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20:1 After the uproar was ceased [meta to pausasthai ton thorubon]. Literally, after the ceasing (accusative of articular aorist middle infinitive of [pauō], to make cease) as to the uproar (accusative of general reference). Noise and riot, already in Mt 26:5; 27:24; Mr 5:38; 14:2; and see in Ac 21:34; 24:18. Pictures the whole incident as bustle and confusion. Took leave [aspamenos]. First aorist middle participle of [aspazomai], old verb from [a] intensive and [spaō], to draw, to draw to oneself in embrace either in greeting or farewell. Here it is in farewell as in 21:6. Salutation in 21:7, 19. Departed for to go into Macedonia [exēlthen poreuesthai eis Makedonian]. Both verbs, single act and then process. Luke here condenses what was probably a whole year of Paul’s life and work as we gather from II Corinthians, one of Paul’s “weighty and powerful” letters as his enemies called them (2Co 10:10). “This epistle more than any other is a revelation of S. Paul’s own heart: it is his spiritual autobiography and apologia pro vita sua.”
20:2 Those parts [ta merē ekeina]. We have no way of knowing why Luke did not tell of Paul’s stay in Troas (2Co 2:12f.) nor of meeting Titus in Macedonia (2Co 2:13-7:16) nor of Paul’s visit to Illyricum (Ro 15:19f.) to give time for II Corinthians to do its work (2Co 13), one of the most stirring experiences in Paul’s whole career when he opened his heart to the Corinthians and won final victory in the church by the help of Titus who also helped him round up the great collection in Achaia. He wrote II Corinthians during this period after Titus arrived from Corinth. The unity of II Corinthians is here assumed. Paul probably met Luke again in Macedonia, but all this is passed by except by the general phrase: “had given them much exhortation” [parakalesas autous logōi pollōi]. Literally, “having exhorted them (the Macedonian brethren) with much talk” (instrumental case). Into Greece [eis tēn Hellada]. That is, Achaia (18:12; 19:21), and particularly Corinth, whither he had at last come again after repeated attempts, pauses, and delays (2Co 13:1). Now at last the coast was clear and Paul apparently had an open door in Corinth during these three months, so completely had Titus at last done away with the opposition of the Judaizers there.
20:3 When he had spent three months there [poiēsas mēnas treis]. Literally, “having done three months,” the same idiom in Ac 14:33; 18:23; Jas 5:13. During this period Paul may have written Galatians as Lightfoot argued and certainly did Romans. We do not have to say that Luke was ignorant of Paul’s work during this period, only that he did not choose to enlarge upon it. And a plot was laid against him by the Jews [genomenēs epiboulēs autōi hupo tōn Ioudaiōn]. Genitive absolute, “a plot by the Jews having come against him.” [Epiboulē] is an old word for a plot against one. In the N.T. only in Acts (9:24; 20:3, 19; 23:30). Please note that this plot is by the Jews, not the Judaizers whom Paul discusses so vehemently in 2Co 10-13. They had given Paul much anguish of heart as is shown in I Cor. and in 2Co 1-7, but that trouble seems now past. It is Paul’s old enemies in Corinth who had cherished all these years their defeat at the hands of Gallio (Ac 18:5-17) who now took advantage of Paul’s plans for departure to compass his death if possible. As he was about to set sail for Syria [mellonti anagesthai eis tēn Surian]. The participle [mellonti] agrees in case (dative) with [autōi]. For the sense of intending see also verse 13. [Anagesthai] (present middle infinitive) is the common word for putting out to sea (going up, they said, from land) as in 13:13. He determined [egeneto gnōmēs]. The best MSS. here read [gnōmēs] (predicate ablative of source like [epiluseōs], 2Pe 1:20, Robertson, Grammar, p. 514), not [gnōmē] (nominative). “He became of opinion.” The Jews had heard of Paul’s plan to sail for Syria and intended in the hurly-burly either to kill him at the docks in Cenchreae or to push him overboard from the crowded pilgrim ship bound for the passover. Fortunately Paul learned of their plot and so eluded them by going through Macedonia. The Codex Bezae adds here that “the Spirit bade him return into Macedonia.”
20:4 Accompanied him [suneipeto autōi]. Imperfect of [sunepomai], old and common verb, but only here in the N.T. The singular is used agreeing with the first name mentioned [Sōpatros] and to be supplied with each of the others. Textus Receptus adds here “into Asia” [achri tēs Asias], as far as Asia), but the best documents (Aleph B Vulg. Sah Boh) do not have it. As a matter of fact, Trophimus went as far as Jerusalem (Ac 21:29) and Aristarchus as far as Rome (27:2; Col 4:10), The phrase could apply only to Sopatros. It is not clear though probable that Luke means to say that these seven brethren, delegates of the various churches (2Co 8:19-23) started from Corinth with Paul. Luke notes the fact that they accompanied Paul, but the party may really have been made up at Philippi where Luke himself joined Paul, the rest of the party having gone on to Troas (20:5f.). These were from Roman provinces that shared in the collection (Galatia, Asia, Macedonia, Achaia). In this list three were from Macedonia, Sopater of Beroea, Aristarchus and Secundus of Thessalonica; two from Galatia, Gaius of Derbe and Timothy of Lystra; two from Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. It is a bit curious that none are named from Achaia. Had Corinth failed after all (2Co 8; 9) to raise its share of the collection after such eager pledging? Rackham suggests that they may have turned their part over directly to Paul. Luke joined Paul in Philippi and could have handled the money from Achaia. It was an important event and Paul took the utmost pains to remove any opportunity for scandal in the handling of the funds.
