Acts 16:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling.

King James Bible
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass as we were going to prayer that a certain female slave, having a spirit of Python, met us, who brought much profit to her masters by prophesying.

World English Bible
It happened, as we were going to prayer, that a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling.

Young's Literal Translation
And it came to pass in our going on to prayer, a certain maid, having a spirit of Python, did meet us, who brought much employment to her masters by soothsaying,

Acts 16:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

As we went to prayer - Greek: as we were going to the proseuche, 'the place of prayer, Acts 16:13. Whether this was on the same day in which the conversion of Lydia occurred, or at another time, is not mentioned by the historian.

A certain damsel - A maid, a young woman.

Possessed with a spirit of divination - Greek: Python. See the margin. Python, or Pythios, was one of the names of Apollo, the Grecian god of the fine arts, of music, poetry, medicine, and eloquence. Of these he was esteemed to have been the inventor. He was reputed to be the third son of Jupiter and Latona. He had a celebrated temple and oracle at Delphi, which was resorted to from all parts of the world, and which was perhaps the only oracle that was in universal repute. The name Python is said to have been given him because, as soon as he was born, he destroyed with arrows a serpent of that name, that had been sent by Juno to persecute Latona; hence, his common name was the Pythian Apollo. He had temples on Mount Parnassus, at Delphi, Delos, Claros, Tenedos, etc., and his worship was almost universal. In the celebrated oracle at Delphi, the priestess of Apollo pretended to be inspired; became violently agitated during the periods of pretended inspiration; and during those periods gave such responses to inquirers as were regarded as the oracles of the god. Others, it is probable, would also make pretensions to such inspiration; and the art of fortune-telling, or of jugglery, was extensively practiced, and was the source of much gain. See the notes on Acts 8:8-10. What was the cause of this extensive delusion in regard to the oracle at Delphi it is not necessary now to inquire. It is plain that Paul regarded this as a case of demoniacal possession, and treated it accordingly.

Her masters - Those in whose employ she was.

By soothsaying - Pretending to foretell future events.

Acts 16:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Riot at Philippi
'And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20. And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21. And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22. And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23. And when they had laid many
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Lydia, the First European Convert
WE MAY LAUDABLY EXERCISE CURIOSITY with regard to the first proclamation of the gospel in our own quarter of the globe. We are happy that history so accurately tells us, by the pen of Luke, when first the gospel was preached in Europe, and by whom, and who was the first convert brought by that preaching to the Savior's feet. I half envy Lydia that she should be the leader of the European band; yet I feel right glad that a woman led the van, and that her household followed so closely in the rear.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

The Martyrs of Lyons and vienne (Ad 177)
Many other martyrs suffered in various parts of the empire under the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Among the most famous of these are the martyrs of Lyons and Vienne, in the south of France (or Gaul, as it was then called), where a company of missionaries from Asia Minor had settled with a bishop named Pothinus at their head. The persecution at Lyons and Vienne was begun by the mob of those towns, who insulted the Christians in the streets, broke into their houses, and committed other such outrages against
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

Scotland and Ireland
The only thing which seems to be settled as to the religious history of Scotland in these times, is that a bishop named Ninian preached among the Southern Picts between the years 412 and 432, and established a see at Whithorn, in Galloway. But in the Year of St. Ninian's death, a far more famous missionary, St. Patrick, who is called "the Apostle of Ireland," began his labours in that island. It is a question whether Patrick was born in Scotland, at a place called Kirkpatrick, near the river Clyde,
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

Cross References
Leviticus 19:31
'Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 20:6
'As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.

Leviticus 20:27
'Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.'"

Deuteronomy 18:11
or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

1 Samuel 28:3
Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had removed from the land those who were mediums and spiritists.

1 Samuel 28:7
Then Saul said to his servants, "Seek for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her." And his servants said to him, "Behold, there is a woman who is a medium at En-dor."

2 Kings 21:6
He made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD provoking Him to anger.

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