Acts 20:15

15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Chios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus.

Acts 20:15 in Other Translations

15 And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus.
15 And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after that we went to Miletus.
15 The next day we sailed past the island of Kios. The following day we crossed to the island of Samos, and a day later we arrived at Miletus.
15 The next day we put in opposite Chios, Samos a day later, and then Miletus.
15 Sailing from there, the next day we arrived off Chios. The following day we crossed over to Samos, and the day after, we came to Miletus.

Acts 20:15 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 20:15

And we sailed thence
From Mitylene:

and came the next day over against Chios;
which, according to R. Benjamin Tudelensis F2, was three days' sail from Mitylene; according to Pliny F3 it was sixty five miles from it, and is an island in the Icarian or Aegean sea, and lies between Lesbos and Samos, next mentioned; and has its name from the nymph Chione, so called from the exceeding whiteness of her skin, as snow: it was famous for marble; from hence came the best mastic, and good figs, and the wine called malmsey wine F4. And of this place Jerom says {e}, Chios, an island before Bithynia, whose name in the Syriac language signifies "mastic", because that mastic grows there; some add, he called it "Chia" from Chione the nymph: the reason of its name, as Pausanias F6 relates, was this; Neptune coming into a desert island, had carnal knowledge of a nymph, and in the time of her travail, a snow fell from heaven on the ground; and from this Neptune called his son Chius, from whom the island has its name. Others F7 conjecture, that it was called from (aywx) , "Chivja", which signifies a serpent; this island having been very much terrified, as Aelianus F8 says, by the hisses of a serpent of a monstrous size, until it was consumed by fire. It was common to sail from Mitylene hither, and "vice versa": so we read F9 of Herod seeking Agrippa, he came to Chios, and from thence to Mitylene. We read nothing of the apostle's stay and preaching here, nor of any Gospel church here, till ages after: in the "fourth" century, Heathenism prevailed to such a degree in it, that Dionysius Omadius was worshipped here with human sacrifice; and yet, in the fifth century, a bishop of Chios was present in the council of Chalcedon; and in the "sixth" century another assisted in the fifth Roman synod; and in the "seventh" century there was a bishop of this place at the sixth synod at Constantinople; and in the "eighth" century, Leon, bishop of Chios, was in the Nicene F11 synod. It is now called Chio or Scio, by the Turks Saches, and is inhabited by Italian Genoese.

And the next day we arrived at Samos;
another island in the Icarian sea, not a very fruitful one, unless for olives F12; and for nothing more famous than for being the birth place of Pythagoras F13, hence called the Samian, and of Melissus. It was ninety three miles distant from Chios F14; and, according to R. Benjamin, two days sail from it F15; but Paul sailed hither in a day. Of this place Jerom


F16 thus writes; Samos, an island in the Aegean sea, in which, it is reported, earthen vessels were first made. Herodotus F17 speaks of three things for which it was famous, a very high mountain in it, a bulwark about the haven in the sea, and a temple the largest of all he ever saw. Some say it has its name from the height of it, Samos signifying an high place. Pausanias F18, from Asius, a Samian, suggests, that it was so called from Samus, the son of Ancaeus and Samia; and observes, that the inhabitants of it affirm, that Juno was born here; and here was a famous temple, said to be dedicated to her by the Argonautes. One of the Sybils dwelt here, called from hence Samia, and Polycrates, a noted tyrant. Lycurgus, the famous lawgiver, died in this place, as did also Pherecydes, the Syrian {s}. It is now called Samo. The apostle stayed not here to preach the Gospel; nor do we read of its being preached here by any: idolatry greatly prevailed in this place in the "second" century; and so it did in the "fourth": though in the same we also read of some Christians here that suffered persecution; and so low as the "eighth" century, Heraclius, bishop of this place, was in the Nicene synod F20.

