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Acts 17


 1 Now (1) as they 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 others.


 2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days disputed with them by the Scriptures,


  (2) Opening and alleging that Christ must have suffered, and risen again from the dead, and this is Jesus Christ, whom said he, I preach to you.


(2) Christ is therefore the Mediator, because he was crucified and rose again; much less is he to be rejected, because the cross is ignominious.


 4 And some of them believed, and joined in company with Paul and Silas, also of the Grecians that feared God a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.


 5  (3) But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain (a) vagabonds and wicked fellows, and when they had assembled the multitude, they made a tumult in the city, and made assault against the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.


(3) Although the zeal of the unfaithful seem never so goodly, yet at length it is found to have neither truth nor equity; But yet the wicked cannot do what they list, for even among themselves God stirreth up some, whose help he useth for the deliverance of his.
(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 rascals and very stinks and dunghill knaves of all towns and cities.


 6 But when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the heads of the city, crying, These are they which have subverted the state of the (b) world, and here they are,


(b) Into what country and place soever they come, they cause sedition and tumult.


 7 Whom Jason hath received, and these all do against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another (*) King, one Jesus.


(*) Like quarrel picking they used against Christ; and these be the weapons wherewith the world continually fighteth against the members of Christ, treason and sedition.


 8 Then they troubled the people, and the heads of the city, when they heard these things.


 9 Notwithstanding when they had received (*) sufficient (c) assurance of Jason and of the others, they let them go.


(*) Or, a sufficient answer.

(c) When Jason had put them in good assurance that they should appear.


 10  (4) And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea, which when they were come thither, entered into the Synagogue of the Jews.


(4) That is indeed the wisdom of the Spirit, which always setteth the glory of God before itself as a mark whereunto it directeth itself, and never swerveth from it.


 11  (5) These were also (♣) more (d) noble men than they which were at Thessalonica, which received the word with all readiness, and (*) searched the Scriptures daily, (♠) whether those things were so.


(5) The Lord setteth out in one moment, and in one people, divers examples of his unsearchable wisdom, to cause them to fear him.

(♣) Not more excellent of birth, but more prompt, and courageous in receiving the word of God; for he compareth them of Berea with them of Thessalonica who persecuted the Apostles in Berea.
(d) He compareth the Jews, with the Jews.

(*) John 5:39 .

(♠) This was not only to try if these things which they had heard, were true, but also to confirm themselves in the same, and to increase their faith.


 12 Therefore many of them believed, and of honest women, which were Grecians, and men not a few.


 13  ∂ (6) But when the Jews of Thessalonica knew, that the word of God was also preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and moved the people.


(6) Satan hath his, who are zealous for him, and that even such, as least of all ought.


 14  (7) But by and by the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea; but Silas and Timothy abode there still.


(7) There is neither counsel, nor furies, nor madness, against the Lord.


 15  (8) And they that (*) did conduct Paul, (e) brought him unto Athens; and when they had received a commandment unto Silas and Timothy that they should come to him at once, they departed.


(8) The sheep of Christ do also watch for their pastor's health and safety, but yet in the Lord.

(*) Or, had the change to conduit him safely.
(e) It is not for nought that the Jews of Berea were so commended, for they brought Paul safe from Macedonia to Athens, and there is in distance between those two, all Thessalia, and Boeotia, and Attica.


 16  ∂ (9) Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was (f) stirred in him, when he saw the city (*) subject to (g) idolatry.


(9) In comparing the wisdom of God with man's wisdom, men scoff and mock at that which they understand not; and God useth the curiosity of fools to gather together his elect.
(f) He could not forbear.

(*) That city which was the fountain of all knowledge, was now the sink of most horrible idolatry.
(g) Slavishly given to Idolatry; Pausanias writeth that there were more Idols in Athens, than in all of Greece, yea they had altars dedicated to Shame, and Fame, and Lust, whom they made goddesses.


 17 Therefore he disputed in the Synagogue with the Jews, and with them that were religious, and in the market daily with (h) (*) whomsoever he met.


(h) Whoever Paul met with, that would suffer him to talk with him, he reasoned with him, so thoroughly did he burn with the zeal of God's glory.

(*) Such was his fervent zeal towards Godís glory, that he labored to amplify the same both in season, and out of season, as he taught afterward to Timothy.


 18  (10) Then certain Philosophers of the (*) Epicureans, and of the (♣) Stoics, disputed with him, and some said, What will this (i) (♠) babbler say? Others said, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods (because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.)