20:5 Were waiting for us in Troas [emenon hēmās en Troiadi]. Here again we have “us” for the first time since chapter 16 where Paul was with Luke in Philippi. Had Luke remained all this time in Philippi? We do not know, but he is with Paul now till Rome is reached. The seven brethren of verse 4 went on ahead from Philippi to Troas while Paul remained with Luke in Philippi.
20:6 After the days of unleavened bread [meta tas hēmerās tōn azumōn]. Paul was a Jew, though a Christian, and observed the Jewish feasts, though he protested against Gentiles being forced to do it (Ga 4:10; Col 2:16). Was Luke a proselyte because he notes the Jewish feasts as here and in Ac 27:9? He may have noted them merely because Paul observed them. But this passover was a year after that in Ephesus when Paul expected to remain there till Pentecost (1Co 16:8). He was hoping now to reach Jerusalem by Pentecost (Ac 20:16) as he did. We do not know the precise year, possibly A.D. 56 or 57. In five days [achri hēmerōn pente]. Up to five days (cf. Lu 2:37). D has [pemptaioi], “fifth day men,” a correct gloss. Cf. [deuteraioi], second-day men (Ac 28:13). In Ac 16:11 they made the voyage in two days. Probably adverse winds held them back here. Seven days [hepta hēmeras]. To atone for the short stay in Troas before (2Co 2:12f.) when Paul was so restless. Now he preaches a week to them.
20:7 Upon the first day of the week [en de miāi tōn sabbatōn]. The cardinal [miāi] used here for the ordinal [prōtēi] (Mr 16:9) like the Hebrew ehadh as in Mr 16:2; Mt 28:1; Lu 24:1; Joh 20:1 and in harmony with the Koinē idiom (Robertson, Grammar, p. 671). Either the singular (Mr 16:9) [sabbatou] or the plural [sabbaton] as here was used for the week (sabbath to sabbath). For the first time here we have services mentioned on the first day of the week though in 1Co 16:2 it is implied by the collections stored on that day. In Re 1:10 the Lord’s day seems to be the day of the week on which Jesus rose from the grave. Worship on the first day of the week instead of the seventh naturally arose in Gentile churches, though Joh 20:26 seems to mean that from the very start the disciples began to meet on the first (or eighth) day. But liberty was allowed as Paul makes plain in Ro 14:5f. When we were gathered together [sunēgmenōn hēmōn]. Genitive absolute, perfect passive participle of [sunagō], to gather together, a formal meeting of the disciples. See this verb used for gatherings of disciples in Ac 4:31; 11:26; 14:27; 15:6,30; 19:7,8; 1Co 5:4. In Heb 10:25 the substantive [episunagōgēn] is used for the regular gatherings which some were already neglecting. It is impossible for a church to flourish without regular meetings even if they have to meet in the catacombs as became necessary in Rome. In Russia today the Soviets are trying to break up conventicles of Baptists. They probably met on our Saturday evening, the beginning of the first day at sunset. So these Christians began the day (Sunday) with worship. But, since this is a Gentile community, it is quite possible that Luke means our Sunday evening as the time when this meeting occurs, and the language in Joh 20:19 “it being evening on that day the first day of the week” naturally means the evening following the day, not the evening preceding the day. To break bread [klasai arton]. First aorist active infinitive of purpose of [klaō]. The language naturally bears the same meaning as in 2:42, the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper which usually followed the [Agapē]. See 1Co 10:16. The time came, when the [Agapē] was no longer observed, perhaps because of the abuses noted in 1Co 11:20ff. Rackham argues that the absence of the article with bread here and its presence [ton arton] in verse 11 shows that the [Agapē] is ] referred to in verse 7 and the Eucharist in verse 11, but not necessarily so because [ton arton] may merely refer to [arton] in verse 7. At any rate it should be noted that Paul, who conducted this service, was not a member of the church in Troas, but only a visitor. Discoursed [dielegeto]. Imperfect middle because he kept on at length. Intending [mellō]. Being about to, on the point of. On the morrow [tēi epaurion]. Locative case with [hēmerāi] understood after the adverb [epaurion]. If Paul spoke on our Saturday evening, he made the journey on the first day of the week (our Sunday) after sunrise. If he spoke on our Sunday evening, then he left on our Monday morning. Prolonged his speech [Pareteinen ton logon]. Imperfect active (same form as aorist) of [parateinō], old verb to stretch beside or lengthwise, to prolong. Vivid picture of Paul’s long sermon which went on and on till midnight [mechri mesonuktiou]. Paul’s purpose to leave early next morning seemed to justify the long discourse. Preachers usually have some excuse for the long sermon which is not always clear to the exhausted audience.
20:8 Many lights [lampades hikanai]. It was dark at night since the full moon (passover) was three weeks behind. These lamps were probably filled with oil and had wicks that flickered and smoked. They would not meet in the dark. In the upper room [en tōi huperōiōi]. As in 1:13 which see.
