Acts 20:14
And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) We took him in, and came to Mitylene.—This was the capital of Lesbos, and furnished the island with its modern name of Mitilini.

20:13-16 Paul hastened to Jerusalem, but tried to do good by the way, when going from place to place, as every good man should do. In doing God's work, our own wills and those of our friends must often be crossed; we must not spend time with them when duty calls us another way.Came to Mitylene - This was the capital of the island of Lesbos. It was distinguished by the beauty of its situation, and the splendor and magnificence of its edifices. The island on which it stood, Lesbos, was one of the largest in the Aegean Sea, and the seventh in the Mediterranean. It is a few miles distant from the coast of Aeolia, and is about 168 miles in circumference. The name of the city now is Castro. 14. came to Mitylene—the capital of the beautiful and classical island of Lesbos, which lies opposite the eastern shore of the Ægean Sea, about thirty miles south of Assos; in whose harbor they seem to have lain for the night. An island, as also a city in it so called, in the Aegean Sea. Some think the island is called Lesbos, in which this Mitylene is.

And when he met with us at Assos,.... According to appointment:

we took him in; to the ship, and so sailed on:

and came to Mitylene; a city in Lesbos (u), an island in the Aegean sea, now Metelino: sometimes the island is so called, and is about seven miles and a half from the continent: of this city Vitruvius (w) says, that it was magnificently and elegantly built, but not prudently situated; for when the south wind blew, men were sick in it, and when the northwest wind blew they had coughs, and when the north wind blew, they were restored to health. Some say it had its name from Mitylene, the daughter of Macaria or Pelops; others from Myto, the son of Neptune and Mitylene; and others from Mityle, the builder of it. (x) Hillerus inquires, whether it may not be so called from the Chaldee word, "Matlana", used in the Targum on Job 40:13 which signifies "a bar", this city being as a bar to Lesbos, which shut it up. It was famous for being the native place of Pittacus, one of the seven wise men of Greece, a great philosopher and legislator, who, with others, conquered Melanchrus the tyrant of Lesbos, whom the inhabitants of Mitylene greatly honoured, and made him their governor; and a field, which they gave him, was called after his name Pittacius (y): of this place was Theophanes, a famous historian, who wrote the history of Pompey the great, and was familiar with him, and honoured by him, as Cicero (z) relates: other persons of note are said to be of this place, as Alcaeus a lyric poet, and Diophanes a rhetorician. It does not appear that the apostle stayed and preached the Gospel here, or that any Gospel church was here by him raised; no mention is made of it in ecclesiastical history until late: in the "second" century Heathenism prevailed in the island, the Lesbians sacrificed a man to Dionysius. In the "fifth" century we read of a bishop of this island in the Chalcedon council: in the "sixth" century there was a bishop of Mitylene, in the fifth Roman synod: in the seventh century, Gregory, bishop of Mitylene, assisted in the sixth council at Constantinople, and Theodorus of the same place: in the eighth century Damianus, bishop of the same place, was present in the Nicene council (a).

(u) Plin. l. 5. c. 31. Mela, l. 2. c. 14. (w) De Architectura, l. 1. c. 6. p. 27, (x) Onomasticum Sacrum, p. 887. (y) Laert, Vit. Philosoph. l. 1. p. 50. (z) Orat. 26. pro Archia, p. 814. (a) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 2. c. 15. p. 193. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 4. c. 10. p. 253, 254. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 6.

And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 20:14-15. Εἰς τὴν Ἄσσον] The element of the previous movement—the notion of coming-together—still prevails. Kühner, II. p. 317. So also the landing εἰς Σάμον, Acts 20:15.

Μιτυλήνη, the beautiful (Hor. Od. i. 7. 1, Ep. i. 11. 17) capital of Lesbos, on the east coast.

ἀντικρύ] over against. See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 444.

καὶ μείν. ἐν Τρωγ.] Thus on the same day they had sailed over from Samos, where they had touched (παρεβάλ.), to Trogyllium (a town and promontory on the Ionian coast, Strabo, xiv. p. 636 f.; Plin. N. H. v. 29), distant only forty stadia, and there passed the night. On the different modes of writing the name Τρωγ., see Bornemann.

Acts 20:14. συνέβαλεν, cf. Acts 17:18. The verb is peculiar to St. Luke; its meaning here is classical, cf. also Jos., Ant., ii., 7, 5. Rendall thinks that the imperfect (see critical note) may mean that Paul fell in with the ship while still on his way to Assos, and was taken on board at once; he therefore renders “as he came to meet us at Assos”.—Μιτυλήνην: the capital of Lesbos, about thirty miles from Assos, and so an easy day’s journey; Lewin, St. Paul, ii. 84, cf. Hor., Od., i., 7, 1; Ep., i., 11, 17. Its northern harbour into which the ship would sail is called by Strabo, xiii., 2, μέγας καὶ βαθύς, χώματι σκεπαζόμενος (Wetstein).

14. And … Mitylene] The voyage was a coasting voyage, the nights being each spent in some harbour. Mitylene was the capital of Lesbos, to which place they went from Assos, because probably it had a better anchorage. There could have been little time for anything on St Paul’s land journey like meeting Christian friends, since the vessel left Troas in the morning, and by an indirect course came to Mitylene before nightfall.

Verse 14. - Met for met with, A.V. Mitylene. The capital of the island of Lesbos, called by Horace "pulchra Mitylene" ('Epist.,' 1. 11:17). The harbor on the north-eastern coast is described by Strabo as "spacious and deep, and sheltered by a breakwater" (13. 2). Acts 20:14
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