Acts 21:1
And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:
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(1) After we were gotten from them . . .—The Greek verb is more emphatic, and might almost be rendered, “When we had torn ourselves away from them.”

We came with a straight course unto Coos . . .—The navigation is, as before (Acts 20:14-15), from port to port. It would hardly be within the scope of a Commentary to enter at length into the history of each place. It will be enough to note that Coos was famous both for its wines and its silk fabrics, of fine and almost transparent tissue; that Rhodes, then famous for its Colossus, was one of the largest and most flourishing islands of the Archipelago, and is memorable for us in later history as connected with the history of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John; that Patara was a harbour on the coast of Lycia. For this harbour the ship in which the travellers had left Troas and Miletus was bound, and they had therefore to look out for another. Happily there was no long delay, and they embarked at once on a merchant-ship bound for Phœnicia.



Acts 21:1 - Acts 21:15

Paul’s heroic persistency in disregarding the warnings of ‘bonds and afflictions’ which were pealed into his ears in every city, is the main point of interest in this section. But the vivid narrative abounds with details which fill it with life and colour. We may gather it all round three points-the voyage, Tyre, and Caesarea.

I. The log of the voyage, as given in Acts 21:1 - Acts 21:3, shows the leisurely way of navigation in those days and in that sea.

Obviously the coaster tied up or anchored in port at night. Running down the coast from Miletus, they stayed overnight, first at the small island of Coos, then stretched across the next day to Rhodes, and on the third struck back to the mainland at Patara, from which, according to one reading, they ran along the coast a little further east to Myra, the usual port of departure for Syria. Ramsay explains that the prevalent favourable wind for a vessel bound for Syria blows steadily in early morning, and dies down towards nightfall, so that there would have been no use in keeping at sea after sundown.

At Patara {or Myra} Paul and his party had to tranship, for their vessel was probably of small tonnage, and only fit to run along the coast. In either port they would have no difficulty in finding some merchantman to take them across to Syria. Accordingly they shifted into one bound for Tyre, and apparently ready to sail. The second part of their voyage took them right out to sea, and their course lay to the west, and then to the south of Cyprus, which Luke mentions as if to remind us of Paul’s visit there when he was beginning his missionary work. How much had passed since that day at Paphos {which they might have sighted from the deck}! He had left Paphos with Barnabas and John Mark-where were they? He had sailed away from Cyprus to carry the Gospel among Gentiles; he sails past it, accompanied by a group of these whom he had won for Christ. There he had begun his career; now the omens indicated that possibly its end was near. Many a thought would be in his mind as he looked out over the blue waters and saw the glittering roofs and groves of Paphos.

Tyre was the first port of call, and there the cargo was to be landed. The travellers had to wait till that was done, and probably another one shipped. The seven days’ stay is best understood as due to that cause; for we find that Paul re-embarked in the same ship, and went in her as far as Ptolemais, at all events, perhaps to Caesarea.

We note that no brethren are mentioned as having been met at any of the ports of call, and no evangelistic work as having been done in them. The party were simple passengers, who had to shape their movements to suit the convenience of the master of the vessel, and were only in port at night, and off again next morning early. No doubt the leisure at sea was as restorative to them as it often is to jaded workers now.

II. Tyre was a busy seaport then, and in its large population the few disciples would make but little show.

They had to be sought out before they were ‘found.’ One can feel how eagerly the travellers would search, and how thankfully they would find themselves again among congenial souls. Since Miletus they had had no Christian communion, and the sailors in such a ship as theirs would not be exactly kindred spirits. So that week in Tyre would be a blessed break in the voyage. We hear nothing of visiting the synagogue, nor of preaching to the non-Christian population, nor of instruction to the little Church.

