top of page

The girl having a "spirit Python"

Please, browse the many free commentaries available on

In Acts 16, the story tells of Paul, Silas, Luke and Timothy being led to Macedonia, which was in Europe. They went to a Roman colony there, named Philippi. They knew no one there.

After staying a week, they found there were no synagogues established in the Roman settlement. They realized that some diaspora had determined a place outside the city gates, down by the river [presumably a Sabbath's walk allowed] was a place to go pray. The second Sabbath Paul and friends went there, finding a group of women, who were of the scattered Israelites' blood, married to Gentile husbands. We find that Timothy was a son of such a marriage, in Lystra. So, Paul et al began preaching to women that knew the concepts of the Law of Moses, opening their souls to receive the soul of Jesus (which possessed them). One woman named - Lydia - was a woman of means who was like the other women: believers of the One God. Lydia's heart received the Spirit; and, she begged Paul and his brothers in Christ to stay with them. They took them up on that offer.

Next, we read about Paul and gang encountering a girl that was possessed by a "spirit," which was named "Python." That capitalization has nothing to do with the serpent killed by Apollo. Instead, the capitalization says this possessing "spirit" was a Leviathan (a generic elohim) that found a soul in the sea of souls to join. This spiritual possession was not wholly bad, as it turned a young girl into a prophetess. To bring in Greek mythology to this - relative to Apollo - she became like the prophetess that would sit in the bronze tripod, situated over the crevasse that opened the earth to divine vapors that led the oracle of Delphi to speak nothing but the truth. Apollo is the god of truth (among other talents), so a girl would answer questions with divinely inspired truthful answers … those not always as easy to understand as they seemed; and, rarely what one wanted to hear (especially when paying to get the truth told).

This girl would follow Paul and buds to the prayer place by the river; but she would do so screaming at the top of her voice, saying, "These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation." [NRSV, Acts 16:17] That was the truth … but when you are going to pray, silence is the preferred setting. After four days of putting up with this girl screaming out the truth about the Apostles-Saints, for all to hear, a frustrated Paul was moved by the soul of Jesus within him to command to the girl, "I command your soul within to name of Jesus of Christ to go out of her soul." Yahweh spoke through Jesus, through the voice of Paul, to the "spirit Python," who heard everything loud and clear; so, Python departed the young girl.

If you want to know the rest of the story, I highly recommend you read Acts 16. The point of this posting is not to tell that story. It is to point out how the girl, in the same way that the woman of means, Lydia (and her household) were saved by hearing the voice of Jesus speak. Paul and Silas and Luke and Timothy all spoke physically; but all spoke the word of Jesus, because all were the resurrections of Jesus within their souls. The soul of Jesus (an elohim like the Leviathan, like Python, sent by Yahweh) possessed them; and, because that voice they spoke had the power to possess others (which included casting out any other spirits in possession … those in the way of righteousness), the girl was divinely possessed by Jesus, when Python 'left the building.' This is where it is important to see the effect the soul of Jesus had on the women of Philippi.

Now, years later (or some length of time), Paul wrote a letter to the true Christians in Philippi. In Philippians 4:2 is written [NRSV]: "I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord." This specifically names two women, which like the naming of Lydia in Acts 16 was a big deal. Women and children were not normally given the respect of naming. Because Paul named them in his letter, all the scholar (the Big Brains of religion) have pondered these names of women. Some propose "Euodia" is actually a man's name, so only the female Syntyche is a woman to figure out. Here is a link to the Wikipedia article that spews the Big Brain thoughts on this: Euodia and Syntyche.

The name "Euodia" means "Good Road, Right Way, Good Luck!" It comes: "From (1) the adverb ευ (eu), good or noble, and (2) the noun οδος (hodos), road or way." [Abarim Publications] To me, this would have been one of the women of Lydia's household. Because the name "Lydia" implies one of a former dynasty - the fallen Hittites, who many believe became the Etruscans - her being identified as a dealer of purple fabrics says the "royal color" made her be something of a noblewoman. Because "Euodia" can means "Nobel Way," she would be a daughter of Lydia; and, she would have been of Lydia's household that had her soul saved by Paul (Jesus possessing her soul through him).

That brings us to the name "Syntyche." That name means: "Collective (Mis-)Fortune, Total Happenstance, Completely By Chance." This comes "From (1) the prefix συν (sun), with, and (2) the noun τυχη (tuche), fortune, chance." [Abarim Publications] When "Syn" is read as "Together," and "tuche" as "Fortune," this identifies Syntyche as the "Fortune-teller" that was "possessed" by "Python," who was used by her Roman slave-owners to profit from her abilities to prophesy the truth. She too was saved by hearing the voice of Jesus coming from Paul's mouth; and, in exchange for being dispossessed by Python, her soul was possessed by Jesus.

This makes for an explanation why there would be a "disagreement" between two true Christian women of Philippi. One woman had never known slavery, having been born as the daughter of a noblewoman. Euodia was born to good favor. Her soul was saved without ever knowing the harshness of the real world - call it the Marie Antoinette syndrome. Still, she was able to preach as Jesus, as were all true Christians. She spoke the truth politely. Syntyche, on the other hand, had known the harsher side of life. She was accustomed to shouting out loudly the truth, without fear of what effect that style of speaking had on others.

When Paul wrote of their differences, he said both their "names were in the book of life," meaning their souls were saved. With Jesus within their souls, it was assured they would love one another in the way Jesus loved. Jesus loved both approaches to his ministry. There are times when the truth is best served with politeness and refinement; but there are also times when the truth needs to get in your face and scream loud enough for your soul to hear: "Hey! This is Jesus. I am talking to You!"

Recent Posts

See All


ได้รับ 0 เต็ม 5 ดาว

bottom of page