Acts 28:12
And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days.
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(12) And landing at Syracuse . . .—The city, famous for the memorable siege during the Peloponnesian war, and at all times taking its place among the most flourishing towns of Sicily, was about eighty or a hundred miles from Malta, and might be reached accordingly in from twenty-four to thirty-six hours. Ships bound from Alexandria to Italy commonly put in there. The stay of three days was probably caused by their waiting for a favourable wind. The fact stated in the next verse implies that it was more or less against them.

Acts 28:12. And — Soon after, leaving Malta, they made the island of Sicily; and landing at Syracuse, tarried there three days — The ship, probably, having some goods to put ashore, or some to take in there; for the ship seems to have been making a trading voyage. This city was the metropolis of Sicily, situated on the east side of the island, and had a beautiful prospect for every entrance, both by sea and land. The port, which had the sea on both sides of it, was almost wholly surrounded with elegant buildings; all the suburbs on both sides being banked up, and supported with walls of marble. While in its splendour, this city was considered as the largest and richest belonging to the Greeks; being twenty-two miles in circuit, and equalling Carthage in its wealth. It was called Quadruplex, because it was divided into four parts; the first of which contained the famous temple of Jupiter; the second, the temple of Fortune; the third, a large amphitheatre, and a surprising statue of Apollo; and the fourth, which was the island of Ortygia, the two temples of Diana and Minerva, and the celebrated fountain of Arethusa. About two hundred and ten years before the birth of Christ, this city was taken by Marcellus, the Roman general, and, in storming the place, the famous Archimedes was slain by a common soldier, while he was intent upon his geometrical studies. He was calmly drawing his lines, and proceeding in the demonstration of a problem, when a soldier entered the room and clapped a sword to his throat. “Hold,” said Archimedes, “one moment, and my demonstration will be finished.” But the soldier, equally regardless of his prayer and demonstration, killed him instantly; Marcellus extremely regretting his death, and afterward showing singular favour to his relations for his sake. The reader that will be at the pains of consulting the Encyclopædia Britannica, on the word SYRACUSE, will find a particular account of the manner in which this illustrious geometrician, Archimedes, defended the city for a long time, by his powerful engines, against all the valour and power of the Romans, beating their galleys to pieces by huge stones projected from his machines, and by his levers, chains, and hooks from the walls, weighing the ships out of the water, tossing them to and fro, whirling them round, and dashing them in pieces against each other, or against the points of rocks which projected under the walls, or sinking them to the bottom, destroying several also by burning-glasses. In short, the account of the power of his engines is, perhaps, the most extraordinary that occurs in history; and if it were not well authenticated, would exceed all belief. How these stupendous effects were produced, few, if any, have been able to comprehend. Syracuse was afterward rebuilt by Augustus, and had, at the time Paul visited it, recovered itself so as to answer its former splendour. It had at length three castles, three walls, and a marble gate, and was able to send out twelve thousand heroes, and four hundred ships; but it received such a blow from the Saracens, A.D. 884, when they razed it, that it has not been able to recover itself since: See Calmet and the Universal History, vol. 7. p. 516; vol. 17. p. 29.28:11-16 The common events of travelling are seldom worthy of being told; but the comfort of communion with the saints, and kindness shown by friends, deserve particular mention. The Christians at Rome were so far from being ashamed of Paul, or afraid of owning him, because he was a prisoner, that they were the more careful to show him respect. He had great comfort in this. And if our friends are kind to us, God puts it into their hearts, and we must give him the glory. When we see those even in strange places, who bear Christ's name, fear God, and serve him, we should lift up our hearts to heaven in thanksgiving. How many great men have made their entry into Rome, crowned and in triumph, who really were plagues to the world! But here a good man makes his entry into Rome, chained as a poor captive, who was a greater blessing to the world than any other merely a man. Is not this enough to put us for ever out of conceit with worldly favour? This may encourage God's prisoners, that he can give them favour in the eyes of those that carry them captives. When God does not soon deliver his people out of bondage, yet makes it easy to them, or them easy under it, they have reason to be thankful.And landing at Syracuse - Syracuse was the capital of the island of Sicily, on the eastern coast. It was in the direct course from Malta to Rome. It contains about 18,000 inhabitants. 12, 13. landing at Syracuse—the ancient and celebrated capital of Sicily, on its eastern coast, about eighty miles, or a day's sail, north from Malta.

we tarried there three days—probably from the state of the wind. Doubtless Paul would wish to go ashore, to find out and break ground among the Jews and proselytes whom such a mercantile center would attract to it; and if this was allowed at the outset of the voyage (Ac 27:3), much more readily would it be now when he had gained the reverence and confidence of all classes with whom he came in contact. At any rate we cannot wonder that he should be regarded by the Sicilians as the founder of the Church of that island.

