And it came to pass, as Peter passed through all quarters,
&c.] The Arabic version reads, "all the foresaid places", as Judea, Galilee, and Samaria; through which he took a tour, in order to visit the new churches here planted, fix pastors over them, and confirm the Gospel by miracles, which they had received:
he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda:
a city which lay on the west of Jerusalem, and is said F21 to be a day's Journey from it; and a day's journey were ten parsas, or forty miles F23: it was but thirty two miles from Jerusalem, and was a place famous for Jewish doctors; for which reason it is frequently mentioned in the Talmudic writings, under the name of Lod or Lud. Mention is made of R. Simlai, who was of Lydda F24, and of the chambers of Beth Nithzah, and of Arum in Lydda F25 where the doctors disputed; there was a school here, of which R. Akiba was president F26 here also the sanhedrim sometimes sat, since we are told that Ben Sutda was tried and stoned at Lud or Lydda F1; and here likewise they intercalated the year F2, it being in Judea: this place was situated in a plain; so says Jerom F3,
``they that dwell in Sephela, that is, in the plain, Lydda and Emmaus, which design Diospolls and Nicopolis, shall possess the Philistines.''And with this agrees the account the Talmudists F4 give of it,
``the country of Judea was divided into three parts, the hill country, the plain, and the valley; from Bethhoron to Emmaus was the hill country; from Emmaus to Lydda was the plain or champaign country; and from Lydda to the sea, the valley.''Hence also we read F5 of (dwl tlpv) , "the plain of Lydda": and now Peter coming from Jerusalem, and the hill country of Judea, into this plain and champaign country, is properly said to come down to the saints there. So Quadratus in Josephus F6 is said to come up from Lydda to Jerusalem. This place was near the Mediterranean sea; and was in Jerom's time called Diospolis F7, and in the time of R. Benjamin F8 Seguras; it is the same with Lod in ( Ezra 2:33 ) ( Nehemiah 7:37 ) The builder of it was Shamed the son of Elpaal, ( 1 Chronicles 8:12 ) . It was in the times of Josephus F9 a village, yet not inferior to a city for greatness. It is now called S. Georgia. And here it seems some saints or Christians dwelt, whom Peter, among the rest, visited; and which is mentioned for the sake of the miracle he there wrought, next related. And these saints at Lydda very likely were converted under Philip's ministry, as he passed from Azotus to Caesarea, ( Acts 8:40 ) and, it may be, were in a church state, or, however, were afterwards. Zenas the lawyer, the Apostle Paul speaks of in ( Titus 3:13 ) is said to be bishop of Diospolis, or Lydda; in the beginning of the fourth century Aetius was bishop of this place, who assisted in the council of Nice; and in the same century, anno 331, Dionysius, another bishop of this place, was present at a council at Constantinople; and in the fifth century Photinus wrote himself bishop of Lydda, in the Chalcedon council, anno 451 F11.
F21 Misn. Maasersheni, c. 5. sect. 2. T. Bab. Betza, fol. 5. 1. & Roshhashana, fol. 31. 2. & Juchasin, fol. 37. 1.
F23 T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 93. 2. & Gloss. in ib.
F24 Juchasin, fol. 105. 1.
F25 T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 40. 2. T. Hieros. Pesachim, fol. 30. 2.
F26 Misn. Roshhashana, c. 1. sect. 6.
F1 T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 25. 4.
F2 Ib. fol. 18. 3.
F3 In Obad. 1. 19.
F4 T. Hicros. Sheviith, fol. 38. 4.
F5 Misn. Sheviith, c. 9. sect. 2.
F6 De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 12. sect. 8.
F7 Epitaph. Paulae, fol. 59. A.
F8 ltinerar. p. 52.
F9 Antiqu. l. 20. c. 5. sect. 2.
F11 Reland. Palestina Illustrata, 1. 3. p. 878, 879. Vid. Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 2. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 2.