Acts 16:8
And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
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(8) Came down to Troas.—Their travels had at last led them to the coast, and they looked out upon the waters of the Ægean. The town of Alexandria Troas, at this time reckoned as a Roman colony and a free city, recalls to our memories, without entering into vexed questions as to its identity with the site of the older Troy, the great poem which tells us the tale of Ilium. To St. Paul that poem was probably unknown, and had it been otherwise, the associations connected with it would have had no charms for him. The question which must have occupied all his thoughts was, where he was next to proclaim the glad tidings of the Christ, and of forgiveness and peace through Him. That question, we may well believe, expressed itself in prayer, and to that prayer the vision of the next verse was an answer.

16:6-15 The removals of ministers, and the dispensing the means of grace by them, are in particular under Divine conduct and direction. We must follow Providence: and whatever we seek to do, if that suffer us not, we ought to submit and believe to be for the best. People greatly need help for their souls, it is their duty to look out for it, and to invite those among them who can help them. And God's calls must be complied with readily. A solemn assembly the worshippers of God must have, if possible, upon the sabbath day. If we have not synagogues, we must be thankful for more private places, and resort to them; not forsaking the assembling together, as our opportunities are. Among the hearers of Paul was a woman, named Lydia. She had an honest calling, which the historian notices to her praise. Yet though she had a calling to mind, she found time to improve advantages for her soul. It will not excuse us from religious duties, to say, We have a trade to mind; for have not we also a God to serve, and souls to look after? Religion does not call us from our business in the world, but directs us in it. Pride, prejudice, and sin shut out the truths of God, till his grace makes way for them into the understanding and affections; and the Lord alone can open the heart to receive and believe his word. We must believe in Jesus Christ; there is no coming to God as a Father, but by the Son as Mediator.Came down to Troas - This was a city of Phrygia or Mysia, on the Hellespont, between Troy north, and Assos south. Sometimes the name Troas or Troad, is used to denote the whole country of the Trojans, the province where the ancient city of Troy had stood. This region was much celebrated in the early periods of Grecian history. It was here that the events recorded in the Iliad of Homer are supposed to have occurred. The city of Troy has long since been completely destroyed. Troas is several times mentioned in the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Timothy 4:13; Acts 20:5. 8. came down to Troas—a city on the northeast coast of the Ægean Sea, the boundary of Asia Minor on the west; the region of which was the scene of the great Trojan war. Either the relics of the famous city of Troy, or the country thereabouts, in which the city of Antigonia was built. And they passed by Mysia,.... Without stopping or staying there, though they came to it:

came down to Troas; either the country of Troas, as the Syriac version renders it; which, according to Solinus (m), is bordered on the north part of Galatia, and was near to Lycaonia, Pisidia, and Mygdonia on the south, and to Lydia on the east, and to Mysia and Caria on the north: or rather the city of Troas, which Pliny says (n), was formerly called Antigonia, now Alexandria, a colony of the Romans. Antigonus king of Asia called it Troas at first, because it was in the country, and near where Troy stood, but afterwards he called it, according to his own name, Antigonia; but Lysimachus king of Thrace having got this city into his hands, repaired it, and called it after the name of Alexander, Alexandria; and to distinguish it from Alexandria in Egypt, and other cities of the same name in other places, it was called Alexandria Troas.

(m) lb. c. 53. (n) Hist. Nat. l. 5. c. 30.

And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
Acts 16:8-10. They were now between Mysia and Bithynia. To Bithynia the Spirit suffered them not to go; in Mysia they were not to preach, because it belonged to Asia. In this position of things they saw themselves directed to the West, away from all their former sphere of action, and across to Greece. This the Spirit now willed. Accordingly they had first to make for the Asiatic sea-coast, and therefore they went directly westward along the southern border of Mysia (of course without preaching, for this they were not permitted to do), and thus, having passed by Mysia (παρελθόντες τὴν Μυσίαν), they came down to Troas on the Hellespont, in order there to determine more precisely their further journey to the West, or to receive for this purpose a higher determination, which they might expect in accordance with the previous operations of the Spirit. And they received this higher determination by a visionary appearance (ὅραμα, Acts 9:10, Acts 10:3, Acts 18:9) which was made to the apostle during the night (διὰ τ. νυκτός, as in Acts 5:19). This vision[49] is not to be considered as a dream (Heinrichs, Kuinoel, Zeller), as is evident from the expression itself, and from the fact that there is no mention of a κατʼ ὄναρ or the like, or afterwards of an ἈΝΑΣΤΆς or other similar expression, but after the seeing of the vision the ἘΖΗΤΉΣΑΜΕΝ Κ.Τ.Λ. comes in without further remark. Olshausen, however, very hastily lays it down as a settled point, that revelation by dreams, as the lowest form of revelation (? see Delitzsch, Psychol. p. 284), was no longer vouchsafed to the apostles who were endowed with the Holy Spirit, but that they must have had their visions in ecstasy, always in a waking condition. We have far too little information as to the life of the apostles to maintain this. Comp. also Acts 2:17.

