They were troublemaking Jews disturbing the peace (Acts 16:20)

“They brought them

Before the magistrates.

They said.

‘These men are Jews.

They are trouble makers

In our city.’”

καὶ προσαγαγόντες αὐτοὺς τοῖς στρατηγοῖς εἶπαν Οὗτοι οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἐκταράσσουσιν ἡμῶν τὴν πόλιν, Ἰουδαῖοι ὑπάρχοντες,

The author of Acts indicated that when they had brought them (καὶ προσαγαγόντες αὐτοὺς) before the magistrates (τοῖς στρατηγοῖς), they said (εἶπαν) that these men (οἱ ἄνθρωποι) were troublemaker Jews (ὑπάρχοντες Ἰουδαῖοι).  They were disturbing (ἐκταράσσουσιν) their city (ἡμῶν τὴν πόλιν).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word ἐκταράσσουσιν, that means to throw into great trouble, disturb greatly. They brought Paul and Silas to the local Roman magistrates, perhaps local honorific leaders.  Paul’s accusers said that these troublemaking Jewish guys were disturbing the peace in their city.  They assumed that they were Jewish, since they knew nothing about Christianity.  Besides, Christians were still considered a Jewish sect.  This may also have been anti-Jewish prejudice.  Have you ever been accused of being Jewish?

They seize Paul and Barnabas (Acts 16:19)

“But when her owners saw

That their hope

Of making money

Was gone,

They seized Paul

And Silas.

They dragged them

Into the market place

Before the rulers.”

Ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ κύριοι αὐτῆς ὅτι ἐξῆλθεν ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς ἐργασίας αὐτῶν, ἐπιλαβόμενοι τὸν Παῦλον καὶ τὸν Σιλᾶν εἵλκυσαν εἰς τὴν ἀγορὰν ἐπὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντας,

The author of Acts indicated that when her owners or masters (δὲ οἱ κύριοι αὐτῆς) saw (Ἰδόντες) that (ὅτι) their hope (ἡ ἐλπὶς) of making money (τῆς ἐργασίας αὐτῶν) was gone (ἐξῆλθεν), they seized (ἐπιλαβόμενοι) Paul (τὸν Παῦλον) and Silas (καὶ τὸν Σιλᾶν).  They dragged (εἵλκυσαν) them into the market place (εἰς τὴν ἀγορὰν) before the rulers (ἐπὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντας).  The owners of this young girl were angry that Paul had taken away a source of money for them, since they had controlled her.  Paul had driven out the spirit that made her capable of telling the future.  Thus, they seized Paul and Silas, but there was no mention of the others in this Christian missionary group like Timothy and the author of Acts.  They dragged both Paul and Silas into the market place before the local rulers.  Have you ever gone to court for what you did?

Paul orders the evil spirit out of her (Acts 16:18)

“This girl fortune teller

Kept doing this

For many days.

But Paul was

Very much annoyed.

He turned.

He said to the spirit.

‘I order you

In the name of Jesus Christ

To come out of her.’

The spirit

Came out

That very hour.”

τοῦτο δὲ ἐποίει ἐπὶ πολλὰς ἡμέρας. διαπονηθεὶς δὲ Παῦλος καὶ ἐπιστρέψας τῷ πνεύματι εἶπεν Παραγγέλλω σοι ἐν ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐξελθεῖν ἀπ’ αὐτῆς· καὶ ἐξῆλθεν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ.

The author of Acts indicated that this girl fortune teller kept doing this continually (τοῦτο δὲ ἐποίει) for many days (ἐπὶ πολλὰς ἡμέρας).  But Paul (δὲ Παῦλος) was very much annoyed (διαπονηθεὶς).  He turned (καὶ ἐπιστρέψας) and said (εἶπεν) to the spirit (τῷ πνεύματι).  “I order you (Παραγγέλλω σοι), in the name of Jesus Christ (ἐν ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ), to come out of her (ἐξελθεῖν ἀπ’ αὐτῆς).”  The evil spirit came out (καὶ ἐξῆλθεν) that very hour (αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word διαπονηθεὶς, that means to toil through, to be worn out, annoyed, or greatly troubled.  After a couple of days of this fortune telling girl shouting out after Paul and his group, he got angry and annoyed.  He wanted to shut her up, even though she was telling the truth.  Thus, he ordered the evil spirit to come out of her in the name of Jesus Christ.  Just as the apostles had cured in the name of Jesus Christ, they were going to cast out evil spirits with the same name.  Of course, it happened.  The evil spirit left this young girl.  Problem solved.  Have you ever seen or heard about an exorcism?

