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 mercenary army at Tyre (Ezek 27:10-27:11)




Were all in your army.

They were

Your mighty warriors.

They hung their shield

With you.

They hung their helmet

With you.

They gave you splendor.

The men of Arvad,

The men of Helech,

Were on your walls

All around.

The men of Gamad

Were at your towers.

They hung their quivers

All around

Your walls.

They made perfect

Your beauty.”

Tyre had a mercenary army with people from Persia, Lydia (Lud), and Libya (Put). These were the mighty warriors of Tyre who hung their shields and helmets in Tyre to give the town more splendor. Within the town, guarding the walls, were the men from the Arvad island and Cilicia (Helech), a coastal town in Asia Minor. Meanwhile, the men of Cappadocia (Gamad) guarded the towers of Tyre. They kept their bow and arrows in the town. Thus the city of Tyre had an international army protecting it, inside and outside, to make it a thing of beauty.

The importance of the Romans (1 Macc 8:1-8:11)

“Judas heard of the fame of the Romans since they were very strong. They were well-disposed toward all who made an alliance with them. They pledged friendship to those who came to them since they were very strong. He had been told of their wars and of the brave deeds which they were doing among the Gauls. They had defeated them and forced them to pay tribute. He learned what they had done in the land of Spain to get control of the silver and gold mines there. They had gained control of the whole region by their planning and patience, even though the place was far distant from them. They also subdued the kings who came against them from the ends of the earth, until they crushed them. They inflicted great disaster upon them. The rest paid them tribute every year. They had crushed in battle and conquered Philip, King Perseus of the Macedonians, and the others who rose up against them. They also had defeated King Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, who went to fight against them with one hundred twenty elephants, cavalry, chariots, and a very large army. He was crushed by them. They took him alive. They decreed that he and those who should rule after him should pay a heavy tribute, give hostages, and surrender some of their best provinces, the countries of India, Media, and Lydia. These they took from him and gave to King Eumenes. The Greeks planned to come and destroy them. However, this became known to them. Then they sent a general against the Greeks who attacked them. Many of them were wounded and fell. The Romans took captive their wives and children. They plundered them, conquered the land, tore down their strongholds, and enslaved them to this day. The remaining kingdoms and islands, as many as ever opposed them, they destroyed and enslaved.”

For some reason, the Romans made a big impression on Judas Maccabeus as they were beginning their ascendancy in the Mediterranean world. He knew that the Romans were strong and faithful in their alliances. Then this biblical author presented the great feats of the Romans. First they had conquered the Gauls and the Spaniards, these western territories around 190 BCE and the Punic wars with Carthage in North Africa from the 3rd century BCE. Prior to this time the only thing west was Egypt and Greece. Now Rome and the west made an impression. These Romans had gone and subdued kings from the ends of the earth. The Romans had defeated the last of the Macedonian kings, King Perseus in 168 BCE, the son of King Philip who had had been defeated in 179 BCE. Obviously this author had some sense of history. As noted, King Antiochus V was not killed, but had to give hostages to Rome, one of which was this King Demetrius I. However, he kept Medes, but did give up Lydia and other parts of Asia Minor. King Eumenes was a Cappadocian ruler. The Romans also defeated the Greeks. Although the Roman Empire did not come to its full height for a few centuries, it was well on its way in the 2nd century BCE.