Μακεδών] is used adjectivally (comp. on Acts 5:1 f.), as in Thuc. i. 62. 3, i. 63. 3. As Macedonian the appearance announced itself, namely, by διαβὰς εἰς Μακεδ. βοήθ. ἡμῖν. It is arbitrary in Grotius to say that an angel had appeared, and indeed “angelus curator Macedonum.” Something objectively real is not indicated by ὅραμα ὤφθη. Comp. Acts 10:17.

ἘΖΗΤΉΣΑΜΕΝ] we sought, directed our view to the necessity of procuring, first of all, the opportunity of a ship, etc. Here Luke, for the first time, includes himself in the narrative, and therefore it is rightly assumed that he joined Paul at Troas. He does not enter further on his personal relations, because Theophilus was acquainted with them. Olshausen arbitrarily thinks: from modesty. On and against the assumptions, that Timothy (Schleiermacher, Mayerhoff, Ulrich, Bleek) or Silas (Schwanbeck) wrote the portions in which “we” occurs, see Introd. § 1.

συμβιβάζοντες κ.τ.λ.] because we gathered (colligebamus) as the meaning of that appearance, drew from it the conclusion (comp. Plat. Hipp. min. p. 369 D, Pol. vi. p. 504 A, and Stallb. in loc.), that in it there was issued to us the call of God (see the critical remarks), and the in itself indefinite βοήθησον ἡμῖν was the call for help to be afforded by communication of the gospel.

[49] Taken by Baur, I. p. 166, ed. 2, only as an embellishment of the history, namely, as symbolizing the desire of salvation, with which not only the Macedonian population, but the men of Europe in general, called upon the apostle to come over to them. This view Zeller also, p. 251, considers as possible. It is in the connection of the entire narrative impossible, and simply tends to obscure the further occurrences as regards their historical character.Acts 16:8. παρελθόντες: “passing by Mysia”. Ramsay renders “neglecting Mysia,” cf. St. Paul, pp. 194, 196, 197, i.e., passing through it without preaching. McGiffert, p. 235, so Wendt (1899), following Ramsay. Rendall, p. 278, explains “passing along or alongside of Mysia,” i.e., skirting it, the southern portion of it. The words cannot mean passing by without entering. Mysia was part of Asia, but there was no disobedience to the divine command, which, while it forbade them to preach in Mysia did not forbid them to enter it. Troas could not be reached without crossing Mysia; Blass sees this clearly enough (but note his reading): “non prætereunda sed transeunda erat Mysia, ut ad Ægæum mare venirent,” Blass, in loco, cf. also Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, p. 76; Wendt (1899), in loco.—Τρωάδα: a town on the sea coast (Alexandria Troas, in honour of Alexander the Great), a Roman colony and an important port for communication between Europe and the north-west of Asia Minor, opposite Tenedos, but not to be identified with New Ilium, which was built on the site of ancient Troy, considerably further north. It was not reckoned as belonging to either of the provinces Asia or Bithynia, cf. also Acts 20:5, 2 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Timothy 4:13 : C. and H., pp. 215 and 544, Renan, St. Paul, p. 128, Zöckler, in loco.8. And they passing by Mysia] i.e. without preaching in that district, which was a part of Proconsular Asia, where they were not permitted to preach.

came down to Troas] The well-known seaport on the coast of Mysia.Verse 8. - Passing... they came for they passing... came, A.V. They would have gone north to Bithynia, where, we know from 1 Peter 1:1, there were many Jews. But the Spirit ordered them westwards, to the seacoast of Troas, that they might be ready to sail for Macedonia. In like manner Abraham went out not knowing whither he went (Hebrews 11:8). Truly the footsteps of God's providence are not known! Passing by Mysia

Not avoiding, since they could not reach Troas without traversing it; but omitting it as a preaching-place.

Came down

From the highlands to the coast.

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