And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.…
The population of the island was largely Greek, and the name of the chief town at the east end recalled the history or the legend of a colony under Teucer, the son of Telamon, from the Salamis of the Saronic gulf. It owned Aphrodite, or Venus, as its tutelary goddess, Paphos being the chief centre of her worship, which there, as elsewhere, was conspicuous for the licentiousness of the harlot priestesses of her temple. The copper mines (the metal Cuprum took its name from the island), farmed by Augustus to Herod the Great, had attracted a considerable Jewish population, among whom the gospel had been preached by the evangelists of Acts 11:19. An interesting inscription — the date of which is, however, uncertain, and may be of the second or third century after Christ — given in M. de Cesnola's "Cyprus" (p. 422), as found at Golgoi in that island, shows a yearning after something higher than the polytheism of Greece: "Thou, the one God, the greatest, the most glorious name, help us all, we beseech Thee." At the foot of the inscription there is the name "Helios," the sun, and we may probably see in it a trace of that adoption of the worship of Mithras, or the sun, as the visible symbol of Deity, which, first becoming known to the Romans in the time of Pompeius, led to the general reception of the Dies Solis ( = Sunday) as the first day of the Roman week, and which, even in the case of Constantine, mingled with the earlier stages of his progress towards the faith of Christ. The narrative that follows implies that the prudence or discernment which distinguished the proconsul may well have shown itself in such a recognition of the unity of the Godhead; and it is worthy of note that M. de Cesnola ("Cyprus," p. 425) discovered at Self, in the same island, another inscription, bearing the name of Paulus the Proconsul, who may, perhaps, be identified with the Sergius Paulus of this narrative.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.