And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa
Some say it was six miles distant, but it must be eight; since from Jerusalem to Joppa were forty miles, and from Jerusalem to Lydda thirty two, and therefore it must be eight miles from thence to Joppa:
and the disciples had heard that Peter was there;
and also no doubt that he had healed Aeneas of his palsy, and which might induce them to do as follows:
they sent unto him two men;
very likely of their own company or church; for it is certain here were disciples or believers in Christ, and very likely were formed into a church state; these seem to be converts under Philip's ministry, who when he went from Azotus, preached in all the cities, and so in Joppa, till he came to Caesarea, ( Acts 8:40 ) though we read nothing in ecclesiastical history of this church at Joppa, until the fifth century, when it appears there was a church in that place F14; and in the same century we read of Fidus bishop of Joppa, that was present in the synod held at Ephesus, anno 431 and in the sixth century of Elias bishop of the same place, in the council at Jerusalem, anno 536 F15 and in the same century a bishop of the church here assisted in the synod of Rome and Constantinople F16.
desiring him, that he would not delay to come to them;
they entreated he would not refuse to come, and think it too great a burden on him, or make any difficulty about it, or show any aversion to it; but that he would with all readiness and cheerfulness, and without delay immediately come unto them; for the case they wanted him for required speed and haste.
F14 Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 2.
F15 Reland. Palestina Illustrata, l. 3. p. 867.
F16 Magdeburg. ib. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 3.