Gevurot 16

1 6 And Rav Sha’ul arrived also in Derbe and went on to Lystra. And, hinei, a certain talmid of Moshiach was there by the name Timotiyos, the ben of a faithful Yiddisha isha but whose abba was Yevani.
2 Timotiyos was a bochur who was well spoken of by the Achim b’Moshiach in Lystra and Iconium.
3 Rav Sha’ul wanted Timotiyos to come along with his chavurah, so he took him and did a bris milah, because of the Yehudim in those places, for everyone had da’as that his abba was Yevani.
4 And as they were traveling through the cities, they were handing on to them to be shomer regarding the mitzvot that had been laid down by the Moshiach’s Shlichim and the Ziknei HaKehillot of Moshiach in Yerushalayim.
5 The Moshiach’s Kehillot, therefore, were growing in the emunah (faith), and yom yom were increasing in number.
6 And they traveled through the regions of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Ruach Hakodesh to speak the dvar Hashem in [the Roman Province of] Asia.
7 And having come to the border of Mysia, they were trying to go toward Bithynia, and the Ruach of Moshiach did not permit them.
8 So, passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.
9 And during the lailah a chazon (vision) appeared to Rav Sha’ul. It was of a certain ish from Macedonia who had been standing and was begging him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
10 And when Rav Sha’ul saw the chazon, immediately he sought to cross over to Macedonia, concluding that Hashem had called us to preach the Besuras HaGeulah to them.
11 And having set sail from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and, on the next day, to Neapolis;
12 and from there, to Philippi, which is a chashuve city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony. And we were in this city, staying some yamim.
13 And on Shabbos, we went outside the sha’ar to a river where there was a mikveh mayim, supposing there we would find a minyan davening, and having sat down, we were speaking with the nashim who had assembled.
14 And a certain isha, by the name Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, of the city of Thyatira, a yirat Elohim, was listening, and Hashem opened her lev (heart) to pay attention to the things being spoken by Rav Sha’ul.
15 And when she was given the Moshiach’s tevilah of teshuva along with all her household, she said, "If you have judged me ne’emanah to Hashem, enter into my bais and stay there." And she prevailed upon us.
16 And it came about when we were going to where they held the minyan, that a certain shifchah having a ruach of the python (i.e., a shed, demon) came out to meet us. She was bringing much profit to her adonim by divination. [Dt 18:11; 1Sm 28:3,7]
17 This one was following Rav Sha’ul, crying out, saying, "These anashim are avadim of G-d HaElyon and are proclaiming to you the Derech HaYeshu’at Eloheinu."
18 And this kviusdik thing she was doing for many yamim; but Rav Sha’ul, whom she wouldn’t stop derkutshen, turned to the ruach, and said, "I command you in haShem of Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Yehoshua to come out from her!” And it came out in the same hour.
19 And when her adonim saw that the tikvah of their profit also left her, they seized Rav Sha’ul and Sila, and they dragged them into the marketplace before their manhigim;
20 And having brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, "These anashim, being Jews, are disturbing our city,”
21 "And they are proclaiming minhagim which it is not permitted for us, being Romans, to accept or to do." [ESTHER 3:8]
22 And the multitude rose up together keneged Rav Sha’ul and Sila; and the chief magistrates, having torn off the kaftans of Moshiach’s Shlichim, were giving orders to beat them.
23 And having inflicted klop after klop upon these Jewish men, they threw Rav Sha’ul and Sila into the beis hasohar, giving orders to the soher to guard them securely.
24 And the soher, having received such an order, threw them into the inner beis hasohar, and he fastened their feet in the stock. [IYOV 13:27; 33:11; YIRMEYAH 20:2,3; 29:26]
25 And about chatzot halailah Rav Sha’ul and Sila were davening and were singing niggunim to Hashem, and the prisoners were listening to them.
26 And, suddenly, there came a gevaltike earthquake, so that the beis hasohar was shaken to its foundations, and immediately were opened all delatot (doors) and all sharsherot (chains) were unfastened.
27 And the soher, having awakened and having seen the delatot of the beis hasohar having been opened, drew his cherev (sword) and was about to commit suicide, thinking the prisoners had run away.
28 But Rav Sha’ul shouted with a kol gadol, saying, "Do no harm to yourself, for we are all here."
29 And having asked for lights, he rushed in and, starting to tremble with pachad, he fell down before Rav Sha’ul and Sila.
30 Then, leading them outside, the soher said, "Rabbotai, what is it necessary for me to do that I may come to Yeshu’at Eloheinu?"
31 And Moshiach’s Shlichim said, "Have emunah in the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Adoneinu Yehoshua, and you will come to Yeshu’at Eloheinu, you and your bais."
32 And they spoke to him the dvar Hashem together with all the ones in his bais.
33 And having taken them in that hour of the lailah, the soher washed their wounds, and at once he did getoivult (was given Moshiach’s tevilah of teshuva), as well as his entire mishpochah.
34 After that he led them to tish in his bais, and he set before them okhel, and he with his whole bais had simcha gedolah that they had come to emunah in Hashem.
35 And in the boker, the magistrates sent the soterim (policemen), saying, "Release those men."
36 And the soher reported these words to Rav Sha’ul, saying, "The magistrates sent word that you may be released; now, therefore, go and depart in shalom." [SHOFETIM 18:6]
37 But Rav Sha’ul said to them, "After giving us a public flogging, though we are uncondemned Roman citizens, they threw us into the beis hasohar; and now are they secretly sending us out? No, indeed! Let them come themselves and lead us out in public."
38 And the soterim reported these words to the magistrates, and the magistrates were afraid, hearing that Rav Sha’ul and Sila were both Roman citizens.
39 So the magistrates came, and entreated Rav Sha’ul and Sila, and brought them out, asking them to depart from the city.
40 And having come out from the beis hasohar, they came to Lydia, and having seen and encouraged the Achim b’Moshiach of the Kehillah that met in Lydia’s bais, Rav Sha’ul and Sila departed.

