Hitchcock's Bible NamesPhiladelphia
love of a brother
Smith's Bible DictionaryPhiladelphia
strictly Philadelphia (brotherly love), a town on the confines of Lydia and Phrygia Catacecaumene, 25 southeast of Sardis, and built by Attalus II., king of Pergamos, who died B.C. 138. It was situated on the lower slopes of Tmolus, and is still represented by a town called Allah-shehr (city of God). Its elevation is 952 feet above the sea. The original population of Philadelphia. Seems to have been Macedonian; but there was, as appears from (Leviticus 3:9) a synagogue of Hellenizing Jews there, as well as a Christian church. (It was the seat of one of "the seven churches of Asia.") The locality was subject to constant earthquakes, which in the time of Strabo rendered even the town walls of Philadelphia unsafe. The expense of reparation was constant, and hence perhaps the poverty of the members of the church. (Revelation 3:8) (The church was highly commended.) (Revelation 3:7-13) Even Gibbon bears the following well-known testimony to the truth of the prophecy, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee in the hour of temptation": "At a distance from the sea, forgotten by the (Greek) emperor encompassed, all sides by the Turks, her valiant citizens defended their religion and freedom above fourscore years. Among the Greek colonies and churches of Asia, Philadelphia is still erect, a column in a scene of ruins." "The modern town (Allah-shehr , city of God), although spacious, containing 3000 houses and 10,000 inhabitants, is badly built; the dwellings are mean and the streets filthy. The inhabitants are mostly Turks. A few ruins are found, including remains of a wall and about twenty-five churches. In one place are four strong marble pillars, which once supported the dome of a church. One of the old mosques is believed by the native Christians to have been the church in which assembled the primitive Christians addressed in the Apocalypse." Whitney's Bible Geography.)
ATS Bible DictionaryPhiladelphia
A city of Lydia, in Asia Minor, where was one of the seven Asiatic churches, highly praised by Christ for its fidelity, Revelation 3:7 13. Philadelphia as so called from Attalus Philadelphus, king of Pergamos, by whom it was founded. It stood between the river Hermus and Mount Tmolus, about twenty-eight miles southeast of Sardis. It suffered greatly by frequent earthquakes, and it was anciently matter of surprise that the city was not on this account abandoned. It is now a mean and ill-built town, of large extent, with a population of 12,000, including about 1,000 Greek Christians, who have a resident bishop and about twenty inferior clergy. There are five churches, and six mosques, one of which the native Christians believe to have been the church in which worshipped the primitive Christians whom John addressed.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaPHILADELPHIA
fil-a-del-'fi-a (Philadelphia: A city of ancient Lydia in Asia Minor on the Cogamus River, 105 miles from Smyrna. It stood upon a terrace 650 ft. above the sea. Behind it are the volcanic cliffs to which the Turks have given the name of Devitt, or "inkwells"; on the other side of the city the land is exceedingly fertile, and there was produced a wine of whose excellence the celebrated Roman poet Virgil wrote. Philadelphia is not so ancient as many of the other cities of Asia Minor, for it was founded after 189 B.C. on one of the highways which led to the interior. Its name was given to it in honor of Attalus II, because of his loyalty to his elder brother, Eumenes II, king of Lydia. Still another name of the city was Decapolis, because it was considered as one of the ten cities of the plain. A third name which it bore during the 1st century. A.D. was Neo-kaisaria; it appears upon the coins struck during that period. During the reign of Vespasian, it was called Flavia. Its modern name, Ala-shehir, is considered by some to be a corruption of the Turkish words Allah-shehir, "the city of God," but more likely it is a name given it from the reddish color of the soil. In addition to all of these names it sometimes bore the title of "Little Athens" because of the magnificence of the temples and other public buildings which adorned it. Philadelphia quickly became an important and wealthy trade center, for as the coast cities declined, it grew in power, and retained its importance even until late Byzantine times. One of the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation (Revelation 3:7) was there, and it was the seat of a bishop. As in most Asia Minor cities, many Jews lived there, and they possessed a synagogue. During the reign of Tiberius the city was destroyed by an earthquake, yet it was quickly rebuilt. Frederick Barbarossa entered it while on his crusade in 1190. Twice, in 1306 and 1324, it was besieged by the Seljuk Turks, but it retained its independence until after 1390, when it was captured by the combined forces of the Turks and Byzantines. In 1403 Tamerlane captured it, and, it is said, built about it a wall of the corpses of his victims.
Ala-shehir is still a Christian town; one-fourth of its modern population is Greek, and a Greek bishop still makes his home there. One of the chief modern industries is a liquorice factory; in the fields about the city the natives dig for the roots. On the terrace upon which the ancient city stood, the ruins of the castle and the walls may still be seen, and among them is pointed out the foundation of the early church. The place may now best be reached by rail from Smyrna.
E. J. Banks
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Brotherly love, a city of Lydia in Asia Minor, about 25 miles south-east of Sardis. It was the seat of one of the "seven churches" (Revelation 3:7
-12). It came into the possession of the Turks in A.D. 1392. It has several times been nearly destroyed by earthquakes. It is still a town of considerable size, called Allahshehr, "the city of God."