New International Version
Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.
King James Bible
And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.
Darby Bible Translation
And they called Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mercury, because he took the lead in speaking.
World English Bible
They called Barnabas "Jupiter," and Paul "Mercury," because he was the chief speaker.
Young's Literal Translation
they were calling also Barnabas Zeus, and Paul Hermes, since he was the leader in speaking.
Acts 14:12 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
They called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius - The heathens supposed that Jupiter and Mercury were the gods who most frequently assumed the human form; and Jupiter was accustomed to take Mercury with him on such expeditions. Jupiter was the supreme god of the heathens; and Mercury was by them considered the god of eloquence. And the ancient fable, from which I have quoted so largely above, represents Jupiter and Mercury coming to this very region, where they were entertained by Lycaon, from whom the Lycaonians derived their name. See the whole fable in the first book of Ovid's Metamorphoses. As the ancients usually represented Jupiter as rather an aged man, large, noble, and majestic; and Mercury young, light, and active, the conjecture of Chrysostom is very probable, that Barnabas was a large, noble, well-made man, and probably in years; and St. Paul, young, active, and eloquent; on which account, they termed the former Jupiter, and the latter Mercury. That Mercury was eloquent and powerful in his words is allowed by the heathens; and the very epithet that is applied here to Paul, ην ὁ ἡγουμενος του λογου, he was the chief or leader of the discourse, was applied to Mercury. So Jamblichus de Myster. Init. Θεος ὁ των λογων ἡγεμων ὁ Ἑρμης. And Macrobius, Sat. i.:8: Scimus Mercurium vocis et sermonis potentem. We know that Mercury is powerful both in his voice and eloquence. With the Lycaonians, the actions of these apostles proved them to be gods; and the different parts they took appeared to them to fix their character, so that one was judged to be Jupiter, and the other Mercury.
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'The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.' --ACTS xiv. 11. This was the spontaneous instinctive utterance of simple villagers when they saw a deed of power and kindness. Many an English traveller and settler among rude people has been similarly honoured. And in Lycaonia the Apostles were close upon places that were celebrated in Greek mythology as having witnessed the very two gods, here spoken of, wandering among the shepherds and entertained with modest hospitality in their huts. The …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
The Cripple at Lystra
The Publisher to the Reader.
Of Bearing the Cross --One Branch of Self-Denial.
When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!"
The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: "Fellow Ephesians, doesn't all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven?
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