JACOBSZ., Lambert
(b. ca. 1598, Amsterdam, d. 1636, Leeuwarden)

St Paul and the Soothsayer of Philippi

Oil on canvas, 156 x 207 cm
Private collection

Saint Paul encounters a demon possessed woman known as Python (Acts 16). She was popular at Philippi as a soothsayer whom people paid for prophecies. Those aspiring to be kings and rulers would vie for her endorsement to gain acceptance from among the people. Large parts of Greece fell to Philip of Macedon because Philip bribed the Python priestess to prophesy he would conquer. When Paul is at Philippi, this Python female-soothsayer followed him around for many days in the city.