20:9 Sat [kathezomenos]. Sitting (present middle participle describing his posture). In the window [epi tēs thuridos]. Old word diminutive from [thura], door, a little door. Latticed window (no glass) opened because of the heat from the lamps and the crowd. Our window was once spelt windore (Hudibras), perhaps from the wrong idea that it was derived from wind and door. Eutychus (a common slave name) was sitting on [epi] the window sill. Ahaziah “fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber” (2Ki 1:2). In the N.T. [thuris] only here and 2Co 11:33 [dia thuridos] through which Paul was let down through the wall in Damascus. Borne down with deep sleep [katapheromenos hupnōi bathei]. Present passive participle of [katapherō], to bear down, and followed by instrumental case [hupnōi]. Describes the gradual process of going into deep sleep. Great medical writers use [bathus] with [hupnos] as we do today (deep sleep). D here has [basei] (heavy) for [bathei] (deep). As Paul discoursed yet longer [dialegomenou tou Paulou epi pleion]. Genitive absolute of present middle participle of [dialegomai] (cf. verse 7). with [epi pleion]. Eutychus struggled bravely to keep awake, vainly hoping that Paul would finish. But he went on “for more.” Being born down by his sleep [katenechtheis apo tou hupnou]. First aorist (effective) passive showing the final result of the process described by [katapheromenos], finally overcome as a result of [apo] the (note article [tou] sleep (ablative case). These four participles [kathezomenos, katapheromenos, dialegomenou, katenechtheis] have no connectives, but are distinguished clearly by case and tense. The difference between the present [katapheromenos] and the aorist [katenechtheis] of the same verb is marked. Fell down [epesen katō]. Effective aorist active indicative of [piptō] with the adverb [katō], though [katapiptō] (compound verb) could have been used (Ac 26:14; 28:6). Hobart (Medical Language of St. Luke) thinks that Luke shows a physician’s interest in the causes of the drowsiness of Eutychus (the heat, the crowd, the smell of the lamps, the late hour, the long discourse). Cf. Lu 22:45. From the third story [apo tou tristegou]. From [treis] (three) and [stegē] (roof), adjective [tristegos] having three roofs. Was taken up dead [ērthē nekros]. First aorist passive indicative of [airō]. Luke does not say [hōs] (as) or [hōsei] (Mr 9:26 as if). The people considered him dead and Luke the physician seems to agree with that view.
20:10 Fell on him [epepesen autōi]. Second aorist active indicative of [epipiptō] with dative case as Elijah did (1Ki 17:21) and Elisha (2Ki 4:34). Embracing [sunperilabōn]. Second aorist active participle of [sunperilambanō], old verb to embrace completely (take hold together round), but only here in the N.T. In Ezr 5:3. Make ye no ado [mē thorubeisthe]. Stop [mē] and present middle imperative of [thorubeō] making a noise [thorubos] as the people did on the death of Jairus’s daughter (Mt 9:23 [thoruboumenou] and Mr 5:38 [thorubou] when Jesus asked [Ti thorubeisthe?] For his life is in him [hē gar psuchē autou en autōi estin]. This language is relied on by Ramsay, Wendt, Zoeckler to show that Eutychus had not really died, but had merely swooned. Paul’s language would suit that view, but it suits equally well the idea that he had just been restored to life and so is indecisive. Furneaux urges also the fact that his friends did not bring him back to the meeting till morning ( verse 12) as additional evidence that it was a case of swooning rather than of death. But this again is not conclusive as they would naturally not take him back at once. One will believe here as the facts appeal to him.
20:11 When he was gone up [anabas]. Second aorist active participle in sharp contrast to [katabas] (went down) of verse 10. Had broken bread [klasas ton arton]. Probably the Eucharist to observe which ordinance Paul had come and tarried (verse 7), though some scholars distinguish between what took place in verse 7 and verse 11, needlessly so as was stated on verse 7. And eaten [kai geusamenos]. The word is used in 10:10 of eating an ordinary meal and so might apply to the [Agapē], but it suits equally for the Eucharist. The accident had interrupted Paul’s sermon so that it was observed now and then Paul resumed his discourse. And had talked with them a long while [eph’ hikanon te homilēsas]. Luke, as we have seen, is fond of [hikanos] for periods of time, for a considerable space of time, “even till break of day” [achri augēs]. Old word for brightness, radiance like German Auge, English eye, only here in the N.T. Occurs in the papyri and in modern Greek for dawn. This second discourse lasted from midnight till dawn and was probably more informal (as in 10:27) and conversational [homilēsas], though our word homiletics comes from [homileō] than the discourse before midnight [dialegomai], verses 7, 9). He had much to say before he left. So he departed [houtōs exēlthen]. Thus Luke sums up the result. Paul left (went forth) only after all the events narrated by the numerous preceding participles had taken place. Effective aorist active indicative [exelthen]. [Houtōs] here equals [tum demum], now at length (Ac 27:7) as Page shows.
20:12 They brought the lad alive [ēgagon ton paida zōnta]. Second aorist active indicative of [agō]. Evidently the special friends of the lad who now either brought him back to the room or (Rendall) took him home to his family. Knowling holds that [zōnta] (living) here is pointless unless he had been dead. He had been taken up dead and now they brought him living. Not a little [ou metriōs]. Not moderately, that is a great deal. Luke is fond of this use of the figure litotes (use of the negative) instead of the strong positive (1:5, etc.). D (Codex Bezae) has here instead of [ēgagon] these words: [alpazomenōn de autōn ēgagen ton neaniskon zōnta] (while they were saying farewell he brought the young man alive). This reading pictures the joyful scene over the lad’s restoration as Paul was leaving.
