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Holman Bible Dictionary


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(lihd' ih uh; fruhm king Lihduss). Both a place and personal name of uncertain meaning. 1. The country in Asia Minor whose capital was Sardis. Habitation of the area dates from prehistory. The Hittites left their mark on the land through monuments. Lydia's most famous ruler was Croessus (560-546 BC), a name synonymous with wealth. His kingdom was captured by Cyrus, who seven years later captured Babylon and freed the exiles. Lydians were named by Ezekiel as “men of war” or mercenaries who fought to defend Tyre (Ezekiel 27:10 ) and who made an alliance with Egypt (Ezekiel 30:5 ) 2 . Lydia was the first European converted to Christ under the preaching of Paul at Philippi (Acts 16:14 ). Her name originally might have been the designation of her home, “a woman of Lydia,” since Thyatira was in the province of Lydia. Being a worshiper of God, Lydia could have been a convert to Judaism, although this cannot be stated with certainty. She did know enough about Judaism to converse with Paul about the religion. Lydia hosted Paul and his entourage in Philippi after her conversion. Her profession as a “seller of purple” meant that she probably was quite wealthy (Acts 16:12-15 ,Acts 16:12-15,16:50 ).

Mike Mitchell

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Lydia'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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