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NAVE: Mercurius
EBD: Mercurius
Merari, Merarites | Merathaim | Mercenaries | Merchandise | Merchant | Mercurius | Mercy | Mercy Seat | Mercy-seat | Mercy-Seat, The | Mercyseat


an orator; an interpreter
gain; refuge ( --> same as Hermas, Hermes)

Mercurius [EBD]

the Hermes (i.e., "the speaker") of the Greeks (Acts 14:12), a heathen God represented as the constant attendant of Jupiter, and the god of eloquence. The inhabitants of Lystra took Paul for this god because he was the "chief speaker."

Mercurius [NAVE]

MERCURIUS, Mercury. Paul taken for, in Lycaonia, Acts 14:11, 12.


(herald of the gods), properly Hermes, the Greek deity, whom the Romans identified with their Mercury, the god of commerce and bargains. Hermes was the son of Zeus (Jupiter) and Maia the daughter of Atals, and is constantly represented as the companion of his father in his wandering upon earth. The episode of Baucis and Philemon, Ovid, Metam . viii. 620-724, appears to have formed part of the folk-lore of Asia Minor, and strikingly illustrates the readiness with which the simple people of Lystra recognized in Barnabas and Paul the gods who, according to their wont, had come down in the likeness of men. (Acts 14:11)


(Acts 14:12) the translation of the above in the Revised Version.


MERCURY; MERCURIUS - mur'-ku-ri, mer-ku'ri-us: The translation of Hermes, in Acts 14:12: "They called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercury, because he was the chief speaker." Hermes was the god of eloquence (and also of theft), the attendant, messenger and spokesman of the gods. The more commanding presence of Barnabas (compare 2 Cor 10:10) probably caused him to be identified with Zeus (the Roman Jupiter), while his gift of eloquence suggested the identification of Paul with Hermes (the Roman Mercury). The temple of Jupiter was before Lystra, and to him the Lycaonians paid their chief worship. Compare the legend of Baucis and Philemon (Ovid, Metam. viii.611 f).


M. O. Evans

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