Acts 20:13-16

13 Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had given orders, intending himself to go on foot.

14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene.

15 We sailed from there, and the next day came opposite Chios. The following day we arrived at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium. The next day we came to Miletus.

16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.

on foot (v.13) — about 20 miles by land, 40 by sea

Assos (v.13) — An ancient city of Mysia, some miles east of Cape Lectum, a promontory which had to be rounded by the vessel on leaving Troas. It was an important coasting station, with a fair harbor. A Roman road connected it by land with Troas, the distance being about twenty miles.

Mitylene (v.14) — The chief town of the island of Lesbos, about twelve miles from the coast of Asia. The run from Assos to Mitylene is about 30 miles. It was a town of some historical importance. We notice, from the runs of the ship, that it stopped every evening. The reason is that the prevailing wind in the Aegean in the summer months is from the north. It springs up in the early morning and drops in the late afternoon, so that sailing vessels are becalmed. Thus Paul’s ship would start in the very early morning and anchor in the evening.

Chios (v.15) — An island of some size (32 miles long by 8 to 18 miles broad) separated from the Asian mainland by a channel which varies in breadth from 5 miles at its narrowest part. Paul’s ship sailed down this channel.

Samos (v.15) — An important Aegean island, separated by narrow straits from the Asian mainland, — a historic spot where the Greeks won a famous victory over the Persians. It was noted for its science and arts. Paul’s vessel had to round the west point of Samos, and then bear inwards towards Miletus. Trogyllium is the promontory on the mainland, on the other side of the straits, opposite Samos, at the entrance of the Gulf of Ephesus. When the ship reached this point, the wind dropped, and they had to anchor for the night and forego their intention of pushing on the same day to Miletus.

Miletus (v.15) — On the coast of Caria, — once the most famous of the Ionian cities. It had sunk, under the Romans, to a second-rate town, as the silting up of the river Menander gradually reduced its importance and finally rendered it useless as a port. In Paul’s day, it was practically the port of Ephesus, which city had long eclipsed Miletus. The run from Trogyllium was only about 23 miles. — Walker, pages 440-442.

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