Acts 16:11

11 We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis,

Acts 16:11 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 16:11

Therefore loosing from Troas
Or setting sail from thence, which, as before observed, was the Hellespont; which was a narrow sea that divided Asia from Europe, now called Stretto di Gallipoii, or Bracci di St. Georgio: and so Pliny F17 speaking of Troas says, it lies near the Hellespont; and Jerom F18 calls it a maritime city of Asia; and it further appears to be on the sea coast, by what is said in ( Acts 20:6 ) , for from Philippi hither, the apostle and his company sailed in five days, and from hence they sailed to Assos, ( Acts 20:6 Acts 20:13 )

we came with a straight course to Samothracia;
which was an island in the Aegean sea, or Archipelago: it was formerly called Dardania {s}, from Dardanus the, son of Jupiter by Electra, who fled hither from Italy, upon killing his brother Jasius; it had its name of Samothracia, from Thracia, near to which it was, and from the Samians who inhabited it; and it was called Samothracia to distinguish it from the island Samos in the Ionian sea; it is now called Samandrachi: Jerom F20 calls it an island in the gulf of Pagasa; of this island of Samothracia, Pliny says F21, that it was free before Hebrus, was thirty two miles from Imbrus, twenty two and a half from Lemnus, thirty eight, from the shore of Thracia, and in circumference thirty two--and that it is fullest of good havens of any in those parts; and adds, that Callimachus calls it by its ancient name Dardania; it seems it was also called Leucosia, or Leucadia, because to spectators at a distance it looked white: according to F23 Herodotus the Pelasgi first inhabited Samothracia, who with the Athenians dwelt there, and from them the Samothracians received their sacred rites and mysteries; for this island was famous for the worship of the Cabiri, or chief deities of the Gentiles, particularly Ceres, Proserpina, Pluto, Mercury, and the two brothers Castor and Pollux, Neptune, and all the sea gods; insomuch that it was called "the holy island" F24, and persons of other nations, and even of the greatest figure, were initiated into the mysteries of the Samothracians, which Pliny F25 calls the most holy; for speaking of Venus, Potho, and Phaeton, adds, who are worshipped with the most holy ceremonies of Samothracia. The apostle did not stay to preach the Gospel in this place, nor do we read of its being preached here by him at any other time, or by any other, nor of any church in this place in after ages in ecclesiastical history. The apostle and his companions are said to come hither, "with a straight course"; not only because they might have a fair gale, which brought them at once hither; but because when they were over the Hellespont, this island lay directly in their way, in a straight line to Macedonia:

and the next day to Neapolis;
the Alexandrian copy reads, "the new city", as the word signifies; hence the Ethiopic version by way of interpretation renders it, "the next day we came to the new city, the name of which is Neapolis": according to Ptolomy, it was a sea port of Edonis, a part of Macedonia, and was upon the borders of Thrace; it is now called Christopoli; and was not Neapolis in Campania, nor Sychem in Samaria, which is so called, but was at a great distance from either of these. Pliny places it in Thracia, as he also does Edonis, and even Philippi F26. Jerom calls F1 it a city of Caria, but wrongly: and though we have no account of the apostles preaching in this place, and of making converts, neither now nor at any other time; yet it appears even in after ages that here was a church in this place: in the "sixth" century the bishop of it was sent to the fifth Roman synod; and in the "seventh" century one Andreas was bishop of this place, who was in the sixth synod at Constantinople F2.


F17 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 30.
F18 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. K.
F19 Pausanias Achaica, sive, l. 7. p. 403. Ptolom. Geograph. l. 3. c. 11.
F20 Ib. fol. 96. I.
F21 Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 12.
F23 Euterpe, c. 51.
F24 L. Attilius in Liv. Hist. l. 45. c. 5.
F25 Nat. Hist. l. 36. c. 5.
F26 Ib. l. 4. c. 11,
F1 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. F.
F2 Magdeburg. Hist. Eccl cent. 6. c. 2. p. 7. cent. 7. c. 10. p. 258.

Acts 16:11 In-Context

9 During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
10 When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
11 We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis,
12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days.
13 On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there.