Acts 20:15
And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus.
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(15) We sailed thence . . .—After the usual manner of the Mediterranean navigation of the time, the ship put into harbour, where it was possible, every evening. Each of the stations named—Lesbos, Chios, Samos—has legendary and historical associations of its own, full of interest for the classical student; but these, we may well believe—the revolt of Mitylene in the Peloponnesian War (Thuc. Book iii.), the brilliant tyranny of Polycrates at Samos (Herod. iii. 39-56), even “the blind old man of Scio’s rocky isle”—were nothing to the Apostle and his companions. Trogyllium, the last station named before Miletus, was a promontory on the mainland, forming the extremity of the ridge of Mycale, and separated from Samos by a narrow channel of about a mile in width. Miletus, famous for its dyes and woollen manufactures, memorable in its earlier history for the disastrous issue of its revolt against Persia (Herod. v. 28-36), was practically the port of Ephesus, the harbour of which had been gradually choked by the accumulation of silted-up sand.

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.Over against Chios - Opposite to. Into the neighborhood of; or near to it. Chios, called also Coos, is an island in the Archipelago, between Lesbos and Samos. It is on the coast of Asia Minor, and is now called Scio. It will long be remembered as the seat of a dreadful massacre of almost all its inhabitants by the Turks in 1823.

At Samos - This was also an island of the Archipelago, lying off the coast of Lydia, from which it is separated by a narrow strait. These islands were celebrated among the ancients for their extraordinary wines.

Trogyllium - This was the name of a town and promontory of Ionia in Asia Minor, between Ephesus and the mouth of the river Meander, opposite to Samos. The promontory is a spur of Mount Mycale.

Miletus - Called also Mileturn. It was a city and seaport, and the ancient capital of Ionia. It was originally composed of a colony of Cretans. It became extremely powerful, and sent out colonies to a great number of cities on the Euxine Sea. It was distinguished for a magnificent temple dedicated to Apollo. It is now called by the Turks Melas. It was the birthplace of Thales, one of the seven wise men of Greece. It was about 40 or 50 miles from Ephesus.

15, 16. came the next day over against Chios—now Scio: one of the most beautiful of those islands between which and the coast the sail is so charming. They appear not to have touched at it.

next day we arrived—"touched" or "put in."

at Samos—another island coming quite close to the mainland, and about as far south of Chios as it is south of Lesbos.

tarried—for the night.

at Trogyllium—an anchorage on the projecting mainland, not more than a mile from the southern extremity of the island of Samos.

next day we came to Miletus—on the mainland; the ancient capital of Ionia, near the mouth of the Meander.

Chios; a noted island betwixt Lesbos and Samos in the Aegean Sea.

Samos; in Ionia; for there are several other islands of this name.

Trogyllium; a promontory not far from Samos.

Miletus; a sea town upon the continent or firm land of Ionia.

And we sailed thence,.... From Mitylene:

and came the next day over against Chios; which, according to R. Benjamin Tudelensis (b), was three days' sail from Mitylene; according to Pliny (c) it was sixty five miles from it, and is an island in the Icarian or Aegean sea, and lies between Lesbos and Samos, next mentioned; and has its name from the nymph Chione, so called from the exceeding whiteness of her skin, as snow: it was famous for marble; from hence came the best mastic, and good figs, and the wine called malmsey wine (d). And of this place Jerom says (e), Chios, an island before Bithynia, whose name in the Syriac language signifies "mastic", because that mastic grows there; some add, he called it "Chia" from Chione the nymph: the reason of its name, as Pausanias (f) relates, was this; Neptune coming into a desert island, had carnal knowledge of a nymph, and in the time of her travail, a snow fell from heaven on the ground; and from this Neptune called his son Chius, from whom the island has its name. Others (g) conjecture, that it was called from "Chivja", which signifies a serpent; this island having been very much terrified, as Aelianus (h) says, by the hisses of a serpent of a monstrous size, until it was consumed by fire. It was common to sail from Mitylene hither, and "vice versa": so we read (i) of Herod seeking Agrippa, he came to Chios, and from thence to Mitylene. We read nothing of the apostle's stay and preaching here, nor of any Gospel church here, till ages after: in the "fourth" century, Heathenism prevailed to such a degree in it, that Dionysius Omadius was worshipped here with human sacrifice; and yet, in the fifth century, a bishop of Chios was present in the council of Chalcedon; and in the "sixth" century another assisted in the fifth Roman synod; and in the "seventh" century there was a bishop of this place at the sixth synod at Constantinople; and in the "eighth" century, Leon, bishop of Chios, was in the Nicene (k) synod. It is now called Chio or Scio, by the Turks Saches, and is inhabited by Italian Genoese.

