Acts 13:13
Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.
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(13) Paul and his company.—Literally, those about Paul. The new description is obviously chosen as indicating the new position which from this time the Apostle began to occupy as the leader of the mission.

Perga.—The city was at this time the capital of Pamphylia, situated on the river Cestrus, about seven miles from its mouth. The absence of any record of evangelising work there is probably due to the fact that there were no synagogues, and that the Apostles in this mission adhered to the plan of preaching in the first instance to the Jews, and making the synagogue, as it were, their base of operations.

John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.—We are left to conjecture the motives of this departure. He may have shrunk from the perils and hardships of the journey into the interior of the country. He may have been drawn by affection for his mother, who lived at Jerusalem. It is clear, in any case, from St. Paul’s subsequent conduct (Acts 15:38), that he looked on the reason as insufficient, while Barnabas saw, at least, enough to admit the plea of extenuating circumstances. The pressure of the famine at Jerusalem may have seemed to him to excuse the desire of the son to minister to the mother’s wants.




Acts 13:13

The few brief notices of John Mark in Scripture are sufficient to give us an outline of his life, and some inkling of his character. He was the son of a well-to-do Christian woman in Jerusalem, whose house appears to have been the resort of the brethren as early as the period of Peter’s miraculous deliverance from prison. As the cousin of Barnabas he was naturally selected to be the attendant and secular factotum of Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. For some reason, faint-heartedness, lack of interest, levity of disposition, or whatever it may have been, he very quickly abandoned that office and returned to his home. His kindly-natured and indulgent relative sought to reinstate him in his former position on the second journey of Paul and himself. Paul’s kinder severity refused to comply with the wish of his colleague Barnabas, and so they part, and Barnabas and Mark sail away to Cyprus, and drop out of the Acts of the Apostles. We hear no more about him until near the end of the Apostle Paul’s life, when the Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon show him as again the companion of Paul in his captivity. He seems to have left him in Rome, to have gone to Asia Minor for a space, to have returned to the Apostle during his last imprisonment and immediately prior to his death, and then to have attached himself to the Apostle Peter, and under his direction and instruction to have written his Gospel.

Now these are the bones of his story; can we put flesh and blood upon them: and can we get any lessons out of them? I think we may; at any rate I am going to try.

I. Consider then, first, his-what shall I call it? well, if I may use the word which Paul himself designates it by, in its correct signification, we may call it his-apostasy.

It was not a departure from Christ, but it was a departure from very plain duty. And if you will notice the point of time at which Mark threw up the work that was laid upon him, you will see the reason for his doing so. The first place to which the bold evangelists went was Cyprus. Barnabas was a native of Cyprus, which was perhaps the reason for selecting it as the place in which to begin the mission. For the same reason, because it was the native place of his relative, it would be very easy work for John Mark as long as they stopped in Cyprus, among his friends, with people that knew him, and with whom no doubt he was familiar. But as soon as they crossed the strait that separated the island from the mainland, and set foot upon the soil of Asia Minor, so soon he turned tail; like some recruit that goes into battle, full of fervour, but as soon as the bullets begin to ‘ping’ makes the best of his way to the rear. He was quite ready for missionary work as long as it was easy work; quite ready to do it as long as he was moving upon known ground and there was no great call upon his heroism, or his self-sacrifice; he does not wait to test the difficulties, but is frightened by the imagination of them, does not throw himself into the work and see how he gets on with it, but before he has gone a mile into the land, or made any real experience of the perils and hardships, has had quite enough of it, and goes away back to his mother in Jerusalem.

Yes, and we find exactly the same thing in all kinds of strenuous life. Many begin to run, but one after another, as ‘lap’ after ‘lap’ of the racecourse is got over, has had enough of it, and drops on one side; a hundred started, and at the end the field is reduced to three or four. All you men that have grey hairs on your heads can remember many of your companions that set out in the course with you, ‘did run well’ for a little while: what has become of them? This thing hindered one, the other thing hindered another; the swiftly formed resolution died down as fast as it blazed up; and there are perhaps some three or four that, ‘by patient continuance in well-doing,’ have been tolerably faithful to their juvenile ideal; and to use the homely word of the homely Abraham Lincoln, kept ‘pegging away’ at what they knew to be the task that was laid upon them.

