Acts 13:47-52
Acts 13:47 (KJB)
For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
(Isa 49:6 KJV) And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Here the Apostle Paul quotes from Isaiah which states his purpose. Paul was now the Apostle to the Gentiles and it was through his ministry that the Gospel would begin to spread throughout the Roman Empire and then beyond. This was the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah which was prophesied about 700 years before the cross. The light of the Gentiles was the Gospel itself as those who became saved had departed out of the false religions with their idols. (1 Th 1:9 KJV) For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; The verse from 1 Thessalonians showed not only what happened there, but in all the areas where the true Gospel is preached and people become saved. Even today, there are countries which have many idols attached to their religion and once a person becomes saved, they leave that religion and the accompanying idols.
Acts 13:48 (KJB)
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
Ordained - Having been appointed
The Gentiles who heard the true word of God were not just glad in the happy sense but were rejoicing in what they heard. They were used to hearing about the same old religions with the same old false idols. Now the true Gospel has come to them with the promise of the resurrection of their bodies and eternal life. This is something that their false religions never could promise them and if they did, it would only be an empty promise with eternal consequences. The last part of this verse is hated by those who believe in free will. Those who believed and glorified the word of God were the ones whom God had chosen before the foundation of the world. These are the Elect who were appointed to eternal life and that appointment came from God Himself. Just like those witnesses who saw the Lord Jesus Christ after His resurrection were chosen, those who will have eternal life are chosen by God before the foundation of the world. Those who rejoiced were qualified to do so by God Himself.
Acts 13:49 (KJB)
And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
Was published - Was being carried or spread
As a result of all those who were becoming saved, the entire region was hearing the word of God. The Greek word for “was published” is in the imperfect tense and the imperfect tense emphasizes the course or progression of an event but not the entire event. In other words, the word here is describing the fact that the word of God was progressively, town by town, being carried or published throughout the entire region and then beyond. (Psa 68:11 KJV) The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.
Acts 13:50 (KJB)
But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
Expelled - Cast out
The Jews seeing that the word of God was spreading and that they feared for their own positions, had gone to some women who were God-fearing but they had convinced them that Paul and Barnabas were wrong and wanted them to use their sphere of influence to do something about them. So they had gone to the chief men of the city and convinced them that Paul and Barnabas were wrong. So these city officials approached them and cast them out of their coasts, which means the area under their supervision. So they were expelled from Pisidia but Paul knew that there would have been other men in the area who could carry on the ministry in their absence.
Acts 13:51 (KJB)
But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.
Just as the Lord Jesus told His disciples to do to those who would not receive them and their words, the Apostle Paul and Barnabas had done the same thing and that is to shake the dust off their feet as a testimony against them. (Mat 10:14 KJV) And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. So they left Antioch in Pisidia and went to Iconium. Iconium was located about 75 miles (121 KM) southeast from Antioch in the region of Galatia.
Acts 13:52 (KJB)
And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
The bit of persecution did not stop the disciples in Antioch from continuing to spread the word of God and to rejoice in the word. The word “fill” in the Greek is in the imperfect tense and you remember that it signifies a course or progression of an event. These disciples were continually being filled with joy and the Holy Ghost to give them power and strength to continue to send forth the Gospel. This verse could also be pointing to the Apostle Paul and his entourage who knew that they had left behind some good teachings and that the word of God would continue to grow in the believers and then beyond the borders of Pisidia.