strictly Philadelphi'a (brotherly love), a town on the confines of Lydia and Phrygia Catacecaumene, 25 southeast of Sardis, and built by Attalus II., king of Pergamos, who died B.C. 138. It was situated on the lower slopes of Tmolus, and is still represented by a town called Allah-shehr (city of God). Its elevation is 952 feet above the sea. The original population of Philadelphia. Seems to have been Macedonian; but there was, as appears from (Leviticus 3:9) a synagogue of Hellenizing Jews there, as well as a Christian church. (It was the seat of one of "the seven churches of Asia.") The locality was subject to constant earthquakes, which in the time of Strabo rendered even the town walls of Philadelphia unsafe. The expense of reparation was constant, and hence perhaps the poverty of the members of the church. (Revelation 3:8) (The church was highly commended.) (Revelation 3:7-13) Even Gibbon bears the following well-known testimony to the truth of the prophecy, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee in the hour of temptation": "At a distance from the sea, forgotten by the (Greek) emperor encompassed, all sides by the Turks, her valiant citizens defended their religion and freedom above fourscore years. Among the Greek colonies and churches of Asia, Philadelphia is still erect, a column in a scene of ruins." "The modern town (Allah-shehr, city of God), although spacious, containing 3000 houses and 10,000 inhabitants, is badly built; the dwellings are mean and the streets filthy. The inhabitants are mostly Turks. A few ruins are found, including remains of a wall and about twenty-five churches. In one place are four strong marble pillars, which once supported the dome of a church. One of the old mosques is believed by the native Christians to have been the church in which assembled the primitive Christians addressed in the Apocalypse." Whitney's Bible Geography.)
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