What does Acts 13:4 mean?
ESV: So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
NIV: The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.
NASB: So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
CSB: So being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
NLT: So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus.
KJV: So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
NKJV: So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
Verse Commentary:
The leaders of the church in Syrian Antioch, on the north end of the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, have followed the Holy Spirit's guidance. They have commissioned Barnabas and Saul to travel and spread the news of Jesus' offer of forgiveness (Acts 13:1–3). Antioch is about twenty miles inland on the Orontes River. The port city of Seleucia is five miles north of the Orontes River's mouth and acts as the harbor of Antioch which is one terminus of the Silk Road.

Cyprus is the same island as today, east of Syria and south of Asia Minor. Barnabas is from Cyprus (Acts 4:36), as are many of the Jewish Jesus-followers who first brought Jesus to the Gentiles in Antioch (Acts 11:19–30). Ironically, those Jews arrived at Antioch because they were fleeing Saul's persecution of the church (Acts 8:1–3).

With Barnabas and Saul is Barnabas' kinsman, John Mark (Acts 13:5; Colossians 4:10). While on Cyprus, the team will share Jesus' story in the Jewish synagogues and rescue a proconsul from the influence of a false prophet. Saul, in particular, will make a major change as he not only switches to the Roman form of his name, Paul, but takes the lead in the ministry. By the time this group leaves the island, they will be identified as "Paul and his companions" (Acts 13:13).
Verse Context:
Acts 13:4–12 records the initial stop in Barnabas and Saul's first missionary journey (Acts 13:4—14:26). They sail west from Syrian Antioch to the island of Cyprus: Barnabas' home. As they travel the length of the island, they visit Jewish synagogues to give the Jews the first opportunity to accept Jesus' forgiveness (Romans 1:16), but their work among so many Gentiles impels Saul to make a major change and take on the Roman version of his name: Paul.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 13 transitions Luke's account (Acts 1:1) fully into a record of Paul's ministry to spread the news about Jesus. The Holy Spirit calls Paul and Barnabas for their first missionary journey. They teach about Jesus' offer of forgiveness of sins on the island of Cyprus and in the district of Pisidia in modern-day south-central Asia Minor. Along the way, they face opposition, desertion, and persecution: themes that will follow Paul throughout his life. But they also experience the joy of watching the people they'd least expect come to a saving faith in Jesus.
Chapter Context:
The first chapters of Acts, save for a quick account of Paul's conversion (Acts 9:1–31), cover the ministry of the apostles, particularly Peter. Those passages also detail the spread of the news about Jesus from His followers. That message goes to the Jews of Jerusalem (Acts 2—7) and Judea (Acts 8:26–40; 9:32–43), the Samaritans (Acts 8:4–25), and God-fearing Gentiles (Acts 10—11). Now, Paul's contribution to the ''end of the earth'' portion of Jesus' commission in Acts 1:8 begins, as he and Barnabas start their first missionary journey. Luke will record two more of Paul's journeys (Acts 15:36—18:22 and 18:23—20:38) before settling in on his return to Jerusalem, arrest, and sea voyage to Rome (Acts 21—28).
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 5/29/2024 9:14:56 PM
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