20:13 To the ship [epi to ploion]. Note article. It is possible that Paul’s party had chartered a coasting vessel from Philippi or Troas to take them to Patara in Lycia. Hence the boat stopped when and where Paul wished. That is possible, but not certain, for Paul could simply have accommodated himself to the plans of the ship’s managers. To take in Paul [analambanein ton Paulon]. So in verse 14. Same use in 2Ti 4:11: “Picking up Mark” [Markon analabōn]. Assos was a seaport south of Troas in Mysia in the province of Asia. He had appointed [diatetagmenos ēn]. Past perfect periphrastic middle of [diatassō], old verb to give orders (military in particular). To go by land [pezeuein]. Present active infinitive of [pezeuō], old verb to go on foot, not on horse back or in a carriage or by ship. Here only in the N.T. It was about twenty miles over a paved Roman road, much shorter (less than half) than the sea voyage around Cape Lectum. It was a beautiful walk in the spring-time and no doubt Paul enjoyed it whatever his reason was for going thus to Assos while the rest went by sea. Certainly he was entitled to a little time alone, this one day, as Jesus sought the Father in the night watches (Mt 14:23).
20:14 Met us [suneballen hēmin]. Imperfect active where the aorist [sunebalen], as C D have it) would seem more natural. It may mean that as soon as [hōs] Paul “came near or began to meet us” (inchoative imperfect), we picked him up. Luke alone in the N.T. uses [sunballō] to bring or come together either in a friendly sense as here or as enemies (Lu 14:31). To Mitylene [eis Mitulēnēn]. The capital of Lesbos about thirty miles from Assos, an easy day’s sailing.
20:15 We came over against Chios [katēntēsamen antikrus Chiou]. Luke uses this Koinē verb several times (16:1; 18:19), meaning to come right down in front of and the notion of [anta] is made plainer by [antikrus], face to face with, common “improper” preposition only here in the N.T. They probably lay off the coast (anchoring) during the night instead of putting into the harbour. The Island of Chios is about eight miles from the mainland. The next day [tēi heterāi]. The third day in reality from Assos (the fourth from Troas), in contrast with [tēi epiousēi] just before for Chios. We touched at Samos [parebalomen eis Samon]. Second aorist active of [paraballō], to throw alongside, to cross over, to put in by. So Thucydides III. 32. Only here in the N.T. though in Textus Receptus in Mr 4:30. The word parable [parabolē] is from this verb. The Textus Receptus adds here [kai meinantes en Trogulliōi] (and remaining at Trogyllium), but clearly not genuine. In passing from Chios to Samos they sailed past Ephesus to save time for Pentecost in Jerusalem (verse 16), if in control of the ship, or because the captain allowed Paul to have his way. The island of Samos is still further down the coast below Chios. It is not stated whether a stop was made here or not. The day after [tēi echomenēi]. The day holding itself next to the one before. Note Luke’s three terms in this verse [tēi epiousēi, tēi heterāi, tēi echomenēi]. This would be the fourth from Assos. To Miletus [eis Milēton]. About 28 miles south of Ephesus and now the site is several miles from the sea due to the silt from the Maeander. This city, once the chief city of the Ionian Greeks, was now quite eclipsed by Ephesus.
20:16 For Paul had determined [kekrikei gar ho Paulos]. Past perfect active (correct text) of [krinō] and not the aorist [ekrine]. Either Paul controlled the ship or the captain was willing to oblige him. To sail past Ephesus [parapleusai tēn Epheson]. First aorist active infinitive of [parapleō], old verb to sail beside, only here in the N.T. That he might not have [hopōs mē genētai autōi]. Final clause (negative) with aorist middle subjunctive of [ginomai] and dative “that it might not happen to him.” To spend time [chronotribēsai]. First aorist active of the late compound verb [chronotribeō] [chronos], time, [tribō], to spend), only here in the N.T. The verb [tribō], to rub, to wear out by rubbing, lends itself to the idea of wasting time. It was only a year ago that Paul had left Ephesus in haste after the riot. It was not expedient to go back so soon if he meant to reach Jerusalem by Pentecost. Paul clearly felt (Ro 15) that the presentation of this collection at Pentecost to the Jewish Christians would have a wholesome influence as it had done once before (Ac 11:30). He was hastening [espeuden]. Imperfect active of [speudō], old verb to hasten as in Lu 2:16; 19:56. If it were possible for him [ei dunaton eiē autōi]. Condition of the fourth class (optative mode), if it should be possible for him. The form is a remote possibility. It was only some thirty days till Pentecost. The day of Pentecost [tēn hēmeran tēs pentēkostēs]. Note the accusative case. Paul wanted to be there for the whole day. See Ac 2:1 for this very phrase.