This is very ‘threadbare’ morality, very very familiar and old-fashioned teaching; but I am accustomed to believe that no teaching is threadbare until it is practised; and that however well-worn the platitudes may be, you and I want them once again unless we have obeyed them, and done all which they enjoin. And so in regard to every career which has in it anything of honour and of effort, let John Mark teach us the lesson not swiftly to begin and inconsiderately to venture upon a course, but once begun to let nothing discourage, ‘nor bate one jot of heart or hope, but still bear up and steer right onward.’

And still further and more solemnly still, how like this story is to the experience of hundreds and thousands of young Christians! Any man who has held such an office as I hold, for as many years as I have filled it, will have his memory full-and, may I say, his eyes not empty-of men and women who began like this man, earnest, fervid, full of zeal, and who, like him, have slackened in their work; who were Sunday-school teachers, workers amongst the poor, I know not what, when they were young men and women, and who now are idle and unprofitable servants.

Some of you, dear brethren, need the word of exhortation and earnest beseeching to contrast the sluggishness, the indolence of your present, with the brightness and the fervour of your past. And I beseech you, do not let your Christian life be like that snow that is on the ground about us to-day-when it first lights upon the earth, radiant and white, but day by day gets more covered with a veil of sooty blackness until it becomes dark and foul.

Many of us have to acknowledge that the fervour of early days has died down into coldness. The river that leapt from its source rejoicing, and bickered amongst the hills in such swift and musical descent, creeps sluggish and almost stagnant amongst the flats of later life, or has been lost and swallowed up altogether in the thirsty and encroaching sands of a barren worldliness. Oh! my friends, let us all ponder this lesson, and see to it that no repetition of the apostasy of this man darken our Christian lives and sadden our Christian conscience.

II. And now let me ask you to look next, in the development of this little piece of biography, to Mark’s eclipse.

Paul and Barnabas differed about how to treat the renegade. Which of them was right? Would it have been better to have put him back in his old post, and given him another chance, and said nothing about the failure; or was it better to do what the sterner wisdom of Paul did, and declare that a man who had once so forgotten himself and abandoned his work was not the man to put in the same place again? Barnabas’ highest quality, as far as we know, was a certain kind of broad generosity and rejoicing to discern good in all men. He was a ‘son of consolation’; the gentle kindness of his natural disposition, added to the ties of relationship, influenced him in his wish regarding his cousin Mark. He made a mistake. It would have been the cruellest thing that could have been done to his relative to have put him back again without acknowledgment, without repentance, without his riding quarantine for a bit, and holding his tongue for a while. He would not then have known his fault as he ought to have known it, and so there would never have been the chance of his conquering it.

The Church manifestly sympathised with Paul, and thought that he took the right view; for the contrast is very significant between the unsympathising silence which the narrative records as attending the departure of Barnabas and Mark-’Barnabas took Mark, and sailed away to Cyprus’-and the emphasis with which it tells us that the other partner in the dispute, Paul, ‘took Silas and departed, being recommended by the brethren to the grace of God.’

The people at Antioch had no doubt who was right, and I think they were right in so deciding. So let us learn that God treats His renegades as Paul treated Mark, and not as Barnabas would have treated him, He is ready, even infinitely ready, to forgive and to restore, but desires to see the consciousness of the sin first, and desires, before large tasks are re-committed to hands that once have dropped them, to have some kind of evidence that the hands have grown stronger and the heart purified from its cowardice and its selfishness. Forgiveness does not mean impunity. The infinite mercy of God is not mere weak indulgence which so deals with a man’s failures and sins as to convey the impression that these are of no moment whatsoever. And Paul’s severity which said: ‘No, such work is not fit for such hands until the heart has been “broken and healed,”‘ is of a piece with God’s severity which is love. ‘Thou wast a God that forgavest them, though Thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.’ Let us learn the difference between a weak charity which loves too foolishly, and therefore too selfishly, to let a man inherit the fruit of his doings, and the large mercy which knows how to take the bitterness out of the chastisement, and yet knows how to chastise.

