Acts 20:4
And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.
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(4) And there accompanied him into Asia . . .—The occurrence of the two names, Timotheus and Sosipater (another form of Sopater) in Romans 16:21 makes it probable that all of those here named were with St. Paul at Corinth. As they were to go with him to Jerusalem, it was indeed natural they should have gone to the city from which he intended to embark. It is not difficult to discover the reason of their accompanying him. He was carrying up a large sum in trust for the churches of Judæa, and he sought to avoid even the suspicion of the malversations which the tongue of slanderers was so ready to impute to him (2Corinthians 8:20-21). Representatives were accordingly chosen from the leading churches, who acting, as it were, as auditors of his accounts, would be witnesses that all was right. As regards the individual names, we note as follows: (1) The name of Sopater, or Sosipater, occurs in the inscription on the arch named in the Note on Acts 17:8 as belonging to one of the politarchs of Thessalonica. (2) Aristarchus had been a fellow-worker with St. Paul at Ephesus, and had been a sufferer in the tumult raised by Demetrius (Acts 19:29). (3) Of Secundus nothing is known, but the name may be compared with Tertius in Romans 16:22, and Quartus in Romans 16:23, as suggesting the probability that all three were sons of a disciple who had adopted this plan of naming his children. The corresponding name of Primus occurs in an inscription from the Catacombs now in the Lateran Museum, as belonging to an exorcist, and might seem, at first, to supply the missing link; but the inscription is probably of later date. In any case, it is a probable inference that the three belonged to the freed-man or slave class, who had no family names; and the Latin form of their names suggests that they had been originally Roman Jews, an inference confirmed by the fact that both Tertius and Quartus send salutations to their brethren in the imperial city (Romans 16:22-23). The names Primitivus and Primitiva, which occur both in Christian and Jewish inscriptions in the same Museum, are more or less analogous. (4) Gains of Derbe. The Greek sentence admits of the description being attached to the name of Timotheus which follows; and the fact that a Caius has already appeared in close connection with Aristarchus makes this construction preferable. On this assumption he, too, came from Thessalonica. (See Note on Acts 19:29.) (5) Timotheus. (See Note on Acts 16:1.) (6) Tychicus. The name, which means “fortunate,” the Greek equivalent for Felix, was very common among slaves and freed-men. It is found in an inscription in the Lateran Museum from the Cemetery of Priscilla; and in a non-Christian inscription, giving the names of the household of the Emperor Claudius, in the Vatican Museum, as belonging to an architect. The Tychicus of the Acts would seem to have been a disciple from Ephesus, where men of that calling would naturally find an opening. Such vocations tended naturally, as has been said in the Note on Acts 19:9, to become hereditary. (7) Trophimus (= “nursling,” or “foster-child” was, again, a name of the same class, almost as common as Onesimus ( = “profitable”). In a very cursory survey of inscriptions from the Columbaria and Catacombs of Rome, I have noted the recurrence of the former four, and of the latter five times Trophimus appears again in Acts 21:29, and is described more definitely as an Ephesian. We find him again in contact with St. Paul towards the close of the Apostle’s life, in 2Timothy 4:20. That they were seven in number suggests the idea of a reproduction either of the idea of the Seven, who are commonly called Deacons in Acts 6, or of the Roman institution upon which that was probably based. It may be noted here, in addition to what has there been said on the subject, that the well-known pyramidal monument of Caius Cestius, of the time of Augustus, near the Porta Latina at Rome, records that he was one of the Septemviri Epulonum there referred to.

We must not forget what the sudden change to the first person plural in the next verse reminds us of, that the name of Luke has to be added to the list of St. Paul’s companions. We may, perhaps, assume that he went less as an official delegate from the Church of Philippi than as a friend, and probably, St. Paul’s health needing his services, as physician.

