Acts 6:9
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen.

King James Bible
Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

Darby Bible Translation
And there arose up certain of those of the synagogue called of freedmen, and of Cyrenians, and of Alexandrians, and of those of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen.

World English Bible
But some of those who were of the synagogue called "The Libertines," and of the Cyrenians, of the Alexandrians, and of those of Cilicia and Asia arose, disputing with Stephen.

Young's Literal Translation
and there arose certain of those of the synagogue, called of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia, and Asia, disputing with Stephen,

Acts 6:9 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Then there arose - That is, they stood up against him, or they opposed him.

Of the synagogue - See the notes on Matthew 4:23. The Jews were scattered in all parts of the world. In every place they would have synagogues. But it is also probable that there would be enough foreign Jews residing at Jerusalem from each of those places to maintain the worship of the synagogue; and at the great feasts, those synagogues adapted to Jewish people of different nations would be attended by those who came up to attend the great feasts. It is certain that there was a large number of synagogues in Jerusalem. The common estimate is, that there were four hundred and eighty in the city (Lightfoot; Vitringa).

Of the Libertines - There has been very great difference of opinion about the meaning of this word. The chief opinions may be reduced to three:

1. The word is Latin, and means properly a "freedman," a man who had been a slave and was set at liberty. Many have supposed that these persons were manumitted slaves of Roman origin, but who had become proselyted to the Jewish religion, and who had a synagogue in Jerusalem. This opinion is not very probable; though it is certain, from Tacitus (Ann., lib. 2:c. 85), that there were many persons of this description at Rome. He says that 4,000 Jewish proselytes of Roman slaves made free were sent at one time to Sardinia.

2. A second opinion is, that these persons were Jews by birth, and had been taken captives by the Romans, and then set at liberty, and were thus called "freedmen" or "liberties." That there were many Jews of this description there can be no doubt. Pompey the Great, when he subjugated Judea, sent large numbers of the Jews to Rome (Philo, In Legat. a.d. Caium). These Jews were set at liberty at Rome, and assigned a place beyond the Tiber for a residence. See Introduction to the Epistle to the Romans. These persons are by Philo called "libertines," or "freedmen" (Kuinoel, in loco). Many Jews were also conveyed as captives by Ptolemy I. to Egypt, and obtained a residence in that country and the vicinity.

3. Another opinion is, that they took their name from some "place" which they occupied. This opinion is more probable from the fact that all the "other" persons mentioned here are named from the countries which they occupied. Suidas says that this is the name of a place. And in one of the fathers this passage occurs: "Victor, Bishop of the Catholic Church at Libertina, says, unity is there, etc." from this passage it is plain that there was a place called "Libertina." That place was in Africa, not far from ancient Carthage. See Dr. Pearce's Commentary on this place.

Cyrenians - Jews who dwelt at "Cyrene" in Africa. See the notes on Matthew 27:32.

Alexandrians - Inhabitants of Alexandria in Egypt. That city was founded by Alexander the Great, 332 b.c., and was populated by colonies of Greeks and Jews. It was much celebrated, and contained not less than 300,000 free citizens, and as many slaves. The city was the residence of many Jews. Josephus says that Alexander himself assigned to them a particular quarter of the city, and allowed them equal privileges with the Greeks (Antiq., Romans 14:7, Romans 14:2; Against Apion, Romans 2:4). Philo affirms that of five parts of the city, the Jews inhabited two. According to his statement, there dwelt in his time at Alexandria and the other Egyptian cities not less than "ten hundred thousand Jews." Amron, the general of Omar, when he took the city, said that it contained 40,000 tributary Jews. At this place the famous version of the Old Testament called the "Septuagint," or the Alexandrian version, was made. See Robinson's Calmet.

Cilicia - This was a province of Asia Minor, on the seacoast, at the north of Cyprus. The capital of this province was Tarsus, the native place of Paul, Acts 9:11. As Paul was of this place, and belonged doubtless to this synagogue, it is probable that he was one who was engaged in this dispute with Stephen. Compare Acts 7:58.

Of Asia - See the notes on Acts 2:9.

Disputing with Stephen - Doubtless on the question whether Jesus was the Messiah. This word does not denote "angry disputing," but is commonly used to denote "fair and impartial inquiry"; and it is probable that the discussion began in this way, and when they were overcome by "argument," they resorted, as disputants are apt to do, to angry criminations and violence.

Acts 6:9 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Filled with the Spirit
'Men ... full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.' ... 'A man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost....' 'Stephen, full of faith and power.'--ACTS vi. 3, 5, 8. I have taken the liberty of wrenching these three fragments from their context, because of their remarkable parallelism, which is evidently intended to set us thinking of the connection of the various characteristics which they set forth. The first of them is a description, given by the Apostles, of the sort of man whom they conceived to be fit to
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The Signs
There are indications that to some of those who took part in the crucifixion of Christ His death presented hardly anything to distinguish it from an ordinary execution; and there were others who were anxious to believe that it had no features which were extraordinary. But God did not leave His Son altogether without witness. The end of the Saviour's sufferings was accompanied by certain signs, which showed the interest excited by them in the world unseen. I. The first sign was the rending of the
James Stalker—The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ

The Acts of the Apostles
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES by ELLEN G. WHITE This is a public domain book, published in 1911. The author Ellen G. White was one of the early women writer in the history of America. The raw etext was provided by the Trustees of Ellen G. White Publications, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Springs, Maryland 20904. May 6, 1994. contact: seewei@orion.cc.andrews.edu (See-Wei Toh) This text is in the public domain, posted to wiretap MAY 1994. PREFACE The fifth book of the New Testament has been known from
Ellen Gould White—The Acts of the Apostles

The Seven Deacons
In those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration." The early church was made up of many classes of people, of various nationalities. At the time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, "there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven." Acts 2:5. Among those of the Hebrew faith who were gathered at Jerusalem were some
Ellen Gould White—The Acts of the Apostles

Cross References
Matthew 27:32
As they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon, whom they pressed into service to bear His cross.

Acts 2:9
"Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

Acts 2:10
Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,

Acts 6:10
But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

Acts 11:20
But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.

Acts 15:23
and they sent this letter by them, "The apostles and the brethren who are elders, to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles, greetings.

Acts 15:41
And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

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