Now Konieh, N. of mount Taurus, in the central table land of Asia Minor, Lycaonia. On the route between western Asia and Ephesus on one side, and Tarsus, Antioch, and Euphrates on the other. An admirable center for missionary labours, as several great roads intersected one another here. Paul with Barnabas first visited it from Antioch in Pisidia which lay on the W. (Acts 13:50-51; Acts 14:1-21; Acts 14:22). They preached in the synagogue first, as was Paul's wont, and with such power of the Holy Spirit "that a great multitude both of Jews and also of Greeks believed." The Lord attested "the word of His grace," moreover, with "signs and wonders done by their hands," while "they abode long time speaking boldly in the Lord."
But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles so as to be "evil affected against the brethren." An assault of Jews and Gentiles with their rulers, to stone them, being threatened, they withdrew to Lystra and Derbe in the eastern and wilder parts of Lycaonia. Paul revisited Iconium to "confirm their souls in the faith," and to remind them as a motive to continuing endurance that "we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." In undesigned coincidence Paul in incidentally alludes (2 Timothy 3:11) to "persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra, what (how grievous) persecutions I endured ... but out of them all the Lord delivered me."
On his second missionary circuit Paul with Silas came from Syrian Antioch through Cilicia, and up through the Taurus passes into Lycaonia, and by Derbe and Lystra proceeded westward to Iconium (Acts 16:1-3). In this neighbourhood he took Timothy as his associate, on the recommendation of the brethren at Lystra and Iconium, and here probably took place Timothy's circumcision and ordination (1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 4:14; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 1:6).
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