 4:5,) and having a continual regard to him in all their ministrations; engaging in, and prosecuting them from a principle of love to him, in obedience to his will, and with an eye to his glory. And fasted — Religious fasting should not be neglected, in our ministering to the Lord; it being both a sign of our humiliation and a means of our mortification. It was not, indeed, much practised by the disciples of Christ, while he, the bridegroom, was with them; yet, after he was taken from them, they abounded in this duty, as persons who had well learned to deny themselves, and to endure hardness. The Holy Ghost said — Namely, by immediate revelation, but in what way communicated we are not informed. Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them — Namely, the extraordinary work of preaching the gospel among the Gentiles — This was not ordaining them; Saul was ordained long before, and that not of men, neither by man, Galatians 1:1. At his conversion he was expressly called to preach to the Gentiles; and that call was renewed at the time Jesus appeared to him during his trance in the temple: but at what time Barnabas was called by the Holy Ghost to this work, is not said. And when they had fasted and prayed — A certain day being appointed for the purpose; and laid their hands on them — A rite which was used, not in ordination only, but in blessing, and on many other occasions. It was here intended to be a solemn token of their designation to their important office; they sent them away — Dismissed them from Antioch, with all the most affectionate marks of Christian friendship, and fervent desires for the success of their ministry.13:1-3 What an assemblage was here! In these names we see that the Lord raises up instruments for his work, from various places and stations in life; and zeal for his glory induces men to give up flattering connexions and prospects to promote his cause. It is by the Spirit of Christ that his ministers are made both able and willing for his service, and taken from other cares that would hinder in it. Christ's ministers are to be employed in Christ's work, and, under the Spirit's guidance, to act for the glory of God the Father. They are separated to take pains, and not to take state. A blessing upon Barnabas and Saul in their present undertaking was sought for, and that they might be filled with the Holy Ghost in their work. Whatever means are used, or rules observed, the Holy Ghost alone can fit ministers for their important work, and call them to it.The church that was at Antioch - See the notes on Acts 11:20.

Certain prophets - See the notes on Acts 11:27.

And teachers - Teachers are several times mentioned in the New Testament as an order of ministers, 1 Corinthians 12:28-29; Ephesians 4:11; 2 Peter 2:1. Their precise rank and duty are not known. It is probable that those mentioned here as prophets were the same persons as the teachers. They might discharge both offices, predicting future events, and instructing the people.

As Barnabas - Barnabas was a preacher Acts 4:35-36; Acts 9:27; Acts 11:22, Acts 11:26; and it is not improbable that the names "prophets and teachers" here simply designate the preachers of the gospel.

Simeon that was called Niger - "Niger" is a Latin name meaning "black." Why the name was given is not known. Nothing more is known of him than is mentioned here.

Lucius of Cyrene - Cyrene was in Africa. See the notes on Matthew 27:32. Lucius is afterward mentioned as with the apostle Paul when he wrote the Epistle to the Romans, Revelation 16:21.

And Manaen - He is not mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament.

Which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch - Herod Antipas, not Herod Agrippa. Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, Luke 3:1. The word translated here as "which had been brought up," σύντροφος suntrophos, denotes "one who is educated or nourished at the same time with another." It is not used elsewhere in the New Testament. He might have been connected with the royal family, and, being nearly of the same age, was educated by the father of Herod Antipas with him. He was, therefore, a man of rank and education, and his conversion shows that the gospel was not confined entirely in its influence to the poor.

And Saul - Saul was an apostle; and yet he is mentioned here among the "prophets and teachers," showing that these words denote "ministers of the gospel" in general, without reference to any particular order or rank.


PAUL'S FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY: In Company with Barnabas. Ac 13:1-14:28.

Ac 13:1-3. Barnabas and Saul, Divinely Called to Labor among the Gentiles, Are Set Apart and Sent Forth by the Church at Antioch.

The first seven chapters of this book might be entitled, The Church among the Jews; the next five (chapters eight through twelve), The Church in Transition from Jews to Gentiles; and the last sixteen (chapters thirteen through twenty-eight), The Church among the Gentiles [Baumgarten]. "Though Christianity had already spread beyond the limits of Palestine, still the Church continued a stranger to formal missionary effort. Casual occurrences, particularly the persecution at Jerusalem (Ac 8:2), had hitherto brought about the diffusion of the Gospel. It was from Antioch that teachers were first sent forth with the definite purpose of spreading Christianity, and organizing churches, with regular institutions (Ac 14:23)" [Olshausen].