And still further, this which I have called Mark’s eclipse may teach us another lesson, viz., that the punishment for shirking work is to be denied work, just as the converse is true, that in God’s administration of the world and of His Church, the reward for faithful work is to get more to do, and the filling a narrower sphere is the sure way to have a wider sphere to fill. So if a man abandons plain duties, then he will get no work to do. And that is why so many Christian men and women are idle in this world; and stand in the market-place, saying, with a certain degree of truth, ‘No man hath hired us.’ No; because so often in the past tasks have been presented to you, forced upon you, almost pressed into your unwilling hands, that you have refused to take; and you are not going to get any more. You have been asked to work,-I speak now to professing Christians- duties have been pressed upon you, fields of service have opened plainly before you, and you have not had the heart to go into them. And so you stand idle all the day now, and the work goes to other people that will do it. Thus God honours them, and passes you by.

Mark sails away to Cyprus, he does not go back to Jerusalem; he and Barnabas try to get up some little schismatic sort of mission of their own. Nothing comes of it; nothing ought to have come of it. He drops out of the story; he has no share in the joyful conflicts and sacrifices and successes of the Apostle. When he heard how Paul, by God’s help, was flaming like a meteor from East to West, do you not think he wished that he had not been such a coward? When the Lord was opening doors, and he saw how the work was prospering in the hands of ancient companions, and Silas filled the place that he might have filled, if he had been faithful to God, do you not think the bitter thought occupied his mind, of how he had flung away what never could come back to him now? The punishment of indolence is absolute idleness.

So, my friends, let us learn this lesson, that the largest reward that God can give to him that has been faithful in a few things, is to give him many things to be faithful over. Beware, all of you professing Christians, lest to you should come the fate of the slothful servant with his one burled talent, to whom the punishment of burying it unused was to lose it altogether; according to that solemn word which was fulfilled in the temporal sphere in this story on which I am commenting: ‘To him that hath shall be given, and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away.’

III. Again consider the process of recovery.

Concerning it we read nothing indeed in Scripture; but concerning it we know enough to be able at least to determine what its outline must have been. The silent and obscure years of compulsory inactivity had their fruit, no doubt. There is only one road, with well-marked stages, by which a backsliding or apostate Christian can return to his Master. And that road has three halting-places upon it, through which the heart must pass if it have wandered from its early faith, and falsified its first professions. The first of them is the consciousness of the fall, the second is the resort to the Master for forgiveness; and the last is the deepened consecration to Him.

The patriarch Abraham, in a momentary lapse from faith to sense, thought himself compelled to leave the land to which God had sent him, because a famine threatened; and when he came back from Egypt, as the narrative tells us with deep significance, he went to the ‘place where he had pitched his tent at the beginning; to the altar which lie had reared at the first.’ Yes, my friends, we must begin over again, tread all the old path, enter by the old wicket-gate, once more take the place of the penitent, once more make acquaintance with the pardoning Christ, once more devote ourselves in renewed consecration to His service. No man that wanders into the wilderness but comes back by the King’s highway, if he comes back at all.

IV. And so lastly, notice the reinstatement of the penitent renegade.

If you turn at your leisure to the remaining notices of John Mark in Scripture, you will find, in two of Paul’s Epistles of the captivity, viz., those to the Colossians and Philemon, references to him; and these references are of a very interesting and beautiful nature. Paul says that in Rome Mark was one of the four born Jews who had been a cordial and a comfort to him in his imprisonment. He commends him, in the view of a probable journey, to the loving reception of the church at Colosse, as if they knew something derogatory to his character, the impression of which the Apostle desired to remove. He sends to Philemon the greetings of the repentant renegade in strange juxtaposition with the greetings of two other men, one who was an apostate at the end of his career instead of at the beginning, and of whom we do not read that he ever came back, and one who all his life long is the type of a faithful friend and companion, ‘Mark, Demas, Luke’ are bracketed as greeting Philemon; the first a runaway that came back, the second a fugitive who, so far as we know, never returned, and the last the faithful friend throughout.

