17:1 Now 1 when they had passed through Amphipolis and
Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue
of the Jews:
(1) The casting out of Silas and Paul was the saving of many
17:32 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have
suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this
Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
(2) Christ is therefore the mediator, because he was crucified
and rose again: and he is certainly not to be rejected
because the cross is shameful.
17:53 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took
unto them certain a lewd fellows of the baser sort, and
gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and
assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out
to the people.
(3) Although the zeal of the unfaithful seems ever so virtuous,
yet at length it is found to have neither truth nor
fairness. Yet the wicked cannot do what they wish, for
even among themselves God stirs up some, whose help he uses
for the deliverance of his own.
(a) Certain companions which do nothing but walk the
streets, wicked men, to be hired for every man's money
to do any mischief, such as we commonly call the
rabble and very cesspools and dunghill knaves of all
towns and cities.
17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain
brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that
have turned the b world upside down are come hither also;
(b) Into whatever country and place they come, they cause
sedition and tumult.
17:9 And when they had taken c security of Jason, and of the
other, they let them go.
(c) When Jason had put them in good assurance that they
17:104 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas
by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the
synagogue of the Jews.
(4) That is indeed the wisdom of the Spirit which always sets
the glory of God before itself as a mark with which it
directs itself, and never wavers from it.
17:115 These were more d noble than those in Thessalonica,
in that they received the word with all readiness of mind,
and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things
(5) The Lord sets out in one short period of time, and in one
people, different examples of his unsearchable wisdom to
cause them to fear him.
(d) He compares the Jews with the Jews.
17:136 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.
(6) Satan has his who are zealous for him, and those who one
would least suspect.
17:147 And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go
as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there
(7) There is neither counsel, nor fury, nor madness against the
17:158 And they that conducted Paul e brought him unto
Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and
Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they
(8) The sheep of Christ also watch their pastor's health and
safety, but yet in the Lord.
(e) It is not for nothing that the Jews of Berea were so
commended, for they brought Paul safe from Macedonia to
Athens, and there is in between these two
places all of Thessalia, and Boeotia, and Attica.
17:169 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit
was f stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given
to g idolatry.
(9) In comparing the wisdom of God with man's wisdom, men scoff
and mock at that which they do not understand: and God uses
the curiosity of fools to gather together his elect.
(f) He could not forbear.
(g) Slavishly given to idolatry: Pausanias writes that
there were more idols in Athens than in all Greece;
yea they had altars dedicated to Shame, and Fame, and
Lust, whom they made goddesses.
17:17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and
with the devout persons, and in the market daily with h
them that met with him.
(h) Whoever Paul met with that would allow him to talk
with him, he reasoned with him, so thoroughly did he
burn with the zeal of God's glory.
17:1810 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of
the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will
this i babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a
setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto
them Jesus, and the resurrection.
(10) Two special sects of the philosophers set themselves
against Christ: the Epicures, who mock and scoff at
religion: and the Stoics, who decide religious matters
according to their own thinking.
(i) Literally, "seed gatherer": a borrowed kind of speech
taken from birds which spoil corn, and is applied to
those who without any skill blurt out the knowledge
which they have gotten by hearing this man and that
17:19 And they took him, and brought him unto k Areopagus,
saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou
(k) This was a place called, as one would say, Mars hill,
where the judges sat who were called Areopagita upon
important matters, who in ancient time arraigned
Socrates, and afterward condemned him of impiety.
17:2111 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there
spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or
to hear some new thing.)
(11) The wisdom of man is vanity.
17:2212 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said,
[Ye] men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are
too l superstitious.
(12) The idolaters themselves provide most strong and forcible
arguments against their own superstition.
(l) To stand in too foolish and slavish a fear of your
17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your m devotions, I found
an altar with this inscription, TO THE n UNKNOWN GOD.
Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto
(m) Whatever men worship for religion's sake, that we call
(n) Pausanias in his Atticis makes mention of the altar
which the Athenians had dedicated to unknown gods: and
Laertius in his Epimenides makes mention of an altar
that had no name entitled upon it.
17:2413 God that made the world and all things therein,
seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not
in temples made with hands;
(13) It is a most foolish and vain thing to compare the Creator
with the creature, to limit him within a place who can
be comprehended in no place, and to think to allure him
with gifts, from whom all men have received all things
whatever they have: and these are the fountains of all
17:2614 And hath made of o one blood all nations of men for
to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined
the times before appointed, and the bounds of their
(14) God is wonderful in all his works, but especially in the
work of man: not that we should stand amazed at his works,
but that we should lift our eyes to the workman.
(o) Of one stock and one beginning.
17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might p
feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from
every one of us:
(p) For as blind men we could not seek out God except by
groping, before the true light came and enlightened
17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought
not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or
silver, or stone, q graven by art and man's device.
(q) Which things (gold, silver, and stones) are custom
engraved as much as a man's mind can devise, for men
will not worship those things as they are, unless by
some art it has formed into an image of some sort.
17:3015 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but
now commandeth all men every where to repent:
(15) The oldness of the error does not excuse those that err,
but it commends and sets forth the patience of God, who
nonetheless will be a just judge to those who condemn him.
17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will
judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he
hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given r assurance unto
all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.
(r) By declaring Christ to be the judge of the world
through the resurrection from the dead.
17:3216 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead,
some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of
(16) Men, to show forth their vanity, are affected and moved
differently by the very same Gospel, which nonetheless
does not cease to be effectual in the elect.