Acts 20:4-6. And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea, &c. — The several persons mentioned in this verse are thought by some to have been joined with Paul as messengers of the churches, in carrying their contributions to the poor brethren at Jerusalem. We know but few particulars of most of them. Sopater is thought to be the same with Sosipater, mentioned by Paul as his kinsman, Romans 16:21. Aristarchus and Secundus are the Macedonians of whom he speaks, 2 Corinthians 9:4; and Gaius of Derbe, the person who, with Aristarchus, was hurried into the theatre at Ephesus during the riot; he was baptized by Paul at Corinth, 1 Corinthians 1:14; and entertained him as his host, while he abode there, Romans 16:23; and afterward John directs his third epistle to him. Of Timothy, see Acts 16:1, &c. Tychicus of Asia, was often sent on messages by Paul, 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12; and more than once is recommended by him to the churches, as a beloved brother, and fellow-servant in the Lord, whom he employed, not only to acquaint them with his own affairs, but that he might know their state, and comfort their hearts, Ephesians 6:21-22; Colossians 4:7-8. Trophimus, who was of Ephesus, appears to have been a Gentile convert, whom we find afterward with Paul at Jerusalem, Acts 21:29; and who attended him in other journeys, till he left him at Miletum sick, 2 Timothy 4:20. These two last, being distinguished here from Timothy and Gaius, who were of Lystra and Derbe, which lay in Asia Minor; and yet being said to be Asiatics, must have been so called, because they were natives of the proconsular Asia. These, going before, tarried for us at Troas — It appears from the construction of the original, that this refers not to all the persons mentioned in the preceding verse, but only to the two last named, Tychicus and Trophimus. And we sailed from Philippi

Some time after the forementioned persons left us; (Luke was now with Paul again, as we learn from his manner of expressing himself;) after the days of unleavened bread — That is, after the passover week was ended; and came to Troas in five days — Paul, in his former progress, crossed over from Troas to Philippi in two days; where we abode seven days — Conversing with the Christians there. This Paul might choose to do so much the rather as he had declined such great views of service as were here opened to him, when he passed through it before, in his way to Macedonia. See 2 Corinthians 2:12-13.

20:1-6 Tumults or opposition may constrain a Christian to remove from his station or alter his purpose, but his work and his pleasure will be the same, wherever he goes. Paul thought it worth while to bestow five days in going to Troas, though it was but for seven days' stay there; but he knew, and so should we, how to redeem even journeying time, and to make it turn to some good account.And there accompanied him - It was usual for some of the disciples to attend the apostles in their journeys.

Into Asia - It is not meant that they attended him from Greece through Macedonia, but that they went with him to Asia, having gone before him, and joined him at Troas.

Sopater of Berea - Perhaps the same person who, in Romans 16:21, is called Sosipater, and who is there said to have been a kinsman of Paul.

Aristarchus - Acts 19:29.

Gaius of Derbe - See the notes on Acts 19:29.

Tychicus - This man was high in the confidence and affection of Paul. In Ephesians 6:21-22 he styles him "a beloved brother, and faithful minister in the Lord."

And Trophimus - Trophimus was from Ephesus, Acts 20:29. When Paul wrote his Second Epistle to Timothy he was at Miletum, sick, 2 Timothy 4:20.

4, 5. there accompanied him into Asia—the province of Asia.

Sopater of Berea—The true reading, beyond doubt, is, "Sopater [the son] of Pyrrhus of Berea." Some think this mention of his father was to distinguish him from Sosipater (the same name in fuller form), mentioned in Ro 16:21. But that they were the same person seems more probable.

of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus—(See on [2071]Ac 19:29).

and Secundus—of whom nothing else is known.

Gaius of Derbe—Though the Gaius of Ac 19:29 is said to be of "Macedonia," and this one "of Derbe," there is no sufficient reason for supposing them different persons; on the contrary, Ro 16:23 (compare with 3Jo 1, where there is hardly any reason to doubt that the same Gaius is addressed) seems to show that though he spent an important part of his Christian life away from his native Derbe, he had latterly retired to some place not very far from it.

and Timotheus—not probably of Derbe, as one might suppose from this verse, but of Lystra (see on [2072]Ac 16:1); both being so associated in his early connection with the apostle that the mention of the one in the previous clause would recall the other on the mention of his name.

and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus—The latter was an Ephesian, and probably the former also. They seem to have put themselves, from this time forward, at the apostle's disposal, and to the very last been a great comfort to him (Eph 6:21, 22; Col 4:7, 8; Ac 21:29; 2Ti 4:12, 20). From the mention of the places to which each of these companions belonged, and still more the order in which they occur, we are left to conclude that they were deputies from their respective churches, charged with taking up and bringing on the collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem, first at Berea, next at Thessalonica, then at Philippi [Howson], where we gather that our historian himself rejoined the party (from the resumption at Ac 20:5 of the "us," dropped at Ac 16:17), by whom the Philippian collection would naturally be brought on.

