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New Defender's Study Bible Notes

16:16 spirit of divination. The “spirit of divination” was actually a “pythonic spirit,” so named because of the legendary serpent slain by Apollo, who supposedly was the god of prophecy.

16:17 the most high God. The continual harangue by the girl, referring to “the most high God,” designed to produce ridicule and resentment against Paul, showed that her “spirit of divination” was actually a demonic spirit. Compare the experience of Jesus, whom they recognized as God, with such evil spirits (e.g., Matthew 8:31-32; Mark 1:24).

16:20 being Jews. The obvious prejudice against Jews displayed here by the citizenry and officials against Jews perhaps accounts for the minimal Jewish population in such a large city as Philippi.

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