Acts 13:5

5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God 1in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had 2John to 3assist them.

Acts 13:5 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 13:5

And when they were at Salamis
A chief city of Cyprus; and so Herodotus F6 calls it Salamis of Cyprus; and in this island it is placed by Pliny F7 and Ptolomy F8: it was built by Teucer, the son of Telamon, after his return from the Trojan war; and so called by him, from his native country Salamine, in Greece, as is generally agreed by historians F9: it was the birth place of the famous philosopher Solon, who is from thence called Salaminius; he died in the island of Cyprus, in the eightieth year of his age; and before he died, gave orders to carry his bones to Salamis, and being reduced to ashes, to scatter them throughout the province F11: it was also claimed by the Cyprians, as the birth place of Homer, and is said F12 to be prophesied of that it should be; it was afterwards called Constantia, and now Famagusta, and is in the hands of the Turks; of it Jerom F13 thus writes:

``Salamis, a city in the island of Cyprus, now called Constantia, which, in the time of the Emperor Trajan, the Jews destroyed, having killed all the inhabitants of it:''

which shows what a multitude of Jews dwelt in this island, and even in this place; hence, in this verse, mention is afterwards made of synagogues of Jews in it, where the apostles preached, and which was the reason of their coming hither. This place, with the whole island, was taken from the Venetians by Mustapha, general to Selimus the Second, emperor of the Turks, in the year 1571, after a siege of eleven months; which, when he was possessed of, contrary to the agreement made, he put all the Christians to death; and having cut off the ears and nose of Bragadinus, the governor of it, took off his skin alive F14. Epiphanius, an ancient writer of the fourth century, famous for his books against heresies, was bishop of this place F15, when it was called Constantia, from Constantins Augustus, the emperor; and before him, we read of Gelasius, bishop of this place, who was in the council of Nice; there was a church here in the fifth century; and mention is made of a presbyter of it, in the sixth century, present at the fifth council at Constantinople; and in the seventh century, a bishop of this church was in the sixth council of Constantinople; and in the Nicene synod, in the "eighth" century, John, bishop of this place, assisted F16:

they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews;
the Jews being in great numbers in these parts, to them the apostles first preached, though they were sent unto the Gentiles; and this they continued to do, till the Jews put away the Gospel, which made their way more clear and open to the Gentiles:

and they had also John to their minister:
this was John Mark, whom they brought with them from Jerusalem, ( Acts 12:12 Acts 12:25 ) who waited upon them, and provided for them the necessaries of life; for this is not to be understood of the ministry of the word, which is peculiarly ascribed to them, or of his being an assistant to them in it; nor can it be understood of his being the minister in any of the synagogues for them, to bring out the book of the law, and direct public service, where it cannot be thought he should have any such office and authority; but of his ministering in civil and secular things to the apostles, or to the poor by their orders.


F6 L. 4. c. 162.
F7 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 31.
F8 Geograph. l. 5. c. 14.
F9 Vellei Patercul. Hist. l. 1. in initio, Isocratis Evagoras, p. 375. Vid. Horat. Carmin. l. 1. ode 7.
F11 Laert. Vit. Philosoph. l. 1. p. 30, 41.
F12 Pausanias, l. 10. p. 656.
F13 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. I.
F14 Petav. Rational. Temp. par. 1. l. 9. c. 12. p. 507.
F15 Epitaph. Paulae, fol. 58. K & Vita Hilarion. fol 82. M.
F16 Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 5. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 5. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 6.

Acts 13:5 In-Context

3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them.
6 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.
7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.

Cross References 3

  • 1. ver. 14; Acts 9:20; Acts 14:1; Acts 17:1, 2, 10, 17; Acts 18:4, 19; Acts 19:8; [ver. 46]; See Mark 6:2
  • 2. See Acts 12:12
  • 3. [Acts 19:22]
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