There accompanied him into Asia; their names are set down, as being men called and known at that time in the churches, and that what they did for this holy apostle might be remembered in all ages.

Sopater; who is called also Sosipater, Romans 16:21. It is added in some copies, that he was the son of Pyrrhus; which in Greek is the same with Rufus in Latin.

Berea; a city of Macedonia, Acts 17:10.

Aristarchus; of whom, Acts 19:29, as also of the others, mention hath been formerly made.

Of Asia; of Ephesus, a city in Asia.

Tychicus; of whom, Ephesians 6:21 Colossians 4:7 2 Timothy 4:12; and of

Trophimus we read, Acts 21:29 2 Timothy 4:20. These seem to have been the apostles or messengers of the churches, spoken of 2 Corinthians 8:23; in the number of whom St. Luke is to be reckoned, but being the penman of this book, he declines mentioning of himself by name; but his praise will be for ever in the gospel, 2 Corinthians 8:18,19.

And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea,.... This Sopater is thought to be the same with Sosipater in Romans 16:21 and in three of Beza's copies, and in as many of Stephens's, he is so called here; the Ethiopic version calls him Peter, a citizen of Berea; and the Arabic version Sopater of Aleppo. The Alexandrian copy, Beza's most ancient copy, and others, the Complutensian edition, and the Vulgate Latin version, read, Sopater of Pyrrhus, the Berean; that is, the son of Pyrrhus. He is reckoned among the seventy disciples, and is said to be bishop of Iconium; See Gill on Luke 10:1. This name was common among the Greeks; there was one of this name a native of Paphus, in the times of Alexander the great, a comical poet, and who also is sometimes called Sosipater, as this man was; there was another Sopater the sophist, who wrote the affairs of Alexander; and there was another of this name, who, among other things, collected much concerning painters and statuaries. The name signifies "a father saved". Pyrrhus is a Grecian name well known, being the name of a famous king of Greece who engaged in war with the Romans. This man went along with the apostle into Asia; and it seems, that of the persons here mentioned, he only accompanied him; for the verb is in the singular number, and the other six persons following did not go along with him, as Sopater did, but went before him to Troas, which was in Asia, and there waited for him; though the Syriac version reads in the plural number; but then it renders the words, "they went forth with him", as they might do from Greece, and yet not accompany him into Asia: the phrase into Asia is left out in the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions.

And of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; the former of these is before said to be a Macedonian, Acts 19:29 and here he appears to be of Thessalonica, and his name is a Greek one; but Secundus is a Roman name, though he might be born at Thessalonica, or at least have lived there, and so be said to be of it. His name signifies "Second"; very likely was his father's second son, and therefore so called; though the name was used among the Grecians. We read of Secundus an Athenian, the master of Herod the sophist, who flourished under the emperor Adrian, there are sentences under his name still extant; and another called Secundus the grammarian, a friend of Poleman, a philosopher at Athens, who corrected his writings; so that this man might be a Grecian, and a native of Thessalonica; mention is made of him nowhere else.

And Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; the former of these is so called to distinguish him from Gaius the Macedonian in Acts 19:29 and the latter by being joined with him should be of the same place, as he might be; see Acts 16:1 though the Syriac version reads, "and Timotheus of Lystra"; and so does the Arabic version used by De Dieu; and this is mentioned with Derbe in the above cited place.

And of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus: of the former see Ephesians 6:21 and of the latter see 2 Timothy 4:20 Acts 21:29 where he is called an Ephesian, as they both are here in Beza's most ancient copy; Ephesus being the metropolis of Asia, strictly so called. These are both of them said to be among the seventy disciples: Trophimus, we are told, taught at Arles in France, and suffered martyrdom with the Apostle Paul; and that Tychicus was bishop of Chalcedon in Bithynia; and that another of the same name was bishop of Colophon; See Gill on Luke 10:1. Trophimus signifies "nourished", and is a name to be found in a funeral inscription of the Romans (h), though Greek, and in the fragments of the poet Menander: and Tychicus signifies "fortunate"; whether the same with Fortunatus in 1 Corinthians 16:17 may be inquired.

