Trophimus was a Gentile from Ephesus (see the Fact Finder question below, also Bible Places) who was one of the apostle Paul's traveling companions during the latter part of Paul's Ministry. Trophimus was the innocent cause of Paul's arrest in Jerusalem after the religious authorities accused Paul of bringing a Gentile into the Temple (see Temples); a charge that was not true.
Trophimus the Ephesian
Trophimus is first mentioned in the Scriptures during Paul's Third Missionary Journey:
"And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. These going before tarried for us at Troas. And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days." (Acts 20:1-6 KJV)
It was upon their return to Jerusalem and their warm greeting by believing Jews that the former Pharisee Paul was met with more trouble. Along with great success as the "apostle to the Gentiles" (Romans 11:13), persecutors dogged Paul wherever he went. This time it was from those who accused Paul of bringing a Gentile, Trophimus, into the Temple - a charge that was not true:
"And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James [not the apostle James who was martyred as recorded in Acts 12:2; this was "James the Lord's brother" as identified in Galatians 1:19 - see also Mary's Other Children] and all the elders were present. And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry."
"And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them. Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication."
"Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the Temple [the same Temple that Jesus Christ called "My Father's House"], to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them."
"And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the Temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the Temple, and hath polluted this Holy Place. For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the Temple."
"And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the Temple: and forthwith the doors were shut. And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain [i.e. Claudius Lysias] and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul."
"Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done." (Acts 21:17-33 KJV)
After a long ordeal that included a disastrous voyage to Rome (see Paul's Journey To Rome) and his imprisonment there (see Paul In Rome), Paul's last mention of Trophimus is in his epistle (see Epistles) to Timothy in which Paul reports "Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick." The nature or the seriousness of the illness is not recorded.
"Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Salute Priscilla and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick." (2 Timothy 4:17-20 KJV)
Fact Finder: Trophimus was from Ephesus. How did Ephesus become a well-known city of both Bible History and