Cyrene in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

The chief city of Cyrenaica (now Tripoli), or the Libyan pentapolis (five cities) in N. Africa, between Egypt and Carthage, S., across the sea, of Crete and the Greek Peloponnese. A Dorian Greek colony, reigned over by Battus and his family 630 B.C. Afterward joined to its eastern neighbor Egypt. A table land descending by terraces to the sea. Famed for luxuriant vegetation and grandeur of its hills; for its intellectual activity in philosophy and poetry; and for its commerce. Jews in large number were settled there, and had a synagogue at Jerusalem, some of whose members took part against Stephen (Acts 6:9). Others were hearers of Peter and witnesses of the Spirit's miraculous effusion on Pentecost (Acts 2:10). Being converted, and subsequently scattered at the persecution of Stephen, they preached to the Greeks at Antioch, at which time and place believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:19-20). Simeon, who bore Jesus' cross, was of Cyrene (Luke 23:26). Among "the prophets and teachers" at Antioch who ministered to the Lord was Lucius of Cyrene (Acts 13:1), whom some identify with Luke the evangelist and physician. Certainly, it is from Luke alone that we hear so much of Cyrene. (But (See LUKE.) Cyrene was a great center from which the gospel afterwards went forth, raising the famous N. African churches.

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