20:17 Called to him [metekalesato]. Aorist middle (indirect) indicative of [metakaleō], old verb to call from one place to another [meta] for “change”), middle to call to oneself, only in Acts in the N.T. (7:14; 10:32; 20:17; 24:25). Ephesus was some thirty miles, a stiff day’s journey each way. They would be with Paul the third day of the stay in Miletus. The elders of the church [tous presbuterous tēs ekklēsias]. The very men whom Paul terms “bishops” [episkopous] in verse 28 just as in Tit 1:5, 7 where both terms [presbuterous, ton episkopon] describe the same office. The term “elder” applied to Christian ministers first appears in Ac 11:30 in Jerusalem and reappears in 15:4, 6, 22 in connection with the apostles and the church. The “elders” are not “apostles” but are “bishops” (cf. Php 1:1) and with “deacons” constitute the two classes of officers in the early churches. Ignatius shows that in the early second century the office of bishop over the elders had developed, but Lightfoot has shown that it was not so in the first century. Each church, as in Jerusalem, Philippi, Ephesus, had a number of “elders” (“bishops”) in the one great city church. Hackett thinks that other ministers from the neighbourhood also came. It was a noble group of preachers and Paul, the greatest preacher of the ages, makes a remarkable talk to preachers with all the earmarks of Pauline originality (Spitta, Apostelgeschichte, p. 252) as shown by the characteristic Pauline words, phrases, ideas current in all his Epistles including the Pastoral (testify, course, pure, take heed, presbyter, bishop, acquire, apparel). Luke heard this address as he may and probably did hear those in Jerusalem and Caesarea (Ac 21-26). Furneaux suggests that Luke probably took shorthand notes of the address since Galen says that his students took down his medical lectures in shorthand: “At any rate, of all the speeches in the Acts this contains most of Paul and least of Luke. ... It reveals Paul as nothing else does. The man who spoke it is no longer a man of eighteen centuries ago: he is of yesterday; of today. He speaks as we speak and feels as we feel; or rather as we fain would speak and feel.” We have seen and listened to Paul speak to the Jews in Antioch in Pisidia as Luke pictures the scene, to the uneducated pagans at Lystra, to the cultured Greeks in Athens. We shall hear him plead for his life to the Jewish mob in Jerusalem, to the Roman governor Felix in Caesarea, to the Jewish “King” Herod Agrippa II in Caesarea, and at last to the Jews in Rome. But here Paul unbosoms himself to the ministers of the church in Ephesus where he had spent three years (longer than with any other church) and where he had such varied experiences of prowess and persecution. He opens his heart to these men as he does not to the average crowd even of believers. It is Paul’s Apologia pro sua Vita. He will probably not see them again and so the outlook and attitude is similar to the farewell discourse of Jesus to the disciples in the upper room (Joh 13-17). He warns them about future perils as Jesus had done. Paul’s words here will repay any preacher’s study today. There is the same high conception of the ministry here that Paul had already elaborated in 2Co 2:12-6:10 (see my Glory of the Ministry). It is a fitting time and occasion for Paul to take stock of his ministry at the close of the third mission tour. What wonders had God wrought already.
20:18 Ye yourselves know [humeis epistasthe]. Pronoun expressed and emphatic. He appeals to their personal knowledge of his life in Ephesus. From the first day that [apo prōtēs hēmeras aph’ hēs]. “From first day from which.” He had first “set foot” [epebēn], second aorist active indicative of old verb [epibainō], to step upon or step into) in Ephesus four years ago in the spring of 51 or 52, but had returned from Antioch that autumn. It is now spring of 54 or 55 so that his actual ministry in Ephesus was about two and a half years, roughly three years (verse 31).
After what manner I was with you [pōs meth’ h–mōn egenomēn]. Literally, “How I came (from Asia and so was) with you.” Cf. 1Th 1:5; 2Th 2:1-10 where Paul likewise dares to refer boldly to his life while with them “all the time” [ton panta chronon]. Accusative of duration of time. So far as we know, Paul stuck to Ephesus the whole period. He had devoted himself consecratedly to the task in Ephesus. Each pastor is bishop of his field and has a golden opportunity to work it for Christ. One of the saddest things about the present situation is the restlessness of preachers to go elsewhere instead of devoting themselves wholly to the task where they are. 19. Serving the Lord [douleuōn tōi kuriōi]. It was Paul’s glory to be the [doulos] (bond-slave) as in Ro 1:1; Php 1:1. Paul alone, save Jesus in Mt 6:24; Lu 16:13, uses [douleuō] six times for serving God (Page). With all lowliness of mind [meta pasēs tapeinophrosunēs]. Lightfoot notes that heathen writers use this word for a grovelling, abject state of mind, but Paul follows Christ in using it for humility, humble-mindedness that should mark every Christian and in particular the preacher. With tears [dakruōn]. Construed with [meta]. Paul was a man of the deepest emotion along with his high intellectuality. He mentions his tears again in verse 31, tears of sorrow and of anxiety. He refers to his tears in writing the sharp letter to the church in Corinth (2Co 2:4) and in denouncing the sensual apostates in Php 3:18. Adolphe Monod has a wonderful sermon on the tears of Paul. Consider also the tears of Jesus. Trials which befell me [peirasmōn tōn sumbantōn moi]. Construed also with [meta]. Second aorist active participle of [sunbainō], to walk with, to go with, to come together, to happen, to befall. Very common in this sense in the old Greek (cf. Ac 3:10). By the plots of the Jews [en tais epiboulais tōn Ioudaiōn]. Like the plot [epiboulē] against him in Corinth (20:3) as well as the earlier trial before Gallio and the attacks in Thessalonica. In Ac 19:9 Luke shows the hostile attitude of the Jews in Ephesus that drove Paul out of the synagogue to the school of Tyrannus. He does not describe in detail these “plots” which may easily be imagined from Paul’s own letters and may be even referred to in 1Co 4:10; 15:30ff.; 16:9; 2Co 1:4-10; 7:5; 11:23. In fact, one has only to dwell on the allusions in 2Co 11 to picture what Paul’s life was in Ephesus during these three years. Luke gives in Ac 19 the outbreak of Demetrius, but Paul had already fought with “wild-beasts” there.
20:20 How that I shrank not [hōs ouden hupesteilamen]. Still indirect discourse (question) after [epistasthe] (ye know) with [hōs] like [pōs] in verse 18. First aorist middle of [hupostellō], old verb to draw under or back. It was so used of drawing back or down sails on a ship and, as Paul had so recently been on the sea, that may be the metaphor here. But it is not necessarily so as the direct middle here makes good sense and is frequent, to withdraw oneself, to cower, to shrink, to conceal, to dissemble as in Hab 2:4 (Heb 10:38). Demosthenes so used it to shrink from declaring out of fear for others. This open candour of Paul is supported by his Epistles (1Th 2:4, 11; 2Co 4:2; Ga 1:10). From declaring unto you [tou mē anaggeilai humin]. Ablative case of the articular first aorist active infinitive of [anaggellō] with the redundant negative after verbs of hindering, etc. (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1094). Anything that was profitable [tōn sumpherontōn]. Partitive genitive after [ouden] of the articular present active participle of [sumpherō], to bear together, be profitable. Publicly [dēmosiāi], adverb) and from house to house [kai kat’ oikous]. By (according to) houses. It is worth noting that this greatest of preachers preached from house to house and did not make his visits merely social calls. He was doing kingdom business all the while as in the house of Aquila and Priscilla (1Co 16:19).