1. there were … certain prophets—(See on [2000]Ac 11:27).

and teachers; as Barnabas, &c.—implying that there were others there, besides; but, according to what appears the true reading, the meaning is simply that those here mentioned were in the Church at Antioch as prophets and teachers.

Simeon … Niger—of whom nothing is known.

Lucius of Cyrene—(Ac 2:20). He is mentioned, in Ro 16:21, as one of Paul's kinsmen.

Manaen—or Menahem, the name of one of the kings of Israel (2Ki 15:14).

which had been brought up with—or, the foster brother of.

Herod the tetrarch—that is, Antipas, who was himself "brought up with a certain private person at Rome" [Josephus, Antiquities, 17.1,3]. How differently did these two foster brothers turn out—the one, abandoned to a licentious life and stained with the blood of the most distinguished of God's prophets, though not without his fits of reformation and seasons of remorse; the other, a devoted disciple of the Lord Jesus and prophet of the Church at Antioch! But this is only what may be seen in every age: "Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in Thy sight.' If the courtier, whose son, at the point of death, was healed by our Lord (Joh 4:46) was of Herod's establishment, while Susanna's husband was his steward (Lu 8:3), his foster brother's becoming a Christian and a prophet is something remarkable.

and Saul—last of all, but soon to become first. Henceforward this book is almost exclusively occupied with him; and his impress on the New Testament, on Christendom, and on the world is paramount.Acts 13:1-5 Barnabas and Saul, being set apart with fasting and

prayer, are sent forth by the Holy Ghost to the work

of their calling.

Acts 13:6-12 At Paphos, Elymas the sorcerer, opposing the Gospel,

is smitten with blindness, and the deputy Sergius

Paulus converted to the faith.

Acts 13:13-41 Paul and his company come to Antioch in Pisidia: Paul

preacheth Christ, and the necessity of faith in him

unto justification.

Acts 13:42,43 The Gentiles desire to hear the word again: many are


Acts 13:44-49 The envious Jews gainsay and blaspheme: the apostles

profess to turn to the Gentiles, of whom many believe.

Acts 13:50-52 The Jews raise a persecution, and expel Paul and

Barnabas, who go to Iconium.

The church that was at Antioch; the true church, which hath a being, and whose Builder and Maker is God. Other churches (as that of the circumcision) are no churches or congregations of the faithful.

Prophets and teachers; these two offices might be in the same person, as he that had the gift of prophecy, and could foretell things to come, might be a teacher to instruct the people; but yet they were frequently appertaining to several persons, one excelling in one gift, another in another.

Simeon that was called Niger; this Simeon is thus distinguished from Simon Peter, and from Simon the Canaanite, this name of Niger being given him by the Romans.

Lucius; this hath been thought the name of Luke, it being more after the Latin termination; and that it might be he that wrote the Gospel called by his name, and this book of the Acts. However, we meet with this name, Romans 16:21; and St. Paul sends salutation unto him that was so called.

Of Cyrene; born at a place so called, or brought up in the synagogue of the Cyrenians; of which, Acts 6:9.

Either this Manaen was Herod’s foster brother, or had the same tutors and instructors with him, their education being together.

This Herod was Herod Antipas, who set at nought our Saviour, and killed the Baptist.

And yet Manaen, as another Moses, kept his integrity in that Pharaoh’s court; and, as Moses, he choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, Hebrews 11:25. Thus there was an Obadiah in Ahab’s house, 1 Kings 18:3, and divers believe in Nero’s family, Philippians 4:22.

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch,.... This was Antioch in Syria, where was a Gospel church, and where the disciples were first called Christians; from whence Saul and Barnabas had been sent to Jerusalem, with a supply for the poor saints there, in a time of famine, and from whence they were now returned: and here were

certain prophets and teachers; who were both prophets and teachers, though these are sometimes distinguished; who had both a gift of foretelling things to come, as Agabus and others, and of explaining the prophecies of the Old Testament, and of teaching the people evangelic truths; these, at least some of them, came from Jerusalem hither, Acts 11:27.

As Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger; the former of these was a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, who sold his land and brought the money to the apostles; and who was first sent hither by the church at Jerusalem, upon hearing that many in this place believed, and turned to the Lord, Acts 4:36 but of the latter no mention is made elsewhere; by his first name he appears to be a Jew, who by the Romans was called Niger; very likely from the blackness of his complexion, for that word signifies "black": and so the Ethiopic version interprets it:

and Lucius of Cyrene; who very probably was one of the synagogue of the Cyrenians, and seems manifestly to be one of the men of Cyrene, that went abroad upon the persecution raised at the death of Stephen, Acts 6:9 he is said to be bishop of Cyrene; some take him to be the same Lucius mentioned in Romans 16:21 and others think he is the same with Luke the Evangelist:

and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch: or his foster brother. The Syriac version calls him Manail, and one of Stephens's copies Manael, and the Ethiopic version Manache, and renders what is said of him, "the son of king Herod's nurse"; which accounts for their being brought up, nourished, and suckled together: the name seems to be the same with Menachem, or Menahem, a name frequent with the Jews; there was one of this name, who was very intimate with Herod the great, and was in his service, though before he was vice president of the sanhedrim: the account that is given of him is this (z):

"Hillell and Shammai received from them (i.e. from Shemaia and Abtalion, who were presidents before them), but at first there were Hillell and Menahem, but Menahem went out, , "into the service of the king", with fourscore men clad in gold---Menahem was a very wise man, and a sort of a prophet, who delivered out many prophecies; and he told Herod when he was little, that he should reign; and after he was king, he sent for him, and he told him again, that he should reign more than thirty years, and he reigned thirty seven years, and he gave him great riches.''

Of this Menahem, and of his going into the king's service, mention is made elsewhere (a): now though this Menahem cannot be the same with Manaen here, yet this Manaen, as Dr. Lightfoot conjectures, might be the son of him, and called after his name; who might be brought up with the son of Herod the great, here called the tetrarch; and who was Herod Antipas, the same that beheaded John the Baptist: and Saul; who afterwards was called Paul.

(z) Juchasin, fol. 19. 1.((a) Misn. Chagiga, c. 2. sect. 2. & Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. & T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 16. 2.

Now {1} there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with {a} Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

(1) Paul with Barnabas is again the second time appointed apostle of the Gentiles, not of man, neither by man, but by an extraordinary commandment of the Holy Spirit.

(a) This was the same Antipas who put John the Baptist to death.

Acts 13:1. This mention and naming of the prophets and teachers is intended to indicate how rich Antioch was in prominent resources for the sending forth messengers of the gospel, which was now to take place. Thus the mother-church of Gentile Christianity had become the seminary of the mission to the Gentiles. The order of the persons named is, without doubt, such as it stood in the original document: hence Barnabas and Saul are separated; indeed, Barnabas is placed first (the arrangement appears to have been made according to seniority) and Saul last; it was only by his missionary labours now commencing that the latter acquired in point of fact his superiority.

κατὰ τὴν οὖσαν ἐκκλησίαν] with the existing church. ἐκεῖ is not to be supplied. Comp. Romans 13:1. This οὖσαν is retained from the original document; in connection with what has been already narrated, it is superfluous.

κατά, with, according to the conception of (here official) direction. Bernhardy, p. 240; Winer, p. 374 [E. T. 500].

προφῆται κ. διδάσκαλοι] as prophets (see on Acts 11:27) and teachers (who did not speak in the state of apocalyptic inspiration, but communicated instruction in a regular and rational unfolding of doctrine, 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11).

The five named are not to be regarded only as a part, but as the whole body of the prophets and teachers at Antioch, in keeping with the idea of the selection which the Spirit designed. To what individuals the predicates “prophet” or “teacher” respectively belong, is not, indeed, expressly said; but if, as is probable in itself and in accordance with Acts 4:36, the prophets are mentioned first and then the teachers, the three first named are to be considered as prophets, and the other two as teachers. This division is indicated by the position of the particles: (1) τέκαίκαί; (2) τέκαί. Comp. Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. ii. 3. 19; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 219 f.

That the prophets of the passage before us, particularly Symeon and Lucius, were included among those mentioned in Acts 11:27, is improbable, inasmuch as Agabus is not here named again. Those prophets, doubtless, soon returned to Jerusalem.

