Easton's Bible Dictionary
a foster-child, An Ephesian who accompanied Paul during
a part of his third missionary journey ( Acts
20:4 ; 21:29
). He was with Paul in Jerusalem, and the Jews, supposing that the apostle had
brought him with him into the temple, raised a tumult which resulted in Paul's
imprisonment. (See TEMPLE, HEROD'S.) In writing to Timothy, the apostle says,
"Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick" ( 2
Timothy 4:20 ). This must refer to some event not noticed in the Acts.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
well educated; well brought up
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(nutritious) Both Trophimus and Tychicus accompanied
Paul from Macedonia as far as Asia, but Tychicus seems to have remained there,
while Trophimus proceeded with the apostle to Jerusalem. (A.D. 54.) There he was
the innocent cause of the tumult in which St. Paul was apprehended. ( Acts
21:27 - 29
) From this passage we learn two new facts, viz. that Trophimus was a Gentile,
and that he was a native of Ephesus. Trophimus was probably one brethren who,
with Titus, conveyed the second Epistle to the Corinthians. ( 2
Corinthians 8:16 - 24
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
trof'-i-mus (Trophimos, literally, "a foster child" (Acts
20:4 ; 21:29
An Asiatic Christian, a friend and companion-in-travel of the apostle Paul.
1. An Ephesian:
In the first of the three passages in which Trophimus is mentioned, he and Tychicus
are called Asianoi, that is, natives of the Roman province of Asia; and making
it still more definite, in Acts
21:29, he is termed an "Ephesian." Trophimus was one of eight friends, who
accompanied Paul at the close of his 3rd missionary journey, and traveled with
him from Greece through Macedonia into Asia, and onward by sea until Jerusalem
was reached (see TYCHICUS).
Trophimus went with Paul all the way, for, in the second of the passages referred
to, he is mentioned as being with Paul in Jerusalem immediately on the close of
2. Cause of Paul's Arrest:
He was the innocent cause of Paul being assaulted, in the courts of the temple
by the Jewish mob, and then of his being arrested and imprisoned by the Romans.
The occasion of this outrage was that the Jews supposed that Paul had "brought
Greeks also into the temple, and .... defiled this holy place" (Acts
21:28). The modicum of fact lying at the root of this false accusation was
that they had seen Paul and Trophimus in each other's company in the city. On
this slender basis "they supposed" that Paul had brought Trophimus past the barrier
or middle wall of partition (Ephesians
2:14; see PARTITION), beyond which no Gentile was allowed to penetrate on
pain of death. They supposed that Trophimus who was neither a Jew nor a proselyte,
but Gentile Christian, had been introduced into the temple itself by Paul--which
would have been profanation. Hence, their fury against the apostle.
How strongly they insisted on the crime which Trophimus was falsely alleged to
have committed on that occasion, is seen again in the way in which the orator
Tertullus repeated the charge against Paul before the Roman governor Felix, who
moreover assayed to profane the temple" (Acts
3. At Miletus:
The third reference to Trophimus is in 2
Timothy 4:20, "Trophimus I left at Miletus sick." This final notice shows
that he was again--several years after the date indicated in the previous passages--traveling
with Paul on one of the missionary journeys which the apostle undertook after
being liberated from his first imprisonment in Rome. It is exceedingly difficult,
perhaps impossible, to trace the course of the different journeys which Paul now
made, as there is no such narrative as is given in Acts for the former journeys,
but merely incidental notices of his later travels, in the Pastoral Epistles.
In this, the last of all his letters--2 Timothy--Paul indicates various places
which he had visited, and also the names of friends who traveled with him on this
the last of his apostolic journeys.
Among other places, he had visited Miletus, a city on the coast of the province
of Asia; and there his old friend Trophimus had been laid down with illness, so
severe that he could travel no farther, but Paul left him "at Miletus sick." It
is to be noted that Miletus was not far from Ephesus, which was Trophimus' native
city. There would be much intercourse between the two cities (see Acts
17, where Paul sends for the elders of the church at Ephesus to come to him
at Miletus, which they did). Trophimus therefore, in his sickness, could easily
reach Ephesus, or his friends from that city could quickly come to him at Miletus,
and give him whatever attention and nursing he might require.
4. The Description of 2
It has been conjectured that Trophimus is to be identified with the person mentioned
Corinthians 8:16 - 24.
Paul there speaks in the highest terms of one of his companions--but without giving
his name--whom he sent with Titus. Titus and this disciple were evidently those
to whose care Paul entrusted the carrying of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians
to its destination. The apostle says of this unnamed brother, not only that his
praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches, but also that he was chosen
by the churches to travel with him, i.e. with Paul, with this grace, i.e. with
the contribution of money collected in the Gentile churches for the poor saints
Now it is certain that at the close of his 3rd missionary journey Paul carried
these gifts to Jerusalem ("I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings,"
24:17); and some of the eight friends who accompanied him on the journey (Acts
20:4) were those who had been entrusted by the churches with the safe conveyance
of the money. Speaking of these collections, Paul writes (1
Corinthians 16:3 - 4).
"Whomsoever ye shall approve, them will I send with letters to carry your bounty
unto Jerusalem: and if it be meet for me to go also, they shall go with me." These
conditions were fulfilled, when Paul and his eight friends traveled from Greece
to Jerusalem, carrying the money with them. There is therefore certainty that
one of the eight is the brother referred to in 2
Corinthians 8:18, whose praise in the gospel was in all the churches, and
whom the churches had appointed to travel with Paul for the purpose of carrying
the money contribution, and whom Paul had "many times proved earnest in many things"
Corinthians 8:18 , 8:19
8:22). The eight were Sopater of Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus, both from
Thessalonica, Gaius of Derbe, Timothy, Tychicus and Trophimus, both "Asians,"
and lastly Luke.
There is certainly the possibility that the unnamed brother was Trophimus: if
not Trophimus, then he was one of the other seven. Of these seven, by the process
of elimination, the unnamed brother could only be one of those who traveled with
Paul the whole distance as far as Jerusalem, for this was the work which "the
brother" had been appointed by the churches to do. Now it is certain that Luke
and Trophimus were with him on his arrival in Jerusalem (Acts
21:29). Therefore the brother whose praise in the gospel was in all the churches
may very well have been Trophimus: if not Trophimus, then possibly Luke or Aristarchus.
Gaius and Aristarchus are termed "Paul's companions in travel" (Acts
19:29); and Aristarchus was afterward with Paul in Palestine, and sailed with
him to Rome. It is quite remarkable that the same word, sunekdemos, "companion
in travel," is applied to the unnamed brother (2
Corinthians 8:19), and to Gaius and Aristarchus in Acts
As the conditions do not seem to be satisfied in Sopater, Secundus or Timothy,
the brother so highly commended must have been either Luke or Gaius or Aristarchus
or Tychicus or Trophimus.
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