Cyrene - a city (now Tripoli) in Upper Libya, North Africa, founded by a colony of Greeks (B.C. 630). It contained latterly a large number of Jews, who were introduced into the city by Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, because he thought they would contribute to the security of the place. They increased in number and influence; and we are thus prepared for the frequent references to them in connection with the early history of Christianity. Simon, who bore our Lord's cross, was a native of this place (Matt. 27:32; Mark 15:21). Jews from Cyrene were in Jerusalem at Pentecost(Acts 2:10); and Cyrenian Jews had a synagogue at Jerusalem (6:9). Converts belonging to Cyrene contributed to the formation of the first Gentile church at Antioch (11:20). Among "the prophets and teachers" who "ministered to the Lord at Antioch" was Lucius of Cyrene (13:1).
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