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and also PAMPHYLIA

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and parts of LYBIA

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That are down from

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and those temporarily gathered [here]

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from ROME,

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Those in THE LAND BOUND BY SIN, those from


looking toward those that LORD OVER THEM with submission based on fear,

As well as those who have temporarily left THE PLACE WHERE MANY STRENGTHS CONVERGE and gathered here to worship.



The name Phrygia appears to come from an ancient indo-european word meaning “height or elevation” and was used of mountains heights. The people called Phrygians moved from the Balkan mountains to the mountains of modern central Turkey.


Pamphylia comes from the words pas, meaning “all or every” and phulé, meaning “clan or tribe.”


The name Egypt means “to bind, to fortify, or to defend.” However, in the Bible, Egypt is always  a picture of sin. Therefore, I have put those two ideas together in my paraphrase and rendered the name as “the place that is bound by sin.” The Egyptians would never think of their name in that way; but this was the Jewish perspective and the one that was likely being used in this passage.


Lybia comes from the word meaning “lip, bank or shore.” The name came to be used of “the west bank of the Nile,” which in turn really means “the nation West of Egypt.” I am using it in my paraphrase to indicate someone “living on the edge.”


This preposition denotes “the movement from a high position to a lower one, with the emphasis on the final state.” Thus, “down from” is the most basic meaning, but it can also be rendered “according to, against, through, throughout, toward, regarding, and a few other options.” Because its use in this verse has to do with direction, I think its physical meaning may be most accurately stated as “toward Cyrene,” although many translations say something like “near or around Cyrene,” which are not altogether wrong.

Of greater interest to me here is the symbolic meaning. I think the idea of “toward” probably expresses here, and in other places, the concept of looking toward someone for leadership, or assistance. This was not often done in ancient times out of love, but usually out of necessity or fear. That shows the difference between other lords and the Creator and LORD of the universe whom we do not need to be terrified of if we live in communion with him. He is perfectly holy and perfectly gracious at the same time. He wants to make us holy too, but He will accept us as we are and then help us become what He designed us to be, if we allow Him to do His refining work.


Cyrene was the capital of Lybia in ancient times, but now the capital is Tripoli. The name appears to come from a Greek word which means “powerful one,” It is associated with the Greek word from which we get our word “Lord.” Thus, it would point to someone who is powerful due to his authority.

7: “Temporarily gathered [here]”

This word is made by adding together the preposition “upon” and a participial form of the noun that refers to “people who are bound together by common ties assembled publicly in one place;” or it can be expressed as: “people unified in conviction and showing it in the expression of public opinion.” This is the word from which we get our English word “democracy” which in turn comes from the word “bound or tied together.” The union of “upon” and “people who are bound together by common ties assembled publicly in one place” was used to refer to two seemingly opposite things: it could mean “to be at home in one’s own land” or “to make one’s self at home in a foreign land, to be a foreign resident, temporarily out of place and visiting a land that was not his own.” It is agreed that the latter meaning is the one in view in this verse.


Rome is named after its legendary founder, Romulus, whose name means “to strengthen or make firm.” But it is more than just the one name; there are several words associated with the founding of Rome and they all come together to emphasize the converging of dynamic elements into a flow of strength. As time went on this was proven true as men aligned within social codes and pooled their various resources into a culture (Abarim Publications). It seems best to use “strengthen” as a starting point and end up with a meaning which emphasizes “strength in numbers, a strength of unified people.” My final choice for the rendering of this name is “the place where many strengths converge.”

Instead of relying on the strength which comes from bringing together many people with their individual strengths, these people realized that the kind of strength necessary to do good comes from submitting to the Creator God as described in the Old Testament (they did not have the New Testament yet).