Acts 17:1

When they had passed through (diodeusante). First aorist active participle of diodeuw, common verb in the Koin (Polybius, Plutarch, LXX, etc.), but in the N.T. only here and Luke 8:1 . It means literally to make one's way (odo) through (dia). They took the Egnatian Way, one of the great Roman roads from Byzantium to Dyrrachium (over 500 miles long) on the Adriatic Sea, opposite Brundisium and so an extension of the Appian Way. Amphipolis (thn Ampipolin). So called because the Strymon flowed almost around (ampi) it, the metropolis of Macedonia Prima, a free city, about 32 miles from Philippi, about three miles from the sea. Paul and Silas may have spent only a night here or longer. Apollonia (thn Apollwnian). Not the famous Apollonia in Illyria, but 32 miles from Amphipolis on the Egnatian Way. So here again a night was spent if no more. Why Paul hurried through these two large cities, if he did, we do not know. There are many gaps in Luke's narrative that we have no way of filling up. There may have been no synagogues for one thing. To Thessalonica (ei Tessalonikhn). There was a synagogue here in this great commercial city, still an important city called Saloniki, of 70,000 population. It was originally called Therma, at the head of the Thermaic Gulf. Cassander renamed it Thessalonica after his wife, the sister of Alexander the Great. It was the capital of the second of the four divisions of Macedonia and finally the capital of the whole province. It shared with Corinth and Ephesus the commerce of the Aegean. One synagogue shows that even in this commercial city the Jews were not very numerous. As a political centre it ranked with Antioch in Syria and Caesarea in Palestine. It was a strategic centre for the spread of the gospel as Paul later said for it sounded (echoed) forth from Thessalonica throughout Macedonia and Achaia ( 1 Thessalonians 1:8 ).