And tarried at Trogyllium;
which, according to Ptolomy F21, was a promontory in the Icarian sea: it was about forty furlongs distant from Samos, according to Strabo F23. It was a promontory of Mycale; and Trogilias, called also Trogilia, is mentioned with Mycale and Samos by Pliny F24, as near to Miletus. It follows here, and the next day we came to Miletus; which was once the chief city of Ionia: it was famous for being the birth place of Thales, one of the seven wise men of Greece, and of Timotheus the musician, and of Anaximander, and Anaximenes, and the famous Democritus, philosophers {y}, and of Cadmus, the first inventor of prose F26. Pliny says F1, it was formerly called Lelegeis, Pityusa, and Anactoria; and it seems it had its name Miletus from Miletus, the son of Apollo, who is said to build it F2; and Apollo himself is sometimes called Apollo Milesius, and who had a famous temple in this place F3. Though rather it was so called from (atlym) "Milata", or "Melote", which signifies pure, white, fine, soft wool, for which this place was famous; which was used for carpets, but chiefly for cloth, which being dyed purple, was sent into divers parts: "Melote" in Greek signifies the same; it is used in ( Hebrews 11:37 ) and translated "sheepskin". Ptolomy F4 places this city in Caria, by the sea; and certain it is from this account, that it was a sea port: it is said to have four ports or havens, one of which would hold a fleet. Of it Jerom F5 says; Miletus, a maritime city in Asia, distant ten furlongs from the mouth of the river Maeander: by the apostle's sending from hence to Ephesus, for the elders of the church there to meet him at this place, as is afterwards related, and taking no notice of any brethren, elders, or church here, it looks as if there were none at this time: and in the "second" century, Gentilism was embraced at Miletus; and in the "fourth" century Licinius consulted the oracle of Apollo Didymaeus in this place, concerning the event of the war against Constantine; but in the "fifth" century we read of a church here, a bishop of this place being in the Chalcedon council; in the "seventh" century a bishop of this church assisted at the sixth council at Constantinople, whose name is said to be George; and in the "eighth" century Epiphanius, bishop of Miletus, was present in the Nicene council F6.

F2 Itinerar. p. 29.
F3 Plin. l. 5. c. 31.
F4 Ib. l. 14. c. 7.
F5 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. A.
F6 Achaica, sive 1. 7. p. 404.
F7 Hiller. Onomasticum Sacrum, p. 787.
F8 De Animal. l. 16. c. 39.
F9 Joseph. Antiqu. l. 16. c. 2. sect. 2.
F11 Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 4. c. 15. p. 865. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 6.
F12 Apulei Florida, sect. 15.
F13 Solin. c. 21. Laert. Vit. Philosoph. l. 8. p. 568. l. 9. p. 643.
F14 Plin. l. 5. c. 31.
F15 Itinerar. p. 30.
F16 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. I.
F17 Thalia, l. 3. c. 60.
F18 Achaica, sive 1. 7. p. 402, 403.
F19 Heraclides de Politiis, p. 432, 444.
F20 Magdeburg. Hist. Eccl. cent. 2. c. 15. p. 193. cent. 4. c. 3. p. 19. c. 15. p. 865, 884. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 6.
F21 Geograph. l. 5. c. 2.
F23 Ib. l. 14.
F24 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 29, 31.
F25 Mela, l. 1. c. 17. Laert. Vit. Philosoph. l. 1. p. 15. l. 2. p. 88, 89. l. 9. p. 650.
F26 Plin. l. 5. c. 29. Solin. c. 53.
F1 Ib.
F2 Apollodorus de Orig. Deor. l. 3. p. 130.
F3 Alex. ab Alex. l. 6. c. 2.
F4 Geograph. l. 5. c. 2.
F5 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. F.
F6 Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 2. c. 15. p. 192. cent. 4. c. 15. p. 863. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 3. c. 10. p. 254. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 4.

Acts 20:15 In-Context

13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot.
14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene.
15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Chios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus.
16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.
17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.

Cross References 1

  • 1. ver 17; 2 Timothy 4:20