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 CONTENTION.

Act 17:14 And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still. 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 to idolatry. 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 Resurrection. 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 devotions.

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 to say:

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 of us: 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 there.

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.