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Acts 14:13

    Acts 14:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And the priest of Jupiter whose temple was before the city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the multitudes.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the priest of the image of Jupiter, which was before the town, took oxen and flowers to the doors of the town, and was about to make an offering with the people.

    Webster's Revision

    And the priest of Jupiter whose temple was before the city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the multitudes.

    World English Bible

    The priest of Jupiter, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and would have made a sacrifice along with the multitudes.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And the priest of Jupiter whose temple was before the city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the multitudes.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 14:13

    Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city - There is a meaning here, which ordinary readers will not readily apprehend. Many cities were put under the protection of a particular deity; and the image of that deity placed at the entrance, to signify that he was the guardian and protector. To this St. Luke, every where as accurate as he is circumstantial, refers. Lystra, it appears, was under the guardianship of Jupiter Propulaius, Διος προπυλαιου, which St. Luke translates, του Διος οντος της πολεως, the Jupiter that was before the city, which is another term for Jupiter Custos, or Jupiter the guardian. All these deities, according to the attributes they sustained, had their peculiar priests, rites, and sacrifices; and each a peculiar service and priest for the office he bore; so that Jupiter Brontes, Jupiter the thunderer, had a different service from Jupiter Custos, Jove the guardian. Hence we can see with what accuracy St. Luke wrote: the person who was going to offer them sacrifices was the priest of Jupiter Custos, under whose guardianship the city of Lystra was, and whom the priest supposed had visited the city in a human form; and Barnabas, probably for the reasons already assigned, he imagined was the person; and as Mercury, the god of eloquence, was the general attendant of Jupiter, the people and the priest supposed that Paul, who had a powerful, commanding eloquence, was that god, also disguised. A beautiful figure of such an image of Jupiter as, I suppose, stood before the gate of Lystra, still remains; and a fine engraving of it may be seen in Gruter's Inscriptions, vol. i. p. xx. Jupiter is represented naked, sitting on a curule or consular chair; in his right hand he holds his thunder, and a long staff in his left; at his right, stands the eagle prepared for flight; and, above, the winged cap and caduceus of Mercury. On the base is the inscription, Iuppiter Custom Domus Aug. Jupiter, the guardian of the house of Augustus. As the preserver or guardian of towns, he was generally styled Jupiter Custos, Serenus and Servator. His name, Jupiter, i.e. jurans pater, the helping father, entitled him, in those days of darkness, to general regard. On this false god, who long engrossed the worship of even the most enlightened nations on the earth, much may be seen in Lactantius, Divinar. Institution. lib. i., in the Antiquite expliquee of Montfaucon; and various inscriptions, relative to his character as guardian, etc., may be seen in Gruter, as above.

    Oxen and garlands - That is, oxen adorned with flowers, their horns gilded, and neck bound about with fillets, as was the custom in sacrificial rites. They also crowned the gods themselves, the priests, and gates of the temples, with flowers. Of this method of adorning the victims, there are numerous examples in the Greek and Latin writers. A few may suffice. Thus Ovid: -

    Victima labe carens et praestantissima forma

    Sistitur ante aras; et vittis praesignis et auro.

    Ovid, Met. lib. xv. ver. 130.

    The fairest victim must the powers appease,

    So fatal 'tis sometimes too much to please:

    A purple filet his broad brow adorns

    With flowery garlands, crown, and gilded horns.

    Dryden.

    Huic Anius niveis circumdata tempora vittis

    Concutiens, et tristis ait; -

    Ibid. lib. xiii. ver. 643.

    The royal prophet shook his hoary head,

    continued...

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 14:13

    Then the priest of Jupiter - He whose office it was to conduct the worship of Jupiter by offering sacrifices, etc.

    Which was before their city - The word "which" here refers not to the priest, but to Jupiter. The temple or image of Jupiter was in front of their city, or near the gates. Ancient cities were supposed to be under the protection of particular gods; and their image, or a temple for their worship, was placed commonly in a conspicuous place at the entrance of the city.

    Brought oxen - Probably brought two one to be sacrificed to each. It was common to sacrifice bullocks to Jupiter.

    And garlands - The victims of sacrifice were usually decorated with ribbons and chaplets of flowers. See Kuinoel.

    Unto the gates - The gates of the city, where were the images or temple of the gods.

    Would have done sacrifice - Would have offered sacrifice to Barnabas and Paul. This the priest deemed a part of his office. And here we have a remarkable and most affecting instance of the folly and stupidity of idolatry.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 14:13

    14:13 The priest of Jupiter - Whose temple and image were just without the gate of the city, brought garlands - To put on the victims, and bulls - The usual offerings to Jupiter.