Acts 28:15

When they heard of us (akousante ta peri hmwn). How "they heard the things concerning us" we do not know. Good news had its way of travel even before the days of telegraph, telephone, daily papers. Possibly Julius had to send on special couriers with news of his arrival after the shipwreck. Possibly some of the brethren in Puteoli at once (beginning of the week) sent on news to the brethren in Rome. The church in Rome had long ago received Paul's letter from Corinth at the hands of Phoebe. To meet us (ei apanthsin hmin). Idiomatic phrase, "for meeting with us" (associative instrumental case). Koin word apanthsi from verb apantaw, to meet, in N.T. only here; Matthew 25:6 ; 1Ti 4:17. Use after ei rather than infinitive like a translation Hebraism (Robertson, Grammar, p. 91). As far as the Market of Appius (acri Appiou Porou). The Forum of Appius, 90 miles from Puteoli, 40 from Rome, on the great Appian Way. The Censor Appius Claudius had constructed this part of the road, B.C. 312. Paul probably struck the Appian Way at Capua. Portions of this great stone highway are still in use. If one wishes to tread where Paul trod, he can do it here. Appii Forum had a bad reputation, the haunt of thieves, thugs, and swindlers. What would this motley crowd think of Paul chained to a soldier? Three Taverns (Triwn Tabernwn). Genitive case after acri like Appiou Porou. About 30 miles from Rome. Tres Tabernae. Whom (ou). Two groups of the disciples came (one Gentile, one Jewish, Rackham thinks), one to Appii Forum, the other to Three Taverns. It was a joyous time and Julius would not interfere. Took courage (elabe qarso). The old substantive qarso is here alone in the N.T. Jesus himself had exhorted Paul to be of good courage (qarsei Acts 23:11 ) as he had done the disciples ( John 16:33 ). Paul had passed through enough to cause depression, whether he was depressed or not, but he deeply appreciated this kindly sympathy.