Lydia (Acts 16:14)

“A certain woman

Named Lydia,

A worshiper of God,

Was listening

To us.

She was from

The city of Thyatira.

She was a dealer

In purple cloth.

The Lord opened

Her heart

To listen eagerly

To what was said

By Paul.”

καί τις γυνὴ ὀνόματι Λυδία, πορφυρόπωλις πόλεως Θυατείρων, σεβομένη τὸν Θεόν, ἤκουεν, ἧς ὁ Κύριος διήνοιξεν τὴν καρδίαν προσέχειν τοῖς λαλουμένοις ὑπὸ Παύλου.

The author of Acts indicated that a certain woman (καί τις γυνὴ) named Lydia (ὀνόματι Λυδία), a worshiper of God (σεβομένη τὸν Θεόν), was listening to them (ἤκουεν).  She was from the city of Thyatira (πόλεως Θυατείρων), a dealer in purple cloth (πορφυρόπωλις).  The Lord (ἧς ὁ Κύριος) opened her heart (διήνοιξεν τὴν καρδίαν) to listen eagerly (προσέχειν) to what was said (τοῖς λαλουμένοις) by Paul (ὑπὸ Παύλου).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word πορφυρόπωλις, that means a seller of purple fabrics or a female seller of purple cloth.  Thyatira, modern day Akhisar, was a city in western Asia Minor, known for the production of dyed clothing.  Thus, she was not a native of this area of Macedonia or Philippi.  She was called a God worshiper, indicating that she was a gentile interested in Judaism, but not Jewish.  She seemed to be a reputable clothing salesperson.  Under the guidance of the Lord, she listened very eagerly to Paul and what he had to say.  The author of Acts continued to insert himself into this story by saying “us”.  He insinuated that he was one of this group of traveling missionaries on this Sabbath day that Lydia was listening to.  Do you know any women who are in the clothing business?

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