(h) Kirchman. de Funer. Roman. l. 3. c. 26. p. 525.

And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.
Acts 20:4. Ἄχρι τῆς Ἀσίας[106]] excepting only the short separation from Philippi to Troas, Acts 20:5, where those companions (ΣΥΝΕΊΠΕΤΟ), having journeyed before the apostle, waited for him. The statement is summary, not excluding the sailing before from Philippi to Troas, the Asiatic emporium; but Tittmann, Synon. N.T. p. 85, erroneously judges: “eos usque in Asiam cum Paulo una fuisse, deinde praeivisse eumque expectasse.” Acts 20:5-6 are at variance with this. Nor is there, with Wieseler, p. 293, and Baumgarten, to be artificially deduced from ἌΧΡΙ Τῆς ἈΣΊΑς the meaning: “up to that point from which people crossed to Asia;” so that Luke would oddly enough have indicated nothing else than as far as Philippi. On συνέπεσθαι (only here in the N.T.), comp. 2Ma 15:2; 3Ma 5:48; 3Ma 6:21; very frequent in the classics.

Of Sopater, the son of Pyrrhus, of Beroea, and whether he is identical with Sosipater, Romans 16:21, nothing is known.

The other companions were two Thessalonians, Aristarchus (Acts 19:29) and Secundus (entirely unknown); further, an inhabitant of Derbe, Caius (thus different from the Macedonian, Acts 19:29; for Derbe belonged to Lycaonia, see on Acts 14:6); Timotheus, whose dwelling is supposed as known and therefore is not specified (see on Acts 16:1); and lastly, the two Asiatics, Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12) and Trophimus (Acts 21:29; 2 Timothy 4:20). It was nothing but arbitrary violence, when Ernesti, Valckenaer, and Kuinoel, in order to identify Caius (how extremely frequent was the name!) with the Caius of Acts 19:12 and to make Timothy a native of Derbe, wished to put a comma after ΓΆΪΟς and then to read ΔΕΡΒ. ΔῈ ΤΙΜ. (Heinrichs: ΚΑῚ ΤΙΜ. ΔΕΡΒ.).[107] Following the same presupposition, Olshausen contents himself with merely putting a point after ΓΆΪΟς and then taking ΚΑΊ in the signification of also! And for this even Wieseler, p. 26, and in Herzog’s Encykl. XXI. p. 276, has declared himself, appealing to the parallelism of the language, according to which, from Θεσσαλονικ. onwards, the nomen gentilitium is always placed first. But the parallelism is rather of this nature, that the nomen gentilitium first follows after (Βεροι.), then precedes (ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚ.), then again follows after (ΔΕΡΒ.), and lastly, again precedes (ʼΑΣΙΑΝ.), thus in regular alternation.

We may add, that no special reason for such a numerous escort is indicated in the text, and hypotheses[108] referring to the point amount to mere subjective fancies.

[106] The omission of ἄχρι τ. Ἀσίκς is not strongly enough attested by B א, 13, Vulg. Aeth. Erp. Beda, particularly as it might easily have taken place for the sake of ver. 5. It is, however, approved by Lekebusch.

[107] Lachmann, Praef. p. ix., conjectured καὶ Δερβ. Τιμόθ. He places a point after Τιμόθ., and makes the δέ, read by him after οὗτοι, ver. 5, to be resumptive (repeating the δέ after Ἀσιανοί), which, as the discourse is not interrupted by parentheses, would be without motive and forced.

[108] According to Schneckenburger, they are the collection-commissioners of the chief churches; according to Baumgarten, they appear, in their number corresponding to the deacons in Jerusalem, as representatives of the whole Gentile church; comp. also Lange, II. p. 291. Such inventions are purely fanciful.

