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Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament
Acts 20

 

 

Verse 1

Acts 20:1. μετὰ δὲ τὸ παύσ.: the words may indicate not only the fact of the cessation of the tumult, but that Paul felt that the time for departure had come.— θόρ., cf. Matthew 26:5; Matthew 27:24, Mark 14:2; three times in Acts 21:34; Acts 24:18, and several times in LXX. In Acts 21:34 it is used more as in classics of the confused noise of an assembly (cf. Mark 5:38), but in the text it seems to cover the whole riot, and may be translated “riot”.— ἀσπασάμενος: “non solum salutabant osculo advenientes verum etiam discessuri,” Wetstein, and references; so in classical Greek, cf. also Acts 21:6-7; Acts 21:19.


Verse 2

Acts 20:2. διελθὼν δὲ, see above on Acts 13:6, “and when he had gone through,” in a missionary progress τὰ μέρη ἐκεῖνα, i.e., of Macedonia, the places where he had founded Churches, Thessalonica, Berœa, Philippi. From Romans 15:19 it would appear that his work continued some time, and that round about even unto Illyricum he fully preached the Gospel. On the connection of 2 Cor. with this part of Acts, see “II. Corinthians” (Robertson), Hastings’ B.D., i., pp. 493, 495; Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 286; and on the coincidence between Acts and Romans, l. c., see Paley, Horæ Paulinæ, ii., 4.— τὴν ἑλλάδα, i.e., Achaia in its Roman sense (approximately at all events); the stay might have included a visit to Athens, but at all events Corinth was visited. A wider sense of the epithet “Greek” would comprise Macedonia also, and Macedonia and Achaia are thus spoken of in close connection as forming the Greek lands in Europe, cf. Acts 19:21, and Romans 15:26, 2 Corinthians 9:2, 1 Thessalonians 1:8, “Achaia” (Ramsay), Hastings’ B.D.


Verse 3

Acts 20:3. ποιήσας τε μῆνας τρεῖς, cf. Acts 15:33, Acts 18:23.— ἐπιβουλῆς: only in Acts in N.T., see above on Acts 9:24; the plot may have been formed in the anticipation that it would be easy to carry it through on a pilgrim ship crowded with Jews of Corinth and Asia, hostile to the Apostle; or it may have been the purpose of the conspirators to kill Paul in a crowded harbour like Cenchreæ before the ship actually started.— μέλλ. ἀνάγ., see on Acts 13:13. If we read ἐγέν. γνώμης (genitive) (cf. 2 Peter 1:20), nowhere else in N.T., cf. Thuc., i., 113, ὅσοι τῆς αὐτῆς γνώμης ἦσαν, see also Winer-Schmiedel, p. 269.— τοῦ ὑποσ., i.e., the return journey to Jerusalem (Ramsay), but see also Wendt (1899), p. 323.


Verse 4

Acts 20:4. συνείπετο δὲ αὐτῷ: only here in N.T., cf. 2 Maccabees 15:2, 3 Maccabees 5:48; 3 Maccabees 6:21, but frequent in classics.— ἄχρι τῆς .: among more recent writers Rendall has argued strongly for the retention of the words, whilst he maintains, nevertheless, that all the companions of the Apostle named here accompanied him to Jerusalem. In his view the words are an antithesis to ἀσιανοὶ δέ, so that whilst on the one hand one party, viz., six of the deputies, travel with Paul to Philippi, on the other hand the other party consisting of two, viz., the Asian representatives, waited for them at Troas. At Philippi the six deputies and Paul were joined by St. Luke, who henceforth speaks of the deputation in the first person plural, and identifies himself with its members as a colleague. Then from Troas the whole party proceed to Jerusalem (Acts, pp. 119, 303). In this way οὗτοι in Acts 20:5 is restricted to Tychicus and Trophimus (see also Ramsay, as below), whereas A. and R.V. refer the pronoun to all the deputies, so too Weiss and Wendt. If this is so, the ἡμᾶς, Acts 20:5, might refer (but see further below) only to Paul and Luke, as the latter would naturally rejoin Paul at Philippi where we left him, cf. Acts 16:17. Ramsay explains (St. Paul, p. 287) that the discovery of the Jewish plot altered St. Paul’s plan, and that too at the last moment, when delegates from the Churches had already assembled. The European delegates were to sail from Corinth, and the Asian from Ephesus, but the latter having received word of the change of plan went as far as Troas to meet the others, οὗτοι thus referring to Tychicus and Trophimus alone (but see also Askwith, Epistle to the Galatians (1899), pp. 94, 95).

