Acts 21:3
Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.
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(3) When we had discovered Cyprus . . .—The use of a technical term here is specially characteristic of St. Luke. Here the meaning is that, as soon as they sighted Cyprus, they stood to the southeast, and so had it on their left as they continued their voyage to Syria. At Tyre they had again to change their ship. On the position and history of Tyre, see Note on Matthew 11:21.

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.Had discovered Cyprus - See the notes on Acts 4:36.

Into Syria - See the notes on Matthew 4:24.

And landed at Tyre - See the notes on Matthew 11:21.

To unlade her burden - Her cargo. Tyre was formerly one of the most commercial cities of the world; and it is probable that in the time of Paul its commercial importance had not entirely ceased.

3. when we … discovered—"sighted," as the phrase is.

Cyprus, we left it on the left hand—that is, steered southeast of it, leaving it on the northwest.

sailed into—"unto"

Syria, and landed at Tyre—the celebrated seat of maritime commerce for East and West. It might be reached from Patara in about two days.

there the ship was to unlade her burden—which gave the apostle time for what follows.

Cyprus; another island in the Mediterranean.

Unlade her burden; of goods and merchandise which she had taken in at Ephesus.

Now when we had discovered Cyprus,.... An island, as the Syriac version here calls it, which lay between Syria and Cilicia; See Gill on Acts 4:36; and was, according to R. Benjamin (l), four days sail from Rhodes, before mentioned:

we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria; that part of it called Phoenicia:

and landed at Tyre; the chief city of Phoenicia, famous for navigation and commerce: it stood about four furlongs distant from the shore, and was joined to the continent by Alexander the great (m). The account Jerom (n) gives of it is this,

"Tyre, the metropolis of Phoenicia, in the tribe of Nephthalim, is near twenty miles from Caesarea Philippi; this was formerly an island, but made continent land by Alexander:--its chief excellency lies in shell fish and purple.''

It was a very ancient city, though it seems not so ancient as Sidon, from whence it was distant about two hundred furlongs. Herodotus (o) says, that in his time it had been inhabited two thousand three hundred years; Hiram was king of it in Solomon's time; yea, mention is made of it in Joshua's time, if the text in Joshua 19:29 is rightly translated: some say it was built seventy six years before the destruction of Troy. It is to be distinguished into old Tyre, which was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and the island of Tyre, which was conquered by Alexander, and new Tyre annexed, by him to the continent. In the Hebrew language it is called "Tzur", or "Tzor", which signifies a "rock", being built on one; though some think it has its name from "Tzehor", which signifies "brightness"; it is now called Sur or Suri, and is quite desolate, being only a receptacle of thieves and robbers: though R. Benjamin says, in his time, new Tyre was a very good city, and had a port within it, into which ships go between two towers; and that there were in it four hundred Jews, and some of them skilful in the Talmud; --who further observes, that if anyone ascended the walls of new Tyre, he might see Tyre the crowning city, Isaiah 23:8 which was a stone's cast from the new; but if a man would go in a boat on the sea, he might see towers, streets, and palaces in the bottom (p):

for there the ship was to unlade her burden; which she had taken in, in the ports where she had been, but where is not certain; for that she had been at Ephesus, and took in her lading there, as Grotius thinks, does not appear; since this was not the ship the apostle and his company sailed in from Miletus, but which they went aboard at Patara, Acts 21:1.

(l) Itinerar. p. 30. (m) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 19. Mela, l. 1. c. 12. (n) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. K. (o) Euterpe, l. 2. c. 44. (p) ltinerar. p. 35, 36.

Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.
Acts 21:3. Ἀναφανέντες δὲ τὴν Κύπρ.] but when we had sighted Cyprus. The expression is formed analogously to the well-known construction πεπίστευμαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον and the like. Winer, p. 244[E. T. 326]; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 164 [E. T. 189].

εὐώνυμον] an adjective to αὐτήν. See Kühner, § 685, and examples in Wetstein.

εἰς Συρίαν] towards Syria. See on Galatians 1:21.

κατάγεσθαι, to run in, to land, the opposite of ἀνάγεσθαι (Acts 21:1-2), Acts 27:2, Acts 28:12; Luke 5:11; often with Greek writers since the time of Homer.

ἐκεῖσε γὰργόμον] for thither the ship unladed its freight; ἐκεῖσε denotes the direction (toward the city) which they had in view in the unlading (in the harbour).

ἀποφορτιζ.] does not stand Proverbs futuro (in opposition to Grotius, Valckenaer, Kuinoel, and others), but ἦν ἀποφ. means: it was in the act of its unlading. Comp. Winer, p. 328 [E. T. 439].