Acts 20:4. συνείπετο δὲ αὐτῷ: only here in N.T., cf. 2Ma 15:2, 3Ma 5:48; 3Ma 6:21, but frequent in classics.—ἄχρι τῆς Ἀ.: among more recent writers Rendall has argued strongly for the retention of the words, whilst he maintains, nevertheless, that all the companions of the Apostle named here accompanied him to Jerusalem. In his view the words are an antithesis to Ἀσιανοὶ δέ, so that whilst on the one hand one party, viz., six of the deputies, travel with Paul to Philippi, on the other hand the other party consisting of two, viz., the Asian representatives, waited for them at Troas. At Philippi the six deputies and Paul were joined by St. Luke, who henceforth speaks of the deputation in the first person plural, and identifies himself with its members as a colleague. Then from Troas the whole party proceed to Jerusalem (Acts, pp. 119, 303). In this way οὗτοι in Acts 20:5 is restricted to Tychicus and Trophimus (see also Ramsay, as below), whereas A. and R.V. refer the pronoun to all the deputies, so too Weiss and Wendt. If this is so, the ἡμᾶς, Acts 20:5, might refer (but see further below) only to Paul and Luke, as the latter would naturally rejoin Paul at Philippi where we left him, cf. Acts 16:17. Ramsay explains (St. Paul, p. 287) that the discovery of the Jewish plot altered St. Paul’s plan, and that too at the last moment, when delegates from the Churches had already assembled. The European delegates were to sail from Corinth, and the Asian from Ephesus, but the latter having received word of the change of plan went as far as Troas to meet the others, οὗτοι thus referring to Tychicus and Trophimus alone (but see also Askwith, Epistle to the Galatians (1899), pp. 94, 95).

Wendt also favours retention of ἄχρι τῆς Ἀ. and prefers the reading προσελθόντες, but he takes ἡμᾶς in Acts 20:5 to exclude St. Paul, and refers it to other friends of the Apostle (as distinct from those who accompanied him through Macedonia “as far as Asia”), viz., the author of the “We” sections and others who only now meet the Apostle and his company at Troas. But this obliges us to make a somewhat artificial distinction between ἡμᾶς in Acts 20:5 with ἡμεῖς in Acts 20:6, and ἐξεπ. and ἤλθομεν on the one hand, and διετρίψαμεν, Acts 20:6, on the other, as the latter must be taken to include St. Paul, St. Luke, and the whole company, although Wendt justifies the distinction by pointing out that in Acts 20:13 ἡμεῖς is used exclusive of Paul (cf. Acts 21:12).

Mr. Askwith, u. s., p. 93 ff., has recently argued that ἡμεῖς in Acts 20:6 includes not only St. Luke and St. Paul, but with them the representatives of Achaia (who are not mentioned by name with the other deputies) who would naturally be with St. Paul on his return from Corinth, Acts 20:2-3, and he would not travel through Macedonia unaccompanied. In 2 Corinthians 8 St. Luke, “the brother,” according to tradition, whose praise in the Gospel was spread through all the Churches, had been sent to Corinth with Titus and another “brother,” and so naturally any representatives from Achaia would come along with them, pp. 93, 94. No names are given because St. Luke himself was amongst them, and he never mentions his own name, p. 96. The fact that Timothy and Sopater who had been with the Apostle at Corinth when he wrote to the Romans (chap. Acts 16:21, if we may identify Σωσίπατρος with the Σώπατρος Πύρρου Βεροιαῖος, Acts 20:4) are amongst those who waited at Troas is accounted for on the supposition that Timothy and others might naturally go across to inform the Asiatic delegates of Paul’s change of plan, and would then proceed with these Asian representatives to Troas to meet the Apostle (p. 94). The presence of Aristarchus and Secundus at Troas is accounted for on the ground that St. Paul, on his way to Achaia, did not expect to return through Macedonia, and so would naturally arrange for the Macedonian delegates, who were not accompanying him into Greece, to meet him somewhere. And the delegates from Thessalonica would naturally cross to Troas with the intention of proceeding to Ephesus (or Miletus), where St. Paul would have touched even if he had sailed for Palestine from Cenchreæ (cf. Acts 18:18-19), p. 95. But against this it may be fairly urged that there is no reason to assume that the Macedonian delegates did not accompany Paul into Greece; Timothy and Sosipater had evidently done so, and all the delegates mentioned seem to have been together in St. Paul’s company, συνείπετο αὐτῷ, Acts 20:4. In the uncertain state of the text it is difficult to come to any decision on the passage. The words ἄχρι τῆς Ἀσίας may easily have been omitted on account of the supposed difficulty connected with the fact that two at least of St. Paul’s companions who are named, Trophimus and Aristarchus, went further than Asia, cf. Acts 21:29, Acts 27:2, while on the other hand it is somewhat hard to believe that the words could be inserted by a later hand.