And then in Paul’s final Epistle, and in almost the last words of it, we read his request to Timothy. ‘Take Mark, and bring him with thee, for he is profitable to me for the ministry.’ The first notice of him was: ‘They had John to their minister’; the last word about him is: ‘he is profitable for the ministry.’ The Greek words in the original are not identical, but their meaning is substantially the same. So notwithstanding the failure, notwithstanding the wise refusal of Paul years before to have anything more to do with him, he is now reinstated in his old office, and the aged Apostle, before he dies, would like to have the comfort of his presence once more at his side. Is not the lesson out of that, this eternal Gospel that even early failures, recognised and repented of, may make a man better fitted for the tasks from which once he fled? Just as they tell us-I do not know whether it is true or not, it will do for an illustration-just as they tell us that a broken bone renewed is stronger at the point of fracture than it ever was before, so the very sin that we commit, when once we know it for a sin, and have brought it to Christ for forgiveness, may minister to our future efficiency and strength. The Israelites fought twice upon one battlefield. On the first occasion they were shamefully defeated; on the second, on the same ground, and against the same enemies, they victoriously emerged from the conflict, and reared the stone which said, ‘Ebenezer!’ ‘Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.’

And so the temptations which have been sorest may be overcome, the sins into which we most naturally fall we may put our foot upon; the past is no specimen of what the future may be. The page that is yet to be written need have none of the blots of the page that we have turned over shining through it. Sin which we have learned to know for sin and to hate, teaches us humility, dependence, shows us where our weak places are. Sin which is forgiven knits us to Christ with deeper and more fervid love, and results in a larger consecration. Think of the two ends of this man’s life-flying like a frightened hare from the very first suspicion of danger or of difficulty, sulking in his solitude, apart from all the joyful stir of consecration and of service; and at last made an evangelist to proclaim to the whole world the story of the Gospel of the Servant. God works with broken reeds, and through them breathes His sweetest music.

So, dear brethren, ‘Take with you words, and return unto the Lord; say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously,’ and the answer will surely be:-’I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely; I will be as the dew unto Israel.’

Acts 13:13. Note when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos — Sailing to the continent of the lesser Asia; they came to Perga — A city in Pamphylia — Situated on the west side of the river Cestos, about seven miles from the sea. Here there was a celebrated temple of Diana; consequently, many priests and others, whose interest and honour depended upon their maintaining the worship of that idol, and who, no doubt, were not a little displeased with these foreign teachers, for presuming to find fault with the gods of the country, and with the worship that was paid to them. On that occasion, John Mark, who had hitherto accompanied them as their minister, departed from them, and returned to Jerusalem, terrified, perhaps, by the threatening speeches of the priests and bigots, or discouraged by the difficulty and danger of the undertaking. Paul and Barnabas, however, were not discouraged by his deserting them; neither were they moved from their purpose by the little success which they had at Perga: for, after they left that place, they travelled through various countries of the lesser Asia; and, as we shall see immediately, made many converts to Christ, both among the Jews and the Gentiles.

