“Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.”
King James Version (KJV)
13:16 Ye that fear God - Whether proselytes or heathens.
Ac 13:16 Then Paul stood up. Invited to speak by the usual courtesy extended to visiting brethren, he arose, according to the Greek custom. In Judea speakers sat. Among the Greeks they stood. The address that follows, the first reported address of Paul, is worthy of special study especially as an example of the character of his preaching in the synagogue. It begins with a short recapitulation of the glorious history of Israel, a theme always apt to secure the favor of a Jewish audience, and when he has ascended to David, the hero king and the pride of every Jew, he passes from him to the promised Son of David, and thus preaches Christ. Had he begun at once with the latter, the great object of his discourse, he would have aroused prejudice and perhaps closed their ears. It will be observed here before a Jewish audience, as well as at Athens before a heathen audience, he first secured a common ground with his hearers, and upon it founded his argument for the gospel. Men of Israel, and ye that fear God. There were two classes present, Jews and "the devout Greeks". The latter had given up heathenism, had learned to "fear God", and were anxious to learn more about him; hence were wont to attend the synagogue.