Acts 17:14

ESV Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there.
NIV The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea.
NASB Then immediately the brothers sent Paul out to go as far as the sea; and Silas and Timothy remained there.
CSB Then the brothers and sisters immediately sent Paul away to go to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed on there.
NLT The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind.
KJV And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.

What does Acts 17:14 mean?

After encouraging the churches Paul had planted with Barnabas in modern-day Asia Minor, planting a church with Lydia, a Gentile woman, in Philippi, and having a more typical mixed reaction in Thessalonica, Paul, Silas, and Timothy have likely found Berea to be refreshing. The Jews of the synagogue don't split between those who believe Jesus is the Messiah and those who fear losing their social status. The entire synagogue studies the Old Testament prophets. They peacefully respond based on their convictions (Acts 17:10–12).

Unfortunately, Berea is only 45 miles, or 72 kilometers, from Thessalonica, where Jews reacted more violently to the team's ministry. When Paul preached in Thessalonica several from the synagogue believed him, but some Jews grew jealous of his following. When they couldn't find Paul and his team, they attacked Jason, their host (Acts 17:1–9). Now, these same Jews have followed the team to Berea (Acts 17:13). For the team to stay is dangerous. Leaders of Roman cities were expected to keep the peace; to allow chaos would threaten their jobs. The worship of Jesus wasn't strictly legal; as God, He was not authorized by the Roman Empire and as King He threatened the Emperor. If the church in Berea gets enough negative attention, the city government could turn against them.

We're not told why Silas and Timothy stay behind. When Paul arrives in Athens, he sends word for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible (Acts 17:15). Before they can get to Athens, he apparently sends Timothy to Thessalonica because he is worried about the church there (1 Thessalonians 3:1–2, 6), and he sends Silas somewhere else. They don't join Paul until he's been in Corinth for a while (Acts 18:5; 1 Thessalonians 3:6).
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