The whole interest of the stay at Tyre is, for Luke, centred on the fact that here too the same message which had met Paul everywhere was repeated to him. It was ‘through the Spirit.’ Then was Paul flying in the face of divine prohibitions when he held on his way in spite of all that could be said? Certainly not. We have to bring common sense to bear on the interpretation of the words in Acts 21:4, and must suppose that what came from ‘the Spirit’ was the prediction of persecutions waiting Paul, and that the exhortation to avoid these by keeping clear of Jerusalem was the voice of human affection only. Such a blending of clear insight and of mistaken deductions from it is no strange experience.

No word is said as to the effect of the Tyrian Christians’ dissuasion. It had none. Luke mentions it in order to show how continuous was the repetition of the same note, and his silence as to the manner of its reception is eloquent. The parting scene at Tyre is like, and yet very unlike, that at Miletus. In both the Christians accompany Paul to the beach, in both they kneel down and pray. It would scarcely have been a Christian parting without that. In both loving farewells are said, and perhaps waved when words could no longer be heard. But at Tyre, where there were no bonds of old comradeship nor of affection to a spiritual father, there was none of the yearning, clinging love that could not bear to part, none of the hanging on Paul’s neck, none of the deep sorrow of final separation. The delicate shades of difference in two scenes so similar tell of the hand of an eye-witness. The touch that ‘all’ the Tyrian Christians went down to the beach, and took their wives and children with them, suggests that they can have been but a small community, and so confirms the hint given by the use of the word ‘found’ in Acts 21:4.

III. The vessel ran down the coast to Ptolemais where one day’s stop was made, probably to land and ship cargo, if, as is possible, the further journey to Caesarea was by sea.

But it may have been by land; the narrative is silent on that point. At Ptolemais, as at Tyre, there was a little company of disciples, the brevity of the stay with whom, contrasted with the long halt in Caesarea, rather favours the supposition that the ship’s convenience ruled the Apostle’s movements till he reached the latter place. There he found a haven of rest, and, surrounded by loving friends, no wonder that the burdened Apostle lingered there before plunging into the storm of which he had had so many warnings.

The eager haste of the earlier part of the journey, contrasted with the delay in Caesarea at the threshold of his goal, is explained by supposing that at the beginning Paul’s one wish had been to get to Jerusalem in time for the Feast, and that at Caesarea he found that, thanks to his earlier haste and his good passages, he had a margin to spare. He did not wish to get to the Holy City much before the Feast.

Two things only are told as occurring in Caesarea-the intercourse with Philip and the renewed warnings about going to Jerusalem. Apparently Philip had been in Caesarea ever since we last heard of him {Acts 8:1 - Acts 8:40}. He had brought his family there, and settled down in the headquarters of Roman government. He had been used by Christ to carry the Gospel to men outside the Covenant, and for a time it seemed as if he was to be the messenger to the Gentiles; but that mission soon ended, and the honour and toil fell to another. But neither did Philip envy Paul, nor did Paul avoid Philip. The Master has the right to settle what each slave has to do, and whether He sets him to high or low office, it matters not.

Philip might have been contemptuous and jealous of the younger man, who had been nobody when he was chosen as one of the Seven, but had so far outrun him now. But no paltry personal feeling marred the Christian intercourse of the two, and we can imagine how much each had to tell the other, with perhaps Cornelius for a third in company, during the considerably extended stay in Caesarea. No doubt Luke too made good use of the opportunity of increasing his knowledge of the first days, and probably derived much of the material for the first chapters of Acts from Philip, either then or at his subsequent longer residence in the same city.

We have heard of the prophet Agabus before {Acts 11:28}. Why he is introduced here, as if a stranger, we cannot tell, and it is useless to guess, and absurd to sniff suspicion of genuineness in the peculiarity. His prophecy is more definite than any that preceded it. That is God’s way. He makes things clearer as we go on, and warnings more emphatic as danger approaches. The source of the ‘afflictions’ was now for the first time declared, and the shape which they would take. Jews would deliver Paul to Gentiles, as they had delivered Paul’s Master.

