And they went out of the prison
In a public manner, with great honour and reputation, at the request of the magistrates that put them there:
and entered into [the house] of Lydia;
whom Paul had baptized, ( Acts 16:14 Acts 16:15 ) . The word "house" is rightly supplied, for the sense is not, that they went into the country of Lydia, as some have been tempted to think; but they went to the woman Lydia, whose heart the Lord had opened, and was become a disciple and follower of Christ; they went to her house it being in the city of Philippi, where she now abode,
and when they had seen the brethren:
the men of Lydia's house, her servants, who were converted, and had been baptized with her, and are therefore called brethren; and whomsoever else they might have been instrumental in the conversion of, who might meet them in Lydia's house: in Beza's above mentioned copy, it is here added, "they declared what the Lord had done for them"; they related the earthquake and the effects of it, and how they had been useful for the conversion of the jailer and his family, who had been baptized by them, and by what means they were released from prison; all which they ascribe to the Lord, who has all power, and the hearts of all in his hands: and thus,
they comforted them;
with what God had done for them, or exhorted them: to cleave to the Lord, to continue in the faith, and abide by the truths and ordinances of the Gospel:
that is, out of the city of Philippi; this is wanting in the Syriac and Arabic versions here, but is placed in the beginning of the next chapter: and now these two families, Lydia's and the jailer's, laid the foundation of a Gospel church in this city of Philippi, and which continued for ages after; Erastus, of whom mention is made in ( Acts 19:22 ) is said to be bishop of this church, and it may be also Epaphroditus, for there were more bishops than one in this church in the apostle's time, ( Philippians 1:1 ) ( 2:25 ) ( 4:18 ) , in the "second" century there was a church, to which Ignatius and Polycarp are said to send epistles; and there are epistles to the Philippians which go under their names, that are still extant: in the "third" century, Tertullian F15, among other churches, makes mention of the church at Philippi, as sound in the faith; and in the "fourth" and "fifth" centuries we read of a church in this place; in the "seventh" century, when it went by the name of Chrysopolis, there was a church in it, and a bishop of it, who was present at the sixth council in Constantinople; there were Christians dwelling here in the "ninth" century F16.
F15 De praescript. Heret. c. 36.
F16 Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 6. & cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 3, 5. cent. 9. c. 2. p. 4.