13:4-13 Satan is in a special manner busy with great men and men in power, to keep them from being religious, for their example will influence many. Saul is here for the first time called Paul, and never after Saul. Saul was his name as he was a Hebrew; Paul was his name as he was a citizen of Rome. Under the direct influence of the Holy Ghost, he gave Elymas his true character, but not in passion. A fulness of deceit and mischief together, make a man indeed a child of the devil. And those who are enemies to the doctrine of Jesus, are enemies to all righteousness; for in it all righteousness is fulfilled. The ways of the Lord Jesus are the only right ways to heaven and happiness. There are many who not only wander from these ways themselves, but set others against these ways. They commonly are so hardened, that they will not cease to do evil. The proconsul was astonished at the force of the doctrine upon his own heart and conscience, and at the power of God by which it was confirmed. The doctrine of Christ astonishes; and the more we know of it, the more reason we shall see to wonder at it. Those who put their hand to the plough and look back, are not fit for the kingdom of God. Those who are not prepared to face opposition, and to endure hardship, are not fitted for the work of the ministry.Paul and his company - Those with him - Barnabas and John - and perhaps others who had been converted at Paphos; for it was common for many of the converts to Christianity to attend on the apostles in their travels. See Acts 9:3 O.

Loosed from Paphos - Departed from Paphos. See the notes on Acts 13:6.

They came to Perga in Pamphylia - Pamphylia was a province of Asia Minor, lying over against Cyprus, having Cilicia east, Lycia west, Pisidia north, and the Mediterranean south. Perga was the metropolis of Pamphylia, and was situated, not on the seacoast, but on the river Cestus, at some distance from its mouth. There was on a mountain near it a celebrated temple of Diana.

And John departing from them ... - Why he departed from them is unknown. It might have been from fear of danger; or from alarm in traveling so far into unknown regions. But it is plain from Acts 15:38, that it was from some cause which was deemed blameworthy, and that his conduct now was such as to make Paul unwilling again to have him as a companion.

Ac 13:13-52. At Perga John Mark Forsakes Them—At Antioch in Pisidia, Paul Preaches with Glorious Effect—The Jews, Enraged, Expel Them Out of Them Coasts.

13. they came to Perga in Pamphylia—The distance from Paphos to Attalia, on the Gulf of Pamphylia (see on [2003]Ac 14:25), sailing in a northwest direction, is not much greater than from Seleucia to Salamis on the east. Perga was the metropolis of Pamphylia, on the river Cestrus, and about seven miles inland from Attalia.

and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem—As Paul afterwards peremptorily refused to take Mark with him on his second missionary journey, because he "had departed [or 'fallen off'] from them and had not gone with them to the work" (Ac 15:38), there can be no doubt that he had either wearied of it or been deterred by the prospect of the dangers which lay before him. (But see on [2004]Ac 15:37, &c.).

Perga, a city in Pamphylia: not that there were any other cities of that name; but because this region was more commonly known, it being a country in the Lesser Asia, bordering on Cilicia. The departure of John (of whom before, Acts 13:5, and Acts 12:25) was blameworthy, as Acts 15:38. Some think he shunned that labour and suffering which he saw attended the gospel; others suppose that he returned to Jerusalem out of too fond an affection for his mother, who lived there; and it may be that he, retaining a great aversion from the Gentiles, might abhor to go amongst them: however, let him that standeth take heed lest he fall.

Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos,.... Which was upon the sea coast: so Jerom (y) says, that Paphos was "urbs maritima", a city on the sea coast of the island of Cyprus; it was on the western part of the island, to the west of which lay the sea of Pamphylia, over which the apostle, and his company, sailed to the place next mentioned, which was in Pamphylia; and so Apollonius Tyaneus (z), having got a ship at Seleucia, is said to sail to Paphos in Cyprus; and from hence the apostle, and those that were with him, set sail; and as the Syriac version renders it, "went by sea", or "through the sea"; that is, of Pamphylia; of which mention is made in Acts 27:5.

They came to Perga in Pamphylia which country was before called Mopsopia; See Gill on Acts 2:10 which now, with Cilicia, is called Caramania; and among the cities and towns in it, both Pliny (a) and Ptolomy (b) make mention of Perga; where was a famous temple of Diana, whence she was sometimes called Pergea (c); and every year a great feast was kept here in honour of her: it was the birth place of Apollonius, a very famous geometrician, who wrote eight books of conic sections, four of which are now extant (d); and who, from his native place, is called Apollonius Pergaeus (e). It was situated between two great rivers, Oestros and Catarctes (f); and since "Parag", in the eastern languages, signifies "to delight", perhaps it might be so called from its delightful situation. Hilleras (g) observes, Pargi (or rather Perage), as is the word in the Syriac version of Matthew 23:37 with the Syrians signifies the young of birds, as of hens and doves; and so do Pargiia, Pargiot, and Perigin, with the Jewish Rabbins (h); which writer seems to suggest, that this place was so called from the multitude of fowls that were about it.

