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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Lydia (1)

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LYDIA was the name for the central part of the coast-land on the west of Asia Minor in ancient times, having been so called from the race which inhabited it, the Lydians. At the earliest time of which we have any knowledge it was a prosperous kingdom, and the name of the last king, CrÅ“sus, has become proverbial for wealth. The Persians seized the kingdom from him about b.c. 546 (‘Lydia’ in Ezekiel 30:5 AV [Note: Authorized Version.] is corrected to ‘ Lud ’ in RV [Note: Revised Version.] ). Alexander the Great conquered it in b.c. 334. The possession of it was disputed by the Pergamenians and Seleucids till b.c. 190, in which year it became definitely Pergamenian (cf. 1Ma 8:8 ). In b.c. 133 it passed by will with the rest of the Pergamenian kingdom into the Roman Empire, and the whole kingdom was henceforth known as the province Asia, by which name alone it is indicated in the NT (see Asia). After the formation of this province, the term ‘Lydia’ had only an ethnological significance. The chief interest of Lydia for us is that it contained several very ancient and important great cities (of the Ionian branch), Smyrna, Ephesus, Sardis, Colophon, etc., some of which were among the ‘churches of Asia.’ The evangelization of the country is connected with St. Paul’s long residence in Ephesus ( Acts 19:1 ff.).

A. Souter.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Lydia (1)'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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