Where we found brethren
Christians; which is not to be wondered at, since it was a port much frequented, and where many came and went, of different countries and nations; particularly there were many Jews here, to whom the Gospel was first preached, and to some of them it was the power of God unto salvation in many places, and doubtless was so here: Josephus F3 speaks of Jews in this place, who were deceived by a false Alexander, who pretended to be the son of Herod, a prince of their nation. Patrobulus, the same with Patrobas in ( Romans 16:14 ) ; who is reckoned one of the seventy disciples, is said to be bishop of this place; (See Gill on Luke 10:1); though we have no account of its church state until the "fifth" century, when a bishop of the church at Puteoli is said to be in the council held at Ephesus against Eutyches, and sustained the place of Leo, pope of Rome: in the "sixth" century, a bishop of this church was in a council held at Rome, under Symmachus: in the seventh century, the bishop of Puteoli was in the sixth council at Constantinople F4:
and were desired to tarry with them seven days;
that is, the Christians at Puteoli desired the apostle, and those that were with him, to stay a week with them, that they might have the advantage of a day of public worship together, and might enjoy much of their Christian conversation; and accordingly they did stay that time, no doubt by the leave, and with the consent of Julius the centurion; and which shows, that he used the apostle with great civility and courteousness, and was very ready to grant him favours; if he was not in this voyage converted by him, which is not unlikely, considering the whole of his conduct:
and so we went toward Rome;
after they had stayed seven days at Puteoli, they set forward on their journey to Rome; for from hence they went thither on foot, though they might have gone from hence to Rome by sea, as Apollonius Tyaneus did; (See Gill on Acts 28:13); and so likewise Titus the son of Vespasian, who went from Rhegium to Puteoli in a merchant ship, and from thence to Rome F5; but it may be the ship unloaded here, and there was no other going for Rome at that time: Rome was the metropolis of Italy, the seat of the empire, and mistress of the whole world; it is so well known, as not to need describing: it was built on seven hills, and had its name either from Romulus the founder of it; or from the Greek word (rwmh) , which signifies "strength" F6, from whence Romulus is supposed to have his name; with the Hebrews it has its name from its sublimity, height, and glory, from the word (Mwr) , which signifies to be high and exalted: some say it had its name from Roma, a daughter of Italus, who first laid the foundation of it, though Romulus and Remus brought it into the form of a city; it was built seven hundred and fifty years, and upwards, before the birth of Christ. The Jews make it to be of an earlier date; they say F7, that at the time Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter, Gabriel descended and fixed a reed in the sea, and brought up clay, and with it was built the great city, which is Rome; and in another place F8 it is said, in the day in which Jeroboam set up the two calves, one at Dan, and the other at Bethel, was built a certain cottage, which is Italy of Greece, that is, Rome; for it is elsewhere observed F9, Italy of Greece, this is the great city of Rome; and again F11, on the day in which Jeroboam set up the two calves, Remus and Romulus came and built two cottages in Rome.
F3 Antiqu. l. 17. c. 14. sect. 1.
F4 Magdeburg. Eccl. Hist. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 7. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 8. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 5.
F5 Sueton. Vita Titi, c. 5.
F6 Aur. Victor. Origo Gent. Rom. p. 233.
F7 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 21. 2.
F8 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 56. 2.
F9 T. Bab. Megilia, fol. 6. 1.
F11 T. Hicros. Avoda Zara, fol. 39. 3. Vid. Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 6. 2.