|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
A maritime province in the south-east of Asia Minor. Tarsus, the birth-place of Paul, was one of its chief towns, and the seat of a celebrated school of philosophy. Its luxurious climate attracted to it many Greek residents after its incorporation with the Macedonian empire. It was formed into a Roman province, B.C. 67. The Jews of Cilicia had a synagogue at Jerusalem (Acts 6:9). Paul visited it soon after his conversion (Galatians 1:21; Acts 9:30), and again, on his second missionary journey (15:41), "he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches." It was famous for its goat's-hair cloth, called cilicium. Paul learned in his youth the trade of making tents of this cloth.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
si-lish'-i-a (he Kilikia): An important province at the Southeast angle of Asia Minor, corresponding nearly with the modern Turkish vilayet of Adana; enfolded between the Taurus mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, with the Amanus range on the East and Pamphylia on the West; chief rivers, the Pyramus, Sarus, Cydnus and Calycadnus. The character of Cilician history has been largely determined by the physical features of the province. It is divided by nature into a mountainous part to the West, called Tracheia, and a broad, alluvial plain, hot and fertile, toward the East, termed Campestris or Pedias. Cilicia has always been isolated from its neighbors by land by its encircling mountains, save for its two famous mountain passes, the "Syrian Gates," which offer an easy road to Antioch and the South, and the wonderful "Cilician Gates," which open a road to central and western Asia Minor. Through these passes the armies and the pilgrims, the trade and the travel of the centuries have made their way. Alexander was one of the most renowned leaders of such expeditions, and at Issus he met and shattered the power of the Persian empire.
The early settlers of Cilicia are held to have been Semitic Syrians and Phoenicians, but in the still earlier days the inhabitants must have been Hittites. While few Hittite remains have been brought to light in Cilicia proper, the province was so surrounded by Hittites, and such important works of Hittite art and industry remain on the outskirts of the province, as at Ivriz, Marash, Sinjirli and Sakche Geuzi, that the intervening territory could hardly fail to be overspread with the same civilization and imperial power. See Professor John Garstang's The Land of the Hittites.
Cilicia appears as independent under Syennesis, a contemporary of Alyattes of Lydia, 610 B.C. Later it passed under the Persian sway, but retained its separate line of kings. After Alexander the Seleucid rulers governed Cilicia from Antioch. The disturbances of the times enabled the pirates so to multiply and establish themselves in their home base, in Cilicia, Tracheia, that they became the scourge of the Mediterranean until their power was broken by Pompey (67-66 B.C.). Cilicia was by degrees incorporated in the Roman administration, and Cicero, the orator, was governor (51-50 B.C.).
The foremost citizen of the province was Saul of Tarsus (Acts 21:39; Acts 22:3; Acts 23:34). Students or pilgrims from Cilicia like himself disputed with Stephen (Acts 6:9). Some of the earliest labors of the great apostle were near his home, in Syria and Cilicia (Galatians 1:21 Acts 15:23, 11). On his voyage to Rome he sailed across the sea which is off Cilicia (Acts 27:5). Constantinople and Antioch may be regarded as the front and back door of Asia Minor, and as the former was not founded till the 4th century, Asia Minor may be regarded as fronting during apostolic days on Antioch. Cilicia was intimately connected with its neighbor province on the South. The first Christian apostles and evangelists followed the great highways, through the famous mountain passes, and carried the religion of Jesus to Asia Minor from Antioch as a base.
Armenians migrating from the North founded kingdom in Cilicia under Roupen which was terminated by the overthrow of King Levon, or Leo, by the conquering Turks in 1393. A remnant of this kingdom survives in the separate Armenian catholicate of Sis, which has jurisdiction over few bishoprics, and Armenians are among the most virile of the present inhabitants of the province.
G. E. White
Cilicia (8 Occurrences)
Acts 6:9 But some of those who were of the synagogue called "The Libertines," and of the Cyrenians, of the Alexandrians, and of those of Cilicia and Asia arose, disputing with Stephen. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 15:23 They wrote these things by their hand: "The apostles, the elders, and the brothers, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: greetings. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 15:41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the assemblies. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 21:39 But Paul said, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 22:3 "I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are this day. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 23:34 When the governor had read it, he asked what province he was from. When he understood that he was from Cilicia, he said, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 27:5 When we had sailed across the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Galatians 1:21 Then I came to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)