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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 19 - Verse 12

Verse 12. So that from his body. That is, these handkerchiefs which had been applied to his body, which he had used, or which he had touched. An instance somewhat similar to this occurs in the case of the woman who was healed by touching the hem of the Saviour's garment, Mt 9:20-22.

Unto the sick. The sick who were at a distance, and who were unable to go where he was. If it be asked why this was done, it may be observed,

(1.) that the working of miracles in that region would greatly contribute to the spread of the gospel.

(2.) We are not to suppose that there was any efficacy in the aprons thus brought, or in the mere fact that they had touched the body of Paul, any more than there was in the hem of the Saviour's garment which the woman touched, or in the clay which he made use of to open the eyes of the blind man, Joh 8:6.

(3.) In this instance the fact, that the miracles were wrought in this manner by garments which had touched his body, was a mere sign, or an evidence to the persons concerned, that it was done by the instrumentality of Paul, as the fact that the Saviour put his fingers into the ears of a deaf man, and spit and touched his tongue, Mr 7:33, was an evidence to those who saw it, that the power of healing came from him. The bearing of these aprons to the sick was, therefore, a mere sign, or evidence to all concerned, that miraculous power was given to Paul.

Handkerchiefs. The word used here—soudaria—is of Latin origin, and properly denotes a piece of linen with which sweat was wiped from the face; and then any piece of linen used for tying up, or containing anything, In Lu 19:20, it denotes the "napkin" in which the talent of the unprofitable servant was concealed; in Joh 11:44; 20:7, the "napkin" which was used to bind up the face of the dead, applied to Lazarus and to our Saviour.

Or aprons. simikinyia. This also is a Latin word, and means, literally, a half-girdle—a piece of cloth which was girded round the waist to preserve the clothes of those who were engaged in any kind of work. The word aprons expresses the idea.

And the diseases departed. The sick were healed.

And the evil spirits. See Barnes "Mt 4:24".

It is evident that this power of working miracles would contribute greatly to Paul's success among the people.

{h} "handkerchiefs or aprons" Ac 5:15

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