1 Thessalonians 1:7-10
So that you were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.…
is the first part of Europe which received the gospel directly from St. Paul, and an important scene of his subsequent labours. So closely is this region associated with apostolic journeys, sufferings, and epistles, that it has been truly called by Clarke, the traveller, a kind of Holy Land. Roughly speaking, it is the region bounded inland by the range of the Haemus or the Balkan northwards, and the chain of the Pindus westwards, beyond which the streams flow respectively to the Danube and the Adriatic. It is separated from Thessaly on the south by the Cambunian Hills, and on the east from Thrace by a less definite mountain boundary. Of the space thus enclosed, two of the most remarkable physical features are two great plains; one watered by the Axius, which comes to the sea at the Thermaic Gulf, not far from Thessalonica; the other, by the Strymon, which, after passing near Philippi, flows out below Amphipolis. Between the mouths of these rivers is a peninsula on which Mount Athos rises nearly into the region of perpetual snow, and across the neck of which Paul travelled more than once. This was the territory over which Philip and Alexander ruled, and which the Romans conquered from Perseus. At first the conquered country was divided by AEmilius Paulus into four districts. Macedonia Prima was on the east of the Strymon, and had Amphipolis for its capital. Macedonia Secunda stretched between the Strymon and the Axius, with Thessalonia for its metropolis. The third and fourth districts lay to the south and west. This division was only temporary. The whole of Macedonia along with Thessaly and a large tract along the Adriatic was made one province and centralized under the jurisdiction of a proconsul at Thessalonica. We have now reached the definition which corresponds to the usage of the term in the New Testament (Acts 16:9, 10, 12 and elsewhere, and in the Epistles). Nothing can exceed the interest and impressiveness of the occasion (Acts 16:9) when a new and religious meaning was given to the well-known man of Macedonia of Demosthenes, and when this part of Europe was designated as the first to be trodden by an apostle (Acts 16; Acts 17). The character of the churches then planted is set before us in a very favourable light. The candour of the Bereans is highly commended; the Thessalonians were objects of Paul's peculiar affection; and the Philippians, besides their general freedom from blame, were remarkable for their liberality and self-denial. It is worth noting, as a fact almost typical of the change produced by Christianity in the social life of Europe, that the female element is conspicuous in the records of its introduction into Macedonia (Acts 16:13, 14; Philippians 4:2, 3). It should be observed that in St. Paul's time, Macedonia was well intersected by Roman roads, especially by the great Via Egnatia, which connected Philippi and Thessalonica, and also led toward Illyricum.
Parallel VersesKJV: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.