Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord
These two were women, and are said to be noble women of Iconium, whom the apostle converted there, and afterwards went to Rome the names are Greek F20, though they might be Jewish women, since Tryphon is the name of a man among the Jews. Trypho, the famous Jew, with whom Justin Martyr had his dialogue, is well known, and perhaps is the same with R. Tarphon, or Tryphon, so often mentioned in the Misnic and Talmudic writings: however, as these were women, their labour cannot be understood of their labouring in the word of the Lord, or in the public ministry of it, since this was forbid by the apostle, and therefore would never commend them on account of it; but of their great usefulness and indefatigableness, in serving the interest of their dear Lord with their purses; in relieving the poor of the church, in entertaining and supplying the ministers of the Gospel, as well as by their private instructions, exhortations, and giving an account of their own experience, whereby they might greatly encourage, edify, and strengthen young converts, and other Christians, as Priscilla with her husband did; and were unwearied in doing everything that they were capable of, in promoting the Gospel and kingdom of Christ:
salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord;
who being a woman also, and perhaps of Persic original, and might have her name from her country; her labour must be understood of the same kind with the former, only with this addition, that she abounded and exceeded in it; she is said by the Syriac scholiast to be the wife of Rufus, mentioned in ( Romans 16:13 ) .
F20 Vid. Gutherleth. Animadv. Philolog. in Inscript. Smyrn. p. 115