They were ware of it
They understood it, were apprised of it, and well weighed it, and considered it in their minds, and what was best to be done at this juncture:
and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia;
according to the orders and command of Christ, ( Matthew 10:23 ) not so much to save their lives, as to spread the Gospel in other parts. Lycaonia was a province in the lesser Asia, near Phrygia, separated from it by the mountains; on the east it bordered on Galatia, and had on the west Pamphylia and Pisidia, and on the south Cilicia, unto Mount Taurus. Some say it had its name from Lycaon, the son of Pelasgus; others, seeing it was not a Greek colony, chose to fetch the name of the country from the Syrians, who used to call their neighbour's country Leikonia, or in the Greek pronunciation Lycaonia; that is, the country of Iconium, which city was the metropolis of Lycaonia F9: Lystra is by Ptolomy F11 placed in Isauria, and so Derbe is said by Strabo F12 to be upon the coast of Isauria; wherefore the words may be read thus, as they are in the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, "and they fled to the cities of Lycaonia, and to Lystra, and to Derbe"; by which reading, they are not necessarily made the cities of Lycaoma: according to Jerom F13, they were both cities of Lycaonia. Lystra is the same with (hrtvel) , "Lehesthera"; which, in the Hebrew and Syriac languages, signifies "a flock of sheep", or "a city of flocks"; it being a place that abounded with sheep, as the country of Lycaonia in general did F14. Derbe was sometimes called "Delbia", which, in the language of the Lycaonians, signifies a "juniper tree"; and Delub, and Dulbe, with the Targumist F15 and Talmudists F16, signify a chesnut tree; and with the Arabians, "Dulb" is a plane tree, or poplar; it seems as if it had its name from one or other of those trees, which might grow in large quantities near it:
and unto the region that lieth round about;
the said cities.
F9 Vid. Hiller. Onomasticum Sacrum, p. 870.
F11 Geograph. l. 5. c. 4.
F12 Ib. l. 12.
F13 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. A. D.
F14 Vid. Hiller. ib. p. 870, 871.
F15 Targum Onkelos in Gen. xxx. 37.
F16 T. Hieros. Cetubot, fol. 31. 4. T. Bab. Roshhashana, fol. 23. 1. & Succa, fol. 32. 2.