31 May. Acts 13:4-12

31 May. Paul rebukes Elymas and astonishes the Roman governor

"They [Paul, Barnabas and John Mark] went across the whole island [of Cyprus] to Paphos where they met a Jewish magician named Bar-Jesus ['Son of Yeshua' in Greek, meaning 'Son of Joshua' in Hebrew]."

"He was a false prophet who always stayed close to Sergius Paulus, the [Roman] governor and a clever man. He asked Barnabas and Saul to come to him, because he wanted to hear the message of God. But Elymas, the magician, was against them. [Elymas was Bar-Jesus's Greek name.] He tried to stop the governor from believing in Jesus."

"But Saul [his Hebrew name], who was also called Paul [his Greek name] was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked straight at Elymas and said, 'You son of the devil! You are an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of evil tricks and lies, always trying to change the Lord's truths into lies.'"

"'Now the Lord will touch you, and you will be blind. For a time you will not be able to see anything - not even the light from the sun.' Then everything became dark for Elymas, and he walked around, trying to find someone to lead him by the hand."

"When the [Roman] governor saw this, he believed [in Jesus] because he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord."

          (Acts 13:4-12)

 

 

After leaving Salamis on the east coast of Cyprus, Paul, Barnabas and John Mark walked the 90 miles / 145 km across the island of Cyprus (see 2 on the map), preaching at the Jewish synagogues en route until they reached Paphos, reputedly the birthplace of the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

In Paphos they met a Jewish prophet and ‘magician’ called Elymas or Bar-Jesus (meaning ‘son of Jesus’ or 'son of Joshua') who was an attendant of the Roman proconsul Sergius Paulus.

Paul (who, like the proconsul, had the Latin name ‘Paulus’ meaning ‘small’) was filled with the Holy Spirit, and told Elymas that he was a “son of the devil” (Acts 13:10) and condemned him to temporary blindness.

Amazed by what had happened, the Roman proconsul believed the Good News about Jesus.

Paphos was the Roman capital of Cyprus and an important port. The island of Cyprus was traditionally regarded as the home of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, (known as ‘Venus’ by the Romans) and in Paul’s day, Paphos was famed for its impressive Temple of Aphrodite.

Paphos was also the home of the Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus, and his court of attendants and ‘publicani’ – public servants who collected taxes and maintained the bureaucracy of the Roman administration.

Today, visitors to Paphos can see remains of the Roman agora (the market place), the reconstructed 2nd century Odeon (theatre) and the Temple of Apollo, rebuilt by the Romans after an earthquake in 100AD.

A short distance inland from the small harbour stands a stone pillar, to which it is claimed Paul was tied and whipped, while further east along the coast at the Rock of Aphrodite is a shingle-covered bay where Aphrodite (Venus) allegedly rose from the sea.

The map shows the route taken by Paul on his 'first' missionary journey.

You can see photos of 'St Paul's Pillar' and the 'Rock of Aphrodite' @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/paul-barnabas-mark-in-cy…/


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