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Verse 16. And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans. Laodicea was near to Colosse, and the church there was evidently exposed to the same dangers from philosophy and false teachers as that at Colosse. The counsels in this epistle, therefore, would be equally applicable to both. In 1 Th 5:27, the apostle also charges those to whom that epistle was addressed to see that it be "read unto all the holy brethren." It is evident that the apostles designed that the letters which they addressed to the churches should be read also by others, and should become the permanent source of instruction to the friends of Christ. Laodicea, here referred to, was the seat of one of the "Seven churches" of Asia, (Re 3:14;) was a city of Phrygia, and was its capital. It was situated on the river Lycus, (hence called laodikeia epi lukw —Laodicea on the Lycus,) and stood at the south-western angle of Phrygia. Its early name appears to have been Diospolis, changed subsequently to Rhoas. The name Laodicea was given to it by Antiochus Theos, in honour of his wife, Laodice. Under the Romans it became a very flourishing commercial city. It was often damaged by earthquakes, but was restored by the Roman emperors. It is supposed to have been destroyed during the inroad of Timur Leng, A.D. 1402. The ruins are called by the Turks Eski Hissar. These ruins, and the ruins of Hierapolis, were visited by Mr. Riggs, an American missionary, in 1842, who thus speaks of them: "These spots, so interesting to the Christian, are now utterly desolate. The threatening expressed in Re 3:16 has been fulfilled, and Laodicea is but a name. In the midst of one of the finest plains of Asia Minor, it is entirely without inhabitant. Sardis, in like manner, whose church had a name to live, but was dead, is now an utter desolation. Its soil is turned up by the plough, or overgrown by rank weeds; while in Philadelphia, since the clay when our Saviour commended those who had there "kept the word of his patience," there has never ceased to be a nominally Christian church. The ruins of Laodicea and Hierapolis are very extensive. The stadium of the former city, and the gymnasia and theatres of both, are the most complete which I have anywhere seen. Hierapolis is remarkable also for the so-called frozen cascades, a natural curiosity, in its kind probably not surpassed for beauty and extent in the world. It consists of a deposit of carbonate of lime, white as the driven snow, assuming, when closely examined, various forms, and covering nearly the whole southern and western declivities of the elevation on which the city was built. It is visible for many miles, and has procured for the place the name, by which alone Hierapolis is known among the Turks, of the Cotton Castle." The engraving on the preceding page will illustrate the ruins of Laodicea.

And that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. In regard to this epistle, see Introduction, & 6.

{c} "epistle" 1 Th 5:27

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