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Gaius And Aristarchus

Macedonia was a European territory located between the Greek peninsula and the Balkan highlands. It had varied political status and geographical extent during Bible History. It was a Greek kingdom (see Ancient Empires - Greece), but later a Roman province (see Ancient Empires - Rome). During the time of the apostle Paul, although Paul apparently had decided to remain in Asia ("Asia Minor" i.e. his native Turkey, where his first missionary journey occurred - see the Fact Finder question below), Macedonia was the first region of Europe to accept Paul as a teacher after the LORD blocked further travel in Asia Minor and sent him across to Macedonia in Europe.

"16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 16:7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 16:8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 16:10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them." (Acts 16:6-10 KJV)

"Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel"

Paul accepted the man's invitation (moreover, Paul obeyed the command of the LORD) and crossed over to Macedonia where he found very receptive people - as made possible by the Holy Spirit.

Paul's Second Missionary Journey

"16:11 Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; 16:12 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.

16:13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of Purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us." (Acts 16:11-15 KJV)

Throughout his travels, Paul thereafter never lost touch with the Macedonians, either by letter (i.e. Epistles), or by others that he sent in communication.

"19:21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome. 19:22 So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season." (Acts 19:21-22 KJV)

Macedonians were also among those who accompanied Paul on his travels. During the riot of the idol-worshippers in Ephesus, two of them, Gaius and Aristarchus, were seized by a mob. Paul attempted to help them, but some of his other traveling companions ("when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not") and local officials ("certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre") prevented Paul from entering the theater where Gaius and Aristarchus were being subjected to a "show trial." Thanks to the town clerk, who reminded everyone of their laws against murder, and that the men had done no wrong ("these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess") the mob was dispersed and Gaius and Aristarchus were released - upon which they all returned to Macedonia.

"19:28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. 19:29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre. 19:30 And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. 19:31 And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.

19:32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. 19:33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people. 19:34 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

19:35 And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter? 19:36 Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly. 19:37 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. 19:38 Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another. 19:39 But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. 19:40 For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. 19:41 And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly." (Acts 19:28-41 KJV)

"20:1 And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia." (Acts 20:1 KJV)

Fact Finder: How often did Paul travel to or through Macedonia on his missionary journeys?
Paul's First Missionary Journey: Acts 13:1 to 15:35
Paul's Second Missionary Journey: Acts 15:36 to 18:22
Paul's Third Missionary Journey: Acts 18:23 to 21:17


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