Syracuse; the chief city of Sicily, famous for Archimedes.

We tarried there three days; probably to sell some of their wares, the ship making a trading voyage. And landing at Syracuse,.... A famous city in the isle of Sicily, now called Saragossa: it is placed by Ptolomy (c) on the east side of the island, in the Adriatic sea; it was 180 furlongs, or two and twenty miles and a half in circuit, and formerly had a marble haven and triple wall, and as many towers; the founder of it was Archias, a Corinthian; Pliny says (d), that it is never so cloudy weather, but the sun is seen in it, at one time or another of the day: Cicero (e) calls it the greatest and most beautiful of all the cities of Greece; it is such a city, he says, that it may be said to consist of four large cities; "one" part of it is called "the island", which has two ports to it; "another" was called Acradina, in which were a large market, beautiful porticos, &c. the "third", Tiche, in which was the ancient temple of Fortune; and the "fourth", which because it was last built, was called Neapolis: it is a very ancient city, being built more than seven hundred years before the birth of Christ; it was a colony of the Corinthians; here reigned two tyrants, whose names were Dionysius; it was attacked by the Carthaginians, but without success, being delivered from the siege by Pyrrhus king of Epirus (f); it was again assaulted by the Athenians, who were repulsed, and entirely conquered, about the year before Christ 413: after that it was taken by Marcellus, the Roman consul, about the year of the city of Rome 542 (g), after a three years' siege; during which time it was defended, and preserved by the means of the famous mathematician Archimedes; who by his invention of warlike machines, baffled all the attempts of the Romans; but was killed by a soldier, as he was intent upon his studies, not knowing that the city was taken; and it continued in the hands of the Romans, until it was taken and plundered by the Saracens, in the year of Christ 675; and was retaken by Roger king of Apulia, about the year 1090, and is now under the government of Don Carlos, king of the two Sicilies;

we tarried there three days; on what account it is not said, whether on account of merchandise, or for the sake of the conversation of Christians here: it is certain there were churches in Sicily very early; we read of them in the "second" and "third" centuries; in the time of Constantine, at the beginning of the "fourth" century, there was a church at Syracuse, of which Chrestus was bishop, to whom the emperor wrote a letter himself, which is still extant in Eusebius (h): in the "fifth" century, Hilarius, a teacher at Syracuse, wrote from thence to Augustine, concerning the Pelagian heresy, to whom he gave an answer: in the "sixth" century, Maximinianus, bishop of this church, had the inspection of all the churches in Sicily committed to him, by Gregory; who was wonderfully preserved in a shipwreck, as he was returning from Rome; in this same age lived John, bishop of Syracuse, and Trajanus a presbyter, and Felix a deacon of the same church: in the seventh century there was one George bishop of this place, to whom Pope Vitalian wrote a letter; and in the same century a bishop of this church was in the sixth council at Constantinople (i).

(c) Geogr. l. 3. c. 4. (d) Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 62. (e) Orat. 9. in Verrem, l. 4. p. 566. (f) Pausanius, l. 1. p. 22. (g) Petav. Rationar. Temp. par. 1. l. 3. c. 9. p. 108. & l. 4. c. 2. p. 137. (h) Eccl. Hist. l. 10. c. 5. (i) Magdeburg. Eccl. Hist. cent. 2. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 3. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 5. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. c. 10. p. 664. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 6. c. 10. p. 346. c. 13. p. 436. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 4. c. 10. p. 358.

And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days.
Acts 28:12-14. The voyage proceeded in quite a regular course from Malta to Syracuse, and from that to Rhegium,[178] now Reggio, in the Sicilian Straits, and then through the Etruscan Sea to Puteoli, now Puzzuolo, near Naples.