But there the curtain falls. What would the Gentiles do with him? That remained unrevealed. Half the tragedy was shown, and then darkness covered the rest. That was more trying to nerves and courage than full disclosure to the very end would have been. Imagination had just enough to work on, and was stimulated to shape out all sorts of horrors. Similarly incomplete and testing to faith are the glimpses of the future which we get in our own lives. We see but a little way ahead, and then the road takes a sharp turn, and we fancy dreadful shapes hiding round the corner.

Paul’s courage was unmoved both by Agabus’s incomplete prophecy and by the tearful implorings of his companions and of the Caesarean Christians. His pathetic words to them are misunderstood if we take ‘break my heart’ in the modern sense of that phrase, for it really means ‘to melt away my resolution,’ and shows that Paul felt that the passionate grief of his brethren was beginning to do what no fear for himself could do-shake even his steadfast purpose. No more lovely blending of melting tenderness and iron determination has ever been put into words than that cry of his, followed by the great utterance which proclaimed his readiness to bear all things, even death itself, for ‘the name of the Lord Jesus.’ What kindled and fed that noble flame of self-devotion? The love of Jesus Christ, built on the sense that He had redeemed the soul of His servant, and had thereby bought him for His own.

If we feel that we have been ‘bought with a price,’ we too, in our small spheres, shall be filled with that ennobling passion of devoted love which will not count life dear if He calls us to give it up. Let us learn from Paul how to blend the utmost gentleness and tender responsiveness to all love with fixed determination to glorify the Name. A strong will and a loving heart make a marvellously beautiful combination, and should both abide in every Christian.

Acts 21:1-3. And after we were gotten — Greek, αποσπασθεντας, were torn away; from them — Not without doing violence both to ourselves and them; we came with a straight course to Coos — Or Cos, now commonly called Lango, one of the islands termed Cyclades, famous for the worship of Æsculapius, and the temple of Juno; and for being the birth-place of Hippocrates, an eminent physician, and Apelles, a celebrated painter; and the day following unto Rhodes — Another island in the same sea, famous for the worship of the sun, and its Colossus, a prodigiously large brazen statue, erected across the mouth of the harbour, and dedicated to Apollo, or the sun, so high that ships, in full sail, could pass between its legs. The artificers were twelve years in making it; and it was deemed one of the seven wonders of the world. Sixty-six years after its erection, and about two hundred and twenty-four years before Christ, it was thrown down by a terrible earthquake, and lay prostrate almost nine hundred years. When the Saracens took possession of the island, about A.D. 660, they sold this image to a Jew, who, it is said, loaded nine hundred camels with the brass of it. And from thence unto Patara — A noted seaport town of Lycia, beautified with many temples, of which one was dedicated to Apollo, whose oracle therein, for credit and wealth, was not much inferior to that of Delphi. Here, finding a ship bound for Phenicia, they went on board, and leaving Cyprus on the left, sailed for Syria, and arrived at Tyre, where she was to unlade — Concerning Tyre, see the notes on Isaiah 23. That there should be Christians in Tyre, was foretold Psalm 87:4.

21:1-7 Providence must be acknowledged when our affairs go on well. Wherever Paul came, he inquired what disciples were there, and found them out. Foreseeing his troubles, from love to him, and concern for the church, they wrongly thought it would be most for the glory of God that he should continue at liberty; but their earnestness to dissuade him from it, renders his pious resolution the more illustrious. He has taught us by example, as well as by rule, to pray always, to pray without ceasing. Their last farewell was sweetened with prayer.After we were gotten from them - After we had left the elders at Miletus, Acts 20:38. They were on their way to Jerusalem.

Unto Coos - This was a small island in the Grecian Archipelago, a short distance from the southwestern point of Asia Minor. It is now called "Stan-co." It was celebrated for its fertility, and for the wine and silk-worms which it produced. It was about 40 miles south of Miletus.

