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Acts 13:7

    Acts 13:7 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding. The same called unto him Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Who was with the ruler, Sergius Paulus, an able man. This man sent for Barnabas and Saul, desiring to have knowledge of the word of God.

    Webster's Revision

    who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding. The same called unto him Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God.

    World English Bible

    who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    which was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding. The same called unto him Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 13:7

    The deputy of the country - Ανθυπατῳ, The proconsul. Rosenmuller and others remark, that in those days the Romans sent two different kinds of governors into the provinces. Some of the provinces were Caesarean or imperial, and into those they sent propretors; others belonged to the senate and people of Rome, and into those they sent proconsuls. Cyprus had formerly been an imperial province; but Augustus, who made the distinction, had given it to the people, whence it was governed by a proconsul. See Dion Cass. Hist. Rom. lib. iv. p. 523. (Edit. Leunclav.)

    Sergius Paulus - This proconsul is not mentioned any where else: he became a Christian, had his name written in the book of life, and, probably on that very account, blotted out of the Fasti Consulares.

    A prudent man - Ανδρι συνετῳ, A man of good sense, of a sound understanding, and therefore wished to hear the doctrine taught by these apostles; he did not persecute the men for their preaching, but sent for them that he might hear for himself.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 13:7

    Which was with the deputy - Or with the proconsul. The exact accuracy of Luke in this statement is worthy of special remark. In the time when Augustus united the world under his own power, the provinces were divided into two classes. Augustus found two names which were applied to public officers in existence, one of which was henceforward inseparably blended with the imperial dignity and with military command, and the other with the authority of the senate and its civil administration. The first of these names was "Praetor"; the other was "Consul." What is to be accounted for here is that the latter is the name given by Luke to Sergius Paulus, as if he derived his authority from the senate. The difficulty in the ease is this: that Augustus told the senate and the people of Rome that he would resign to them those provinces where soldiers were unnecessary to secure a peaceful administration, and that he would himself take the care and risk of the other provinces where the presence of the Roman legions would be necessary.

    Hence, in the time of Augustus, and in the subsequent reigns of the emperors, the provinces were divided into these two classes; the one governed by men who went forth from the senate, and who would be styled Proconsul, ἀνθύπατος anthupatos - the term used here; and the other those sent forth by the emperor, and who would be styled Procurator, Ἐπίτροπος Epitropos or Proproetor, Ἀντιστράτηγος Antistratēgos. Both these kind of officers are referred to in the New Testament. Now we are told by Strabo and Dio Cassius that "Asaia" and "Achaia" were assigned to the senate, and the title, therefore, of the governor would be Proconsul, as we find in Acts 18:12; Acts 19:38. At the same time, Dio Cassius informs us that Cyprus was retained by the emperor for himself, and the title of the governor, therefore, would naturally have been, not "Proconsul," as here, but "Procurator." Yet it so happens that Dio Cassius has stated the reason why the title "Proconsul" was given to the governor of Cyprus, in the fact which he mentions that "Augustus restored Cyprus to the senate in exchange for another district of the empire." It is this statement which vindicates the strict accuracy of Luke in the passage before us. See Life and Epistles of Paul, vol. 1, pp. 142-144, and also Lardner's Credibility, part 1, chapter 1, section 11, where he has fully vindicated the accuracy of the appellation which is here given to Sergius by Luke.

    Sergius Paulus, a prudent man - The word here rendered "prudent" means "intelligent, wise, learned." It also may have the sense of candid, and may have been given to this man because he was of large and liberal views; of a philosophic and inquiring turn of mind; and was willing to obtain knowledge from any source. Hence, he had entertained the Jews; and hence, he was willing also to listen to Barnabas and Saul. It is not often that men of rank are thus willing to listen to the instructions of the professed ministers of God.

    Who called for Barnabas and Saul - It is probable that they had preached in Paphos, and Sergius was desirous himself of hearing the import of their new doctrine.

    And desired to hear ... - There is no evidence that he then wished to listen to this as divine truth, or that he was anxious about his own salvation, but it was rather as a speculative inquiry. It was a professed characteristic of many ancient philosophers that they were willing to receive instruction from any quarter. Compare Acts 17:19-20.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 13:7

    13:7 The proconsul - The Roman governor of Cyprus, a prudent man - And therefore not overswayed by Elymas, but desirous to inquire farther.