- Acts 16:11-15
- Acts 16:11 (KJB)
- Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to
Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;
- Samothrace is a small mountainous island which is about 30 square miles
and contains a mountain 5,000 feet high (1524 meters) which was a guide to
those on the Aegean Sea. It was about 56 miles (90 km) west of Troas. It was
straight course from port to port. The next day they had arrived at Neapolis.
Neapolis was about 66 miles (106 km) from Samothrace. Neapolis was a very
short distance from Philippi, on the southeastern coast of Macedonia.
- Acts 16:12 (KJB)
- And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of
Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain
- When they landed at Neapolis, they had gone directly to Philippi which
was about 6 miles away. Philippi was named after Philip who was the father
of Alexander the Great. It was a Roman colony as they had settled a garrison
of Roman soldiers who were Roman citizens. A garrison is a body of troops
designed to defend the place where they are. In this case it was Philippi
which was strategically located where they could be dispatched up and down
the coast as needed. The constitution of Philippi was modeled after Rome.
When Caesar Augustus made Philippi a military colony, many Romans made it
their home. Philippi was important because it was located at the end of the
famous Egnatian Way, the famous Roman road. The emperor gave them the
“Italic right” which means they had the same rights as the cities on the
- Acts 16:13 (KJB)
- And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer
was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which
- Jewish law required that there be at least ten men available to have a
synagogue but apparently there was not even that amount in Philippi. So Paul
had heard there was a place less than a mile outside of town where some Jews
gathered on the Sabbath. He encountered a group of women there but no men.
Apparently some had been widows, some may had been married to Gentiles and
there may have also been some Gentile women who were interested. Paul made
his way to this gathering and then engaged them in conversation.
- Acts 16:14 (KJB)
- And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of
Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord
opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
- A woman named Lydia had attended the meeting. She was from Thyatira
which was in the province of Lydia, so maybe she was named after the
province. She had probably settled in Philippi because the business would
have been better or she may have been on a business trip. Thyatira had a
guild there called the “dyers guild.” The water in the area was of such
quality that it was made for dyeing clothes especially brilliant red. They
were also famous for the purple dye made of madder root which was made in
that area and caused the city to be famous. Like when we think of Cheese
Steaks, we think of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lydia was like Cornelius in
that she worshipped God according to the Jewish understanding of the Hebrew
Scriptures. Thyatira had a Jewish colony so she may have attended and
learned of God. Now she had heard the things the Apostle Paul was
proclaiming to them about the Lord Jesus Christ and she readily accepted
them because the Lord had already prepared her by opening up her heart, just
like He did to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:32
KJV) And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while
he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
- Acts 16:15 (KJB)
- And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us,
saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house,
and abide there. And she constrained us.
- Constrained - Constrained by entreaty, prevailed, or compelled
- Lydia had believed and became a Christian. Since she had become saved,
she was now baptized along with those in her house, which would have been
her servants since there is no evidence that she was married. Her servants
also became saved which showed the faithfulness of Lydia bringing them the
true gospel. She desired that her home would be a place established in the
Lord. It was in the house of Lydia that a church would soon be established.
While Paul and his company were there, she had urged them to stay at her
place until they finally did. The word “constrained” carries with the
meaning of a strong urging or entreaty, which means they couldn’t refuse the