Act 17:1/2 ¶ Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and
Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a Synagogue of
the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and
three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures,
COMMENT: Paul is following the precept
of TO THE JEWS FIRST THEN TO THE GENTILES.
Act 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must have of necessity
suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus,
whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
COMMENT: Saint Paul explained to the Jews
that Jesus was the Messiah they were looking for, whom Moses
had promised saying a man like unto him would come.
Act 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul
and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of
the chief women not a few.
COMMENT: So, in a very short while; Saint
Paul won enough souls at Thessalonica of Jewish and
Gentile believers to later establish a church there,
and he won quite a few of the chief women.
Act 17:5 ¶ But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy,
took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered
a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted
the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
COMMENT: The unbelieving Jews created a
mob out of the scum of the city and with them they were able to
gather other unbelievers to set the city of
Thessalonica into an uproar.
Act 17:6/7 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and
certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, "These
that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
Whom Jason has received: and these all do contrary to the
decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, [one] Jesus."
COMMENT: It was Jason who offered Paul
and his team hospitality; and you can see how profitable
hospitatality is in a hunger starved city for the
gospel. Saint Paul and his team immediately turned it upsidedown
spiritually, unbelieving Jews made themselves
vigilantes in an immoral way; gathering the scum of the city,
and turning them into a mob to help them.
Act 17:8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the
city, when they heard these things.
COMMENT: Thessalonica was a city in
crisis with their rulers all of a sudden faced with judging
between two theological factions which they were not equiped to
do. So they needed time to think about it and probably hoped
tempers would cool off.
Act 17:9 And when they had taken security of Jason, and
of the other, they let them go.
COMMENT: There were no bail bondsmen
businesses in those days, but a man could leave something of value
to guarantee he would not flee from judgment; and this Jason did.
Act 17:10 ¶ And the brethren immediately sent away Paul
and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went
into the Synagogue of the Jews.
COMMENT: This was a counterattack
spiritually. Berea is approximately fifty miles southwest
of Thessalonica, and if
they can be won; the Jews there might be able to help
calm the Jewish unbelievers
in Thessalonica. Meanwhile, Paul and his team have obeyed the
spiritual rule of LEAVING OFF CONTENTION. By letting the tempers
cool in Thessalonica, they would be able to return later to the
harvest of souls already saved there.
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica,
in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and
searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
COMMENT: Perhaps Saint Paul was a little more
careful with these Jews also, after such a violent reaction in
Thessalonica; but irregardless...the Bereans are famous among
believers for being noble in searching the Scriptures with all
readiness of mind daily to confirm the validity of what Saint Paul
and his team were saying.
Act 17:12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable
women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
COMMENT: There were enough believers saved
in Berea to justify saying a church must have been established
there too, but we have no epistle from Saint Paul to them; and
have not heard much about them after these writings. We hear no
more of Berea except that Sopator of Berea accompanies Paul into
Asia. Acts 20:4
Act 17:13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge
that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they
came thither also, and stirred up the people.
COMMENT: Once again Saint Paul
is not running for his life out of fear; but is LEAVING OFF
Act 17:14 And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul
to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode
COMMENT: The brethren made it appear Paul
was going to the sea, but it was a camouflage.
Act 17:15 And they that conducted Paul brought him unto
Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus
to come to him with all speed, they departed.
COMMENT: Saint Paul demonstrates he is in
command of the missionary work, giving the brethren who accompanied
him to Athens a command unto Silas and Timothy to come to him
as quickly as possible.
Act 17:16 ¶ Now while Paul waited for them at Athens,
his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given
COMMENT: This is the Spirit of evangelism in
Saint Paul. Paul was stirred by his love for God and his creatures
when he saw they were worshiping devils.
Act 17:17 Therefore disputed he in the Synagogue with the Jews,
and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with
them that met with him.
COMMENT: Once again Saint Paul went to the
Jews in the Synagogue first then to others, seeking out devout
persons and those he could gather in the market place daily.
Act 17:18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and
of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, "What will this
babbler say?" Others said, "He seemes to be a setter forth
of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the
COMMENT: Athens is the city who gave the
world Socrates and Plato several hundred years later who have
a great name in American educational systems as an intellectual
diversion from godliness. Likewise in Saint Paul's ministry,
the philosophers of the Epicureans and Stoics methods
sought to define life when they did not have Life.
Act 17:19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus,
saying, "May we know what this new doctrine, whereof you
speak? For you bring certain strange things to our
ears: we would know therefore what these things mean."
COMMENT: "Areopagus" is Greek for Mars' hill
where the guardianship of the laws was entrusted traditionally
for centuries dating all the way back to the founding of Athens
around 1556 B.C. Mars' hill is where the Athenians held court, and
it was the gathering place of Athenians and strangers who spent
their time there telling or hearing some new thing.
Act 17:21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were
there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or
to hear some new thing.)
Act 17:22/23 ¶ Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill,
and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive in all things you
are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions,
I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
COMMENT: Saint Paul had seen Athenians
worshiping the unknown God ignorant of who he might be in their
Act 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein,
seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not
in temples made with hands;
COMMENT: Here Saint Paul takes a shot at
their Oracle at Delphi and other such temples where the Athenians
might have thought God dwelled.
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as
though he needed anything, seeing he gives to all life,
and breath, and all things;
COMMENT: Here we discover what we already
ought to know, that God is in need of nothing; but he
gives live to all things. For those who would think to do God
a favor, do err. Obey God and do yourself a
favor. The egotistical pride of those who do works for God
destroys the gain they would make spiritually.
Act 17:26 And has made of one blood all nations of men for
to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the
times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
COMMENT: Here we have a scientific fact
without perhaps realizing it, that the blood of all nations is
"one blood" and is therefore transferable by blood infusions
today; but Saint Paul knew it before scientific research revealed
it. And we discover Saint Paul preaching PREDESTINATION. "The times
before appointede" refers to the number of years you will live,
and "the bounds of their habitation" refers to where you are to
live in this world and how far you are able to go. Paul goes on
Act 17:27 "That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might
feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one
COMMENT: Here we see a precept for the lost
to find God. They should seek and "feel after him."
Act 17:28/29 "For in him we live, and move, and have our being;
as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also
his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or
silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
COMMENT: Here Paul takes a shot at the
making of idols out of gold, silver or stone, with artistic engravings
which Paul found the Greeks doing. It was big business there.
Act 17:30/31 "And the times of this ignorance God winked at;
but now commands all men every where to repent: Because
he has appointed a day, in the which
he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he has
ordained; [whereof] he has given assurance unto all [men],
in that he has raised him from the dead.
COMMENT: Paul speaks of THE JUDGMENT SEAT
OF CHRIST wherein the Lord of glory will judge the Resurrected
at the beginning of his thousand year reign upon the earth.
Act 17:32 And when they heard of the Resurrection of the
dead, some mocked: and others said, "We will hear you again
of this [matter]."
COMMENT: They were at Mars' hill but no
court was in session at this time. But it was the gathering
place for the sharing of philosophical thoughts as well, and
Paul left off preaching when mockery rose up among the crowd
Act 17:33 So Paul departed from among them.
Act 17:34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed:
among the which [was] Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman
named Damaris, and others with them.
COMMENT: "Clave unto him"
suggests they joined his team and were of service to Paul and the
work of God.