Images for Gevurot 16

Gevurot 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

Paul takes Timothy to be his assistant. (1-5) Paul proceeds to Macedonia, The conversion of Lydia. (6-15) An evil spirit cast out, Paul and Silas scourged and imprisoned. (16-24) The conversion of the jailer at Philippi. (25-34) Paul and Silas released. (35-40)

Verses 1-5 Well may the church look for much service from youthful ministers who set out in the same spirit as Timothy. But when men will submit in nothing, and oblige in nothing, the first elements of the Christian temper seem to be wanting; and there is great reason to believe that the doctrines and precepts of the gospel will not be successfully taught. The design of the decree being to set aside the ceremonial law, and its carnal ordinances, believers were confirmed in the Christian faith, because it set up a spiritual way of serving God, as suited to the nature both of God and man. Thus the church increased in numbers daily.

Verses 6-15 The removals of ministers, and the dispensing the means of grace by them, are in particular under Divine conduct and direction. We must follow Providence: and whatever we seek to do, if that suffer us not, we ought to submit and believe to be for the best. People greatly need help for their souls, it is their duty to look out for it, and to invite those among them who can help them. And God's calls must be complied with readily. A solemn assembly the worshippers of God must have, if possible, upon the sabbath day. If we have not synagogues, we must be thankful for more private places, and resort to them; not forsaking the assembling together, as our opportunities are. Among the hearers of Paul was a woman, named Lydia. She had an honest calling, which the historian notices to her praise. Yet though she had a calling to mind, she found time to improve advantages for her soul. It will not excuse us from religious duties, to say, We have a trade to mind; for have not we also a God to serve, and souls to look after? Religion does not call us from our business in the world, but directs us in it. Pride, prejudice, and sin shut out the truths of God, till his grace makes way for them into the understanding and affections; and the Lord alone can open the heart to receive and believe his word. We must believe in Jesus Christ; there is no coming to God as a Father, but by the Son as Mediator.

Verses 16-24 Satan, though the father of lies, will declare the most important truths, when he can thereby serve his purposes. But much mischief is done to the real servants of Christ, by unholy and false preachers of the gospel, who are confounded with them by careless observers. Those who do good by drawing men from sin, may expect to be reviled as troublers of the city. While they teach men to fear God, to believe in Christ, to forsake sin, and to live godly lives, they will be accused of teaching bad customs.

Verses 25-34 The consolations of God to his suffering servants are neither few nor small. How much more happy are true Christians than their prosperous enemies! As in the dark, so out of the depths, we may cry unto God. No place, no time is amiss for prayer, if the heart be lifted up to God. No trouble, however grievous, should hinder us from praise. Christianity proves itself to be of God, in that it obliges us to be just to our own lives. Paul cried aloud to make the jailer hear, and to make him heed, saying, Do thyself no harm. All the cautions of the word of God against sin, and all appearances of it, and approaches to it, have this tendency. Man, woman, do not ruin thyself; hurt not thyself, and then none else can hurt thee; do not sin, for nothing but that can hurt thee. Even as to the body, we are cautioned against the sins which do harm to that. Converting grace changes people's language of and to good people and good ministers. How serious the jailer's inquiry! His salvation becomes his great concern; that lies nearest his heart, which before was furthest from his thoughts. It is his own precious soul that he is concerned about. Those who are thoroughly convinced of sin, and truly concerned about their salvation, will give themselves up to Christ. Here is the sum of the whole gospel, the covenant of grace in a few words; Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. The Lord so blessed the word, that the jailer was at once softened and humbled. He treated them with kindness and compassion, and, professing faith in Christ, was baptized in that name, with his family. The Spirit of grace worked such a strong faith in them, as did away further doubt; and Paul and Silas knew by the Spirit, that a work of God was wrought in them. When sinners are thus converted, they will love and honour those whom they before despised and hated, and will seek to lessen the suffering they before desired to increase. When the fruits of faith begin to appear, terrors will be followed by confidence and joy in God.

Verses 35-40 Paul, though willing to suffer for the cause of Christ, and without any desire to avenge himself, did not choose to depart under the charge of having deserved wrongful punishment, and therefore required to be dismissed in an honourable manner. It was not a mere point of honour that the apostle stood upon, but justice, and not to himself so much as to his cause. And when proper apology is made, Christians should never express personal anger, nor insist too strictly upon personal amends. The Lord will make them more than conquerors in every conflict; instead of being cast down by their sufferings, they will become comforters of their brethren.

Gevurot 16 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.