Unto Rhodes - This was also an island in the Grecian Archipelago. On the island was a city of the same name, which was principally distinguished for its brass Colossus, which was built by Chares of Lyndus. It stood across the mouth of the harbor, and was so high that vessels could pass between its legs. It stood for 56 years, and was then thrown down by an earthquake. It was reckoned as one of the seven wonders of the world. When the Saracens took possession of this island they sold this prostrate image to a Jew, who loaded 900 camels with the brass from it. This was 600 a.d., about 900 years after it had been thrown down. The ancient name of the island was Asteria. Its name, Rhodes, was given from the great quantity of roses which it produced.

Unto Patara - This was a maritime city of Lycia, in Asia Minor, over against Rhodes.


Ac 21:1-16. Sailing from Ephesus, They Land at Tyre, and Thence Sailing to Ptolemais, They Proceed by Land to Cæsarea and Jerusalem.

1. we were gotten—"torn."

from them—expressing the difficulty and pain of the parting.

with a straight course—running before the wind, as Ac 16:11.

unto Coos—Cos, an island due south from Miletus, which they would reach in about six hours, and coming close to the mainland.

the day following unto Rhodes—another island, some fifty miles to the southeast, of brilliant classic memory and beauty.

thence unto Patara—a town on the magnificent mainland of Lycia, almost due east from Rhodes. It was the seat of a celebrated oracle of Apollo.Acts 21:1-9 Paul, journeying to Jerusalem, calleth at the house

of Philip the evangelist, whose four daughters prophesied.

Acts 21:10-16 Agabus foretelling what should befall him at Jerusalem,

he will not be dissuaded from going thither.

Acts 21:17-26 Arriving at Jerusalem, he is persuaded to purify

himself in the temple

Acts 21:27-36 where he is set upon by the Jews of Asia, and in

danger of losing his life in an uproar, but is

rescued by the chief captain, and carried to the

castle in chains.

Acts 21:37-40 He requesteth, and is permitted, to speak to the people.

Were gotten from them; had parted with them, as dearest friends and relations do one from the other, with much difficulty and reluctance.

Coos; an island in the Mediterranean Sea, nigh unto Crete, where Hippocrates and Apelles are said to have been born.

Rhodes; another island in the same sea, of great fame for the Colossus, or vast image of brass, which was there, accounted one of the wonders of the world.

Patara; a haven town of Lycia, and its metropolis.

And it came to pass, that after we had gotten from them,.... Which was with great difficulty, with many tears, and much wringing of hands: the word signifies that they were "plucked from" them; they clung about them, as husband and wife, and parents and children do; so strong were their affections; and their parting was like the parting of such near relations, or like the plucking of the flesh from the bones, or the drawing and separating one member from another; such is the cement of true Christian love:

and had launched; the vessel into the sea, from the port at Miletus:

we came with a straight course unto Coos; an island in the Aegean sea. Pomponius Mela (m) calls it Cos in Carlo; and so Pausanias (n) reckons it a city of the Carians and Lycians, mentioning it along with Rhodes. It was famous for being the birth place of Apelles the painter, and Hippocrates the physician. Pliny (o) places it in Caria, and calls it most noble, and says that it was fifteen miles distant from Halicarnassus, was a hundred miles in circumference, as many think, and was called Merope: and who elsewhere observes (p), that it is reported that the silk worms are bred in this island, and that a sort of raiment called "bombycine" was first made here by Pamphila, the daughter of Latoius. And so Solinus (q) from Varro, testifies, that this island first gave a fine sort of clothing for the ornament of women: hence because silks or bombycines, from the silk worms, were first wove here by women, some think the island had its name, for which signifies something spun, in 1 Kings 10:28 it is by us translated "linen yarn"; but the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "from Coa". This island was taken by Hercules, and Eurypylus, the king of it, was slain by him (r). It is now in the hands of the Turks, by whom it is called Stancora; but by others Lango. When, and by whom the Gospel was first preached here, is not certain; it does not appear that the Apostle Paul stayed to preach it now: however, in the beginning of the "fourth" century there was a church here, and a bishop of it was present at the council of Nice; and in the "fifth" century, a bishop of the church here assisted in the council of Chalcedon; and in the "sixth" century, a bishop of the same place was in the fifth synod at Constantinople (s). Hither Paul and his company came with a good wind, a prosperous gale, and nothing to hinder them; which perhaps is rather meant than a straight or direct line, in which they ran from Miletus to this place:

