Acts 13:8

8 But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

Acts 13:8 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 13:8

But Elymas the sorcerer, for so is his name by interpretation,
&c.] Not that Magus a sorcerer is by interpretation Elymas; as if Luke was interpreting the Persic word "Magus", which is sometimes used in a good sense, for a wise man, as in ( Matthew 2:1 ) by an Arabic word "Elim", which signifies knowing; but "Elymas" is the interpretation of his name "Bar-jesus"; which as that signifies the son of salvation, or of healing, so this, as De Dieu observes, may be derived from (Mlx) , "Chalam", which signifies "to heal", or to be sound and in health. Junius thinks the name comes from the Arabic word (Mala) , which signifies "to mutter", as wizards and sorcerers, and such sort of men used to do; and though he rejects the opinion of Tremellius, taking it for an Hebrew name, and to be the same with (Uemyla) "Elimaatz", which signifies "divine counsel"; yet this, or what is near to it, is embraced by a late learned man F13 who observes, that Elymas is in Hebrew, (Uemla) , "Elmahatz"; the interpretation of which is, God's counsel, or the counsel of God; the name of a man, Maaz, is read in ( 1 Chronicles 2:27 ) and that it is the same with Elymoteros, as Olympas is the same with Olympiodorus; and he further observes, that Barjeus, as Jerom or Origen say it was anciently read, and not Bar-jesus, is the same with (Uwey rb) , "Barjeutz", or Barjeus, the "son of counsel", and so agrees with Elymas: now he

withstood them:
Saul and Barnabas, just as Jannes and Jambres, the magicians of Egypt, withstood Moses: he did all he could to prevent their coming into the governor's house, and them from preaching to him, and him from hearing of them; and especially from giving heed to, and embracing the doctrines preached by them; which he opposed and argued against, with all the cunning and sophistry he was master of:

seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith;
the doctrine of faith, from hearing and receiving it; and when he had received it, he endeavoured to set him against it, and cause him to deny and reject it with abhorrence; the Ethiopic version calls him "the king", as in the former verse "the prince".


F13 Hilleri Onomasticum Sacrum, p. 803.

Acts 13:8 In-Context

6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus.
7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God.
8 But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith.
9 But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him
10 and said, "You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.