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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

Sections of the Apostolic Writings
The Gospels and Acts • The “Pauline” Letters • General Letters • End Times

Acts: Introductory Notes and Outline
Chapters:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14
15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28

P’yilut HaSh'liakim
The Acts of the Emissaries

~ 16 ~

VI. Second Missionary Journey (15:36-18:22) [50-54 CE]

A. Rav Sha'ul and Silas Depart; Bar-Nabba and Mordichai Go to Cyprus (15:36-41)

B. Timothy Circumcised and Joins the Mission (16:1-5)

[Derbe [MAP] ca 51 CE]

1Sha'ulPaul came to Derbe [MAP] and then to Lystra, [MAP] where there was a talmiddisciple named Timotheos. He was the son of a Messianic Jewish woman; but his father was a Greek. 2He was well spoken of by the brothers who were at Lystra and Iconium. [MAP] 3Sha'ul wanted Timotheos to go with him, so he took him and circumcised him because of the Y’hudim who were in that area, since they all knew that his father was a Greek.[3] 4As they traveled through the towns, they delivered to them the halakic[GN] decree from the ShliachimEmissaries, Apostles and ZakenimElders at Yerushalayim they were to observe. 5So the Messianic Communities were being strengthened in the faith, and increased their numbers daily.

C. Ruach HaKodesh Leads them to Troas; Luke Joins Them There (16:6-10)

6When they had gone through the region of Phrygia [MAP] and Galatia, [MAP] they were forbidden by Ruach HaKodeshthe Holy Spirit from speaking the message in Asia. [MAP] 7When they came to Mysia, [MAP] they tried to go into Bithynia, [MAP] but the Ruach didn’t allow them. 8So bypassing Mysia, they came down to Troas. [MAP] 9During the night a vision appeared to Sha'ul of a man of Macedonia [MAP] standing and begging him, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.” 10As soon as he had seen the vision, we[10] immediately sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to proclaim the Good News to them.

D. Rav Sha'ul Goes to Philippi in Macedonia (16:11-13)

 11Setting sail from Troas, [MAP] we made a straight course to Samothrace, [MAP] and the next day to Neapolis; [MAP] 12and from there to Philippi, [MAP] which is a Roman colony and the leading city of that part of Macedonia. We spent a few days in this city.

13On Shabbat we went outside the city gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer,[13] and we sat down, and spoke to the women who had gathered thee.

E. Lydia Immersed (16:14-15)

 14A woman named Lydia, a seller of purple[14] from Thyatira [MAP] and a God-fearer, was listening, and God opened her heart to hear what Sha'ul was saying. 15After she and her household had been immersed, she urged us, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come into stay at my home.” So she persuaded us.

F. A Demon Driven Out; Sha'ul and Silas Beaten (16:16-24)

16One day as we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a snake-spirit of divinationprediction.[16] She made her masters a lot of profit by fortune-telling. 17Following Sha'ul and us, she kept shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you a way of salvation!”[17]

18She kept doing this for several days. But Sha'ul became greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Yeshua HaMashiachthe Messiah to come out of her!” It came out that very moment.

 19When her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Sha'ul and Sila, and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. 20When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are agitating our city; they are Jews. 21They are promoting customs which are unlawful for us as Romans to accept or to observe.”

22The mob rose up against them, and the magistrates tore their clothes off of them, and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23When they had seeverely beaten them, they threw them into jail and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. 24Upon receiving that order, he put them in an inner cell with their feet secured in the stocks.

G. Prison Doors Opened (16:25-29)

25About midnight Sha'ul and Sila were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a strong earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains fell off. 27When the jailer woke up and saw the jail’s doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped.[27] 28But Sha'ul shouted loudly, “Don’t harm yourself, for we are all here!”

29The jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Sha'ul and Sila.

H. Philippian Jailer Comes to Faith (16:30-34)

 30Then he escorted them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31They said, “Believe in the Lord Yeshua and you will be saved, you and your household.”[31] 32Then they spoke the message of the Lord to him and everyone in his house.

33He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds. Right away he and his whole family were immersed. 34He brought them up into his house, and set a meal before them. Then he and his whole family rejoiced greatly because they had come to trust in God.

I. Sha'ul and Silas Released (16:35-40)

35At daylight, the magistrates sent some officers with the order, “Release those men.”

36The jailer told Sha'ul, “The magistrates have sent orders to release you from custody, so come out and go on your war in peace.”

37But Sha'ul said to the officers, “They had us publicly flogged with no trial, and then put us in jail! We are Roman citizens![37] So now they want to release us secretly? I don’t think so! No,  let them come and release us themselves!”

38The officers reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that Sha'ul and Sila were Roman citizens. 39They came and appealed to them, and when they had escorted them out, they asked them to leave the city. 40They went from the jail to Lydia’s house, and when they saw the brothers they encouraged them and left.

Chapter 17


  3. Under Jewish religious law, a mamzer (Hebrew: ממזר, lit. “estranged person,” plural mamzerim) is a person born from certain forbidden relationships or from incest (as defined by Torah), or the descendant of such a person. Timotheos (Timothy) would have been considered a mamzer (“bastard”) in Jewish society because his father was a Greek, and intermarriage was forbidden. He would not have been accepted as a Jew, but would have been considered a pagan Goy (Gentile), regardless of his beliefs or his walk. By being circumcised, he would then be considered a Prostelite and would have been fully accepted as a Jew. It must be carefully noted that the only reason that Sha'ul felt this was necessary was so he would have credibility as a Torah teacher among the unbelieving Jews.  [RETURN]

10. Notice that here in Troas Dr. Luke switches his narrative from third person (“they”) to first person (“we”). It is appaent that at this point that he joined the other missionaries. [RETURN]

13. “A place of prayer” would be a place where the local minyan met when there was no synagogue. It’s interesting that there is no mention of the ten men that would be required to constitute a minyan. [RETURN]

14. Lydia was either in the fabric business or sold the dye used for making purple fabric. Purple was the color of royalty, so it would have been a very valuable commodity. [RETURN]

16. Snake-spirit of divination. Greek Πύθων, Puthon, (1) in Greek mythology the name of the Pythian serpent or dragon that dwelt in the region of Pytho at the foot of Parnassus in Phocis, and was said to have guarded the oracle at Delphi and been slain by Apollo; (2) a spirit of divination (fortune-telling). HaSatan, the Accuser, first appeared to mankind as a snake.  [RETURN]

17. Notice how subtle the adversary is. When he speaks a lie, it’s almost true. This demon-servant of the adversary was saying, these men “proclaim to us a way of salvation” — just one of the many ways of salvation, not the way of salvation. See, vocabulary really does matter. [RETURN]

27. The standard penalty for allowing a prisioner to escape was death by crucifixion. A nice, quick death by his own sword was far preferable. [RETURN]

31. Some teach that if the jailer believed, that would save his entire family. What it actually means is that his family would be saved the same way as he was, by placing their total trust in the completed work of Messiah Yeshua. [RETURN]

37. Rome was very protective of its citizens. While citizens could be subjected to severe penalties for breaking the law, that punishment could only be ordered by a Roman court. Violating the rights of a Roman citizen resulted in very severe penalties. [RETURN]

Originally posted on Friday, 1 May 2020
Revised some text, added outline, dates, maps, and a few notes on Sunday, 13 June 2021

Page last updated on Wednesday, 01 June 2022 12:52 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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