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Reference: Cilicia


The south-eastern province of Asia Minor, bounded north by the Taurus range, separating it from Cappadocia, Lycaonia, and Isauria, south by the Mediterranean, east by Syria, and west by Pamphylia. The western part had the appellation of Aspera, or rough; while the eastern was called Campestris, or level. This country was the province of Cicero when proconsul; and its chief town, Tarsus, was the birthplace of the apostle Paul, Ac 6:9. Many Jews dwelt in Cilicia, and maintained frequent intercourse with Jerusalem, where they joined the other Jews in opposing the progress of Christianity. Paul himself may have taken part in the public discussion with Stephen, Ac 6:9; 7:58. After his conversion he visited his native province, Ac 9:30; Ga 1:21, and established churches, which were addressed in the letter of the council at Jerusalem, Ac 15:23. The apostle once afterwards made a missionary tour among these churches, his heart yearning to behold and to increase their prosperity, Ac 15:36,41.

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a maritime province in the south-east of Asia Minor. Tarsus, the birth-place of Paul, was one of its chief towns, and the seat of a celebrated school of philosophy. Its luxurious climate attracted to it many Greek residents after its incorporation with the Macedonian empire. It was formed into a Roman province, B.C. 67. The Jews of Cilicia had a synagogue at Jerusalem (Ac 6:9). Paul visited it soon after his conversion (Ga 1:21; Ac 9:30), and again, on his second missionary journey (Ac 15:41), "he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches." It was famous for its goat's-hair cloth, called cilicium. Paul learned in his youth the trade of making tents of this cloth.

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A province S.E. of Asia Minor, having the Mediterranean on the S., Pamphylia on the W., the Taurus and Antitaurus range on the N., separating it from Lycaonia and Cappadocia, and on the E. the range of Areanus separating it from Syria. The eastern portion is level, well watered, and fruitful; the western rugged, and chiefly fit for pasture. Tarsus, on the Cydnus, capital of the E., became a favorite residence of the Greeks and seat of learning under the Graeco-Macedonian empire. Many Jews were settled there and had their synagogue (Ac 6:9). Paul belonged to Tarsus, and there acquired his knowledge of the Greek poets, three of whom he quotes: Aratus of Cilicia, Menander, and Epimenides (Ac 17:28; 1Co 15:33; Tit 1:12). He naturally visited it after his conversion, and probably founded the church there.

Cilicia was the high road between Syria and the W.; from Syria into Cilicia by the gates of Amanus, a pass at the head of the valley of Pinarus; from Cilicia by the gates of Cilicia, near the sources of Cydnus, through the Antitaurus into Lycaonia and Cappadocia, the pass whereby Paul crossed into Lycaonia (Ac 15:41). The goats' hair cloth, called cilicium, was one of its products. Paul, according to the excellent Jewish custom that all boys should learn a trade, wrought at; making tents of this hair cloth procurable in every large town of the Levant, a profitable trade in those days of traveling. The hair cloth is still manufactured in Asia Minor, and the word still retained in French, Spanish, and Italian (cilicio). Theodore of Mopsus in Cilicia was another of its eminent Christian writers.

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A district in the S.E. corner of Asia Minor, which in NT times was divided into two portions. The Roman province Cilicia, which is alone referred to in the NT, stretched from a little E. of Corycus to Mt. Amanus, and from the Cilician Gates and Anazarbus to the sea. For administrative purposes it was combined with Syria and Ph

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Province in Asia Minor on the extreme north-east of the Mediterranean, separated from the other provinces by a range of mountains. It was more accessible to Syria by road than to the rest of Asia Minor. There were evidently Gentile believers there, for Cilicia was mentioned in the letter from Jerusalem on the exemption of the Gentiles from keeping the law. Paul and Silas visited the district, confirming the churches. Ac 6:9; 15:23,41; Ga 1:21; etc.

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( the land of Celix), a maritime province int he southeast of Asia Minor, bordering on Pamphylia in the west, Lycaonia and Cappadocia in the north, and Syria in the east.

Ac 6:9

Cilicia was from its geographical position the high road between Syria and the west; it was also the native country of St. Paul, hence it was visited by him, firstly, soon after his conversion,

Ac 9:30; Ga 1:21

and again in his second apostolical journey.

Ac 15:41

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CILICIA, a country in the south-east of Asia Minor, and lying on the northern coast, at the east end of the Mediterranean Sea: the capital city thereof was Tarsus, the native city of St. Paul, Ac 21:39.

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