Acts 16

Derbe and Lystra; chap Ac 14:6. Circumcised him; this Paul did, not because it was needful to salvation, but to prevent the Jews from being prejudiced against Timothy as a preacher of the gospel. Christian wisdom will lead men to do, in some circumstances, what it will lead them to refuse to do under others. It is not enough that a thing is not forbidden: to be justified in doing it, we must also have reason to believe that it will be useful--that it is not only lawful, but also expedient. 1Co 6:12; 10:23. The decrees; the decision to which the apostles and brethren at Jerusalem had come. Chap Ac 15:29. Phrygia; this was the central and largest province in Asia Minor.

Galatia; a province east of Phrygia.

Asia; this word here, and in other places in the New Testament, refers to proconsular Asia, of which Ephesus was the capital.
Mysia; north-west of Phrygia.

Assayed; attempted.

Bithynia; a province east of Mysia, and north of Phrygia.

The Spirit; the Holy Spirit.
Troas; a city near the site of ancient Troy, on the north part of the Aegean sea, which separates Asia Minor from Europe. Macedonia; a country in the south-east of Europe. We; from this it appears that Luke, the writer of this book, accompanied Paul. Compare chap Ac 20:5, etc.

Assuredly gathering; being convinced.
Samothracia; an island in the north part of the Aegean sea.

Neapolis; a seaport of Macedonia.
Philippi--a colony; inhabited by Roman citizens, and enjoying special privileges. This was the first introduction of the gospel into Europe. Thyatira ; a city of Lydia, a province in Asia Minor. Worshipped God ; was a proselyte to the Jewish religion. Whose heart the Lord opened ; inclined to believe what Paul preached. Whenever men believe on Jesus Christ, and are disposed to obey him, it is evidence that the Lord has renewed their hearts by his Spirit. To him, therefore, not to them, or those who have preached the gospel, belongs the glory. To prayer; the place of prayer.

Spirit of divination; an evil spirit, under the influence of which she professed to divine, that is to reveal things beyond the reach of human knowledge.

Soothsaying; professing to foretell future events. Men are often more anxious to know their fortunes than their duty. They more earnestly seek, and more liberally pay for specious delusions and lying vanities, than for substantial realities and momentous truth.
Being grieved; at her debased and wretched condition, and the evil she might occasion.

In the name of Jesus Christ; this showed that the author of this miracle was not Paul, but Christ.
Hope of their gains; the hope of making any more money in that wicked way. Under the influence of Satan, persons may pretend to foretell future events, and to exercise supernatural power; but when Christ delivers them from the snares of Satan, such pretensions will cease. Many are greatly troubled when Satan is prevented from helping them to make money; and earnestly contend that the prosecution of their wicked employment is essential to the public good. Customs--not lawful; a new religion contrary to the Roman law. The inner prison; from which it would be most difficult to escape.

Stocks; wooden frames in which their feet were fastened.
It is not in the power of the wicked to make the righteous unhappy, or prevent their rejoicing with exceeding joy. Bands; chains, cords, or fetters by which they were confined. Would have killed himself; to avoid the punishment of death, to which those were liable who allowed prisoners to escape. Compare chap Ac 12:19. To be saved; from sin, and the wrath of a justly offended God. To a convicted sinner, the most important of all things is salvation from sin and hell. To obtain it, he must do something; and the business of a minister is, to show him what he must do, set before him the motives, and look to the Holy Ghost to lead him to do it. Thy house; thy family. Sergeants; the lictors who attended on the magistrates, and executed their commands. Being Romans; having a right to the privileges of Roman citizens, whom it was unlawful thus to scourge and imprison.

Let them come; this would be a public acknowledgment by the magistrates that they had done wrong. It is sometimes right and wise to claim the protection of civil law; to appeal from the judgment of inferior magistrates to higher tribunals, and let all know that the rights and privileges of citizens are not to be trampled on with impunity. Government is unfaithful to itself, to its subjects, and to God, if it fails to be a terror to evil-doers, and a praise and protection to those that do well.
Besought them; to overlook the injustice which had been done them, and to depart. Comforted them; by recounting the goodness of God, and encouraging them to love and trust in him.
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