And John departing from them returned to Jerusalem; that is, John Mark, whom Paul and Barnabas took with them, and who was a minister to them: but what was the reason of his departure, whether for the sake of seeing his mother at Jerusalem; or because he did not like, but grew weary of the travels, labours, and fatigues of the apostle, and his company; or did not choose to go among the Gentiles, is not certain: however, his departure was resented by Paul; and it laid a foundation for a sharp contention between him and Barnabas, who was uncle to this John Mark, Acts 15:38 from whence it appears that it was not at Paphos in Cyprus, but at Perga in Pamphilia, that he left them, by which the mistake of some interpreters on this text must be corrected.

(y) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. F. (z) Philostrat. Vit. Apollon. l. 3. c. 16. (a) Nat. Hist, l. 5. c. 27. (b) Geograph. l. 5. c. 5. (c) Pompon. Mela, l. 1. c. 14. (d) Vid. Fabricii Bibliothec. Graec. l. 3. c. 22. sect. 17, 18, 19. (e) Vitruvius de Architectura, l. 1. c. 1.((f) Mela, ut supra. (Pompon. Mela, l. 1. c. 14.) (g) Onomasticum Sacrum, p. 906. (h) T. Bab Beracot, fol. 39. 1. & Bava Metzia, fol. 24. 2. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 17, fol. 14. 2. Midrash Echa Rabbati, fol. 43. 1.

{6} Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

(6) An example in one and the very same group of people both of singular steadfastness, and also of great weakness.

Acts 13:13-15. Having put to (the open) sea again from Paphos (ἀναχθέντες, as Acts 16:11, and frequently; also with Greek writers, comp. Luke 8:22), they came in a northerly direction to Perga, the capital of Pamphylia with its famous temple of Diana (on the ruins, see Fellows’ Travels in Asia Minor, p. 142 ff.), where John Mark parted from them[7] and returned to Jerusalem (for what reason, is not certain,—apparently from want of courage and boldness, see Acts 15:38). But they, without their former companion (αὐτοί), journeyed inland to the north until they came to Antioch in Pisidia (built by Seleucus Nicanor, and made by Augustus a Roman colony; on its ruins, see Hamilton’s Travels in Asia Minor, I. p. 431 ff.), where they visited the synagogue on the Sabbath (comp. Acts 13:5). Their apostleship to the Gentiles had not cancelled their obligation, wherever there were Jews, to turn first to these; and to Paul, especially, it could not appear as cancelled in the light of the divine order: Ἰουδαίῳ τε πρῶτον καὶ Ἕλληνι, Romans 1:16, clearly known to him, of his ardent love to his people, Romans 9:1 ff., of his assurance that God had not cast them off (Romans 11), as well as of his insight into the blessing which would arise to the Gentile world even from the rejection of the gospel by the Jews (Romans 11:11 ff.). Hence, although apostle of the Gentiles, he never excludes the Jews from his mission (comp. on the contrary, ἐφʼ ὅσον, Romans 11:13), but expressly includes them (1 Corinthians 9:20), and is wont to begin his labours with them. This we remark against the opinion, which is maintained especially by Baur and Zeller, that in the Book of Acts the representation of Paul’s missionary procedure is unhistorically modified in the interest of Judaism. See, in opposition to it also, Kling in the Stud. u. Krit. 1837, p. 302 ff.; Lekebusch, p. 322 ff.

οἱ περὶ τὸν Παῦλον] denotes the person and his companions,—the company of Paul. See on John 11:19, and Valckenaer, p. 499 f. Now Paul, and no longer Barnabas, appears as the principal person. The conspicuous agency of the Gentile apostle at once in the conversion of Sergius, and in the humiliation of the sorcerer, has decided his superiority.