20:21 Testifying [diamarturomenos]. As Peter did (Ac 2:40) where Luke uses this same word thoroughly Lucan and Pauline. So again in verses 23, 24. Paul here as in Ro 1:16 includes both Jews and Greeks, to the Jew first. Repentance toward God [tēn eis theon metanoian] and faith toward our Lord Jesus [kai pistin eis ton kurion hēmōn Iēsoun]. These two elements run through the Epistle to the Romans which Paul had recently written and sent from Corinth. These two elements appear in all Paul’s preaching whether “to Jews or Gentiles, to philosophers at Athens or to peasants at Lystra, he preached repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus” (Knowling).
20:22 Bound in the spirit [dedemenos tōi pneumati]. Perfect passive participle of [deō], to bind, with the locative case. “Bound in my spirit” he means, as in 19:21, from a high sense of duty. The mention of “the Holy Spirit” specifically in verse 23 seems to be in contrast to his own spirit here. His own spirit was under the control of the Holy Spirit (Ro 8:16) and the sense does not differ greatly. Not knowing [mē eidōs]. Second perfect active participle of [oida] with [mē]. That shall befall me [ta sunantēsonta emoi]. Articular future active participle of [sunantaō], to meet with (Ac 10:25), to befall (with associative instrumental case) and compare with [sumbantōn] (befell) in verse 19. One of the rare instances of the future participle in the N.T.
20:23 Save that [plēn hoti]. The [hoti] clause is really in the ablative case after [plēn], here a preposition as in Php 1:18, this idiom [plēn hoti] occasionally in ancient Greek. In every city [kata polin]. Singular here though plural in [kat’ oikous] (verse 20). Bonds and afflictions [desma kai thlipseis]. Both together as in Php 1:17; 2Co 1:8. Literal bonds and actual pressures. Abide me [me menousin]. With the accusative as in verse 5 [emenon hēmas] and nowhere else in the N.T.
20:24 But I hold not my life of any account [all’ oudenos logou poioumai tēn psuchēn]. Neat Greek idiom, accusative [psuchēn] and genitive [logou] and then Paul adds “dear unto myself” [timian emautōi] in apposition with [psuchēn] (really a combination of two constructions). So that I may accomplish my course [hōs teleiōsō dromon mou]. Rather, “In order that” (purpose, not result). Aleph and B read [teleiōsō] here (first aorist active subjunctive) rather than [teleiōsai] (first aorist active infinitive). It is the lone instance in the N.T. of [hōs] as a final particle (Robertson, Grammar, p. 987). Paul in Ac 13:25 in his sermon at Antioch in Pisidia described John as fulfilling his course and in 2Ti 4:7 he will say: “I have finished my course” [ton dromon teteleka]. He will run the race to the end. Which I received from the Lord Jesus [hēn elabon para tou kuriou Iēsou]. Of that fact he never had a doubt and it was a proud boast (Gal 1:1; Ro 11:13). The gospel of the grace of God [to euaggelion tēs charitos tou theou]. To Paul the gospel consisted in the grace of God. See this word “grace” [charis] in Romans and his other Epistles.
20:25 And now, behold [kai nun, idou]. Second time and solemn reminder as in verse 22. I know [egō oida]. Emphasis on [egō] which is expressed. Ye all [humeis pantes]. In very emphatic position after the verb [opsesthe] (shall see) and the object (my face). Twice Paul will write from Rome (Php 2:24; Phm 1:22) the hope of coming east again; but that is in the future, and here Paul is expressing his personal conviction and his fears. The Pastoral Epistles show Paul did come to Ephesus again (1Ti 1:3; 3:14; 4:13) and Troas (2Ti 4:13) and Miletus (2Ti 4:20). There need be no surprise that Paul’s fears turned out otherwise. He had reason enough for them. Among whom I went about [en hois diēlthon]. Apparently Paul here has in mind others beside the ministers. They represented the church in Ephesus and the whole region where Paul laboured.
20:26 I testify [marturomai]. Elsewhere in the N.T. only in Paul’s Epistles (Ga 5:3; Eph 4:17; 1Th 2:12). It means “I call to witness” while [martureō] means “I bear witness.” This day [en tēi sēmeron hēmerāi]. The today day, the last day with you, our parting day. I am pure from the blood of all men [katharos eimi apo tou haimatos pantōn]. Paul was sensitive on this point as in Corinth (Ac 18:6). It is much for any preacher to claim and it ought to be true of all. The papyri also give this use of [apo] with the ablative rather than the mere ablative after [katharos].
20:27 Paul here repeats the very words and idioms used in verse 20, adding “the whole counsel of God” [pāsan tēn boulēn tou theou]. All the counsel of God that concerned Paul’s work and nothing inconsistent with the purpose of God of redemption through Christ Jesus (Page).