Concerning Simeon with the Roman name Niger (Sueton. Aug. 11, al.), and Lucius of Cyrene (Romans 16:21?), who is not identical with the evangelist Luke, nothing further is known. The same is also the case with Menahem (מְנַחֵם), who had been σύντροφος of the tetrarch Herod, i.e. of Antipas; see Walch, de Menachemo συντρόφῳ Herodis, Jen. 1758. But whether σύντροφος is, with the Vulgate, Cornelius a Lapide, Walch, Heumann, Kuinoel, Olshausen, and others, to be understood as foster-brother (conlactaneus, comp. Xen. Eph. ii. 3), so that Menahem’s mother was Herod’s nurse; or, with Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Grotius, Raphel, Wolf, Heinrichs, Baumgarten, Ewald, and others, brought up with, contubernalis,—cannot be determined, as either may be expressed by the word (see Wetstein and Kuinoel). The latter meaning, however (comp. 1Ma 1:6; 2Ma 9:29; and see, in general, Jacobs, ad Anthol. XI. p. 38), makes the later Christian position of Menahem the more remarkable, in that he appears to have been brought up at the court of Herod the Great. At all events he was already an old man, and had become a Christian earlier than Saul, who is placed after him.Acts 13:1. κατὰ τὴν οὖσας ἐκκ.: the word οὖσαν may well be used here, as the participle of εἰμί is often used in Acts to introduce some technical phrase, or some term marked out as having a technical force, cf. Acts 5:17, Acts 14:13, Acts 28:17, so that a new stage in the history of the Christians at Antioch is marked—no longer a mere congregation, but “the Church that was there” (Ramsay, Church in the R. E., p. 52). So also Weiss, in loco; οὖσαν stands in contrast to Acts 11:21-26 : there was no longer a mere company of believers at Antioch, but a Church.—ἐν Ἀ.: Blass maintains that the order of words as compared with the mention of the Church in Jerusalem, Acts 11:22, emphasises the fact that Antioch is the starting-point of the succeeding missionary enterprise, and is named first, and so distinctively set before men’s eyes.—προφῆται καὶ διδάσκαλοι, see above on Acts 11:27. From 1 Corinthians 12:28 it would seem that in Corinth at all events not all teachers were prophets, although in a sense all prophets were teachers, in so far as they edified the Church. The two gifts might be united in the same person as in Paul himself, Galatians 2:2, 2 Corinthians 12:1 (Zöckler). In Ephesians 4:11, as in 1 Corinthians 12:28, Apostles stand first in the Church, Prophets next, and after them Teachers. But whilst it is quite possible to regard the account of the gift of προφητεία in 1 Corinthians 12-14 as expressing “inspiration” rather than “official character,” this does not detract from the pre-eminent honour and importance assigned to the prophets and teachers at Antioch. Their position is such and their powers are such in the description before us that they might fairly be described as “presbyters,” whose official position was enhanced by the possession of a special gift, “the prophecy” of the New Testament, “presbyters” who like those in 1 Timothy 5:17 might also be described as κοπιῶντες ἐν διδασκαλίᾳ, Moberly, Ministerial Priesthood, pp. 159, 160, 166, 208. See further on the relation of the prophets and teachers in the Didaché “Church,” Hastings’ B.D., i. 436, Bigg, Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles, p. 27; and on the relation of prophecy and teaching in the N.T., McGiffert, Apostolic Age, p. 528, Zöckler, in loco.—τεκαὶ: a difficulty arises as to the force of these particles. It is urged that two groups are thus represented, the first three names forming one group (prophets), and the last two another group (teachers), so Ramsay (p. 65), Weiss, Holtzmann, Zöckler, Harnack, Knabenbauer, and amongst older commentators Meyer and Alford; but on the other hand Wendt, so Nösgen, Felten, Hilgenfeld think that there is no such separation intended, as Paul himself later claims the prophetic gift (1 Corinthians 14:6), to which Zöckler would reply that at this time Paul might well be described as a teacher, his prophetic gift being more developed at a later date. Amongst recent English writers both Hort and Gore regard the term “prophets and teachers” as applying to all the five (so Page).—Συμεὼν: nothing is known of him. Spitta would identify him with Simon of Cyrene, Matthew 27:32, but the epithet Niger may have been given to distinguish him from others of the same name, and possibly from the Simon to whom Spitta refers.—Λούκιος ὁ Κ.: Zöckler describes as “quite absurd” the attempt to identify him with Luke of the Acts. The names are quite different, and the identification has been supported on the ground that Cyrene was a famous school of medicine. This Lucius may have been one of the men of Cyrene, Acts 11:20, who first preached the Gospel at Antioch. Others have proposed to identify him with the Lucius of Romans 16:21.—Μαναήν: of the three names, as distinct from Barnabas and Paul, Blass says ignoti reliqui, and we cannot say more than this. For although Mark is described as σύντροφος of Herod the Tetrarch (Antipas), the description is still very indefinite. A.V. “brought up with,” R.V. “foster-brother,” collactaneus, Vulgate. For an ingenious study on the name and the man see Plumptre, in loco, cf. also Wetstein and Zöckler. The name occurs in 1Ma 1:6, but the reading must apparently give place to συνέκτροφοι. It is also found in 2Ma 9:29, and once in the N.T. in the present passage. Deissmann, from the evidence of the inscriptions, regards it as a court title, and quotes amongst other places an inscription in Delos of the first half of the second century B.C., where Heliodorus is described as σύντροφος τοῦ βασιλέως Σελεύκου φιλοπάτορος. So Manaen also might be described as a confidential friend of Herod Antipas, Bibelstudien, pp. 173, 178–181.—Σαῦλος, placed last probably because the others were older members of the Church. The position certainly does not mark the list as unhistorical; if the account came from the Apostle himself, the lowest place was eminently characteristic of him.Acts 13:1-12. Beginning of Saul’s first Missionary journey. He visits Cyprus