On “The Pauline Collection for the Saints and its importance,” and the representatives of the Churches in the different provinces, see Rendall, Expositor, November, 1893; Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 287, and “Corinth,” Hastings’ B.D.; Wendt, p. 325 (1899); Hort, Rom. and Ephes., pp. 39 ff. and 173. Nothing could more clearly show the immense importance which St. Paul attached to this contribution for the poor saints than the fact that he was ready to present in person at Jerusalem the members of the deputation and their joint offerings, and that too at a time when his presence in the capital was full of danger, and after he had been expressly warned of the peril, cf. Acts 24:17, Romans 15:25. On the suggestion for the fund and its consummation see 1 Corinthians 16:1-8, Acts 20:16, 2 Corinthians 8:10; 2 Corinthians 9:2; A.D. 57–58, Rendall, Lightfoot; 56–57, Ramsay. Such a scheme would not only unite all the Gentile Churches in one holy bond of faith and charity, but it would mark their solidarity with the Mother Church at Jerusalem; it would be a splendid fulfilment by their own generous and loyal effort of the truth that if one member of the body suffered all the members suffered with it. We know how this vision which St. Paul had before his eyes of a universal brotherhood throughout the Christian world seemed to tarry; and we may understand something of the joy which filled his heart, even amidst his farewell to the elders at Miletus, as he anticipated without misgiving the accomplishment of this διακονία to the saints, a “ministry” which he had received from the Lord Jesus, Acts 20:24. On the coincidence between the narrative of the Acts cf. Acts 20:2-3; Acts 24:17-19, and the notices in St. Paul’s Epistles given above, see especially Paley, Horæ. Paulinæ, chap. ii., 1.—Σώπατρος Πύρρου Β., see critical note; whether he is the same as the Sopater of Romans 16:21 who was with St. Paul at Corinth we cannot say—possibly the name of his father may be introduced to distinguish him, but perhaps, as Blass says, added in this one case “quod domi nobilis erat”.—Γάϊος Δ. καὶ Τ., see above on p. 414, and Knabenbauer’s note as against Blass.—Τυχικὸς: Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7 show that Timothy was in Rome at the time of St. Paul’s first imprisonment. He is spoken of as a beloved and faithful minister, and it would appear that as St. Paul was about to send him to Ephesus, he was presumably the bearer of the Epistle which at all events included the Ephesian Church. In Titus 3:12 we have another reference which shows the high place Timothy occupied amongst St. Paul’s trusted confidential friends, and from 2 Timothy 4:12 we learn that he had been a sharer in the Apostle’s second and heavier captivity, and had only left him to fulfil another mission to Ephesus.—Τρόφιμος: probably like Tychicus an Ephesian. In Acts 21:29 he was with St. Paul at Jerusalem, and from 2 Timothy 4:20 we learn that he was at a later stage the companion of the Apostle after his release from his first imprisonment, and that he had been left by him at Miletus sick. On the absurd attempt to connect this notice of Miletus in the Pastoral Epistles with Acts 20:4 see Weiss, Die Briefe Pauli an Timotheus und Titus, p. 354; Salmon, Introd., fifth edition, p. 401.

4. And there accompanied him into Asia] The literal rendering of the last words is “as far as Asia,” but they are altogether omitted by the oldest MSS. We find Trophimus went to Jerusalem (Acts 21:29) and that Aristarchus was with St Paul in the voyage to Rome (Acts 27:2).

