Biblical Women Lydia

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Lydia : 

Lydia A woman who helped to support Paul’s second missionary journey. Acts 16:6-40 Copyrighted material that appears in this article is included under the provisions of the Fair Use Clause of the National Copyright Act, which allows limited reproduction of copyrighted materials for educational and religious use when no financial charge is made for viewing.

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Lydia was the head of her household and a business woman who owned a fabric business which sold purple cloth. It was not only a family business but she also had employees and had acquired considerable wealth. Paul met her in Philippi which is located on the European continent in a region called Macedonia. We would be surprised to see Paul in this region because Philippi was named after Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great, it was definitely Gentile country. Lydia knew there was a God but didn’t know which one to worship until she discovered Judaism and became a convert. Philippi had less that ten devout Jewish families a basic requirement to establish a synagogue but those who followed the faith met next to a river on the Sabbath to pray.

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Paul second missionary journey and his way to Philippi

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Philippi was a region which had become a major trading center on the road linking Rome to the eastern provinces. Paul had not intended to visit Philippi but due to the urging of the Holy Spirit within and a vision he change his route to include Philippi. It was Paul’s custom to begin preaching in Synagogues because they provided him with a large audience. Since Philippi didn’t have a synagogue he found the few Jews in prayer next the river. He began to preach and Lydia is credited with being Paul’s first convert on the European continent. Lydia offered Paul an invitation to stay in her home. Paul and Silas were imprisoned because Paul had driven a demon from a slave girl who told fortunes, once the demon

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left her so did the profits she generated for her owner. Her owner was furious and charged Paul with “throwing the city into an uproar.” While in prison there was an earthquake and their chains fell from them and the cell doors were opened. The Jailor thought they escaped on his watch and was about to kill himself when Paul stopped him and in the process was able to convert and baptize his entire family. Most likely none of this would have happened if Lydia hadn’t offered Paul and his companions shelter and we can assume food in her effort to get them to stay on. Lydia like so many other Biblical women worked in the background to support the spread of Christianity.

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