And the next day we arrived at Samos; another island in the Icarian sea, not a very fruitful one, unless for olives (l); and for nothing more famous than for being the birth place of Pythagoras (m), hence called the Samian, and of Melissus. It was ninety three miles distant from Chios (n); and, according to R. Benjamin, two days sail from it (o); but Paul sailed hither in a day. Of this place Jerom (p) thus writes; Samos, an island in the Aegean sea, in which, it is reported, earthen vessels were first made. Herodotus (q) speaks of three things for which it was famous, a very high mountain in it, a bulwark about the haven in the sea, and a temple the largest of all he ever saw. Some say it has its name from the height of it, Samos signifying an high place. Pausanias (r), from Asius, a Samian, suggests, that it was so called from Samus, the son of Ancaeus and Samia; and observes, that the inhabitants of it affirm, that Juno was born here; and here was a famous temple, said to be dedicated to her by the Argonautes. One of the Sybils dwelt here, called from hence Samia, and Polycrates, a noted tyrant. Lycurgus, the famous lawgiver, died in this place, as did also Pherecydes, the Syrian (s). It is now called Samo. The apostle stayed not here to preach the Gospel; nor do we read of its being preached here by any: idolatry greatly prevailed in this place in the "second" century; and so it did in the "fourth": though in the same we also read of some Christians here that suffered persecution; and so low as the "eighth" century, Heraclius, bishop of this place, was in the Nicene synod (t).

And tarried at Trogyllium; which, according to Ptolomy (u), was a promontory in the Icarian sea: it was about forty furlongs distant from Samos, according to Strabo (w). It was a promontory of Mycale; and Trogilias, called also Trogilia, is mentioned with Mycale and Samos by Pliny (x), as near to Miletus. It follows here, and the next day we came to Miletus; which was once the chief city of Ionia: it was famous for being the birth place of Thales, one of the seven wise men of Greece, and of Timotheus the musician, and of Anaximander, and Anaximenes, and the famous Democritus, philosophers (y), and of Cadmus, the first inventor of prose (z). Pliny says (a), it was formerly called Lelegeis, Pityusa, and Anactoria; and it seems it had its name Miletus from Miletus, the son of Apollo, who is said to build it (b); and Apollo himself is sometimes called Apollo Milesius, and who had a famous temple in this place (c). Though rather it was so called from "Milata", or "Melote", which signifies pure, white, fine, soft wool, for which this place was famous; which was used for carpets, but chiefly for cloth, which being dyed purple, was sent into divers parts: "Melote" in Greek signifies the same; it is used in Hebrews 11:37 and translated "sheepskin". Ptolomy (d) places this city in Caria, by the sea; and certain it is from this account, that it was a sea port: it is said to have four ports or havens, one of which would hold a fleet. Of it Jerom (e) says; Miletus, a maritime city in Asia, distant ten furlongs from the mouth of the river Maeander: by the apostle's sending from hence to Ephesus, for the elders of the church there to meet him at this place, as is afterwards related, and taking no notice of any brethren, elders, or church here, it looks as if there were none at this time: and in the "second" century, Gentilism was embraced at Miletus; and in the "fourth" century Licinius consulted the oracle of Apollo Didymaeus in this place, concerning the event of the war against Constantine; but in the "fifth" century we read of a church here, a bishop of this place being in the Chalcedon council; in the "seventh" century a bishop of this church assisted at the sixth council at Constantinople, whose name is said to be George; and in the "eighth" century Epiphanius, bishop of Miletus, was present in the Nicene council (f).

