Acts 13:51
(51) They shook off the dust of their feet against them.--The act was one of literal obedience to our Lord's commands (see Note on Matthew 10:14), and may fairly be regarded as evidence that that command had come to the knowledge of Paul and Barnabas as well as of the Twelve. It was in itself, however, the language of a natural symbolism which every Jew would understand, a declaration that not the heathen, but the unbelieving and malignant Jews, were those who made the very dust on which they trod common and unclean.

And came unto Iconium.--The journey to Iconium is passed over rapidly, and we may infer that it presented no opportunities for mission work. That city lay on the road between Antioch and Derbe at a distance of ninety miles south-east from the former city, and forty north-west from the latter. When the travellers arrived there they found what they probably had not met with on their route--a synagogue, which indicated the presence of a Jewish population, on whom they could begin to work. The city, which from its size and stateliness has been called the Damascus of Lycaonia, was famous in the early Apocryphal Christian writings as the scene of the intercourse between St. Paul and his convert Thekla. In the middle ages it rose to importance as the capital of the Seljukian sultans, and, under the slightly altered name of Konieh, is still a flourishing city. By some ancient writers it was assigned to Phrygia, by others to Lycaonia.

Verse 51. - They shook off the dust, etc.; according to the Lord's injunction (Luke 9:5; comp. Acts 18:6). And came into Iconium; a distance of about sixty miles south-east, a five days' journey (Renan). Iconium lay on the high road from Antioch in Syria to Ephesus. It is now called Cogni, and has a population of nearly thirty thousand souls. Iconium is assigned by Xenophon to Phrygia; by others to Pisidia; and again by others (Cicero, Strabo, etc.) to Lyeaonia. At this time it was the capital of a separate tetrarchy (Lewin, 'Saint Paul'), but Renan calls it" the capital of Lycaonia" ('Saint Paul,' p. 41).

13:42-52 The Jews opposed the doctrine the apostles preached; and when they could find no objection, they blasphemed Christ and his gospel. Commonly those who begin with contradicting, end with blaspheming. But when adversaries of Christ's cause are daring, its advocates should be the bolder. And while many judge themselves unworthy of eternal life, others, who appear less likely, desire to hear more of the glad tidings of salvation. This is according to what was foretold in the Old Testament. What light, what power, what a treasure does this gospel bring with it! How excellent are its truths, its precepts, its promises! Those came to Christ whom the Father drew, and to whom the Spirit made the gospel call effectual, Ro 8:30. As many as were disposed to eternal life, as many as had concern about their eternal state, and aimed to make sure of eternal life, believed in Christ, in whom God has treasured up that life, and who is the only Way to it; and it was the grace of God that wrought it in them. It is good to see honourable women devout; the less they have to do in the world, the more they should do for their own souls, and the souls of others: but it is sad, when, under colour of devotion to God, they try to show hatred to Christ. And the more we relish the comforts and encouragements we meet with in the power of godliness, and the fuller our hearts are of them, the better prepared we are to face difficulties in the profession of godliness.But they shook off the dust of their feet against them,.... As Christ directed his apostles to do; See Gill on Matthew 10:14.

And came unto Iconium, a city in Lycaonia; here it is placed both by Ptolomy (c) and Strabo (d); Pliny says (e), that

"there was a tetrarchy granted out of Lycaonia, on that part which borders on Galatia, consisting of fourteen cities, the most celebrated city being Iconium.''

It was called by the Syrians , "Ik-ona", which signifies "the bosom of sheep"; the country round about it being famous for feeding great numbers of sheep; and here afterwards was a church of Christ, a bosom for his sheep; it is now in the hands of the Turks, and is called "Conia", or "Cogne".

(c) Geograph. l. 5. c. 6. (d) Ib. l. 12. (e) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 27.

Acts 13:50
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