(10) Two sects especially of the Philosophers do set themselves against Christ; the Epicures, which make a mock and scoff at all religions; and the Stoics, which determine upon matters of religion according to their own brains.

(*) Who held, that pleasure was manís whole felicity.

(♣) Who taught that virtue was only manís felicity, which notwithstanding they never attained unto.
(i) Word for word, seed gatherer; a borrowed kind of speech taken of birds which spoil corn, and is applied to them which without all art bluster out such knowledge as they have gotten by hearing this man and that man.

(♠) Or, rascal, or trifler.


 19 And they took him, and brought him into (k) (*) Mars street, saying, May we not know, what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?


(k) This was a place called as you would say, Mars hill, where the judges sat which were called Areopagita, upon weighty affairs, which in old time arraigned Socrates, and afterward condemned him of impiety.

(*) Where judgment was given of weighty matters, but chiefly of impiety against their gods, whereof Paul was accused; or else was led thither because of the resort of people whose ears ever tickled to hear news.


 20 For thou bringest certain strange things unto our ears; we would know therefore, what these things mean.


 21  (11) For all the Athenians and strangers which dwelt there, (*) gave themselves to nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some news.


(11) The wisdom of man is vanity.

(*) Or, had leisure.


 22  (12) Then Paul stood in the midst of (*) Mars street, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too (l) superstitious.


(12) The idolaters themselves minister most strong and forcible arguments against their own superstition.

(*) Which was also called Areopagus.
(l) To stand in too peevish and servile a fear of your gods.


 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your (m) devotions, I found an altar wherein was written, (*) UNTO THE (n) UNKNOWN GOD. Whom ye then ignorantly worship, him shew I unto you.


(m) Whatsoever men worship for religion's sake, that we call devotion.

(*) Hereby Paul taketh an occasion to bring them to the true God.
(n) Pausanias in his Atticis, maketh mention of the altar which the Athenians had dedicated to unknown gods; and Laertius in his Epimenides maketh mention of an altar that had no name instituted.


 24  (13) God that made the world, and all things that are 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, which can be comprehended in no place, and to think to allure him with gifts, of whom all men have received all things whatsoever they have; And these are the fountains of all idolatry.

(*) Acts 7:48 .


 25  (*) Neither is worshipped with menís hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life and breath and all things,


(*) Psalm 50:8 .


 26  (14) And hath made of (o) one blood all mankind, to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath (*) assigned the times which were ordained before, and the bounds of their (♣) habitation,


(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 up our eyes to the workman.
(o) Of one stock and one beginning.

(*) Before man was created, God had appointed his state and condition.

(♣) This is meant as touching the sundry changes of the world, as when some people depart out of a country, and others come to dwell therein.


 27 That they should seek the Lord, if so be they might have (p) groped after him, and found (*) him, though doubtless he be not far from every one of us.


(p) For as blind men we could not seek out God, but only by groping wise, before the true light came and lightened the world.

(*) Men grope in darkness till Christ the true light shines in their hearts.


 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being, as also certain of your own (*) Poets have said, for we are also his generation.


(*) As Aratus and others.


 29  (*) Forasmuch then, as we are the generation of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto (♣) gold, or silver, or stone (q) graven by art and the invention of man.


(*) Isaiah 40:19 .

(♣) He condemneth the matter and the form wherewith God is counterfeited.

(q) Which stuff, as gold, silver, stones, are customably graven as a man's wit can devise, for men will not worship that gross stuff as it is, unless by some art it have gotten some shape upon it.


 30  (15) And the time of this ignorance God (*) regarded not, but now he admonisheth (♣) all men everywhere to repent,


(15) The oldness of the error doeth not excuse them that err, but it commendeth and setteth forth the patience of God, who notwithstanding will be a just judge to such as contemn him.

(*) But pardoned it, and did not punish it as it deserved.

(♣) This is meant of the universal world, and not of every particular man; for whosoever sinneth without the Law, shall die without the Law.


 31 Because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath appointed, whereof he hath given an (r) assurance to all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.


(r) By declaring Christ to be judge of the world through the resurrection from the dead.


 32  (16) Now when they had heard of the resurrection from the dead, some mocked, and others said, We will hear thee again of this thing.


(16) Men, to shew forth their vanity, are diversely affected and moved with one selfsame Gospel, which notwithstanding ceaseth not to be effectual in the elect.


 33 And so Paul departed from among them.


 34 Howbeit certain men clave unto Paul, and believed, among whom was also Dionysius (*) Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.


(*) Or, a judge of Mars street.




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