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Miletus

Miletus, or Miletum, was a major seaport city of western Asia Minor (today, Turkey). The city's four natural harbors made it a busy port in the region, including serving Ephesus which was about 35 miles / 55 kilometers to the north. It was in earlier times a commercial center for the Myceneans and Minoans (it was among the first places where coins were minted), and was later further developed by the Ionians who made it their capital of Ionia. The Persians (see Ancient Empires - Persia) captured it from the Ionians in 494 BC, but it was later taken by Alexander the Great (see Ancient Empires - Greece) in 334 BC, and subsequently by the Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome) who held it in the time of the New Testament.

Pauls Third Missionary Journey

Paul In Miletus

The apostle Paul stopped in Miletus during the return voyage of his third missionary journey (see Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey) where he made his emotional farewell address the elders of Ephesus:

"But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there; for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after that we came to Miletus. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost."

"And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. And when they came to him, he said to them: "You yourselves know how I lived among you all the time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which befell me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance to God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

"And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, bound in the Spirit, not knowing what shall befall me there; except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."

"And now, behold, I know that all you among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of His own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears."

"And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no ones silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."

"And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they all wept and embraced Paul and kissed him, sorrowing most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they brought him to the ship." (Acts 20:13-38 RSV)

Fact Finder: In his second epistle (see Epistles) to Timothy, which of Paul's associates did Paul leave in Miletus / Miletum?
2 Timothy 4:20

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