and the day following unto Rhodes, this is an island in Lycia, according to Mela (t), and had in it these three cities, Lindos, Camitos, and Jalysos: it is said of it (u), that the heavens are never so cloudy, but the sun is seen here in one part of the day, or another. R. Benjamin (w) makes this to be three days' sail from Samos; and says, he found four hundred Jews in it, and almost three hundred at Samos. It is asserted by several writers (x), that this island was once covered with the sea, and in process of time appeared out of it, and became dry land. The account which Pliny (y) gives of it is, that

"it is most beautiful and free, and was in circumference a hundred and thirty miles; or, if Isidorus is rather to be credited, a hundred and three: the cities in it were Lindus, Camirus, Jalysus, now Rhodes: it is distant from Alexandria in Egypt five hundred seventy eight miles, as Isidorus reports; but according to Eratosthenes, four hundred sixty nine; and according to Mutianus, five hundred; and from Cyprus it was a hundred and sixty six;''

a place after mentioned, which the apostle left on the left hand, having sailed from Petara to Phoenicia. The same writer proceeds and adds,

"it was before called Ophiusa, Astria, Aethrea, Trinacria, Cotymbia, Paeessa, Atabyria, from the king of it, afterwards Macria and Oloessa.''

Jerom (z) says of it, that

"it is the most noble of the islands Cyclades, and the first from the east, formerly called Ophiussa; in which was a city of the same name, famous for the brazen colossus, which was seventy cubits high: it was distant from the port of Asia twenty miles.''

This statue, called the colossus of the sun, was one of the seven wonders of the world, according to Pliny (a), and was made by Chares, a disciple of Lysippus, at the expense of King Demetrius: it was twelve years in making, and cost three hundred talents: it was seventy cubits high (as Jerom before says): it fell by an earthquake, after it had stood fifty or sixty years (some say 1360); and as it lay along it was a miracle, few men with their arms stretched out could embrace the thumb, and the fingers were bigger than most statues: and from this statue the Rhodians have been sometimes called Colossians; and some have fancied, that these are the persons the Apostle Paul wrote his epistle to under that name. This island, and the city in it, were called Rhodes, as some think, from roses, with which it might abound, or because of the beautifulness of the place; and others, that it had its name from "Jarod", which, in the Chaldee and Syriac languages, signifies a serpent; and so it was called Ophiusa from the multitude of serpents in it (b); though others say it took its name from Rhodia, a fair and beautiful maid beloved by Apollo. This island, in the "seventh" century, about the year 653, was taken by Mauvia, king of the Saracens, who sold the colossus, which lay on the ground ever since the earthquake, to a merchant, who is said to load nine hundred camels with the brass of it: it afterwards came into the hands of the Christians, and in the year 1522 was taken by Solyman the Turk, after a siege of six months, being betrayed by Andreas Meralius, a Portuguese knight (c). When the Gospel was first preached here, and a church state formed, cannot be said; but in the beginning of the "fourth" century there was a bishop of this place in the council of Nice; and in the "fifth" century there was a church here, and it was a metropolitan; and in the "sixth" century a bishop of this place was in the fifth Roman synod under Symmachus; and in the "seventh" century a bishop of Rhodes assisted in the sixth council at Constantinople; and in the same century it was taken by the Saracenes, as before observed, when the church here was the metropolitan of the Cyclades: and yet in the "eighth" century, Leo, bishop of this place, was in the Nicene synod; and even though in the ninth century it was grievously harassed by the Saracens, yet its church state was not quite destroyed (d).

