A large country lying north of Greece proper, bounded south by Thessaly and Epirus, east by Thrace and the Aegean sea, west by the Adriatic Sea and Illyria, and north by Dardania and Moesia. Its principal rivers were the Strymon and Axius. Its most celebrated mountains were Olympus and Athos: the former renowned in heathen mythology as the residence of the gods, lying on the confines of Thessaly, and principally within the state; the latter being at the extremity of a promontory which juts out into the Aegean sea, and noted in modern times as the seat of several monasteries, in which are many manuscripts supposed to be valuable. This region is believed to have been peopled by Kittim, Ge 10:4; but little is known of its early history. The Macedonian Empire is traced back some four hundred years before the Famous Philip, under whom, and especially under his son Alexander the Great, it reached the summit of its power. Alexander, B. C. 336-323, at the head of Macedonians and Greeks united, conquered a large part of western and southern Asia. This power was foretold by Daniel, Da 8:3-8, under the symbol of a goat with one horn; and it is worthy of note that ancient Macedonian coins still exist, bearing that national symbol. After the death of Alexander, the power of the Macedonians declined, and they were at length conquered by the Romans under Paulus Emilius, B. C. 168, who divided their country into four districts. The Romans afterwards divided the whole of Greece and Macedonia into two great provinces, which they called Macedonia and Achaia, B. C. 142, Ro 15:26; 2Co 9:2. See GREECE. In the New Testament the name is probably to be taken in this latter sense. Of the cities of Macedonia proper, there are mentioned in the New Testament, Amphipolis, Apollonia, Berea, Neapolis, Philippi, and Thessalonica. This country early received the gospel, A. D. 55, Paul having been summoned to labor there by a supernatural vision, Ac 16:9; 20:1. Its fertile soil is now languishing under the Turkish sway.
in New Testament times, was a Roman province lying north of Greece. It was governed by a propraetor with the title of proconsul. Paul was summoned by the vision of the "man of Macedonia" to preach the gospel there (Ac 16:9). Frequent allusion is made to this event (Ac 18:5; 19:21; Ro 15:26; 2Co 1:16; 11:9; Php 4:15). The history of Paul's first journey through Macedonia is given in detail in Ac 16:10-17:15. At the close of this journey he returned from Corinth to Syria. He again passed through this country (Ac 20:1-6), although the details of the route are not given. After many years he probably visited it for a third time (Php 2:24; 1Ti 1:3). The first convert made by Paul in Europe was (Ac 16:13-15) Lydia (q.v.), a "seller of purple," residing in Philippi, the chief city of the eastern division of Macedonia.
The first country in Europe where Paul preached the gospel, in obedience to the vision of a man of Macedonia, saying "come over and help us." The Haemus (Balkan) range, separating it from Maesia, is on its N.; the Pindus, separating it from Epirus, on the W.; the Cambunian hills S. separating Macedonia from Thessaly; Thrace and the Aegean sea E. There are two great plains, one watered by the Axius entering the sea near Thessalonica, the other by the Strymon which passes near Philippi and empties itself below Amphipolis. Between lies Mount Athos, across the neck of which Paul often travelled with his companions. Philip (from whom Philippi is named) and Alexander were its most famous kings. When Rome conquered it from Perseus, Aemilius Paulus after the battle of Pydna divided it into Macedonia Prima, Secunda, Tertia, and Quarta. Macedonia Prima, the region E. of the Strymon, had Amphipolis as its capital, Macedonia Secunda, the region between the Strymon and Axius, had Thessalonica. Macedonia Tertia, from the Axius to the Peneus, had Pella.
Macedonia Quarta, the remainder, had Pelagonia. In New Testament times the whole of Macedonia, Thessaly, and a district along the Adriatic, was made one province under a proconsul at Thessalonica the capital. The great Ignatian Road joined Philippi and Thessalonica, and led toward Illyricum (Ro 15:19). Philippi had supplanted Amphipolis in importance. Mention of Macedonia in this wide sense occurs Ac 16:9-12; 18:5; 19:21-22,29; 20:1-3; 27:2; Ro 15:26; 1Co 16:5; 2Co 1:16; 2:13; 7:5; 8:1; 9:2,4; 11:9; Php 4:15; 1Th 1:7-8; 4:10; 1Ti 1:3 (which last passage proves Paul accomplished the wish expressed in his first imprisonment, Php 2:24). Achaia S., Illyricum N.W., and Macedonia comprehended the whole region between the Danube and the southernmost point of the Peloponnese.