(b) Itinerar. p. 29. (c) Plin. l. 5. c. 31. (d) Ib. l. 14. c. 7. (e) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. A. (f) Achaica, sive 1. 7. p. 404. (g) Hiller. Onomasticum Sacrum, p. 787. (h) De Animal. l. 16. c. 39. (i) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 16. c. 2. sect. 2.((k) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 4. c. 15. p. 865. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 6. (l) Apulei Florida, sect. 15. (m) Solin. c. 21. Laert. Vit. Philosoph. l. 8. p. 568. l. 9. p. 643. (n) Plin. l. 5. c. 31. (o) Itinerar. p. 30. (p) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. I.((q) Thalia, l. 3. c. 60. (r) Achaica, sive 1. 7. p. 402, 403. (s) Heraclides de Politiis, p. 432, 444. (t) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccl. cent. 2. c. 15. p. 193. cent. 4. c. 3. p. 19. c. 15. p. 865, 884. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 6. (u) Geograph. l. 5. c. 2.((w) Ib. l. 14. (x) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 29, 31. (y) Mela, l. 1. c. 17. Laert. Vit. Philosoph. l. 1. p. 15. l. 2. p. 88, 89. l. 9. p. 650. (z) Plin. l. 5. c. 29. Solin. c. 53. (a) Ib. (b) Apollodorus de Orig. Deor. l. 3. p. 130. (c) Alex. ab Alex. l. 6. c. 2.((d) Geograph. l. 5. c. 2.((e) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. F. (f) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 2. c. 15. p. 192. cent. 4. c. 15. p. 863. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 3. c. 10. p. 254. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 4.

And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus.
Acts 20:15. κἀκεῖθεν, see on Acts 16:12, Acts 14:26.—κατηντήσαμεν, cf. Acts 16:1, Acts 18:19; Acts 18:24, “we reached a point on the mainland,” Ramsay, ἀντικρὺ Χ. over against, i.e., opposite Chios; often in Greek writers, only here in N.T., but W.H[334], Weiss, ἄντικρυς, 3Ma 5:16 (Nehemiah 12:8, see Hatch and Redpath). On καταντᾶν εἰς, and καταντᾶν ἄντ. as here, see on Acts 16:1, Acts 18:19; Klostermann, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, p. 49.—Χίου: The island Chios (Scio) in the Ægean was separated from the Asian coast by a channel which at its narrowest was only five miles across. The ship carrying St. Paul would pass through this picturesque channel on its way south from Mitylene. An interesting comparison with the voyage of St. Paul may be found in Herod’s voyage by Rhodes, Cos, Chios and Mitylene, towards the Black Sea (Jos., Ant., xvi., 2, 2). Amongst the seven rivals for the honour of being the birthplace of Homer, the claims of Chios are most strongly supported by tradition. On the legendary and historic connections of the places named in this voyage see Plumptre, in loco, and “Chios” (Ramsay), Hastings’ B.D.—τῇ δὲ ἑτέρᾳ: (see critical note). Wetstein calls attention to the variety of phrases, τῇ ἑτ., τῇ ἐπιούσῃ, τῇ ἐχομ. The phrase before us is found in Acts 27:3, so that it only occurs in the “We”, sections and nowhere else in Acts, but the expression “the next day” occurs so much more frequently in the “We” sections than in any other passages of the same length that we might expect a larger variety of phrases to express it, Hawkins, Horæ Synop., pp. 153, 154; and Klostermann, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, p. 50.—παρεβάλομεν εἰς Σ.: “we struck across to Samos,” Ramsay, cf. Thuc., iii., 32, where the verb means “to cross over to Ionia” (see Mr. Page’s note, and the passage quoted also in Wetstein, and L. and .). On the frequency of this and other nautical terms in Acts cf. Klostermann, u. s., p. 49.—καὶ μείν. ἐν Τρω., see critical note.—Μίλητον: practically the port of Ephesus. The latter city had long gained the pre-eminence once enjoyed by Miletus, the former capital of Ionia, Pliny, N. H., v., 31; cf. Herod., Acts 20:28-36, for the revolt of Miletus against Persia and its disastrous consequences. Miletus had been the mother of some eighty colonies. Here Thales and Anaximander were born. The silting up of the Menander had altered its position even in St. Paul’s day, and now it is several miles from the sea; Lewin, St. Paul, ii., 90; Renan, Saint Paul, p. 501; Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, p. 480.

