Paul's Missionary Journeys

Mission in Philippi

Acts 16:12-40

From there we traveled to Philippi... Acts 16:12




City: "The ancient name was Crenides, or "Springs" ("Little Fountains"). Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, gave his name to each one of the Springs and hence the name Philippi (plural) for the town. The city occupied a strategic position on a hill, between the rivers Strymon and Nestus, which commanded a view of the plain of Druma with the river Gangites or Angites and overlooked also the mountain pass between Pangaeus and Haemus. It is nine miles from its seaport, Neapolis (the modern Kavalla)...
With the battle of Pydna in 168 B.C. Macedonia became Roman and in 146 B.C. a Roman province... In the autumn of 42 B.C. Cassius and Brutus successively met defeat here (twenty days apart) at the hands of Octavius and Antony... marked the end of the Roman republic...Octavious...made it a military colony... The city was thus a colony with many privilges, immunity from taxation being the chief one. The people also had the right to own and sell property like other Roman citizens, and the right of civil action. The mother city was copied closely and the colony was in reality 'a miniature Rome,' even in form and appearance." (Robertson)

Summary: On the Sabbath Paul and Silas go outside the city gates to the river where they meet some of the prominant women of the city. One of these women is Lydia, who is a believer in God. After hearing Paul's message the Lord opened her heart and she believed. She and her household were all baptized and then she persuades them to stay with her.
While in Philippi, Paul and Silas encounter a slave girl who had a spirit that predicted the future. She was able to make a great deal of money for her owners by telling peoples fortunes. For many days she followed them around shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." Finally Paul became so troubled that he exorcised the demon from her. When the girls owners saw that their profit making scheme was destroyed they seized Paul and Silas and had them flogged and thrown in prison.
At about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns when a violent earthquake shook the prison so that it's very foundations were shaken, and the doors to the cells were thrown open. Upon seeing this the jailer drew his sword and was about to kill himself since he thought all the prisoners had escaped. Paul cried out to him not to hurt himself and reassured him that everyone was still present. The jailer immediately asks what he must do to be saved, then he and his household are baptized. Upon finding out that they are Roman citizens, Paul and Silas are immediately requested to leave the city.


Paul's prison at Philippi. Paul bore the scars
of the flogging which he received at Philippi for
the rest of his life. (Brownrigg:332)

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