But Elymas the sorcerer, for so is his name by interpretation,
&c.] Not that Magus a sorcerer is by interpretation Elymas; as if Luke was interpreting the Persic word "Magus", which is sometimes used in a good sense, for a wise man, as in ( Matthew 2:1 ) by an Arabic word "Elim", which signifies knowing; but "Elymas" is the interpretation of his name "Bar-jesus"; which as that signifies the son of salvation, or of healing, so this, as De Dieu observes, may be derived from (Mlx) , "Chalam", which signifies "to heal", or to be sound and in health. Junius thinks the name comes from the Arabic word (Mala) , which signifies "to mutter", as wizards and sorcerers, and such sort of men used to do; and though he rejects the opinion of Tremellius, taking it for an Hebrew name, and to be the same with (Uemyla) "Elimaatz", which signifies "divine counsel"; yet this, or what is near to it, is embraced by a late learned man F13 who observes, that Elymas is in Hebrew, (Uemla) , "Elmahatz"; the interpretation of which is, God's counsel, or the counsel of God; the name of a man, Maaz, is read in ( 1 Chronicles 2:27 ) and that it is the same with Elymoteros, as Olympas is the same with Olympiodorus; and he further observes, that Barjeus, as Jerom or Origen say it was anciently read, and not Bar-jesus, is the same with (Uwey rb) , "Barjeutz", or Barjeus, the "son of counsel", and so agrees with Elymas: now he
Saul and Barnabas, just as Jannes and Jambres, the magicians of Egypt, withstood Moses: he did all he could to prevent their coming into the governor's house, and them from preaching to him, and him from hearing of them; and especially from giving heed to, and embracing the doctrines preached by them; which he opposed and argued against, with all the cunning and sophistry he was master of:
seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith;
the doctrine of faith, from hearing and receiving it; and when he had received it, he endeavoured to set him against it, and cause him to deny and reject it with abhorrence; the Ethiopic version calls him "the king", as in the former verse "the prince".
F13 Hilleri Onomasticum Sacrum, p. 803.