Acts 17:1-7

Acts 17:1-7
A Women’s Lectionary – Proper 11


After Paul and Silas had passed throughA AmphipolisB and Apollonia,C they cameD to Thessalonica,E

Notes on verse 1a

A “passed through” = diodeuo. 2x in NT. From dia (through, for the sake of, across, thoroughly) + hodeuo (to travel or journey); {from hodos (way, road, path, journey)}. This is to travel through, go around, go on.
B “Amphipolis” = Amphipolis. 1x in NT. From the same as amphoteroi (both, all); {from ampho (around, both sides)} + polis (a city or its inhabitants; is a town of variable size, but one that has walls); probably from the same as polemos (war, quarrel, strife; battle, whether one time or on-going); {from pelomai (to bustle) or from polus (much, many, abundant)}. This is Amphipolis, a Macedonian city, which means “surrounded city” or “encircled city” as there is a river around it. See
C “Apollonia” = Apollonia. 1x in NT. From Apollon (the Greek god Apollo, who was god of “light, music, medicine, poetry, prophecy, dance, manly beauty”); possibly from Pre-Greek (to drive away) OR from Greek apollumi (to destroy) OR apolouon (washing) OR apoluon (delivering) OR haploun (simple) OR aeiballon (always shooting) OR a (not) + polus (parts). This is Apollonia. See
D “came” = erchomai. This is to come or go.
E “Thessalonica” = Thessalonike. 5x in NT. Perhaps from thessalos (Thessalian); {from thessalia (Thessaly); from thessalos (Thessalus)} + nike (victory, conquest; figurative for what makes one successful)}. This is Thessalonica, a Macedonian city. Philip II named his daughter Thessalonica when he conquered Thessaly. Later, her husband renamed the city after her. The exact meaning of Thessaly is not known. See

where there wasF a JewishG synagogue.H And PaulI went in,J as was his custom,K

Notes on verses 1b-2a

F “was” = eimi. This is to be or exist.
G “Jewish” = Ioudaios. From Ioudas (Judah, Judas); from Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Jewish, a Jew, or Judea.
H “synagogue” = sunagoge. From sun (with, together with, closely associated) + ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, go, drive). Literally, this is a bringing together, a place of assembly. The term can be used for the people or for the place where they assemble. It is also sometimes used of Christian churches in the New Testament. So, this is synagogue, assembly, congregation, or church. This is where the word “synagogue” comes from.
I “Paul” = Paulos. From Latin Paulus (small, little). This is Paul or Paulos, meaning little.
J “went in” = eiserchomai. Related to “came” in v1. From eis (to, into, for, among) + erchomai (see note D above). This is to go in in a literal or figurative sense.
K “custom” = etho. 4x in NT– 1x of Pilate’s custom of releasing a prisoner for the crowd, 1x of Jesus’s custom of teaching the crowds, 2x of the custom of going to the synagogue. This is a custom, what is customary – doing something habitually.

and on threeL Sabbath daysM arguedN with them from the scriptures,O 

Notes on verse 2b

L “three” = treis. This is three or three times.
M “Sabbath days” = 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.
N “argued” = dialegomai. 13x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. This is to discuss, preach, reason, argue, address, lecture.
O “scriptures” = graphe. From grapho (to write). This is literally writing, a document. In the New Testament, this is always used for scripture.

explainingP and provingQ that it was necessaryR for the MessiahS to sufferT

Notes on verse 3a

P “explaining” = 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.
Q “proving” = paratithemi. 19x in NT. From para (by, beside, in the presence of) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position). This is properly, to set beside or place before. So, it can mean to set or serve a meal, to deposit something with someone, to set forth an argument. It can also mean to entrust, commend, or tell a parable (as setting forth information).
R “was necessary” = dei. From deo (to tie, bind, compel; declare unlawful). This is what is necessary or proper. It is what is needed or what one should do – a duty or something inevitable. This refers to something absolutely necessary.
S “Messiah” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
T “suffer” = pascho. Akin to penthos (mourning, sorrow). This is to be acted on for good or ill. It is often used for negative treatment. Properly, it means feeling strong emotions – especially suffering. It can also be the ability to feel suffering.

and to riseU from the deadV and saying, “This is the Messiah, JesusW whom I am proclaimingX to you.” 

