Elymas/ Paul was a former slave, a freedman of the Roman governor of Cyprus, Sergius Paulus; he took the name

Rhodes, old town
Rhodes, old town

of his former master, Paulus. The following characteristics indicate that Paul was a freedman:

1. His mania for work: only slaves and freedmen worked so hard in classical times: 1 Cor. 15:10.

2. His pride in earning his own living, 1 Cor. 9:6: freeborn men in classical times lived off the work of their slaves or from their wealth; the intellectuals had rich patrons.

3. The high value he placed on freedom, both his personal freedom through his own work and religious freedom from the Jewish law. Paul gets very angry when someone wants to enslave him again: Gal. 5:1 and several other texts.

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