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November 15    Scripture



Bible Cities: Miletus
Ancient Miletus

Map of Ancient Miletus

MILETUS was a city of Caria, formerly the chief city of Ionia. It was situated on the western coast of Asia Minor, near the mouth of the river Meander, and south of that stream. It was the point at which the Apostle Paul took his final leave of the Elders of the church at Ephesus. (Acts 20:15-38.) He also revisited Miletus after his first imprisonment at Rome. The city is incorrectly called Miletum, in 2 Tim. 4:20. The site of Miletus has now receded ten miles from the coast, and, even in the Apostle's time it must have lost its strictly maritime position. As to the history of Miletus itself, it was far more famous five hundred years before St. Paul's day than it ever became afterwards. In early times it was the most flourishing city of the Ionian Greeks. In the natural order of events it was absorbed in the Persian Empire. After a brief period of spirited independence, it received a blow from which it never recovered, in the siege conducted by Alexander, when on his Eastern campaign. But still it held, even through the Roman period, the rank of a second rate trading town, and Strabo mentions its four harbors. At this time it was politically in the province of Asia, though Caria was the old ethnological name of the district in which it was situated. It is now a desolate ruin, but still abounds in monuments of its former greatness and prosperity. It is rarely visited by travelers, and only by those desirous of seeing the localities mentioned in the New Testament. - Ancient Geography

Miletus in Easton's Bible Dictionary (Miletum, 2 Tim. 4:20), a seaport town and the ancient capital of Ionia, about 36 miles south of Ephesus. On his voyage from Greece to Syria, Paul touched at this port, and delivered that noble and pathetic address to the elders ("presbyters," ver. 28) of Ephesus recorded in Acts 20:15-35. The site of Miletus is now some 10 miles from the coast. (See EPHESIANS, EPISTLE TO

Miletus in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Acts 20:15; Acts 20:17; where Paul on his third missionary journey (A.D. 51) assembled and addressed the elders of Ephesus, 25 miles distant to the N. Miletus was a day's sail from Trogyllium (Acts 20:15) and in the direct course for Cos (Acts 21:1). He visited Miletus again before his last imprisonment, and left Trophimus there sick (2 Timothy 4:20 where it ought to be Miletus not Miletum). On the Maeander, anciently capital and chief seaport of Caria and Ionia, subdued by Croesus, then by Persia. Now, owing to the alluvial deposits of the river, it is ten miles inland; even in Paul's time it was no longer on the sea, as 2 Timothy 4:38 implies, "they accompanied him unto the ship." There are ruins of the theater, one of the largest in Asia Minor. Also of a church building lying in ruins said to have been preached in by John (?). Now Palatia. The coin of Miletus has a lion looking back at a star. Strabo mentions its four harbors. Miletus was for a long period the seat of a bishopric.

Miletus in Naves Topical Bible Also called MILETUM -A seaport in Asia Minor -Paul visits Ac 20:15 -And sends to Ephesus for the elders of the congregation, and addresses them at Ac 20:17-38 -Trophimus left sick at 2Ti 4:20

Miletus in Smiths Bible Dictionary Ac 20:15,17 less correctly called MILETUM in 2Ti 4:20 It lay on the coast, 36 miles to the south of Ephesus, a day's sail from Trogyllium. Ac 20:15 Moreover, to those who are sailing from the north it is in the direct line for Cos. The site of Miletus has now receded ten miles from the coast, and even in the apostles' time it must have lost its strictly maritime position. Miletus was far more famous five hundred years before St. Paul's day than it ever became afterward. In early times it was the most flourishing city of the Ionian Greeks. In the natural order of events it was absorbed in the Persian empire. After a brief period of spirited independence, it received a blow from which it never recovered, in the siege conducted by Alexander when on his eastern campaign. But still it held, even through the Roman period, the rank of a second- rate trading town, and Strabo mentions its four harbors. At this time it was politically in the province of Asia, though Caria was the old ethnological name of the district in which it was situated. All that is left now is a small Turkish village called Melas, near the site of the ancient city.

Miletus in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE mi-le'-tus (Miletos): A famous early Ionian Greek city on the coast of Caria, near the mouth of the Meander River, which, according to Acts 20:15--21:1, and 2 Tim 4:20 (the King James Version "Miletum"), Paul twice visited. In the earliest times it was a prominent trading post, and it is said that 75 colonies were founded by its merchants. Among them were Abydos, Cyzicus and Sinope. In 494 BC, the city was taken by the Persians; it was recovered by Alexander the Great, but after his time it rapidly declined, yet it continued to exist until long after the Christian era. In the history of early Christianity it plays but a little part. The Meander brings down a considerable amount of sediment which it has deposited at its mouth, naturally altering the coast line. The gulf into which the river flows has thus been nearly filled with the deposit. In the ancient gulf stood a little island called Lade; the island now appears as a mound in the marshy malarial plain, and Palatia, the modern village which stands on the site of Miletus, is 6 miles from the coast. Without taking into account the great changes in the coast line it would be difficult to understand Acts 20:15-21, for in the days of Paul, Ephesus could be reached from Miletus by land only by making a long detour about the head of the gulf. To go directly from one of these cities to the other, one would have been obliged to cross the gulf by boat and then continue by land. This is what Paul's messenger probably did. The direct journey may now be made by land. Miletus has been so ruined that its plan can no longer be made out. Practically the only remaining object of unusual interest is theater, the largest in Asia Minor, which was not built in a hollow of the hillside, as most ancient theaters were, but in the open field.

Miletus Scripture - Acts 20:15 And we sailed thence, and came the next [day] over against Chios; and the next [day] we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next [day] we came to Miletus.

Miletus Scripture - Acts 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

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