1. Now there were in the church that was at Antioch] Rather, “Now there were at Antioch in the church that was there.”

We now come to the history of those three great journeys which the Apostle of the Gentiles undertook in his special work. It is fitting that the point of departure should be Antioch, the city in which Gentiles had first in large numbers been joined to the Church, and where as yet there had risen no difficulty about the way in which they were received.

prophets and teachers] Cp. Acts 2:17. The prophecy of Joel was now to receive a wider fulfilment.

Simeon that was called Niger] The first name points out the man as of Jewish origin, and the second is a Latin adjective = black, which may have been assumed, or given to him, as a name from his dark complexion. Jews were, and are still, in the habit of having another name beside their national one, for use when they mixed among foreign nations.

Lucius of Cyrene] This name is Latin, though his birthplace or home may indicate that he was one of the Jews who abounded in Cyrene and the other parts of the North of Africa. Perhaps it is he who is mentioned in Romans 16:21.

Manaen] i.e. Menahem. This name is Jewish, and is found in Josephus (Antiq. xv. 10. 5) as the name of an Essene who foretold that Herod the Great would become king. It may well be that the name became, when the prophecy had received its fulfilment, a favourite one among those who were attached to or favoured the rulers of the Herodian family.

which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch] Rather, “foster-brother of Herod, &c.” The Vulgate gives “collactaneus.” Herod the Tetrarch (Antipas) had a brother Archelaus by the same mother. Manaen would hardly be said to have “been brought up with” one brother and not with the other.

