Acts 9:35

Acts 9:35

And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron
Saron, which is here joined to Lydda, is the name of a fruitful country on the borders of the Mediterranean sea, between Joppa and Caesarea, beginning at Lydda. There were two countries in the land of Israel called Saron, as Jerom observes F14; there was one between Mount Tabor, and the lake of Tiberias; and there was another which reached from Caesarea of Palestine, to the town of Joppa; the former was inhabited by the Gadites, and was beyond Jordan, ( 1 Chronicles 5:16 ) the other was on this side Jordan, near Lydda. And this is what is here meant; and of which the same writer elsewhere says F15, the whole country by Joppa and Lydda is called Saron, in which are large and fruitful fields; and on ( Isaiah 65:10 ) which the Vulgate Latin renders, "and the plains shall be for folds of flocks", he observes, that "Sharon", in the Hebrew text, is put for plains or champaign country; and adds, all the country about Lydda, Joppa, and Jamnia, is fit to feed flocks: and agreeably to this, in Jewish writings, the calves of Sharon F16 are spoken of as the best; and the word is by the commentators of the Misna interpreted F17 by (rvym) "a plain", or champaign country; for this was not the name of a single town or city, but of a country, bordering on Lydda, and the above mentioned places; in which were several towns and villages, and the inhabitants of those that were nearest Lydda are here designed. It was such a fruitful and delightful country, that the Targum on ( Song of Solomon 2:1 ) has rendered it by the garden of Eden: it had its name either from (rwv) , "Shur", which signifies to behold afar off, from the fine and large prospect that might be taken on it; or from (rv) "Shar", which signifies the navel, because it was a valley or plain surrounded on every side with mountains and hills: it abounded in flowers and fruits; hence mention is made of the rose of Sharon, ( Song of Solomon 2:1 ) and in vines; hence we frequently read of the wine of Saron {r}, and which was so very good, that they mixed two parts of water with one of wine F19. It was a country, the Jews say F20, whose earth was not fit to make bricks of; and therefore houses made of them did not stand long, but needed repairing often in seven years: hence the high priest, on the day of atonement, used to pray for the Saronites, that their houses might not become their graves F21. Now when the inhabitants of this place, as well as of Lydda,

saw him;
that is, Aeneas, made whole, who had been ill of a palsy, and had kept his bed eight years, they were so impressed with it, that it issued in their conversion:

and turned to the Lord:
they believed in Christ, embraced his Gospel preached by Peter, professed faith in him, and submitted to his ordinances; being turned by powerful efficacious grace, they turned their feet to keep his testimonies.


FOOTNOTES:

F14 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 94. M.
F15 Comment. in Isa. xxxiii. 9.
F16 Misn. Bava Kama, c. 10. sect. 9.
F17 Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Bava Bathra, c. 6. sect. 2.
F18 Misn. Nidda, c. 2. sect. 7.
F19 T. Bab Sabbat, fol. 77. 1.
F20 Gloss. in T. Bab. Sota, fol. 43. 1.
F21 T. Hieros. Sota, fol. 23. 1. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 20. fol. 161. 4.
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