Acts 21:3. ἀναφ.: “when we had come in sight of,” R.V., Doric form of 1st aorist active, Winer-Schmiedel, p. 112, here a technical word (only in Luke, cf. Luke 19:11, but in a different sense), i.e., after we had rendered Cyprus visible (to us) = facere ut appareat (Blass); Virgil, Æneid, iii., 275, 291, see also Rendall’s note in loco (for the opposite idiom, ἀποκρύπτειν, cf. Thuc., v., 65).—καταλιπόντες αὐτὴν εὐώ.: sailing southeast they would have passed close to Paphos in Cyprus.—ἐπλέομεν: “imperf. cursum, aorist. κατήλθομεν finem denotat” (Blass).—εἰς Τύρον: now a free town of the R. province of Syria, Strabo, xvi., 2, in honour of its ancient greatness; it is still a place of considerable commerce and consequence, still famous for its fabrics and its architecture. At present it numbers amongst its five thousand inhabitants a few Jews, the rest being Mohammedans and Christians. Besides O.T. references, see 1Ma 11:59, 2Ma 4:18; 2Ma 4:44, and further for its history, C. H., small edit., p. 563, Hamburger, Real-Encyclopädie des Judentums, i., 7, 998, Schaff-Herzog, Encyclopædia, iv., “Tyre”.—ἐκεῖσε: the adverb may be used here with something of its proper force, but in Acts 22:5, the only other place in which it occurs in N.T., simply = ἐκεῖ, Simcox, Language of the New Testament, p. 179. Page (in loco) renders “for there the ship was unlading her cargo,” ἐκεῖσε being used because of the idea of movement and carrying into the town contained in the “unloading”.—ἦν ἀποφ.: taken sometimes as the present for the future, Burton, p. 59, but see also Winer-Moulton, xlv., 5, and Wendt (1888) in loco (Philo, De Præm, et Pæn., 5; and Athenæus, ii., 5, of lightening a ship in a storm).—γόμον (γέμω): so in classical Greek, Herod., Dem., etc., in LXX of the load of a beast of burden, Exodus 23:5, 2 Kings 5:17; in N.T. only elsewhere in Revelation 18:11, of any merchandise.

3. Now when we had discovered Cyprus] Rev. Ver. “And when we had come in sight of.” “Discover” has now acquired the special sense of “finding for the first time.” On Cyprus, see notes on Acts 13:4 seqq.

we … Syria] This was the general name for the whole district lying along the Mediterranean from Cilicia down to Egypt.

Tyre] One of the chief ports of Phœnicia, and a city of very great antiquity. It was built partly on the mainland and partly on an island, and is often mentioned both in Scripture and in profane literature. It is noticed as a strongly fortified city as early as Joshua 19:29. We read of its fame in the time of Solomon in connexion with the building of the temple, and Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, was the daughter of Ethbaal, called King of the Sidonians in Scripture, but in Josephus (Ant. viii. 13, 2) King of Tyre. The city was besieged by Shalmaneser and afterwards by Nebuchadnezzar, and was captured by Alexander the Great.

Christ went on one of his journeys from Galilee into the neighbourhood of Tyre, if not to the city itself, which was about 30 miles from Nazareth, and it must have been then in much the same condition as at this visit of St Paul.

there the ship, &c.] And so most probably the further voyage to Ptolemais was made in a different vessel, this one going no farther.

Acts 21:3. Τύρον, Tyre) Where it was foretold in Psalm 87:4. Comp. with that psalm, concerning the people of Philistia and the Ethiopians, Acts 8:40, Acts 21:27.—[τὸν γόμον, her burden) So frequently does the kingdom of GOD accommodate itself to the external opportunities of (i.e. afforded by) the world: but GOD directs worldly things by a secret influence to further the progress of His kingdom.—V. g.]

Verse 3. - And for when, A.V.; come in sight of for discovered, A.V.; leaving it... we sailed for we left it... and sailed, A.V.; unto for into, A.V. Had come in sight of; literally, had been shown Cyprus; had had Cyprus made visible to us; i.e. had sighted Cyprus. It is a nautical expression. Meyer compares the phrase πεπίστευμαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον for the grammatical construction. The verb ἀναφαίνω is peculiar to St. Luke, occur-tug elsewhere in the New Testament only in Luke 19:11. It is, however, used repeatedly in the LXX. of Job. Landed; κατήχθημεν, T.R., just the opposite to the ἀνήθημεν of ver. 2; but the R.T. has κατήλθομεν, with the same meaning, "we came to shore." At Tyre, which they may have reached in about forty-eight hours from Patara with a fair wind (Howson). Tyre at this time was still a city of some commercial importance, with two harbors, one north and one south of the causeway which connected the island with the mainland (see Acts 12:20). Howson thinks the ship in which St. Paul sailed may have brought wheat from the Black Sea, and taken up Phoenician wares in exchange. The sight of Cyprus as he sailed by must have brought many and very various memories to the apostle's mind, of Barnabas, of Sergius Paulus, of Elymas, and many others. Acts 21:3Discovered (ἀναφάναντες)

Better, sighted. A nautical phrase. The verb literally means to bring to light: and its use here is analogous to the English marine phrase, to raise the land.

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