The Sabbath (Acts 16:13)

“On the Sabbath day,

We went outside

The gate

By the river.

We supposed

That there was a place

Of prayer.

We sat down.

We spoke

To the women

Who had gathered there.”

τῇ τε ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων ἐξήλθομεν ἔξω τῆς πύλης παρὰ ποταμὸν οὗ ἐνομίζομεν προσευχὴν εἶναι, καὶ καθίσαντες ἐλαλοῦμεν ταῖς συνελθούσαις γυναιξίν.

The author of Acts indicated that on the Sabbath day (τῇ τε ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων), they went outside (ἐξήλθομεν ἔξω) the city gate (τῆς πύλης), by the river (παρὰ ποταμὸν).  They supposed that this was a place of prayer (οὗ ἐνομίζομεν προσευχὴν εἶναι).  They sat down (καὶ καθίσαντες).  Then they began speaking (ἐλαλοῦμεν) to the women who had gathered there (ταῖς συνελθούσαις γυναιξίν).  Apparently, there were not enough Jews in Philippi to have a synagogue, where Paul would usually have gone.  The custom must have been to go outside the city gates if you wanted to pray. Since it was the Sabbath day, this group of Christian missionaries wanted to pray.  They gathered to pray near a river outside of town.  The author of Acts continued to insert himself into this story by saying “we”, using the first-person plural.  He insinuated that he was one of this group of traveling missionaries on this Sabbath day.  There must have been some Jewish women who gathered there also, although there was not any mention about men here, just women.  Have you ever gone to a river to pray?

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