The way of salvation (Acts 16:17)

“This fortune telling girl

Followed after

Paul

And us.

She would cry out

Saying.

‘These men

Are slaves

Of the Most-High God.

They proclaim to you

The way of salvation.’”

αὕτη κατακολουθοῦσα τῷ Παύλῳ καὶ ἡμῖν ἔκραζεν λέγουσα Οὗτοι οἱ ἄνθρωποι δοῦλοι τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ Ὑψίστου εἰσίν, οἵτινες καταγγέλλουσιν ὑμῖν ὁδὸν σωτηρίας.

The author of Acts indicated that this fortune telling slave girl followed after (αὕτη κατακολουθοῦσα) Paul (τῷ Παύλῳ) and the rest of them (καὶ ἡμῖν).  She would cry out saying (ἔκραζεν λέγουσα) that these men (Οὗτοι οἱ ἄνθρωποι) were (εἰσίν) slaves (δοῦλοι) of the Most-High God (τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ Ὑψίστου).  They proclaim (οἵτινες καταγγέλλουσιν) to you (ὑμῖν) the way of salvation (ὁδὸν σωτηρίας).  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 Christian missionaries.  This fortune telling girl was shouting out to them that they were the slaves of the Most-High God that was going to bring salvation.  This was precisely the exact message of these missionaries.  She saw them for what they were.  Has any stranger ever shouted at you?

The fortune telling girl (Acts 16:16)

“One day,

As we were going

To the place of prayer,

We met

A certain girl

Who had the spirit

Of Python.

Her work

Brought her owners

A great deal of money

By fortune telling.”

Ἐγένετο δὲ πορευομένων ἡμῶν εἰς τὴν προσευχὴν, παιδίσκην τινὰ ἔχουσαν πνεῦμα Πύθωνα ὑπαντῆσαι ἡμῖν, ἥτις ἐργασίαν πολλὴν παρεῖχεν τοῖς κυρίοις αὐτῆς μαντευομένη.

The author of Acts indicated that one day (Ἐγένετο δὲ), as they were going (πορευομένων ἡμῶν) to the place of prayer (εἰς τὴν προσευχὴν), they met (ὑπαντῆσαι ἡμῖν) a certain girl (παιδίσκην τινὰ) who had the spirit (ἔχουσαν πνεῦμα) of Python (Πύθωνα).  Her work (ἥτις ἐργασίαν) brought (ἐργασίαν) her owners or masters (τοῖς κυρίοις αὐτῆς) a great deal of money (πολλὴν) by fortune telling (μαντευομένη).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word Πύθωνα, that means Python, a mythical serpent slain by Apollo, divination, or a divining spirit. Acts was also the only Greek biblical writing that used this word μαντευομένη, that means to divine, practice soothsaying, or suggesting fraud.  The author of Acts continued to insert himself into this story by saying “we”.  He insinuated that he was one of this group of traveling Christian missionaries that went to pray this day and then met this fortune telling girl that was controlled by her masters or owners.  Someone, this girl was attached to a mythical Pythian serpent said to have guarded the oracle at Delphi.  For Jewish people, any kind of snakes were always evil.  She could sprout oracles, somewhat like a ventriloquist or tell the future.  She was rather unique.  Have you ever met a fortune teller?

They stay at Lydia’s house (Acts 16:15)

“When Lydia

And her household

Were baptized,

She urged us,

Saying.

‘If you have judged me

To be faithful

To the Lord,

Come

And stay

At my house.’

She prevailed upon us.”

ὡς δὲ ἐβαπτίσθη καὶ ὁ οἶκος αὐτῆς, παρεκάλεσεν λέγουσα Εἰ κεκρίκατέ με πιστὴν τῷ Κυρίῳ εἶναι, εἰσελθόντες εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου μένετε· καὶ παρεβιάσατο ἡμᾶς.