And from thence to Patara; Beza's ancient copy adds, "and Myra": see Acts 27:5 a city of Lycia: hence it is called by Herodotus (e), and Pliny (f), Patara of Lycia, and mentioned with Rhodes: it was famous for the temple of Apollo, which was in it, in which answers were given six months in the year, and were on equal credit with the oracle at Delphos (g); the Arabic version here calls it Sparta. According to Pliny (h) it was first called Sataros. Some say it had its name Patara from Paturus, the son of Apollo; Ptolomy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, having enlarged it, called it after his sister's name, Arsinoe. How long the apostle stayed in this place is not known, nor whether he preached here, nor if he did, what success he had: in the "second" century, the statues of Jupiter and Apollo were in this, place: in the "fourth" century, there was a church here, and a bishop of it: and in the "sixth" century, a bishop of the church at Patara was in the fifth synod at Rome and Constantinople: and in the "eighth" century, Anastasius, bishop of this place, was in the Nicene synod (k).

(m) Xenophon. Cyropaedia, l. 2. c. 14. (n) Arcadica, sive l. 8. p. 526. (o) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 31. (p) Ib. l. 11. c. 22, 23. (q) Polyhistor. c. 12. (r) Apollodorus de Orig. Deorum, l. 2. p. 112. (s) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 5, cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 6. (t) De Situ Orbis, l. 2. c. 14. (u) Plin. l. 2. c. 62. Solin. c. 21. (w) Itinerar. p. 30. (x) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 87. Heraclides de Politiis, p. 456. Philo, quod mundus sit incorr. p. 959, 960. (y) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 31. (z) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. G. (a) Nat. Hist. l. 34. c. 7. (b) Heraclides de Politiis, p. 456. ad Calcem Aelian. Vat. Hist. Vid. Hilleri Onomasticum Sacrum, p. 918. (c) Petav. Rationar. Temp. par. 1. l. 4. c. 5. p. 153. & l. 9. c. 11. p. 500. (d) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 5. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. c. 7. p. 418. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 4. c. 3. p. 20. c. 7. p. 112. c. 16. p. 369. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 9. c. 2. p. 4. c. 3. p. 13. (e) Clio, l. 1. c. 182. (f) L. 2. c. 108. & l. 6. c. 34. (g) Pansan. l. 9. p. 607. Mela, l. 1. c. 15. Alex. ab Alex. l. 6. c. 2.((h) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 27. (k) Madgeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 2. c. 15. p. 192. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 4.

And {1} it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:

(1) Not only ordinary men, but even our friends, and such as are endued with the Spirit of God, sometimes go about to hinder the course of our calling: but it is our part to go forward without any stopping or staggering, after we are sure of our calling from God.

Acts 21:1-2. Ἀποσπασθ.] denotes the painful separation, wrung from them by the consciousness of necessity. See on Luke 22:41.

On the small island Cos, now Co, or Stanchio in the Aegean Sea, celebrated for its wine and manufacture of costly materials for dress, see Küster, de Co insula, Hal. 1833. On the accusative form, see Locella, ad Xen. Eph. p. 165 f.

τὰ Πάταρα] a great seaport of Lycia, with an oracle of Apollo active only during the six winter months. For its ruins, see Fellows, Asia Minor, p. 219 f.

διαπερῶν] which was in the act of sailing over. For ἀναχθῆναι, comp. on Acts 13:13.

