Resources on this chapter

Hear this chapter read as MP3 audio

MP3 audio Bible study / exhortation on this chapter

Paul at Philippi (Acts 16,17)

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Links relevant to this chapter:





Books Of The New Testament

Matthew | Mark | Luke | John | Acts | Romans |1 Corinthians | 2 Corinthians | Galatians | Ephesians| Philippians | Colossians | 1 Thessalonians | 2 Thessalonians | 1 Timothy | 2 Timothy | Titus | Philemon | Hebrews | James | 1 Peter | 2 Peter | 1 John | 2 John | 3 John | Jude | Revelation

Other chapters in this book:

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 |


Acts 16

And he went also to Derbe and to Lystra; and a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess that believed; but his father was a Greek. 2 The same was well reported of by the believers that were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 And as they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which had been determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
   6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they came to the border of Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia; but the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. There was a man of Macedonia standing, urging him and saying: Come into Macedonia and help us! 10 And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Preaching and an earthquake in Philippi
   11 Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to Samothrace and the day following to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a city of Macedonia, the first of the district, a Roman colony; and we stayed in this city for some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate by a river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women that had gathered. 14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple of the city of Thyatira, one that worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to give heed to the things which were spoken by Paul. 15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she urged us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay. So she persuaded us.
   16 And it came to pass, as we were going to the place of prayer, that a certain slave girl met us, who had a spirit by which she predicted the future and who brought her masters much gain by fortune-telling. 17 The same following after Paul and us was crying out, saying: These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation! 18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, being greatly disturbed by it, turned and said to the spirit: I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And it came out that very moment.
   19 But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they laid hold of Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers, 20 and when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said: These men, being Jews, are disturbing our city, 21 and advocate customs which it is not lawful for us to receive, or to observe, being Romans. 22 And the crowd rose up together against them; and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailor to guard them carefully. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in shackles.
   25 But about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God; and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's bonds were unfastened. 27 And the jailor, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying: Do not harm yourself! For we are all here. 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and brought them out and said: Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said: Believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved, you and your household. 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all that were in his household. 33 And at that hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 And he brought them into his house, set food before them, and rejoiced greatly with all his family, having believed in God.
   35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent their officers, saying: Let those men go. 36 And the jailor reported the words to Paul, saying: The magistrates have sent word to let you go. Therefore come out and go in peace. 37 But Paul said to them: They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned men that are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison, and now they want to throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and bring us out. 38 And the officers reported these words to the magistrates; and they feared when they heard that they were Romans. 39 And they came and pleaded with them, and when they had brought them out, they asked them to go away from the city. 40 And they went out of the prison and entered into the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the believers, they comforted them and departed.


16:3 Paul often writes in his letter that circumcision is meaningless (e.g. 1 Cor. 7:19). But he was sensitive to the feelings of the Jews. There are times when we must try to take down the barriers which there are between us and our audience. We must at times give in on non-essentials.

16:5 The decree of chapter 15 was a series of concessions aimed at producing unity between Jewish and Gentile Christians. The unity achieved by these concessions meant that more people were attracted to the faith- because our unity is our greatest witness (Jn. 17:21-23). The churches increased “daily” because presumably they baptized people each day- they saw the crucial importance of it, and didn’t leave it until the weekends or some convenient time of year.

16:15 Again it is assumed that people who believe are immediately baptized. If we seriously believe, we must be baptized as Jesus commands (Mk. 16:16).

16:17 Mentally ill people often have great spiritual perception- hence the especial efforts of Jesus to cure them [the language of ‘unclean spirits’ and ‘demons’ refer to mentally ill people].

16:25 Joy in the face of persecution and suffering is a theme of Acts.

16:33 The Acts record emphasizes how “immediately” people were baptized, the same day they heard and believed the Gospel. The content of the Gospel wouldn’t therefore have been presented in a very complicated nor lengthy manner. The vital importance of baptism is shown by how the family were baptized in the middle of the night, after an earthquake had struck, and with the prisoners able to escape. But they put God first; and all other things fell into place.

16:37 Why didn’t Paul declare his Roman citizenship earlier, so as to avoid a beating? Whatever the reason, there was a reason, and it was connected with the furtherance of the Gospel. There are times when we can take an easier way and it’s no sin; but the cause of the Gospel is better served by taking the harder way.

16:40 Paul and Silas comforted others! Despite having had so much distress themselves.