Notes on verse 3b

U “rise” = anistemi. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + histemi (to make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand by, stand still, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is to raise up, rise, appear. It is to stand up literally or figuratively. Can also mean to resurrect.
V “dead” = nekros. Perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead or lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.
W “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
X “proclaiming” = kataggello. Related to “synagogue” in v1. 18x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, throughout, among, daily) + aggello (to announce, report) {from aggelos (angel, messenger – supernatural or human envoy of God); probably from ago (see note H above)}. This is to proclaim openly and confidently a very specific message. It can also be celebrate, preach, or teach.

Some of them were persuadedY and joinedZ Paul and Silas,AA as did a greatBB manyCC

Notes on verse 4a

Y “were persuaded” = peitho. This is to have confidence, to urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust. It is the root from which the Greek word for faith is drawn (pistis).
Z “joined” = proskleroo. 1x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with, among) + kleroo (to assign a share, give an inheritance, allot); {from kleros (lot, portion, heritage; that share assigned to you; also a lot used to determine something by fate, chance, or divine will); probably from klao (to break in pieces as one breaks bread)}. This is to allot, join, associate with.
AA “Silas” = Silas. 13x in NT. From Aramaic She’ila (Silas; related to “Saul,” meaning “asked of the Lord”); {from shaal (to ask, borrow); related to Hebrew shaal (to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request; can also mean demand)} OR from Silouanos (Silvanus, meaning either “asked of the Lord” or “forest”); {from Latin Silvanus (Silvanus, god of forests, sylvan); {from silva (forest, grove); from Proto-Indo-European *sel- or *swell- (board, threshold)}. This is Silas, either a form of Saul, meaning “asked of the Lord,” or of Silvanus, meaning “forest.” See &
BB “great” = polus. Related to “Amphipolis” in v1. See note C above.
CC “many” = plethos. From pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is fullness, multitude, great number.

of the devoutDD GreeksEE and not a fewFF of the leadingGG women.HH 

Notes on verse 4b

DD “devout” = 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.
EE “Greeks” = Hellen. From Hellas (Hellas, what Greeks called themselves); perhaps from helane (torch) OR from selene (moon). This is Greek, but was used for Gentiles, broader populations that spoke Greek and were a part of Greek culture regardless of their heritage. See
FF “few” = oligos. This is few or small – it can be a short time or extent, low light, amount, or worth.
GG “leading” = protos. From pro (before, first, in front of, earlier). This is what is first, which could be the most important, the first in order, the main one, the chief.
HH “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.

But the Jews became jealous,II and with the helpJJ of some ruffians in the marketplacesKK

Notes on verse 5a

II “became jealous” = zeloo. 12x in NT. From zelos (eagaerness or zeal on the one hand or rivalry and jealousy on the other; burning anger or burning love) perhaps from from zeo (to boil, be hot, ferment, bubble, boil, or glow; used figuratively for being fervent or earnest). This is jealous, eager for, burning with zeal, deeply committed, envy.
JJ “with the help” = proslambano. 12x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + lambano (active acceptance/taking of what is available or what has been offered; emphasizes the choice and action of the individual). This is to take aside, accept, receive, or welcome. It can be to take in a friendly or hospitable sense or to eat (i.e. take food).
KK “ruffians in the marketplaces” = agoraios + aner + tis + poneros. Agoraios is 2x in NT. From agora (assembly, forum, marketplace, town square, thoroughfare); {from ageiro (to gather)}. This is related to the marketplace. So, it could be a ruffian or someone who loiters in the marketplace. It could also be related to the courts. Aner is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual. Poneros is from poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.

they formed a mobLL and set the cityMM in an uproar.NN While they were searchingOO for Paul and Silas to bring them outPP

Notes on verse 5b

LL “formed a mob” = ochlopoieo. 1x in NT. From ochlos (a crowd, the common people, a rabble; figuratively, a riot); {perhaps from echo (to have, hold, possess)} + poieo (to make, do, construct, cause). This is to make a crowd or mob. It can also refer to a riot.
MM “city” = polis. Related to “Amphipolis” in v1. See note B above.
NN “set…in an uproar” = thorubeo. 5x in NT. From thorubos (an uproar, noise, outcry, riot, disturbance, trouble; figuratively, a very emotional wailing or hysteria; a commotion that leads to panic or terror); from the same as thoreo (to be troubled, agitated, alarmed, be unsettled, be frightened); from throos (clamor, noise) or from threomai (to wail). This is to disturb, agitate, cause tumult, trouble, create panic.
OO “searching” = zeteo. This is to seek, search for, desire. It is searching for something by inquiring or investigation. It can be seek in a literal or figurative sense. There is a Hebrew figure of speech “to seek God’s face” so it can also mean to worship God. Alternately, you could seek someone’s life i.e. plot to kill them.
PP “bring…out” = proago. Related to “synagogue” in v1 & “proclaiming” in v3. From pro (before, first, in front of, earlier) + ago (see note H above). This is to lead, go before, bring forward, walk ahead. It can be before in location or in time.

