Acts 17:11-15
Acts 17:11 (KJB)
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.
Readiness - Willingness
Searched - Examine, investigate, or inquire
Paul had assessed these Jews in the synagogue as more noble. He did not mean they were higher in societal rank than those in Thessalonica but that compared to the rabble that was in Thessalonica, the Bereans showed a more dignified and distinguished attitude toward the preaching of the Gospel. They did not drag the Christians out into the streets and make false accusations, instead they had a willingness or an eagerness to search out the matter in the Scriptures to see if what Paul and Silas were teaching was correct according to the Scriptures. They did not do this just once but it was a continual examination of the Hebrew Scriptures to see if their conclusions were correct. There are many today who claim to be Bereans and are as false as a three dollar bill. The real Berean is one who examines a teaching very closely according to the Scriptures and to see if the teaching is a figment of the imagination of some teacher or if it came directly from the Scriptures.
Acts 17:12 (KJB)
Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
The greatest results of a close examination of teachings against the Scriptures, is that if it is a true teaching, it will bear fruit. The results of the inquiry in Berea resulted in a confirmation that Paul and Silas was telling the truth, which ultimately resulted in the salvation of many in Berea. Here too many higher social class women had believed and also many men had believed the Gospel. These Jews were not like the other who became jealous when the Gentiles and their own believed. They knew the Scriptures taught that through Abraham all the families of the earth would be blessed.
Acts 17:13 (KJB)
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.
As the Jews of Berea were studiously studying the Scriptures and learning the truth, once again the unsaved Jews came to oppose the true Gospel. Somebody was probably a spy for the Thessalonian Jews and brought them word that Paul was in Berea, so they went to Berea and stirred up another mob. Notice how carefully this verse is worded and what it is saying. The Jews from Thessalonica heard that the “Word of God” was being proclaimed. They actually came to oppose the Word of God. This is because they were attached to the Talmud and not the Scriptures. They call themselves “God’s Chosen People” and they have more hatred for the true Word of God than any group in the world. God’s true people never oppose His Word.
Acts 17:14 (KJB)
And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.
Before the unbelieving Jews from Thessalonica could do any damage to Paul and Silas and the other believers, the brethren did the same thing they did in Thessalonica and that was to send Paul away before he was falsely accused of some crime. They pointed him toward the Aegean sea. Berea was inland about ten miles so they had to get him to the coast before any harm came to them. Silas and Timothy chose to stay in Berea for the purpose of training and discipleship. They probably figured that with Paul gone, the Jews might return to Thessalonica without stirring up any further trouble and if they returned, then the work of the Gospel could go on unhindered.
Acts 17:15 (KJB)
And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.
There was a change in direction because they may have gotten word that the Thessalonian Jews were either in pursuit or they were still in Berea and did not return home hoping Paul would return to them. What Paul’s escorts did was to turn south and go to Athens. This would have been about a 200 mile (322 km) trip. Once they arrived in Athens, Paul saw it was big city and knew that he would need help. He sent back word with his Berean escorts to tell Silas and Timothy to come to Athens as soon as they could. (1 Th 3:1-2 KJV) Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; {2} And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: Paul knew the work in Thessalonica needed to continue on since there was much persecution there. So Paul decided to send Timothy to Thessalonica once he arrived in Athens. Paul knew the Jews in Thessalonica would not rest until they caught him and since they didn’t, they might return and target the church at Thessalonica and cause them much persecution.