Acts 16:13-15

Acts 16:13-15
Easter Vigil – A Women’s Lectionary


13 On the sabbathA dayB we wentC outside the gateD by the river,E

Notes on verse 13a

A “sabbath” = sabbaton. From Hebrew shabbath (sabbath); from shabath (to rest, stop, repose, cease working; by implication, to celebrate). This is the sabbath. It can also be used as shorthand for a week i.e. the time between two sabbaths.
B “day” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.
C “went” = exerchomai. From ek (from, from out of) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to go out, depart, escape, proceed from, spread news abroad.
D “gate” = pule. 10x in NT. This is gate, large entrance to a city or a fortress. It is often used for an exit way. Figuratively, it can refer to authority and power.
E “river” = potamos. 17x in NT. From pino (to drink). This is a river, brook, or water. It can also be a riverbed flowing with heavy rain or melted snow (like an arroyo).

where we supposedF there was a place of prayer;G and we sat downH and spoke to the womenI who had gatheredJ there. 

Notes on verse 13b

F “supposed” = nomizo. 15x in NT. From nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); from nemo (to parcel out, assign). This is to practice, think, consider, suppose, hold by custom. This is thinking that something applies given precedent and practice – to do by law.
G “prayer” = proseuche. From proseuchomai (to pray or pray for, to worship or supplicate; more literally exchanging one’s own wishes for God’s); {from pros (advantageous for, at, toward) + euchomai (to wish, make a request, pray)}. This is prayer, worship, or a place where one prays.
H “sat down” = kathizo. From kathezomai (to sit down, be seated); {from kata (down, against, according to, among) + hezomai (to sit); {from aphedron (a seat, a base)}}. This is to sit, set, appoint, stay, rest.
I “women” = gune. Perhaps from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.
J “gathered” = sunerchomai. Related to “went” in v13. From sun (with, together with) + erchomai (see note C above). This is to go with, assemble, leave together with, cohabit.

14 A certain womanK named Lydia,L a worshiperM of God,N was listeningO to us;

Notes on verse 14a

K “named” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
L “Lydia” = Ludia. 2x in NT. From Ludos (the name Lydus); {from Ludia (a region); from ludia (beautiful, noble); Ludos (a king)} or from Hebrew Lod (Lod, a town). This is Lydia, meaning “from Lud” or “from Lydia” or “from the bender” or “from the almond tree.” See &
M “worshiper” = sebo. 10x in NT. This is to worship, revere, adore, be devout. Properly this is personally placing a high value on someone or something, showing respect.
N “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
O “listening” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.

she was from the cityP of ThyatiraQ and a dealer in purple cloth.R

Notes on verse 14b

P “city” = polis. This is a city or its inhabitants. It is a town of variable size, but one that has walls. This is where “metropolis” and “police” come from.
Q “Thyatira” = Thuateira. 4x in NT. From Lydian (“castle of Thya”); {from dya (a name)}. This is Thyatira. See
R “dealer in purple cloth” = porphuropolis. 1x in NT. From porphura (purple dye, cloth, or a garment from that cloth; ranged from violet to scarlet to blue; dye made from a snail; symbolized royalty, wealth, or power); {perhaps from phuro (to mix something dry with something wet)} + poleo (to barter or sell; the thing that is sold); {from pelomai (to be busy, trade)}}. This is someone who sells purple fabric.

The LordS openedT her heartU to listen eagerlyV to what was said by Paul.W 

Notes on verse 14c

S “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
T “opened” = dianoigo. 8x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + anoigo (to open or open up in a literal or figurative sense; to speak freely); {from ana (up, back, again, among, between, anew) + oigo (to open)}. This is to open fully. It can mean to open the womb as a firstborn does or figuratively to explain or expound.
U “heart” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.
V “listen eagerly” = prosecho. From pros (at, toward) + echo (have, hold, possess). This is have towards, which is to say to give something your complete attention, beware, be cautious, hold to, turn to.
W “Paul” = Paulos. From Latin Paulus (small, little). This is Paul or Paulos, meaning little.

15 When she and her householdX were baptized,Y she urgedZ us, saying, “If you have judgedAA me to be faithfulBB to the Lord,

Notes on verse 15a

X “household” = oikos. This is house – the building, the household, the family, descendants, the temple.
Y “baptized” = baptizo. From bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is to submerge, wash, or immerse. Used specially for baptism.
Z “urged” = parakaleo. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud) {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is to call to, summon, invite, request, or beg. It can also be exhort or admonish. Also, this can be encourage, comfort, or console. This word has legal overtones and is used of one’s advocate in a courtroom. It is the root of the name of the Holy Spirit “paraclete” is our advocate and comforter.
AA “judged” = krino. To judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue. This is judging whether it is done in court or in a private setting. Properly, it refers to mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty. It can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging.
BB “faithful” = pistos. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is faithful, trustworthy, reliable, sure, or true. It is a fullness of faith. This is the same root as the word “faith” in Greek.

comeCC and stayDD at my home.”EE And she prevailedFF upon us.

Notes on verse 15b

CC “come” = eiserchomai. Related to “went” and “gathered” in v13. From eis (to, into, for, among) + erchomai (see note C above). This is to go in in a literal or figurative sense.
DD “stay” = meno. This is to stay, remain, wait, await, continue, abide, endure. It can mean to literally stay in a place or to remain in a condition or to continue with hope and expectation.
EE “home” = oikos. Same as “household” in v15. See note X above.
FF “prevailed” = parabiazomai. 2x in NT. From para (by, beside) + biazo (to force, use power to seize); {from bia (strength, force, violence); or from bios (life, livelihood, goods, wealth)}. This is to urge, press, use powerful, persuasive words to accomplish a goal.

Image credit: “Site of Baptism of Lydia” in Philippi – Photo by Explorer1940, 2009.

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