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Messianic Learning 

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

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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

~ 17 ~

[Thessalonica [MAP] ca 51 CE]

J. Messianic Community Established in Thessalonica (17:1-4)

1When they had passed through Amphipolis [MAP] and Apollonia [MAP] they came to Thessalonica, [MAP] where there was a synagogue of the YehudimJews. 2Following his custom,[2] Sha'ulPaul went into the synagogue and for three ShabbatsSabbaths he reasoned with them from the TanakhHebrew Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Yeshua I’m proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he declared.

4Some of them were convinced and joined Sha'ul and Sila, including a great number of the Greek God-fearers[GN], plus several of the leading women.

K. Unbelieving Jews Riot in Thessalonica (17:5-9)

5But the Y’hudim who were not convinced became jealous. So they brought in some troublemakers from the marketplace, gathered a mob, and set the city into an uproar. They raided Jason’s house searching [for Sha'ul and Sila] hoping to drag them out to the people. 6When they didn’t find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have now come here, 7and Jason has welcomed them into his home. They are all acting contrary to Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, Yeshua!” 8The mob and the city authorities were greatly disturbed when they heard these things. 9When they had collected a pledge[9] from Jason and the others, they released them.

[Berea [MAP] ca 51 CE]

L. Rav Sha'ul and Silas at Berea (17:10-15)

 10As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Sha'ul and Sila away to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Y'hudim.

11Now these people were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica; they eagerly received the message, examining the Tanakh[GN] daily to see whether these teachings were true. 12Conseqiemtly, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women and men. 13But when the Y’hudim of Thessalonica found out that Sha'ul was proclaiming the word of God in Beroea, they went there to incite and agitate the crowds. 14Then the brothers immediately sent Sha'ul away to the coast, but Sila and Timotheus stayed in Berea. 15Those who escorted Sha'ul brought him as far as Athens, then returned with instructions for Sila and Timotheus to join him as soon as possible.

[Athens [MAP] ca 52 CE]

M. Rav Sha'ul Alone in Athens (17:16-21)

16While Sha'ul waited for them at Athens, he was deeply disturbed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Y’hudim and the God-fearers, and in the marketplace every day with everyone he met. 18Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began debating him. Some said, “What is this babbler[18a] trying to say?”

Others said, “He seems to be advocating foreign deities,”[18b] because he was proclaiming Yeshua and the resurrection.

19So they took Sha'ul and brought him to the Areopagus,[19] where they asked him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you’re presenting? 20You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, so want to know what they mean.” 21Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing more than telling and hearing  new ideas.

N. Rav Sha'ul’s Mars Hill Address (17:22-34)

22Sha'ul stood in the middle of the Areopagus, and said, “Men of Athens, I can see that you are very religious about everything. 23As I was walking around and noticing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with the inscription: ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ So what you worship as something unknown, I now proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands, 25nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, because He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26From one individual man he made every nation of mankind to inhabit the whole earth; and He determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands. 27He intended for them to seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. 28‘For in Him we live, and move, and exist.’[28] As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29Since we are the ofspring of God, we shouldn’t think that the Divine Nature is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by man’s imagination and skill. 30God has overlooked the ignorance of earlier times, but now He declares that all people everywhere should repent, 31because He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through the Man Whom He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everying by having raised him from the Dead.”

32Now when they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some mocked him; but others said, “We want to hear you again about this.” 33So Sha'ul left from among them. 34But some men joined him and believed, among whom were Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and some others with them.

Chapter 18


  2. Throughout all the information we have about Sha'ul, we see that it was his regular custom to take the Good News first to the Jews, and only afterwards to the Goyim. [RETURN]

  9. Pledge: Greek ikanoß, hikanos, sufficient; (1) many enough, enough; (2) sufficient in ability, i.e. meet, fit. Maybe “…when Jason and the others had posted a bond…” [RETURN]

18a. Babbler, Greek σπερμολόγος (spermologos), from sperma and lego; a seed-picker, i.e. a sponger, loafer; one who picks up scraps of knowledge; a babbler, gossiper, one who picks up seeds and trifles as does a bird. [RETURN]

18b. Greek δαιμονίων (daimoniōn), An evil spirit, demon; a heathen deity. Neuter of a derivative of daimon; a demonic being; by extension a deity. [RETURN]

19. Apparently there was more going on than mere curiosity about what he was teaching. In classical times, the Areopagus was the location of a court, also often called the Areopagus, that tried cases of deliberate homicide, wounding, and religious matters, as well as cases involving arson of olive trees. Ares was supposed to have been tried by the gods on the Areopagus for the murder of Poseidon's son Halirrhothius. [RETURN]

28. Paraphrasing Job 12:10. [RETURN]

Originally posted on Monday, 04 May 2020
Revised some text; added historical notes and outline on Monday, 14 June 2021

Page last updated on Thursday, 07 July 2022 04:38 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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