20:28 Take heed unto yourselves [prosechete heautois]. The full phrase had [ton noun], hold your mind on yourselves (or other object in the dative), as often in old writers and in Job 7:17. But the ancients often used the idiom with [noun] understood, but not expressed as here and Ac 5:35; Lu 12:1; 17:3; 21:34; 1Ti 1:4; 3:8; 4:13. [Epeche] is so used in 1Ti 4:16. To all the flock [panti tōi poimniōi]. Contracted form of [poimenion = poimnē] (Joh 10:16) already in Lu 12:32 and also in Ac 20:29; 1Pe 5:2, 3. Common in old Greek. Hath made [etheto]. Did make, second aorist middle indicative of [tithēmi], did appoint. Paul evidently believed that the Holy Spirit calls and appoints ministers. Bishops [episkopous]. The same men termed elders in verse 17 which see. To shepherd [poimainein]. Present active infinitive of purpose of [poimainō], old verb to feed or tend the flock [poimnē, poimnion], to act as shepherd [poimēn]. These ministers are thus in Paul’s speech called elders (verse 17), bishops ( verse 28), and shepherds (verse 28). Jesus had used this very word to Peter (Joh 21:16, twice [boske], feed, 21:15, 17) and Peter will use it in addressing fellow-elders (1Pe 5:2) with memories, no doubt of the words of Jesus to him. The “elders” were to watch over as “bishops” and “tend and feed as shepherds” the flock. Jesus is termed “the shepherd and bishop of your souls” in 1Pe 2:25 and “the great Shepherd of the sheep” in Heb 13:20. Jesus called himself “the good Shepherd” in Joh 10:11. The church of God [tēn ekklēsian tou theou]. The correct text, not “the church of the Lord” or “the church of the Lord and God” (Robertson, Introduction to Textual Criticism of the N.T., p. 189). He purchased [periepoiēsato]. First aorist middle of [peripoieō], old verb to reserve, to preserve (for or by oneself, in the middle). In the N.T. only in Luke 17:33; Ac 20:28; 1Ti 3:13. The substantive [peripoiēsin] (preservation, possession) occurs in 1Pe 2:9 (“a peculiar people” = a people for a possession) and in Eph 1:14. With his own blood [dia tou haimatos tou idiou]. Through the agency of [dia] his own blood. Whose blood? If [tou theou] (Aleph B Vulg.) is correct, as it is, then Jesus is here called “God” who shed his own blood for the flock. It will not do to say that Paul did not call Jesus God, for we have Ro 9:5; Col 2:9; Tit 2:13 where he does that very thing, besides Col 1:15-20; Php 2:5-11.
20:29 After my departing [meta tēn aphixin mou]. Not his death, but his departure from them. From [aphikneomai] and usually meant arrival, but departure in Herodotus IX. 17, 76 as here. Grievous wolves [lukoi bareis]. [Bareis] is heavy, rapacious, harsh. Jesus had already so described false teachers who would raven the fold (Joh 10:12). Whether Paul had in mind the Judaizers who had given him so much trouble in Antioch, Jerusalem, Galatia, Corinth or the Gnostics the shadow of whose coming he already foresaw is not perfectly clear. But it will not be many years before Epaphras will come to Rome from Colossae with news of the new peril there (Epistle to the Colossians). In writing to Timothy (1Ti 1:20) Paul will warn him against some who have already made shipwreck of their faith. In Re 2:2 John will represent Jesus as describing false apostles in Ephesus. Not sparing the flock [mē pheidomenoi tou poimniou]. Litotes again as so often in Acts. Sparing the flock was not the fashion of wolves. Jesus sent the seventy as lambs in the midst of wolves (Lu 10:3). In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus had pictured the false prophets who would come as ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing (Mt 7:15).
20:30 From among your own selves [ex humōn autōn]. In sheep’s clothing just as Jesus had foretold. The outcome fully justified Paul’s apprehensions as we see in Colossians, Ephesians, I and II Timothy, Revelation. False philosophy, immorality, asceticism will lead some astray (Col 2:8, 18; Eph 4:14; 5:6). John will picture “antichrists” who went out from us because they were not of us (1Jo 2:18f.). There is a false optimism that is complacently blind as well as a despondent pessimism that gives up the fight. Perverse things [diestrammena]. Perfect passive participle of [diastrephō], old verb to turn aside, twist, distort as in Ac 13:8, 10. To draw away [tou apospāin]. Articular genitive present active participle of purpose from [apospaō], old verb used to draw the sword (Mt 26:51), to separate (Lu 22:41; Ac 21:1). The pity of it is that such leaders of dissension can always gain a certain following. Paul’s long residence in Ephesus enabled him to judge clearly of conditions there.
20:31 Wherefore watch ye [dio grēgoreite]. Paul has concluded his defence of himself and his warning. Now he exhorts on the basis of it [dio] because of which thing. The very command of Jesus concerning the perils before his return as in Mr 13:35 [grēgoreite], the very form (late present imperative from the second perfect [egrēgora] of [egeirō], to arouse). Stay awake. I ceased not to admonish [ouk epausamēn nouthetōn]. Participle describes Paul, I did not cease admonishing, night and day [nukta kai hēmeran], accusative of extent of time, for three years [trietian], accusative of extent of time also). [Nouthetōn] is from [noutheteō], to put sense into one. So Paul kept it up with tears (verse 19) if so be he could save the Ephesians from the impending perils. Forewarned is to be forearmed. Paul did his duty by them.
