16:16-24 Satan, though the father of lies, will declare the most important truths, when he can thereby serve his purposes. But much mischief is done to the real servants of Christ, by unholy and false preachers of the gospel, who are confounded with them by careless observers. Those who do good by drawing men from sin, may expect to be reviled as troublers of the city. While they teach men to fear God, to believe in Christ, to forsake sin, and to live godly lives, they will be accused of teaching bad customs.
16-18. as we went to prayer—The words imply that it was on their way to the usual place of public prayer, by the river-side, that this took place; therefore not on the same day with what had just occurred.
a … damsel—a female servant, and in this case a slave (Ac 16:19).
possessed of a spirit of divination—or, of Python, that is, a spirit supposed to be inspired by the Pythian Apollo, or of the same nature. The reality of this demoniacal possession is as undeniable as that of any in the Gospel history.