The author of Acts indicated that when Lydia and her household (καὶ ὁ οἶκος αὐτῆς) were baptized (ὡς δὲ ἐβαπτίσθη), she urged or encouraged them (παρεκάλεσεν), saying (λέγουσα) that if they had judged her to be faithful to the Lord (Εἰ κεκρίκατέ με πιστὴν τῷ Κυρίῳ εἶναι), would they come (εἰσελθόντες) and stay (μένετε) at her house (εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου).  She prevailed or persuaded them (καὶ παρεβιάσατο ἡμᾶς).  The baptizing of complete households was common, as seen in Peter and Cornelius in chapter 10:47-48.  Lydia was judged to have been faithful, the prerequisite for baptism.  However, this was the first woman head of household baptized with her whole family.  Was she a single mom?  She must have been a person of wealth with perhaps slaves, since she invited this group of Christian missionaries, that had at least four people, to stay with her.  That would assume a large house for Paul, Silas, Timothy, and the author of Acts.  Paul and his companions accepted this invitation to stay at her house.  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 that went to live with Lydia.  Would you stay in someone else’s house if they invited you?

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?

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?

Philippi (Acts 16:12)

“From there,

We went

To Philippi,

The leading city

Of the district

Of Macedonia,

A Roman colony.

We remained

In this city

Some days.”

κἀκεῖθεν εἰς Φιλίππους, ἥτις ἐστὶν πρώτη τῆς μερίδος Μακεδονίας πόλις, κολωνία. Ἦμεν δὲ ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ πόλει διατρίβοντες ἡμέρας τινάς. 

The author of Acts indicated that from there (κἀκεῖθεν) in Neapolis they went to Philippi (εἰς Φιλίππους), the leading city of the district (ἥτις ἐστὶν πρώτη τῆς μερίδος) of Macedonia (Μακεδονίας), a Roman colony (κολωνία), they (Ἦμεν) remained (διατρίβοντες) in this city (δὲ ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ πόλει) some days (ἡμέρας τινάς).  Paul, Silas, Timothy, and the author of Acts, “we”, stayed a long time here in Philippi, rather than a day as on the island of Samothrace.  The author of Acts inserted himself into this story by saying “we”, using the first-person plural.  He insinuated that he was one of this group of traveling missionaries.  This group traveled by land about 10 miles to the city of Philippi from the port city of Neapolis.  Philippi was a major city in Macedonia, renamed by Philip II of Macedon in 356 BCE.  The ruins there are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it was a mini-Rome as a wealthy Roman colony.  Paul will write a letter to the people or assembly here, the letter to the Philippians.  What is the richest city you have ever seen?

They sailed from Troas (Acts 16:11)

“We set sail

From Troas.

We made a straight course

To Samothrace,

And the following day

To Neapolis.”

Ἀναχθέντες δὲ ἀπὸ Τρῳάδος εὐθυδρομήσαμεν εἰς Σαμοθρᾴκην, τῇ δὲ ἐπιούσῃ εἰς Νέαν Πόλιν,

The author of Acts indicated that they set sail (Ἀναχθέντες) from Troas (δὲ ἀπὸ Τρῳάδο).  They made a straight course (εὐθυδρομήσαμεν) to Samothrace (εἰς Σαμοθρᾴκην), and the following day (τῇ δὲ ἐπιούσῃ) to Neapolis (εἰς Νέαν Πόλιν).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word εὐθυδρομήσαμεν, that means to run a straight course.  Acts was also the only Greek biblical writing that used this word ἐπιούσῃ, that means the following or next day.  Samothrace was a small Greek island on the sea lane between Troas and Macedonia, about 100 miles from Troas and about 25 miles from Neapolis.  However, it was the home of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, a place of important Hellenic religious ceremonies.  This sanctuary of the Great Gods surpassed Greek borders as Samothrace became an international religious center, where people came from all over the Roman world.  The ruins of this great religious sanctuary are still there today.  However, Paul, Silas, Timothy, and the author of Acts, “we”, only stayed a day.  The author of Acts inserted himself into this story by saying “we”, using the first-person plural.  He insinuated that he was one of this group of traveling missionaries.  They went to Neapolis, literally the “new city”, a town on the northern Aegean shore, the seaport of Philippi, that was about 10 miles away inland.  Have you ever been on a sea voyage?