Sopater of Berea] The oldest MSS. add the son of Pyrrhus. A various reading here has Sosipater, a name which is found in Romans 16:21, but there is no reason for connecting the two persons. We know nothing of Sopater beyond the mention of him in this verse.

and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus] Aristarchus has been before mentioned (Acts 19:29), and in the Epistles written during the Roman imprisonment, to Philemon (24) he is one of those who sends greeting, and also to the Colossians (Acts 4:10) in which place the Apostle calls him his fellow-prisoner, shewing that he shared in a great degree the whole hardships of St Paul’s life at Rome. Secundus is only mentioned here.

and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus] As Timotheus was probably of Lystra, these men may have been friends from an early period and the former may have been a convert at the same time as the latter. We only know of him from this verse, and he has no connexion with any other Gaius named in the New Testament.

and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus] Of the former of these we have mention several times. In Ephesians 6:21, he is called a beloved brother and faithful minister, and St Paul states that he is about to send him to Ephesus. To the Colossians (Acts 4:7) he writes, “All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you.” From both which notices we see that Tychicus was with St Paul in his first Roman imprisonment. He was also at hand when the Apostle wrote to Titus (Titus 3:12), and also had been with St Paul in the later imprisonment, when the second Epistle to Timothy was written (Acts 4:12) and had again been sent to Ephesus. Perhaps Tychicus like Trophimus was by birth an Ephesian. Trophimus also continued much with St Paul, for we read (2 Timothy 4:20) that the Apostle at that time had left him detained by sickness at Miletus.

Acts 20:4. Συνείπετο, there accompanied him) A delightful retinue.—ἄχρι τῆς Ἀσίας, as far as to Asia) In Asia a part of them departed, a part remained with Paul: Acts 20:6; Acts 20:13-14. Trophimus went along with him to Jerusalem, as appears from ch. Acts 21:29; Aristarchus accompanied him to Rome, ch. Acts 27:2.—Θεσσαλονικέων, of the Thessalonians) So Aristarchus and Secundus are called. For Gaius was of Derbe: the country of Timothy was already marked, viz. Lystra, near Derbe.—Ἀσιανοὶ, of Asia) from Asia strictly so called.

Verse 4. - As far as for into, A.V.; Beraea for Berea, A.V.; the son of Pyrrhus is added in the R.T. and R.V.; Timothy for Timotheus, A.V. Accompanied; συνείπετο, peculiar to Luke in the New Testament, but common in medical writers. As far as Asia. If it were merely said, "there accompanied him," it might have been thought, with regard to the Macedonians Sopater, Aristarchus, and Secundus, that they had merely gone as far as their respective cities, Beraea and Thessalonica; it is therefore added (in most manuscripts, though not in B or the Codex Sinaiticus), "as far as Asia." It does not necessarily follow that they all went as fax as Jerusalem, though we know Trophimus and Aristarchus did. Sopater may probably be the same as Sosipater (Romans 16:21), whom St. Paul calls "his kinsman," though some think "the son of Pyrrhus" was added to distinguish him from him. The Thessalonian Aristarchus is doubtless the same as the person named in Acts 19:29; Acts 27:2; and so one would have thought Gaius must be the same as is named with Aristarchus in Acts 19:29, were it not that this Gaius is described as of Derbe, whereas the Gaius of Acts 19:29 was a man of Macedonia. Gaius of Derbe is here coupled with Timothy, who was of the neighboring city of Lystra (Acts 16:1), but was too well known to make it needful to specify his nationality. Secundus is not mentioned elsewhere. Compare Tertius and Quartus (Romans 16:22, 23), and the common Roman names, Quinctus, Sextus, Septimus, Octavius, Decimus. Tychicus, of Asia, is mentioned in Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12; by which we learn that he continued to be in constant attendance on St. Paul, and have abundant confirmation of his being "of Asia." Trophimus is called "an Ephesian" (Acts 21:29), and is named again as a companion of St. Paul, and presumably "of Asia" (2 Timothy 4:20). It is not improbable that some at least of there followers were chosen by the Churches to carry their alms to Jerusalem (see 2 Corinthians 8:19-23; 2 Corinthians 9:12, 13; 1 Corinthians 16:3, 4; Romans 15:25-28). Acts 20:4Sopater

The best texts add, the son of Pyrrhus. Compare Romans 16:21.


Compare Acts 19:29.


Not the one mentioned in Acts 19:29, who was a Macedonian.

Tychicus and Trophimus

See Colossians 4:7, Colossians 4:8; Ephesians 6:21, Ephesians 6:22; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12; Acts 21:29; 2 Timothy 4:20.

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