The Macedonian Christians are highly commended; the Bereans for their readiness in receiving the word, and withal diligence in testing the preached word by the written word (Ac 17:11); the Thessalonians for their "work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus," so that they were "examples" to all others (1Th 1:3,7); the Philippians for their liberal contributions to Paul's sustenance (Php 4:10,14-19; 2Co 9:2; 11:9). Lydia was the first European convert, and women were Paul's first congregation (Ac 16:13-14); so the female element is prominent at Philippi in the epistle to the Philippians as working for Christ (Php 4:2-3). How Christianity, starting from that beginning, has since elevated woman socially throughout Europe!
The Macedonians were a part of the Hellenic race who settled early in history in the region round the river Axius at the N. W. corner of the
The northern part of Greece as divided by the Romans. It contained the cities of Neapolis, Philippi, Amphipolis, Thessalonica, Apollonia, and Berea. Paul saw in a vision a man of Macedonia, who said, "Come over into Macedonia and help us." To this he at once responded, believing it was a call from the Lord, and thus the gospel extended to Europe. The churches of Macedonia were specially commended for their liberality. Ac 16:9-12; 18:5; 19:21-22,29; 20:1,3; Ro 15:26; 1Co 16:5; 2Co 1:16; 2:13; 7:5; 8:1; 9:2,4; 11:9; Php 4:15; 1Th 1:7-8; 4:10; 1Ti 1:3.
(extended land), a large and celebrated country lying north of Greece, the first part of Europe which received the gospel directly from St. Paul, and an important scene of his subsequent missionary labors and those of his companions. It was bounded by the range of Haemus or the Balkan northward, by the chain of Pindus westward, by the Cambunian hills southward, by which it is separated from Thessaly, an is divided on the east from Thrace by a less definite mountain boundary running southward from Haemus. Of the space thus enclosed, two of the most remarkable physical features are two great plains, one watered by the Axius, which comes to the sea, at the Thermaic Gulf, not far from Thessalonica; the other by the Strymon, which after passing near Philippi, flows out below Amphipolis. Between the mouths of these two rivers a remarkable peninsula projects, dividing itself into three points, on the farthest of which Mount Athos rises nearly into the region of perpetual snow. Across the neck of this peninsula St. Paul travelled more than once with his companions. This general sketch sufficiently describes the Macedonia which was ruled over by Philip and Alexander and which the Romans conquered from Perseas. At first the conquered country was divided by Aemilius Paulus into four districts, but afterward was made one province and centralized under the jurisdiction of a proconsul, who resided at Thessalonica. The character of the Christians of Macedonia is set before us in Scripture in a very favorable light. The candor of the Bereans is highly commented,
the Thessalonians were evidently objects of St. Paul's peculiar affection,
and the Philippians, besides their general freedom from blame, are noted as remarkable for their liberality and self-denial.
MACEDONIA, a kingdom of Greece, having Thrace to the north, Thessaly south, Epirus west, and the AEgean Sea east. Alexander the Great, son of Philip, king of Macedonia, having conquered Asia, and subverted the Persian empire, the name of the Macedonians became very famous throughout the east; and it is often given to the Greeks, the successors of Alexander in the monarchy. In like manner, the name of Greeks is often put for Macedonians, 2 Maccabees 4:36. When the Roman empire was divided, Macedonia fell to the share of the emperor of the east. After it had long continued subject to the Romans, it fell under the power of the Ottoman Turks, who are the present masters of it.
St. Paul was invited by an angel of the Lord, who appeared to him at Troas, to come and preach the Gospel in Macedonia, Ac 16:9. After this vision, the Apostle no longer doubted his divine call to preach the Gospel in Macedonia; and the success that attended his ministry confirmed him in his persuasion. Here he laid the foundation of the churches of Thessalonica and Philippi.