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Acts 11:19

    Acts 11:19 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Now they which were scattered abroad on the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but to the Jews only.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    They therefore that were scattered abroad upon the tribulation that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to none save only to Jews.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Then those who had gone away at the time of the trouble about Stephen, went as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus, preaching to the Jews only.

    Webster's Revision

    They therefore that were scattered abroad upon the tribulation that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to none save only to Jews.

    World English Bible

    They therefore who were scattered abroad by the oppression that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews only.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    They therefore that were scattered abroad upon the tribulation that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to none save only to Jews.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 11:19

    The persecution that arose about Stephen - That is, those who were obliged to flee from Jerusalem at the time of that persecution in which Stephen lost his life. See Acts 8:1.

    Phoenice - Phoenicia, a country between Galilee and Syria, along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, including Tyre, Sidon, etc. It is often mentioned as a part of Syria. See Acts 21:2, Acts 21:3.

    Cyprus - An island of the Mediterranean Sea, over against Syria. See on Acts 4:30 (note).

    Antioch - A city of Syria, built by Antiochus Seleucus, near the river Orontes; at that time one of the most celebrated cities of the east. For the situation of all these, see the map accompanying this book.

    Unto the Jews only - For they knew nothing of the vision of St. Peter; and did not believe that God would open the door of faith to the Gentiles. The next verse informs us that there were others who were better instructed. See below.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 11:19

    Now they ... - This verse introduces a new train of historical remark; and from this point the course of the history of the Acts of the Apostles takes a new direction. Thus far, the history had recorded chiefly the preaching of the gospel to the Jews. From this point the history records the efforts made to convert the Gentiles. It begins with the labors put forth in the important city of Antioch (Acts 11:19-20); and as, during the work of grace that occurred in that city, the labors of the apostle Paul were especially sought (Acts 11:25-26), the sacred writer thenceforth confines the history mainly to his travels and labors.

    Which were scattered abroad - See Acts 8:1.

    As far as Phenice - Phoenice, or Phoenicia, was a province of Syria, which in its largest sense comprehended a narrow strip of country lying on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, and extending from Antioch to the borders of Egypt. But Phenice Proper extended only from the cities of Laodicea to Tyre, and included only the territories of Tyre and Sidon. This country was called sometimes simply "Canaan." See the notes on Matthew 15:22.

    And Cyprus - An island off the coast of Asia Minor, in the Mediterranean Sea. See the notes on Acts 4:36.

    And Antioch - There were two cities of this name, one situated in Pisidia in Asia Minor (see Acts 13:14); the other, referred to here, was situated on the Orontes River, and was long, the capital of Syria. It was built by Seleucus Nicanor, and was called Antioch in honor of his father Antiochus. It was founded in 301 b.c. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament, but is several times mentioned in the Apocrypha and in the New Testament. It was long the most powerful city of the East, and was inferior only to Seleucia and Alexandria. It was famous for the fact that the right of citizenship was conferred by Seleucus on the Jews as well as the Greeks and Macedonians, so that here they had the privilege of worship in their own way without molestation. It is probable that the Christians would be regarded merely as a sect of Jews, and would be here suffered to celebrate their worship without interruption.

    On this account it may have been that the early Christians regarded this city as of such particular importance, because here they could find a refuge from persecution, and be permitted to worship God without molestation. This city was honored as a Roman colony, a metropolis, and an asylum. It was large; was almost square; had many gaines; was adorned with fine fountains; and was a city of great opulence. It was, however, subject to earthquakes, and was several times nearly destroyed. In the year 588 it experienced an earthquake in which 60,000 persons were destroyed. It was conquered by the Saracens in 638 a.d., and, after some changes and revolutions, was taken during the Crusades, after a long and bloody siege, by Godfrey of Bouillon, June 3, 1098 ad. In 1268 it was taken by the Sultan of Egypt, who demolished it, and placed it under the dominion of the Turk. Antioch is now called Antakia, and contains about 10,000 inhabitants (Robinson's Calmet). "There was everything in the situation and circumstances of the city," say Conybeare and Howson ("Life and Epistles of Paul," vol. 1, p. 121), "to make it a place of concourse for all classes and kinds of people. By its harbor of Seleucia it was in communication with all the trade of the Mediterranean; and, through the open country behind the Lebanon, it was conveniently approached by the caravans from Mesopotamia and Arabia. It united the inland advantages of Aleppo with the maritime opportunities of Smyrna. It was almost an Oriental Rome, in which all the forms of the civilized life of the empire found some representative. Through the first two centuries of the Christian era it was what Constantinople became afterward, 'the Gate of the East.' "If any city in the first century was worthy to be called the Pagan Queen and Metropolis of the East, that city was Antioch. She was represented, in a famous allegorical statue, as a female figure, seated on a rock and crowned, with the river Orontes at her feet" (Conybeare and Howson, vol. 1, p. 125).

    Preaching the word - The Word of God, the Gospel.

    To none but unto the Jews only - They had the common prejudices of the Jews, that the offers of salvation were to be made only to Jews.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 11:19

    11:19 They who had been dispersed - St. Luke here resumes the thread of his narration, in the very words wherewith he broke it off, Acts 8:6. As far as Phenicia to the north, Cyprus to the west, and Antioch to the east.