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1: Paul departing from Athens - He did not stay there long.
The philosophers there were too easy, too indolent, and too wise
in their own eyes to receive the Gospel.
2: Claudius, the Roman emperor, had commanded all the Jews to
depart from Rome - All who were Jews by birth. Whether they were
Jews or Christians by religion, the Romans were too stately to
3: They were tent makers by trade - For it was a rule among the
Jews (and why is it not among the Christians?) to bring up all
their children to some trade, were they ever so rich or noble.
5: And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia - Silas
seems to have stayed a considerable time at Berea: but Timotheus
had come to the apostle while he was at Athens, and been sent by
him to comfort and confirm the Church at Thessalonica,(1Th 3:1-5). But now at length both Silas and Timotheus
came to the apostle at Corinth. Paul was pressed in spirit - The
more probably from what Silas and Timotheus related. Every
Christian ought diligently to observe any such pressure in his
own spirit, and if it agree with Scripture, to follow it: if he
does not he will feel great heaviness.
6: He shook his raiment - To signify he would from that time
refrain from them: and to intimate, that God would soon shake
them off as unworthy to be numbered among his people. I am
pure - None can say this but he that has borne a full testimony
against sin. From henceforth I will go to the Gentiles - But not
to them altogether. He did not break off all intercourse with
the Jews even at Corinth. Only he preached no more in their
7: He went into the house of one named Justus - A Gentile,
and preached there, though probably he still lodged with Aquila.
8: And many hearing - The conversation of Crispus, and the
preaching of Paul.
10: I am with thee: therefore fear not all the learning,
politeness, grandeur, or power of the inhabitants of this
city. Speak and hold not thy peace - For thy labour shall
not be in vain. For I have much people in this city - So he
prophetically calls them that afterward believed.
11: He continued there a year and six months - A long time! But
how few souls are now gained in a longer time than this? Who is
in the fault? Generally both teachers and hearers.
12: When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia - Of which Corinth was
the chief city. This Gallio, the brother of the famous Seneca,
is much commended both by him and by other writers, for the
sweetness and generosity of his temper, and easiness of his
behaviour. Yet one thing he lacked! But he knew it not and
had no concern about it.
15: But if it be - He speaks with the utmost coolness and contempt,
a question of names - The names of the heathen gods were fables
and shadows. But the question concerning the name of Jesus is
of more importance than all things else under heaven. Yet there
is this singularity (among a thousand others) in the Christian
religion, that human reason, curious as it is in all other
things, abhors to inquire into it.
17: Then they all took Sosthenes - The successor of Crispus, and
probably Paul's chief accuser, and beat him - It seems because he
had occasioned them so much trouble to no purpose, before the
judgment seat - One can hardly think in the sight of Gallio,
though at no great distance from him. And it seems to have had
a happy effect. For Sosthenes himself was afterward a Christian,(1Co 1:1).
18: Paul continued many days - After the year and six months, to
confirm the brethren. Aquila having shaved his head - As was the
custom in a vow, (Ac 21:24,Nu 6:18).
At Cenchrea - A seaport town, at a small distance from Corinth.
21: I must by all means keep the feast at Jerusalem - This was not
from any apprehension that he was obliged in conscience to keep
the Jewish feasts; but to take the opportunity of meeting a great
number of his countrymen to whom he might preach Christ, or whom
he might farther instruct, or free from the prejudices they had
imbibed against him. But I will return to you - So he did,(Ac 19:1).
22: And landing at Cesarea, he went up - Immediately to Jerusalem;
and saluted the Church - Eminently so called, being the mother
Church of Christian believers: and having kept the feast there,
he went down from thence to Antioch.
23: He went over the country of Galatia and Phrygia - It is
supposed, spending about four years therein, including the
time he stayed at Ephesus.
24: An eloquent man, mighty in the Scriptures - Of the Old
Testament. Every talent may be of use in the kingdom of God, if
joined with the knowledge of the Scriptures and fervour of spirit.
25: This man had been instructed - Though not perfectly, in the way
of the Lord - In the doctrine of Christ. Knowing only the baptism
of John - Only what John taught those whom he baptized, namely, to
repent and believe in a Messiah shortly to appear.
26: He spake - Privately; and taught publicly. Probably he
returned to live at Alexandria, soon after he had been baptized
by John; and so had no opportunity of being fully acquainted
with the doctrines of the Gospel, as delivered by Christ and his
apostles. And explained to him the way of God more perfectly - He
who knows Christ, is able to instruct even those that are mighty
in the Scriptures.
27: Who greatly helped through grace - It is through grace only
that any gift of any one is profitable to another. Them that
had believed - Apollos did not plant, but water. This was the
peculiar gift which he had received. And he was better able
to convince the Jews, than to convert the heathens.