The various connections and nationalities of the men who are here. named, are worthy to be noticed when we reflect on the work which was to have its beginning from Antioch. One a Cypriote, another a Cyrenian, another a Jew, but from his double name accustomed to mix among non-Jews, one a connection of the Idumean house of Herod, and Saul the heaven-appointed Apostle of the Gentiles, the list may be deemed in some sort typical of “all the world,” into which the Gospel was now to go forth.Acts 13:1. Τὴν οὖσαν) which already was, and in a flourishing condition: ch. Acts 11:20-27 : and from which, therefore, teachers might be sent to the rest. Comp. ch. Acts 15:35, “Paul also, and Barnabas, continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.”—προφῆται, prophets) eminent for their power in the Divine word, and who had a solid knowledge of Divine things, with the power of setting it forth.—Λούκοις, Lucius) The same name occurs, Romans 16:21.—Μαναὴν, Manaen) freed from the temptation of a court.—Σαῦλος, Saul) He had now for several years borne the apostleship: but among the veterans at Antioch, with remarkable modesty, he was content with the lowest place, as David even after his anointing fed sheep. Afterwards he was attached to Barnabas, and subsequently became superior to him: Acts 13:9; Acts 13:13. For some time, now the one, now the other is put first of the two: and Barnabas indeed is so in the public letter, ch. Acts 15:25.Verse 1. - At Antioch., in the Church that was there for in the Church that was at Antioch, A.V.; prophets, etc., for certain prophets, etc., A.V. and T.R.; Barnabas, etc., for as Barnabas, etc., A.V.; Symeon for Simeon, A.V.; the foster-brother of for which had been brought up with, A.V. At Antioch, in the Church, etc. Κτὰ τὴν οϋσαν ἐκκλησίαν rather means "the existing Church," just as at αἱ οϋσαι ἐξουσίαι means "the existing powers," "the powers that be," in Romans 13:1, A.V. and T.R. The then Church seems mere the meaning than the Church there. Luke writes from the standpoint of many years later. Prophets were a regular part of the ministry of the then Church (see Acts 11:27; Acts 21:9, 10; Romans 12:6, 7; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28; 1 Corinthians 13:2, etc.; 1 Corinthians 14:1, 3, etc., 1 Corinthians 14:22, 24, 31, 32: Ephesians 4:11. See also note on Acts 4:26). Teachers (διδάσκαλοι) are coupled with prophets, as here, in 1 Corinthians 12:28, 29; Ephesians 4:11. The teachers would appear to differ from the prophets in that they were not under the ecstatic influence of the Holy Spirit, and did not utter exhortations or prophecies in a poetic strain, but were expounders of Christian truth, under the teaching of the Spirit. What they spoke was called a διδαχή (1 Corinthians 14:26), and their function was διδασκαλία, as Romans 12:7, where διδασκαλία is reckoned among the χαρίσματα, the gifts of the Holy Ghost. It was forbidden to women to teach (διδάσκειν: 1 Timothy 2:12), though they might prophesy (Acts 21:9). It is thought by Meyer, Alford, and others that the position of the particles τε attaching the two following names to Barnabas in the first place, and one name following to Manaen in the second, indicates that Barnabas, Symeon, and Lucius were prophets, and Manaen and Saul teachers. Lucius has by some been falsely identified with St. Luke. The foster-brother; σύντροφος may equally mean a foster-brother, one nursed at the same time at the same breast, which would indicate that Manaen's mother was wet-nurse to Herod the tetrarch; or a playmate, which would indicate that he had been sodalis to Herod. It is only found here in the New Testament, but is used by Xenophon, Plutarch, etc., and in 1 Macc. 1:7; 2 Macc. 9:29. In this chapter and onwards the scene of the great drama of Christianity is transferred from Jerusalem to Antioch. The first part, which has hitherto been played by Peter and John and James, is now taken up by Barnabas and Saul, soon, however, to be classed as Paul and Barnabas. Prophets

See on Luke 7:26.

Lucius of Cyrene

Attempts have been made to identify him with Luke the evangelist; but the name Lucas is an abbreviation of Lucanus, and not of Lucius. It is worth noting, however, that, according to Herodotus (iii., 131), the physicians of Cyrene had the reputation of being the second best in Greece, those of Crotona being the best; and that Galen the physician says that Lucius was before him a distinguished physician in Tarsus of Cilicia. From this it has been conjectured that Luke was born and instructed in medicine in Cyrene, and left that place for Tarsus, where he made Paul's acquaintance, and was, perhaps, converted by him (Dr. Howard Crosby, "The New Testament, Old and New Version"). But, apart from the form of the name (see above), the mention of the evangelist's name here is not in accord with his usual practice, since he nowhere mentions his own name, either in the Gospel or in the Acts; and if the present passage were an exception, we should have expected to find his name last in the list of the worthies of Antioch. Of the five here named, four are known to be Jews; and therefore, probably, Lucius was also a Jew from Cyrene, where Jews are known to have abounded. Luke the evangelist, on the contrary, was a Gentile. Nothing certain can be inferred from Romans 16:21, where Lucius is enumerated by Paul among his kinsmen. If συγγενεῖς, kinsmen, means here, as is claimed by some, countrymen, it would prove Lucius to be a Jew; but the word is commonly used of relatives in the New Testament. In Romans 9:3, Paul applies the term to his fellow-countrymen, "my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites."

Which had been brought up with (σύντροφος)

Some render foster-brother, as Rev.; others, comrade. The word has both meanings.

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