Acts 14:12

12 They called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes" (since Paul did most of the speaking).

Acts 14:12 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 14:12

And they called Barnabas Jupiter
The supreme God; it may be because that Barnabas was the oldest man, of the tallest stature, and largest bulk, and made the best figure; whereas Paul was younger, of a low stature, and mean appearance:

and Paul Mercurius,
because he was the chief speaker; Mercury was the god of eloquence, and the messenger of the gods, and the interpreter of their will F18; Paul being chiefly concerned in preaching and speaking to the people, they called him by the name of this God: the Jews had a doctor in their schools, whom they called (Myrbdmh vad) , "the chief of the speakers" F19.


F18 Vid Macrob. Saturnal. l. 1. c. 17, 19.
F19 Juchasin, fol. 45. 2. & 46. 1.

Acts 14:12 In-Context

10 So he said, loud enough for everyone to hear, "Up on your feet!" The man was up in a flash - jumped up and walked around as if he'd been walking all his life.
11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they went wild, calling out in their Lyconian dialect, "The gods have come down! These men are gods!"
12 They called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes" (since Paul did most of the speaking).
13 The priest of the local Zeus shrine got up a parade - bulls and banners and people lined right up to the gates, ready for the ritual of sacrifice.
14 When Barnabas and Paul finally realized what was going on, they stopped them. Waving their arms, they interrupted the parade, calling out,
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.