[334] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.

15. And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios] As the word for “next” here is not the same as that so rendered in the following clause, the Rev. Ver. gives (with more closeness to the Greek) And sailing from thence we came the following day, &c. The island of Chios is about five miles distant from the mainland. It was in the shelter of the roadstead that the Apostle and his companions passed the night in their vessel.

and the next day we arrived [touched] at Samos] The verb is a technical seafaring word, which the Rev. Ver. has thus represented. The island of Samos lies off that part of the coast of Asia Minor where the ancient Ionia joined on to Caria. It has been famous both in ancient Greek and modern European history (see Dict. of Greek and Roman Geogr. s.v.). On the mainland opposite, at the termination of the ridge of Mycale, lay Trogyllium, for which the Apostle’s vessel made without stopping in Samos.

and tarried at Trogyllium] The oldest MSS. omit these words. How they came into the text, if they be an addition, is not easy to explain. As the previous verb only implies the “touching” at Samos, some early marginal annotator knowing the country may have thus suggested the night’s halting-place, which the historian did not mention.

and the next day we came to Miletus] Here is yet another Greek phrase for “next day.” The A.V., which often gives a varied English for the same Greek, has here for varying Greek given the same English three times over. The Rev. Ver. has “the day after,” and thus marks the variation in the original. Miletus had been a most famous sea-port in the earlier Greek history, but in the days of St Paul its fame was eclipsed by Ephesus. It lay on the coast of Caria, some 20 or 30 miles distant by land southward from the city of Ephesus, and one day’s sail from Trogyllium. The site of the town is now some distance from the sea, and was not close to it in the Apostle’s time, as we shall see below (Acts 20:38).

Acts 20:15. Τρωγυλλίῳ) The name of a place, as in Wirtemberg, a village is called Korb (a basket) with the same signification.—ἤλθομεν, we came) with rapid course.

Verse 15. - Sailing from for we sailed, A.V.; we came for and came, A.V.; following for next, A.V.; touched for arrived, A.V.; and the day after for and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day, A.V. and T.R. Over against Chios. Their course would lie through the narrow strait between Chios on the west and the mainland on the east. Samos. The large island opposite Ephesus. There they touched, or put in (παρεβάλομεν). If the clause in the T.R. is genuine, they did not pass the night at Samos, but "made a short run from thence in the evening to Trogyllium (Alford), "the rocky extremity of the ridge of Mycale, on the Ionian coast, between which and the southern extremity of Samos the channel is barely a mile wide" ('Speaker's Commentary'). We came to Miletus. Anciently the chief city of Ionia, and a most powerful maritime and commercial place, about twenty-eight miles south of Ephesus; though in the time of Homer it was a Carian city. In St. Paul's time it was situated on the south-west coast of the Latmian gulf, just opposite the mouth of the Meander on the east. But since his time the whole gulf of Latmos has been filled up with soil brought down by the river, so that Miletus is no longer on the seacoast, and the new mouth of the Meander is to the west instead of to the east of Miletus, which lies about eight miles inland (Lewin, vol. it. p. 90; Smith's 'Dict. of Geog.'). Miletus was the scat of a bishopric in after times. As regards this visit to Miletus, some identify it with that mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:20. And it is certainly remarkable that so many of the same persons in connection with the same places are mentioned in both passages and in the pastoral Epistles generally. The identical persons are Paul, Timothy, Luke, Trophimus, Tychicus, and Apollos (Acts 20:4, 5, compared with 2 Timothy 4:11, 12, 20); and the identical places are Corinth, Thessalonica, Troas, Ephesus, Miletus, and Crete. But the other circumstances do not agree well with the events of this journey, but seem to belong to a later period of St. Paul's life (see below, ver. 25, note). Acts 20:15Arrived (παρεβάλομεν)

Only here and Mark 4:30, where it is used more nearly according to its original sense, to throw beside; to bring one thing beside another in comparison. Here, of bringing the vessel alongside the island. The narrative implies that they only touched (Rev.) there, but not necessarily the word.

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