20:32 And now [kai ta nun]. Same phrase as in verses 22, 25 save that [idou] (behold) is wanting and the article [ta] occurs before [nun], accusative of general reference. And as to the present things (or situation) as in 4:29. I commend [paratithemai]. Present middle indicative of [paratithēmi], old verb to place beside, middle, to deposit with one, to interest as in 1Ti 1:18; 2Ti 2:2. Paul can now only do this, but he does it hopefully. Cf. 1Pe 4:19. The word of his grace [tōi logōi tēs charitos autou]. The instrumentality through preaching and the Holy Spirit employed by God. Cf. Col 4:6; Eph 4:29. Which is able to build up [tōi dunamenōi oikodomēsai]. God works through the word of his grace and so it is able to build up (edify); a favourite Pauline word (1Co 3:10-14; 3:9; 2Co 5:1; Eph 2:20-22; 2Ti 3:15; etc.), and Jas 1:21. The very words “build” and “inheritance among the sanctified” will occur in Eph 1:11; 2:30; 3:18 and which some may recall on reading. Cf. Col 1:12. Stephen in Ac 7:5 used the word “inheritance” [klēronomian], nowhere else in Acts, but in Eph 1:14, 18; 5:5. In Eph 1:18 the very expression occurs “his inheritance among the saints “ [tēn klēronomian autou en tois hagiois].
20:33 No man’s silver or gold or apparel [arguriou ē chrusiou ē himatismou oudenos]. Genitive case after [epethumēsa]. One of the slanders against Paul was that he was raising this collection, ostensibly for the poor, really for himself (2Co 12:17f.). He includes “apparel” because oriental wealth consisted largely in fine apparel (not old worn out clothes). See Ge 24:53; 2Ki 5:5; Ps 45:13f.; Mt 6:19. Paul did not preach just for money.
20:34 Ye yourselves [autoi]. Intensive pronoun. Certainly they knew that the church in Ephesus had not supported Paul while there. These hands [hai cheires hautai]. Paul was not above manual labour. He pointed to his hands with pride as proof that he toiled at his trade of tent-making as at Thessalonica and Corinth for his own needs [chreiais] and for those with him (probably Aquila and Priscilla) with whom he lived and probably Timothy because of his often infirmities (1Ti 5:23). Ministered [hupēretēsan]. First aorist active of [hupēreteō], to act as under rower, old verb, but in the N.T. only in Ac 13:36; 20:34; 24:23. While in Ephesus Paul wrote to Corinth: “We toil, working with our own hands” (1Co 4:12). “As he held them up, they saw a tongue of truth in every seam that marked them” (Furneaux).
20:35 I gave you an example [hupedeixa]. First aorist active indicative of [hupodeiknumi], old verb to show under one’s eyes, to give object lesson, by deed as well as by word (Lu 6:47). [Hupodeigma] means example (Joh 13:15; Jas 5:10). So Paul appeals to his example in 1Co 11:1; Php 3:17. [Panta] is accusative plural of general reference (in all things). So labouring ye ought to help [houtōs kopiōntas dei antilambanesthai]. So, as I did. Necessity [dei]. Toiling [kopiōntas] not just for ourselves, but to help [antilambanesthai], to take hold yourselves (middle voice) at the other end [anti]. This verb common in the old Greek, but in the N.T. only in Lu 1:54; Ac 20:35; 1Ti 6:2. This noble plea to help the weak is the very spirit of Christ (1Th 5:14; 1Co 12:28; Ro 5:6; 14:1). In 1Th 5:14 [antechesthe tōn asthenountōn] we have Paul’s very idea again. Every Community Chest appeal today re-echoes Paul’s plea. He himself said [autos eipen]. Not in the Gospels, one of the sayings of Jesus in current use that Paul had received and treasured. Various other Agrapha of Jesus have been preserved in ancient writers and some in recently discovered papyri which may be genuine or not. We are grateful that Paul treasured this one. This Beatitude (on [makarion] see on Mt 5:3-11) is illustrated by the whole life of Jesus with the Cross as the culmination. Aristotle (Eth. IV. I) has a saying somewhat like this, but assigns the feeling of superiority as the reason (Page), an utterly different idea from that here. This quotation raises the question of how much Paul personally knew of the life and sayings of Jesus.
20:36 He kneeled down [theis ta gonata autou]. Second aorist active participle of [tithēmi], to place. The very idiom used in 7:60 of Stephen. Not in ancient writers and only six times in the N.T. (Mr 15:19; Lu 22:41; Ac 7:60; 9:40; 20:36; 21:5). Certainly kneeling in prayer is a fitting attitude (cf. Jesus, Lu 22:41), though not the only proper one (Mt 6:5). Paul apparently prayed aloud [prosēuxato].
20:37 They all wept sore [hikanos klauthmos egeneto pantōn]. Literally, There came considerable weeping of all (on the part of all, genitive case). Kissed him [katephiloun auton]. Imperfect active of [kataphileō], old verb, intensive with [kata] and repetition shown also by the tense: They kept on kissing or kissed repeatedly, probably one after the other falling on his neck. Cf. also Mt 26:49.
20:38 Sorrowing [odunōmenoi]. Present middle participle of [odunaō], old verb to cause intense pain, to torment (Lu 16:24), middle to distress oneself (Lu 2:48; Ac 20:38). Nowhere else in N.T. Which he had spoken [hōi eirēkei]. Relative attracted to the case of the antecedent [logōi] (word). Past perfect indicative of [eipon]. They brought him on his way [proepempon auton]. Imperfect active of [propempō], old verb to send forward, to accompany as in Ac 15:3; 20:38; 21:5; 1Co 16:6,11; 2Co 1:16; Tit 3:13; 3Jo 1:6. Graphic picture of Paul’s departure from this group of ministers.
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