to the assembly,QQ they attackedRR Jason’sSS house.TT 

Notes on verse 5c

QQ “assembly” = demos. Related to “was necessary” in v3. 4x in NT. From deo (see note R above). This is district, multitude, rabble, assembly. It refers to Greeks bound by similar laws or customs.
RR “attacked” = ephistemi. Related to “rise” in v3. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + histemi (see note U above). This is to stand upon, happen, be present. Usually, it is used in a literal sense.
SS “Jason’s” = Iason. Perhaps related to “Jesus” in v3. 5x in NT. Perhaps from iamoai (to heal, particularly from a physical illness, or a spiritual difficulty; to cure or make whole in a literal or figurative sense) OR from Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note W above)} + yasha (see note W above). This is Jason, perhaps meaning “about to cure” or “healer” or “he will heal” or “the Lord will save” or “the Lord saves.” See    
TT “house” = oikia. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple). This is a house, household, goods, property, family, or means.

When they could not findUU them, they draggedVV Jason and some brothersWW and sisters before the city authorities,XX

Notes on verse 6a

UU “find” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.
VV “dragged” = suro. 5x in NT. Perhaps from haireomai (to take, choose, or prefer); perhaps related to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is to drag, sweep away.
WW “brothers” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
XX “city authorities” = politarches. Related to “Amphipolis” in v1 & “city” in v5. 2x in NT – both in this passage. From polis (see note B above) + archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is a city magistrate, ruler, or officer.

shouting,YY “These people who have been turning the worldZZ upside downAAA have comeBBB here also, 

Notes on verse 6b

YY “shouting” = boao. 12x in NT. From boe (a cry or shout). This is cry out, make a distress call, ask for desperately need assistance.
ZZ “world” = oikoumene. Related to “house” in v5. 15x in NT. From oikeo (to settle or be established somewhere in a permanent way, to make a home or live at home); from oikos (see note TT above). This is the world – the part where people live. It was used specifically for the Roman world. It is the root of the word “ecumenic.”
AAA “turning…upside down” = anastatoo. Related to “rise” in v3 & “attacked” in v5. 3x in NT. From anastatos (forced from home) OR from anistemi (see note U above). This is to stir up (as a rebellion). It can also be to turn upside down, unsettle, cause an uproar or confusion.
BBB “come” = pareimi. Related to “was” in v1. From para (from beside, by, in the presence of) + eimi (see note F above). This is to be near, to be there, to come.

and Jason has entertainedCCC them as guests. They are allDDD actingEEE contrary to the decreesFFF

Notes on verse 7a

CCC “entertained” = hupodechomai. 4x in NT– including Martha and Zacchaeus welcoming Jesus into their homes in Luke 10:38 & Luke 19:6. From hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense).  This is to welcome someone as a guest, to entertain them, to have someone in your personal care.
DDD “all” = pas. This is all or every.
EEE “acting” = prasso. This is to do or practice – something done on an on-going basis or by habit. It can also mean to accomplish, attend, or commit.
FFF “decrees” = dogma. 5x in NT. From dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); {from dokos (opinion). This is opinion, ordinance, or decree. It could be civil or religious. It is where the word “dogma” comes from.

of the emperor,GGG sayingHHH that there is anotherIII kingJJJ named Jesus.”

Notes on verse 7b

GGG “emperor” = Kaisar. From Latin (Caesar); perhaps from Punic caesai (elephant) OR from Latin a cesiis oculis (because of the blue eyes) OR from Latin a caesarie (because of the hair) OR from Latin a caeso matris utero (born by Caesarean section) OR from Latin caedo (to cut). This is Caesar, at first a last name, then taken as a title by Roman emperors. See
HHH “saying” = lego. Related to “argued” in v2. See note N above.
III “another” = heteros. This is other, another, different, strange. It is another of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word allos, which is another of the same kind. This could be a different quality, type, or group.
JJJ “king” = basileus. Probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is king, emperor, or sovereign.

Image credit: “Paul Confronts a Fortune Teller” by Boettcher+Trinkeln TV Inc.

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