And we went before to ship
That is, Luke, the writer of this history, and the rest of the apostle's company, went before him to a ship, which lay at Troas, and went aboard it:
and sailed unto Assos;
a city of Aeolia, or Mysia; and is said by Pliny to be the same with Apollonia; and which he places on the sea shore, where it is evident this Assos was. His words are F13,
``on the shore Antandros, formerly called Edonis, then Cimmeris and Assos, the same with Apollonia.''And in another place F14 he calls it Assos of Troas; and says of it, that about Assos of Troas a stone grows, by which all bodies are consumed, and is called "sarcophagus", (a flesh devourer,) of which he also makes mention elsewhere F15, and observes, that in Assos of Troas the stone sarcophagus is cut in the pits, in which the bodies of the dead being put, are consumed within forty days, excepting their teeth: and with him Jerom F16 agrees, as to the name and situation of this place, who says that Assos is a maritime city of Asia, the same that is called Apollonia. It is represented by Strabo
F17 as a place very much fortified by art, and very difficult of ascent on that part which lies to the sea; unless another Assos in Lycia is designed by him: if this was the situation of the Assos in the text, it seems to furnish us with a reason, from the nature of the place, why the apostle chose to go on foot thither. Pausanias
F18 speaks of it as in Troas, and near Mount Ida. Sodamos of Assos in Troas, which lies near Ida, was the first of the Aeolians, who conquered in the Olympic race of the boys. In this place was born the famous philosopher Cleanthes, a disciple and successor of Zeno; hence he is called Cleanthes the Assian F19. No mention is made of the Gospel being preached here, or of any church until the eighth century, when John, bishop of Assos, is said to be in the Nicene council F20. Some exemplars read Thassos, as the Syriac and Arabic versions seem to have done:
there intending to take in Paul;
who stayed behind, willing to have a little more Christian conversation with the saints at Troas.
For so had he appointed;
that these should go before hand to Assos, and meet him there, and take him in:
minding himself to go afoot;
from Troas to Assos, which were not very far off from one another; hence Assos is, by Pliny, called Assos of Troas; and by Pausanias, Assos, which is in Troas; that is, in the country of Troas, as before observed: what was his reason for going by foot thither, is not very evident; whether that he might have the opportunity of conversing with the disciples of Troas, who might accompany him thither; or whether that he might be alone, and have leisure for private meditation, and free converse with God.
F13 Nat. Hist, l. 5. c. 30.
F14 Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 96.
F15 Ib. l. 36. c. 17.
F16 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 95. K.
F17 Geograph. l. 13.
F18 Eliac. 2. sive l. 6. p. 351.
F19 Laert. Vit. Philosoph. l. 7. p. 541.
F20 Magdeburg. Hist. Eccl. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 5.