But when they departed from Perga
Where they seemed not to make any long stay; nor is there any account of what they did there; though it is certain here was a church of Christ in after times, and very likely planted by the apostles; for after this Paul and Barnabas preached the word in this place, ( Acts 14:25 ) and no doubt with success. In the third century there were martyrs of this church at Perga, which suffered under the Emperor Decius; and in the, fourth century, we read of a famous church in this place, over which Jovinian was bishop or pastor; and in the "fifth" century there was a church here, whose bishop is mentioned in the catalogue of bishops who assisted in the first council at Ephesus; and, in the same century, the church of this place was the metropolitan church of Pamphilia; and, in the "sixth" century, one Epiphanius was bishop of Perga; and, in the "seventh" century, it is spoken of as the metropolitan of Pamphilia; and, in the "eighth" century, we read of Sisinnius as bishop of it F9; so far down can we trace Christianity in this city.
They came to Antioch in Pisidia;
so called to distinguish it from Antioch of Syria, from whence they were sent, ( Acts 13:1-3 ) and so this place is called Antioch of Pisidia by Ptolomy F11; and also from another Antioch in Mygdania, before called Nisibis, as Pliny
``Afterward departed he in all haste, and returned unto Antiochia, where he found Philip to be master of the city: so he fought against him, and took the city by force.'' (1 Maccabees 6:63)
``Heard that Philip, who was left over the affairs in Antioch, was desperately bent, confounded, intreated the Jews, submitted himself, and sware to all equal conditions, agreed with them, and offered sacrifice, honoured the temple, and dealt kindly with the place,'' (2 Maccabees 13:23)
concerning which Josephus F13 has these words; Nisibis is the name of the country, and in it formerly the Macedonians built Antioch, which they called Mygdonia. Pisidia was a province of Asia; it had Pamphilia on the north, Lycaonia on the east, and Phrygia Pacatiana on the west; and it is mentioned together with Phrygia, Lycaonia, and Pamphilia by Pliny F14: and this Antioch in it, is, by the same writer, called Caesarea F15: his words are, the Pisidians have their seat upon the top (of the valley) formerly called Solymi, whose colony is Caesarea, the same with Antioch. This is the Antioch to which Paul and Barnabas came, when they went from Perga, where were many Jews, and who had a synagogue in it: we read before, in ( Acts 2:9 Acts 2:10 ) of devout Jews that came to Jerusalem, whose native places were Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphilia, to which Pisidia was near: wherefore it follows, and
the synagogue on the sabbath day;
for though the ceremonial law was abrogated by the death of Christ, it still was observed by the Jews, who had their synagogues open on that day for religious service; wherefore Paul and Barnabas took the opportunity of going in when they were assembled together, in order to preach Christ to them, not having a convenient time on other days:
on one of the seats in the synagogue; either as hearers of the law and prophets, which were read every sabbath day in the synagogues; or else to teach the word, expound the Scriptures, and preach the Gospel of Christ, it being usual to sit when this was done; (See Gill on Matthew 5:1) and both were true, for they heard a part of the law and prophets read, according to the custom of the Jews; see the following verse, and ( Acts 15:21 ) and they also gave a word of exhortation to the people.
F9 Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 3. c. 2. p. 2. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 3, 418. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 7. p. 3, 112, cent. 8. c. 2. p. 4.
F11 L. 5. c. 4.
F12 Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 13.
F13 Antiqu. l. 20. c. 3. sect. 3.
F14 Antiqu. l. 5. c. 32. & l. 6. c. 34. & Solin Polyhistor. c. 53. & 57.
F15 Plin. ib. l. 5. c. 27.