Author: Ron Graham

Book of Acts

Acts 13:1-12
—Verse by verse

This page is a verse by verse study of Acts 13:1-12. Paul’s first missionary journey begins, and he strikes Elymas the sorcerer blind.

Paul’s First Missionary Journey Begins

Acts 13:1-12

¶“1In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2As they served the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, 'Separate Barnabas and Saul for me, for the work to which I have called them.' 3So, when they had fasted and prayed and laid hands on them, they sent them away.” (Acts 13:1-3).

¶“4Thus Barnabas and Saul, sent out by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed to Cyprus. 5Reaching Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. They also had John as their helper.” (Acts 13:4-5).

¶“6When they had gone through the whole island to Paphos, they came across a certain sorcerer. He was a false prophet, a Jew named Bar-Jesus. 7He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus who was an intelligent man. Sergius summoned Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God. 8But Elymas the sorcerer (as his name is translated) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.” (Acts 13:6-8).

¶“9But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on Elymas. 10Paul said, 'You who are filled with deception and fraud; you son of the devil; you enemy of all righteousness; will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11Behold, now the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a season.' Immediately a mist and darkness fell on Elymas. He went about seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12Then the proconsul, when he saw this happen, believed. He was amazed at the teaching of the Lord.” (Acts 13:9-12).

1 Barnabas and Saul Sent to Preach

Verses 1-3

¶ "In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they served the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Separate Barnabas and Saul for me, for the work to which I have called them.” So, when they had fasted and prayed and laid hands on them, they sent them away." (Acts 13:1-3).

The value of fasting

The value of bodily deprivation is not intrinsic. When practised as though it does have value in itself, it becomes a problem (Colossians 2:20-23). The Lord does not encourage Christians to be ascetic and austere in their way of life, but rather to enjoy God’s gifts, yet "seek first the kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33).

2 Barnabas and Saul Sail to Cyprus

Verses 4-5

¶ "Thus Barnabas and Saul, sent out by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed to Cyprus. Reaching Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. They also had John as their helper." (Acts 13:4-5).

Map Cyprus and Persia


3 Elymas the Sorcerer Struck Blind.

Verses 6-8

¶ "When they had gone through the whole island to Paphos, they came across a certain sorcerer. He was a false prophet, a Jew named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus who was an intelligent man. Sergius summoned Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (as his name is translated) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith." (Acts 13:6-8).

Verses 9-12

¶ "But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on Elymas. Paul said, “You who are filled with deception and fraud; you son of the devil; you enemy of all righteousness; will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? Behold, now the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a season.” Immediately a mist and darkness fell on Elymas. He went about seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul, when he saw this happen, believed. He was amazed at the teaching of the Lord." (Acts 13:9-12).

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