τῆς Πισιδ.] chorographic genitive; Krüger, § 47. 5. 5. For other designations of this situation of the city, see Bornemann.

ἐκάθισαν] on the seats of the Rabbins, as Wolf, Wetstein, Kuinoel, think. Possibly; but it is possible also, that they had already, before the commencement of the Sabbath, immediately on their arrival, announced themselves as teachers, and that this occasioned the request of the president to the strange Rabbins.

τοῦ νόμου κ. τ. προφ.] namely, in the Parasha and Haphthara for that Sabbath. See on Luke 4:17. That, as Bengel thinks and Kuinoel and Baumgarten approve (comp. also Trip, Paulus, p. 194), the Parasha, Deuteronomy 1 (because Paul, in Acts 13:18, hints at Deuteronomy 1:31), and the corresponding Haphthara, Isaiah 1, were in the order of the reading, is uncertain, even apart from the fact that the modern Parshioth and Haphtharoth were fixed only at a later period (Zunz, gottesdienstl. Vortr. d. Juden. p. 6; comp. Hupfeld in the Stud. u. Krit. 1837, p. 843 f.).

οἱ ἀρχισυνάγ.] i.e. the college of rulers, consisting of the ἀρχισυνάγωγος κατʼ ἐξοχήν (רֹאשׁ הַכְּנֶסֶת), and the elders associated with him.

ἐν ὑμῖν] in animis vestris.

ΛΌΓΟς ΠΑΡΑΚΛ.] a discourse of exhortation, whose contents are an encouragement to the observance and application of the law and the prophets. For: “opus fuit expositoribus, qui corda eorum afficerent.” Gloss, in Babyl. Schabb. f. 30, 2. Comp. Zunz, p. 332 f.

ΛΈΓΕΤΕ] On ΛΌΓΟΝ ΛΈΓΕΙΝ, see Lobeck, Paral. p. 504.

[7] Ewald, p. 456, conjectures that now Titus (Galatians 2:1) had appeared as an apostolic companion. But how natural it would have been for Luke at least here to mention Titus, who is never named by him!

Acts 13:13. Ἀναχθέντες, “set sail,” R.V. So in classical use, here in its technical nautical sense—so too, in opposite sense, κατάγεσθαι. In this sense thirteen times in Acts, and once in Luke’s Gospel, Acts 8:22, but not in the other Gospels at all; it is only used once, in another sense, by St. Matthew among the Evangelists, cf. Acts 4:1. ἄγειν and its compounds with ἀνά, κατά, εἰς, are characteristic of Luke’s writings, Friedrich, p. 7.—οἱ περὶ τὸν Π.: Paul now taking the first place as the leader of the company, see Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 84, the order henceforth is Paul and Barnabas, with two significant exceptions, Acts 15:12; Acts 15:25, and Acts 14:12, see in loco.. δὲὑπέστρεψεν: Ramsay refers St. Mark’s withdrawal to the above circumstances, inasmuch as he disapproved of St. Paul’s change of place, which he regarded as an abandonment of the work. But the withdrawal on the part of Mark is still more difficult to understand, if we are to suppose that he withdrew because Paul and Barnabas made, as it were, a trip to Antioch for the recovery of the former; and Acts 15:38 seems to imply something different from this. Various reasons may have contributed to the desertion of Mark, perhaps the fact that his cousin Barnabas was no longer the leader, or Paul’s preaching to the Gentiles may have been too liberal for him, or lack of courage to face the dangers of the mountain passes and missionary work inland, or affection for his home at Jerusalem and anxiety for the coming famine (he withdrew, says Holtzmann, “zu seinem Mutter”). See Deissmann’s striking note, Bibelstudien, p. 185, on the fact that here, where John Mark leaves Paul for Jerusalem, he is simply “John,” his Jewish name; in Acts 15:39 he goes with Barnabas to Cyprus, and on that occasion only he is described by his Gentile name “Mark” alone. On the “perils of rivers, and perils of robbers,” see Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, p. 23, and in connection with the above, pp. 62, 65, also C. and H. (smaller edition), p. 129, Hausrath, Neutest. Zeitgeschichte, iii., 133.

