Acts 13:6

6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus,

Read Acts 13:6 Using Other Translations

And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus.
Afterward they traveled from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus.

What does Acts 13:6 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Acts 13:6

And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos
The Alexandrian copy, and the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions read, "the whole isle"; for through the midst of the whole island they must go, to go from Salarnis to Paphos; for Salamis was on the east, and Paphos on the west of the islands F17: it had its name from the Phoenician word, (twap tap) , "peathpaoth", "the corner of corners"; because both old and new Paphos were situated in the extreme part of the island; and not from Paphus, the son of Pygmalion, by any ivory statue which he had made, whom Venus, at his request, according to the fables of the Heathens, turned into a woman: some say F18, that Cinyras, a king of the Assyrians, coming into Cyprus, built Paphos; but Pausanias F19 affirms, that Agapenor, who came hither after the Trojan war, was the builder of this place, and also of the temple of Venus in it, for which it was famous F20; and in a certain area of which, Pliny F21 says it never rained; and from this place, Venus was called Paphia: according to Chrysostom, it was the metropolis of Cyprus; and it is indeed mentioned by Pliny {w}, first of the fifteen cities that were in it; and seems at this time to have been the seat of the Roman deputy Paulus Sergius, afterwards spoken of: concerning this place Jerom says F24,

``Paphus, a city on the sea coast, in the island of Cyprus, formerly famous for the sacred rites of Venus, and the verses of the poets; which fell by frequent earthquakes, and now only shows, by its ruins, what it formerly was:''

so Seneca F25 says, "quotiens in se Paphus corruit?", "how often has Paphus fell within itself?" that is, by earthquakes: the ruins of many goodly churches and buildings are to be seen in it; and the walls of a strong, and almost impregnable tower, situated upon a hill in the middle of the city, supposed to be the habitation of Sergius Paulus; there is also shown, under a certain church, a prison divided into seven rooms, where they say Paul and Barnabas were imprisoned, for preaching the Gospel; what remains of it, is now called Bapho: here

they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name
was Barjesus,
or the son of Jesus; Jesus was a name frequent among the Jews, and is the same with Joshua, and was in use long before our Saviour's time; there was Jesus the son of Sirach, the author of Ecclesiasticus, and who had a grandfather of the same name, the Syriac version here calls him "Barsuma", which some render "the son of a name"; that is, a man of note, a famous person, of great renown; others, "the son of a swelling", or "the son of ulcers"; he professing to be a physician, and to cure them, with which they make the name of Barjesus to agree, deriving it from a root, which signifies to heal: Jerom F26 pronounces this name Barieu, and observes, that some corruptly read it Barjesu; and he makes it to signify an evil man, or one in evil; and Drusius says, he found the name (barihou) , "Barjeou", in some papers of his; and a very learned man F1 of later years says, it is the same with Bar-Jehu, the son of Jehu; and affirms, that the Greek word is (barihouv) , "Barjeus", which others wrongly turn into "Bar-jesus"; the Magdeburgensian Centuriators call him, "Elymas Barjehu"; the reason Beda gives, why it should be so read, and not Bar-jesus, is because that a magician was unworthy to be called the son of Jesus, the Saviour, when he was a child of the devil; but the Greek copies agree in Barjesus; his name shows him to be a Jew, as he is here called: and he was one of those false prophets our Lord said should arise, and deceive many; he pretended to foretell things to come, and practised sorcery, and was given to magic arts.


F17 Ptolom. Geograph. l. 5. c. 14.
F18 Apollodorus de deorum orig. l. 3. p. 193.
F19 Arcadica, sive l. 8. p. 461.
F20 Philostrat. Vita Apollonii, l. 3. c. 16.
F21 Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 96.
F23 Ib. l. 5. c. 31.
F24 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. F. & Vita Hilarion, fol. 86. C.
F25 Ep. 91.
F26 De nominibus Hebraicis, fol 105. 1.
F1 Hileri Onomasticum Sacrum, p. 760.
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