The Discourse Of Paul At Athens. A Commentary On Acts 17:16-34 -- By: H. B. Hackett

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 006:22 (May 1849)
Article: The Discourse Of Paul At Athens. A Commentary On Acts 17:16-34
Author: H. B. Hackett


The Discourse Of Paul At Athens. A Commentary On
Acts 17:16-34

Professor H. B. Hackett

It was in the course of his second missionary tour that the apostle Paul came to Athens. From Troas in Asia Minor, he had crossed the northern part of the Ægean Sea into Europe, landing at Neapolis in Thrace, but passing on thence directly to Philippi in Macedonia where he remained and labored for some time. From there he followed the course of the great military road leading from the north of Greece to the south, as far as to Berea; whence having been driven away after a short residence by the machinations of the Jews, he set forward again, and proceeded, in all probability by sea, to Athens. It is at this point that we take up the narrative in the present Article.

The antecedent Circumstances,

Vv. 16–21. Effect of the idolatry at Athens on the mind of Paul, V. 16. ἐκδεχομένου αὐτούς, while he was waiting for them, viz. Silas and Timothy whom he had left at Berea, and to whom he had sent a message that they should rejoin him as soon as possible; see v. 15. The most natural inference from 1 Thess. 3:1, is that Timothy, at least, soon arrived in accordance with Paul’s expectation, but was immediately sent away by the apostle to Thessalonica. As Silas, however, is not mentioned in that passage, it has been supposed that he may have failed for some reason to come at this time, or if he came, that like Timothy, he may have left again at once, but for a different destination; which last circumstance would account for the omission of his name at this place in the letter. Our next notice of them in the Acts, occurs in 18:5, where they are represented as coming down from Macedonia to Corinth, which is consistent either with the supposition just stated,—the intermediate journey having been passed over here in silence,—or with the view that they went directly to Corinth from Berea without having gone to Athens at all. Still other combinations are possible. παρωξύνετοἐν αὐτῷ, his spirit was aroused in him, comp. 15:39. 1 Cor. 13:5. The verb expresses not merely a strong but specific emotion: He was deeply moved with a

feeling allied to that of indignation, at such a profanation of the worship due to God as he saw presenting itself to his view at every point. Κατείδωλον, an objective term, full of idols. The word is otherwise unknown to the extant Greek, but is formed...

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