Acts 21:1. ἀναχθῆναι, see above on Acts 13:13.—ἀποσ., cf. Acts 20:30, “were parted from them,” R.V. The word expresses a separation difficult and painful; it adds to the pathos of the scene, and marks the close affection which could not bear the thought of a parting, “divulsi ab eorum complexu,” Blass (see Chrys., comment, in loco).—εὐθυδ., see on Acts 16:11.—Κῶν, Stanchio or Stanko, an island of great trading importance off the coast of Caria, south of Miletus and Samos, and north of Rhodes. Historically it had several points of connection with the Jews, cf. 1Ma 15:23, Jos., Ant., xiv., 7, 2, and 10, 15, B. J., i., 21, 11, and owing to its commerce it became one of the centres of Jewish life in the Ægean. It lay about forty nautical miles from Miletus, and it was famous as the birthplace not only of Hippocrates, but of Apelles, and as being one of the great medical schools of the ancient world. See further “Cos” (Ramsay), Hastings’ B.D., and B.D.2; Farrar, Saint Paul, ii. 284; Lewin, St. Paul, ii. 96; cf. Strabo, xiv., 2, Hor., Od., iv., 13, 13, Tac., Ann., xii., 61. C. and H. think that the chief town of the same name at the east of the island is referred to in the narrative before us. The place must have had, as C. and H. note, a special interest for St. Luke.—Ῥόδον: off the south coast of Caria. According to the proverb the sun shone every day on Rhodes, and it might well be called the sunny island of roses. Her coins, stamped on one side with Apollo’s head radiated, and on the other with the rose-flower, bear their witness to the brightness and fertility of the island. Moreover, it was a seat not only of commerce but of learning. St. Paul does not appear to have landed, but only to have touched at the island. The great Colossus representing the sun, counted as one of the wonders of the world, lay prostrate, having been broken down by an earthquake, Pliny, N. H., xxxiv., 18; Strabo, xiv., 2. In the time of the Peloponnesian War Rhodes had been famous for its strong navy, as its timber was abundant. A notice of Jewish residents in Rhodes meets us in 1Ma 15:23. On subsequent history see the excellent account in C. and H., small edit., p. 357; Farrar, Saint Paul, 2, p. 285.—Πάταρα: a seaport on the Lycian coast, now in ruins, but probably a place of some importance and splendour. C. and H. say that Patara was to the city Xanthus what the Piræus was to Athens. On the modern discoveries in Patara see C. and H., small edit., note p. 560, cf. Herod., i., 182, Hor., Od., iii., 4, 64, Lewin, St. Paul, ii. 99, O. Holtzmann, Neutest. Zeitgeschichte, p. 101. “The voyage may be taken as typical of the course which hundreds of ships took every year,” Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 297, and cf. the illustrations from Roman history in C. and H., p. 560 note.

Acts 21:1-6. Paul’s Voyage from Miletus, and his Stay in Tyre

1. And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched] The Rev. Ver. has reproduced the Greek construction, but the sentence is not a happy one, nor the gain worth the sacrifice. “And when it came to pass that we were parted from them, and had set sail.” It gives perhaps a little more of the sense of difficulty in tearing themselves away which is in the original, but it is not what an Englishman would say.

The vessel in which they sailed from Troas to Patara seems to have been under the Apostle’s control, and they could stay wherever and as long as they pleased.

we came … Cos] The name, sometimes spelt Coos, should be written Cos. It is a small island, now called Stanchio, on the coast of Asia Minor, just at the entrance of the Archipelago, and in old times was famous for its wines and some light-woven fabrics. There was also in the island a temple of Aesculapius to which was attached a medical school.

and the day following unto Rhodes] In Acts 20:15 the A. V. gave three times over “the next day,” and in each case the Greek was different, and here we have a fourth form in the original for the same sense. In one case in the former chapter the Rev. Ver. left “next day,” and they make that change here, but as the Greek is not the same it is not easy to see why the A.V. should not be left alone.