13–15. The Apostles visit Pamphylia and Pisidia. Mark returns to Jerusalem

13. Now when Paul and his company] Literally, “those around Paul.” Henceforth the Apostle of the Gentiles becomes the central figure in nearly every scene of the Acts.

loosed [sailed] from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia] They would sail to the north-west. Pamphylia was about the middle part of the southern seaboard of Asia Minor, and Perga was its capital. We are not told of any missionary labours in Perga at this time either because there was no opening for their commencement, or it may be that the Apostles were troubled at the departure of Mark. They did preach in Perga on their return visit (Acts 14:25).

and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem] There is no reason given for his departure either here or elsewhere, but the cause assigned had clearly not been one which satisfied St Paul (Acts 15:38). John Mark, most probably the same person as the writer of the second Gospel, afterwards was an earnest labourer for Christ, and St Paul (Colossians 4:10) speaks of him with affection. If St Luke knew the cause of his present withdrawal, the remembrance of his subsequent zeal sealed his lips on the subject. Cp. Acts 10:48, note.

Acts 13:13. Οἱ περὶ τὸν Παῦλον, Paul and those who were with him) Already more regard is had to Paul than to Barnabas [Paul has the chief prominence given to him].—Πέργην τῆς Παμφυλίας, Perga in Pamphylia) The name of the region is added, because Perga was less known of itself.—ἀποχωρήσας, having departed) either because he could not bear the fatigues of the journey, or because he hesitated to go and have to do with Gentiles. He lost a glorious opportunity.

Verse 13. - Vow for now when, A.V.; set sail for loosed, A.V.; and came for they came, A.V.; departed.., and returned for departing... returned, A.V. A very marked change may here be observed in the relations of Barnabas and Paul. Hitherto Barnabas has always occupied the first rank. It has been "Barnabas and Saul" (Acts 11:30; Acts 12:25; vers. 2, 7). But now the whole mission, including Barnabas, is described as οἱ περὶ τὸν Παῦλον, Paul and his company, and ever after it is usually "Paul and Barnabas" (vers. 43, 46, 50; Acts 15:2, 22, 35); though in Acts 14:14 and Acts 15:12, 25, the old order is retained. Renan dwells much on the beauty of Barnabas's character as seen in his cheerful acquiescence in this change of relative position, and his single-minded devotion to the success of the work. Came to Perga, the capital of Pamphylia, in that part of the coast of Asia Minor which looks due south. Perga was about seven and a half miles inland, on the river Cestrus, which is navigable. There was a constant intercourse between Paphos the capital of Cyprus, and Perga the capital of Pamphylia, fostered probably by the two famous temples of Venus and Diana. The word for set sail (ἀναχθέντες) is a nautical term, meaning sailing from the shore or harbor into the open sea (see Acts 16:11; Acts 21:1; Acts 27:12; Luke 8:22). At Perga John Mark left them. Perhaps his position as Barnabas's cousin was less pleasant now that Paul took the first place; perhaps his courage failed him now that they were fairly launched out into the heathen world, where, unlike Cyprus, his Jewish kinsmen were a small minority, and the dangers and fatigues were great. Pamphylia was now governed by a propraetor, being an imperial province. Its name denotes that it was inhabited by a mixed race - men of all tribes, aborigines, Cilicians, Greeks, etc. Acts 13:13Loosed (ἀναχθέντες)

See on Luke 8:22.

Paul and his company (οἱ περὶ τὸν Παῦλον)

Lit., those aroused Paul. In later writers, used to denote the principal person alone, as John 11:19, came to Mary and Martha; where the Greek literally reads, came to the women around Mary and Martha. Paul, and not Barnabas, now appears as the principal person.

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