ἐπιγενομένου Νότου] when thereupon south wind (which favoured the voyage) had arisen.

The force of ἐπί is, in all places where ἐπιγίνεσθαι occurs of wind, as in Thuc. iv. 30. 1, et al., not to be overlooked.

δευτεραῖοι] as persons, who were on the second day, i.e. on the second day. Herod. iv. 106. Comp. on John 11:39; Php 3:5.

ἀδελφούς] Thus Christianity was already at that time in Puteoli (whether coming thither from Rome, or perhaps from Alexandria?).

Acts 28:14. παρεκλήθημεν ἐπʼ αὐτοῖς ἐπιμεῖναι] we were invited to remain with them.

ἐπʼ αὐτοῖς] beside them. Comp. Xen. Anab. vii. 2. 1 : ἐπέμενον ἐπὶ τῇ στρατίᾳ, Cyrop. v. 3. 52; Plat. Lach. p. 144 A. Rinck (Lucubr. crit. p. 93), as also Ewald, prefers the reading ἐπιμείναντες, and takes (comp. Bengel) παρεκλ. ἐπʼ αὐτοῖς together: we were refreshed in them; but the participle is much too weakly attested, and without doubt has only come into the text through this view of παρεκλ.

καὶ οὕτως εἰς τ. Ῥώμ. ἤλθ.] and thus (after we had first tarried seven days at Puteoli) we came to Rome. ἔρχεσθαι is neither here (in opposition to Beza, Grotius, de Dieu, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, and many others) nor elsewhere in the N.T. ire (not even in John 6:17, where the imperfect is to be observed); but Luke narrates the arrival at Rome, and then in Acts 28:15 inserts by way of episode something special, which stood in close connection with this arrival; hence he again joins on Acts 28:16 by ὅτε δὲ ἤλθομεν εἰς Ῥ. to Acts 28:14. Observe at the same time that in Acts 28:14 εἰς τ. Ῥώμ., as the final aim of the voyage, but in Acts 28:16 ἤλθομεν, has the emphasis.

Moreover, the concession of a seven days’ stay, so near to the end of the journey, testifies how much Paul possessed the love and confidence of the centurion. The Book of Acts, however, gives us no information at all how Christianity was planted in the Italian cities and in Rome.

[178] ὅθεν περιελθόντες: from which after we had come round, from Syracuse round the eastern coast of Sicily. Not: after we had sailed round about (Lange, comp. Smith). Luke does not express himself with chartographic accuracy.Acts 28:12. καταχ.: “touching at,” R.V., Ramsay, cf. Acts 27:3. We are not told that St. Paul landed, but the local tradition makes him the founder of the Sicilian Church, C. and H., p. 663, small edit.—Συρ.: (Siragosa) about 100 miles distant from Malta, the capital of Sicily, and a Roman colony; in a mercantile city St. Paul would find countrymen and Jewish proselytes; it was moreover a city of great historical interest, and a usual stopping-place for Alexandrian ships on their voyage to Italy; see C. and H., p. 662, u. s., and notices in Strabo, vi., p. 270 (but see also Grimm-Thayer, sub v., Συρ.); Cicero, Verr., iv., 53; Pliny, N.H., iii., 8, and B.D., sub v. For accentuation cf. also Grimm-Thayer.—τρεῖς ἡμέρας: probably to wait for a favouring breeze from the south.—ἐπεμείναμεν: with accusative of time, cf. Acts 10:48, Acts 21:4; Acts 21:10, Acts 28:14 below, 1 Corinthians 16:7.12. And landing [R. V. touching] at Syracuse] The vessel takes the regular road, sailing north from Valetta to Sicily. Syracuse was one of the chief towns of Sicily lying on the south-eastern extremity, and was famous in classical history as the scene of many of the disasters of the Athenian fleet and army in their expedition to Sicily during the Peloponnesian war.Verse 12. - Touching for landing, A.V. Touching (καταχθέντες); Acts 21:3; Acts 27:3, note. The way in which Syracuse is here mentioned is another redundant proof that Melita is Malta. "Syracause is about eighty miles, a days' sail, from Malta" (Afford). Tarried there three days. Perhaps wind- bound, or possibly having to land part of their cargo there.
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