Rhodes is the famous island at the south-west extremity of Asia Minor, off the coast of Caria and Lycia. The city of Rhodes and the island of which it is the capital were famous in the times of the Peloponnesian war. It was well supplied with timber fit for shipbuilding and hence became famous for its navy, and its position has caused the island to play a conspicuous part in European history from that time onward. It was celebrated for the great Temple of the Sun, whose worship in the island is marked by the head of Apollo on the coinage. With this worship was connected the great statue known as the Colossus, which was meant as a figure of the sun, and was one of the wonders of the world. In the Roman times many privileges were granted to Rhodes by the Roman emperors, while in mediæval history this was the last Christian city which resisted the advance of the Saracens.

Patara] This was a city on the coast of Lycia. It was devoted to the worship of Apollo, who is hence sometimes called by classical writers Patareus. The city was not far from the river Xanthus, and Patara was the port of the city of Xanthus. We can understand, therefore, why St Paul’s voyage in the coasting vessel should end here, because at such a port he would be likely to find a larger vessel to carry him to Syria.

Acts 21:1. Ἀποσπασθέντας, after we had torn ourselves from them) not without much of longing regret, and with difficulty.—Κῶ) Gaza writes that this is the Attic expression for Κῶν.

Verse 1. - When it came to pass float we were parted from them, and had set sail for it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, A.V.; Cos for Coos, A.V. and T.R.; next day for day following, A.V. Parted from them (ἀποσπασθέντας). "Non sine desiderio magno" (Bengel). "He shows the violence of the parting by saying, ' Having torn ourselves away '" (Chrysostom). The word is properly applied to those who have been unwillingly torn away from their friends (Schleusner and Kuinoel); "denotes the painful separation wrung from them by necessity" (Meyer) In Acts 20:30 it was used in the active voice of false teachers "drawing away" the disciples, i.e. Christians, after them. In 2 Macc. 12:10 it means simply" withdrawn," and so perhaps also in Luke 22:41, though Meyer thinks that St. Luke chose the unusual word to denote the urgent emotion by which our Lord was as it were compelled to leave the companionship of the apostles, and be alone. Σπᾶν (whence spasm) and its derivatives, of which Luke uses four - two of which are peculiar to him - are much employed by medical writers, as Hippocrates, Galen, Antaeus, etc. (Hobart, on Luke 22.). Had set sail (ἀναχθῆναι ἡμᾶς). The word means" to go up to the sea from the land," as Luke 8:22; Acts 13:13; Acts 16:11; Acts 27:12; just as, on the contrary, κατάγειν and κατάγεσθαι αρε υσεδ of coming down to land from the sea (see ver. 3 in the T.R., and Acts 27:3; Acts 28:12). The same conception of putting out to sea being a going up, led to the phrase μετέωρος (high up) being applied to ships out at sea. From μετέωρος comes, of course, our word "meteor." Cos, or Coos, for it is written both ways, now called by the Turks Stanko (ἐς τὰν Κῶ), a beautiful island, nearly opposite the Gulf of Halicarnassus, and separated from Cnidus by a narrow strait, about six hours' sail from Miletus. There is a city of the same name on its eastern coast. It was one of the six Dorian colonies which formed the confederation called the Dorian Hexapolis. It was famous for its wine and its textile fabrics (Howson, and Lewin, and 'Dict. of Geog.'). Rhodes (Ρόδος); perhaps the "Isle of Roses;" the well-known mountainous island in the AEgean Sea, which lies nine or ten miles from the coast of Carts. Its inhabitants were Dorians, and it was one of the places which claimed the honor of being the birthplace of Homer. The towns are all situated on the seacoast, "Rhodes was the last Christian city to make a stand against the Saracens" (Howson). Patara ([τὰ] Πάταρα). A flourishing commercial city on the south-west coast of Lycia, with a good harbor. It was the port of Xauthus, the capital of Lycia. The name Patera is still attached to some extensive ruins on the seashore not far from the river Xanthus. Acts 21:1Gotten from (ἀποσπασθέντας)

Withdrawn. Some see in the word an expression of the grief and reluctance with which they parted, and render having torn ourselves away. See on Luke 22:41.

With a straight course

See on Luke 16:11.

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