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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 20)

20:1 {After the uproar was ceased} (\meta to pausasthai ton
. 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
(\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
. 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;
. 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
. 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
, 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
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

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
. 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
(\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
. 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
(\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
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,
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
. From \treis\ (three) and \stegē\ (roof), adjective
\tristegos\ having three roofs. {Was taken up dead} (\ērthē
. 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
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
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
(\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
. 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
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
(\ou metriōs\). Not moderately, that is a great deal.
Luke is fond of this use of the figure _litotes_ (use of the
instead of the strong positive (1:5, etc.). D (Codex
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
. Luke uses this _Koinē_ verb several times (16:1;
, 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
. The day holding itself next to the one before. Note
Luke's three terms in this verse (\tēi epiousēi, tēi heterāi, tēi
. 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
. 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
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
(\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
. 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
. 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'
. 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
. 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
(\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
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
. There need be no surprise that Paul's fears turned out
otherwise. He had reason enough for them. {Among whom I went
(\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

20:27 Paul here repeats the very words and idioms used in verse
20, adding "the whole counsel of God" (\pāsan tēn boulēn tou
. 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,
, to act as shepherd (\poimēn\). These ministers are
thus in Paul's speech called elders (verse 17), bishops (verse
, 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
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
. 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"

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
. 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
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
, 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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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 20)