Acts 20:4

4 And he was accompanied by Sopater of 1Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by 2Aristarchus and Secundus of the 3Thessalonians, and 4Gaius of 5Derbe, and 6Timothy, and 7Tychicus and 8Trophimus of 9Asia.

Acts 20:4 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 20:4

And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea
This Sopater is thought to be the same with Sosipater in ( Romans 16:21 ) and in three of Beza's copies, and in as many of Stephens's, he is so called here; the Ethiopic version calls him Peter, a citizen of Berea; and the Arabic version Sopater of Aleppo. The Alexandrian copy, Beza's most ancient copy, and others, the Complutensian edition, and the Vulgate Latin version, read, Sopater of Pyrrhus, the Berean; that is, the son of Pyrrhus. He is reckoned among the seventy disciples, and is said to be bishop of Iconium; (See Gill on Luke 10:1). This name was common among the Greeks; there was one of this name a native of Paphus, in the times of Alexander the great, a comical poet, and who also is sometimes called Sosipater, as this man was; there was another Sopater the sophist, who wrote the affairs of Alexander; and there was another of this name, who, among other things, collected much concerning painters and statuaries. The name signifies "a father saved". Pyrrhus is a Grecian name well known, being the name of a famous king of Greece who engaged in war with the Romans. This man went along with the apostle into Asia; and it seems, that of the persons here mentioned, he only accompanied him; for the verb is in the singular number, and the other six persons following did not go along with him, as Sopater did, but went before him to Troas, which was in Asia, and there waited for him; though the Syriac version reads in the plural number; but then it renders the words, "they went forth with him", as they might do from Greece, and yet not accompany him into Asia: the phrase into Asia is left out in the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions.

And of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus;
the former of these is before said to be a Macedonian, ( Acts 19:29 ) and here he appears to be of Thessalonica, and his name is a Greek one; but Secundus is a Roman name, though he might be born at Thessalonica, or at least have lived there, and so be said to be of it. His name signifies "Second"; very likely was his father's second son, and therefore so called; though the name was used among the Grecians. We read of Secundus an Athenian, the master of Herod the sophist, who flourished under the emperor Adrian, there are sentences under his name still extant; and another called Secundus the grammarian, a friend of Poleman, a philosopher at Athens, who corrected his writings; so that this man might be a Grecian, and a native of Thessalonica; mention is made of him nowhere else.

And Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus;
the former of these is so called to distinguish him from Gaius the Macedonian in ( Acts 19:29 ) and the latter by being joined with him should be of the same place, as he might be; see ( Acts 16:1 ) though the Syriac version reads, "and Timotheus of Lystra"; and so does the Arabic version used by De Dieu; and this is mentioned with Derbe in the above cited place.

And of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus:
of the former see ( Ephesians 6:21 ) ( Colossians 4:7 ) ( 2 Timothy 4:12 ) and of the latter see ( 2 Timothy 4:20 ) ( Acts 21:29 ) where he is called an Ephesian, as they both are here in Beza's most ancient copy; Ephesus being the metropolis of Asia, strictly so called. These are both of them said to be among the seventy disciples: Trophimus, we are told, taught at Arles in France, and suffered martyrdom with the Apostle Paul; and that Tychicus was bishop of Chalcedon in Bithynia; and that another of the same name was bishop of Colophon; (See Gill on Luke 10:1). Trophimus signifies "nourished", and is a name to be found in a funeral inscription of the Romans F8, though Greek, and in the fragments of the poet Menander: and Tychicus signifies "fortunate"; whether the same with Fortunatus in ( 1 Corinthians 16:17 ) may be inquired.


F8 Kirchman. de Funer. Roman. l. 3. c. 26. p. 525.

Acts 20:4 In-Context

2 When he had gone through those districts and had given them much exhortation , he came to Greece.
3 And there he spent three months, and when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia.
4 And he was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.
5 But these had gone on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas.
6 We sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas within five days; and there we stayed seven days.

Cross References 9

  • 1. Acts 17:10
  • 2. Acts 19:29
  • 3. Acts 17:1
  • 4. Acts 19:29
  • 5. Acts 14:6
  • 6. Acts 16:1
  • 7. Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12
  • 8. Acts 21:29; 2 Timothy 4:20
  • 9. Acts 16:6; Acts 20:16, 18

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Lit "there accompanied him"
  • [b]. I.e. west coast province of Asia Minor
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