Wendt also favours retention of ἄχρι τῆς . and prefers the reading προσελθόντες, but he takes ἡμᾶς in Acts 20:5 to exclude St. Paul, and refers it to other friends of the Apostle (as distinct from those who accompanied him through Macedonia “as far as Asia”), viz., the author of the “We” sections and others who only now meet the Apostle and his company at Troas. But this obliges us to make a somewhat artificial distinction between ἡμᾶς in Acts 20:5 with ἡμεῖς in Acts 20:6, and ἐξεπ. and ἤλθομεν on the one hand, and διετρίψαμεν, Acts 20:6, on the other, as the latter must be taken to include St. Paul, St. Luke, and the whole company, although Wendt justifies the distinction by pointing out that in Acts 20:13 ἡμεῖς is used exclusive of Paul (cf. Acts 21:12).

Mr. Askwith, u. s., p. 93 ff., has recently argued that ἡμεῖς in Acts 20:6 includes not only St. Luke and St. Paul, but with them the representatives of Achaia (who are not mentioned by name with the other deputies) who would naturally be with St. Paul on his return from Corinth, Acts 20:2-3, and he would not travel through Macedonia unaccompanied. In 2 Corinthians 8 St. Luke, “the brother,” according to tradition, whose praise in the Gospel was spread through all the Churches, had been sent to Corinth with Titus and another “brother,” and so naturally any representatives from Achaia would come along with them, pp. 93, 94. No names are given because St. Luke himself was amongst them, and he never mentions his own name, p. 96. The fact that Timothy and Sopater who had been with the Apostle at Corinth when he wrote to the Romans (chap. Acts 16:21, if we may identify σωσίπατρος with the σώπατρος πύρρου βεροιαῖος, Acts 20:4) are amongst those who waited at Troas is accounted for on the supposition that Timothy and others might naturally go across to inform the Asiatic delegates of Paul’s change of plan, and would then proceed with these Asian representatives to Troas to meet the Apostle (p. 94). The presence of Aristarchus and Secundus at Troas is accounted for on the ground that St. Paul, on his way to Achaia, did not expect to return through Macedonia, and so would naturally arrange for the Macedonian delegates, who were not accompanying him into Greece, to meet him somewhere. And the delegates from Thessalonica would naturally cross to Troas with the intention of proceeding to Ephesus (or Miletus), where St. Paul would have touched even if he had sailed for Palestine from Cenchreæ (cf. Acts 18:18-19), p. 95. But against this it may be fairly urged that there is no reason to assume that the Macedonian delegates did not accompany Paul into Greece; Timothy and Sosipater had evidently done so, and all the delegates mentioned seem to have been together in St. Paul’s company, συνείπετο αὐτῷ, Acts 20:4. In the uncertain state of the text it is difficult to come to any decision on the passage. The words ἄχρι τῆς ἀσίας may easily have been omitted on account of the supposed difficulty connected with the fact that two at least of St. Paul’s companions who are named, Trophimus and Aristarchus, went further than Asia, cf. Acts 21:29, Acts 27:2, while on the other hand it is somewhat hard to believe that the words could be inserted by a later hand.

On “The Pauline Collection for the Saints and its importance,” and the representatives of the Churches in the different provinces, see Rendall, Expositor, November, 1893; Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 287, and “Corinth,” Hastings’ B.D.; Wendt, p. 325 (1899); Hort, Rom. and Ephes., pp. 39 ff. and 173. Nothing could more clearly show the immense importance which St. Paul attached to this contribution for the poor saints than the fact that he was ready to present in person at Jerusalem the members of the deputation and their joint offerings, and that too at a time when his presence in the capital was full of danger, and after he had been expressly warned of the peril, cf. Acts 24:17, Romans 15:25. On the suggestion for the fund and its consummation see 1 Corinthians 16:1-8, Acts 20:16, 2 Corinthians 8:10; 2 Corinthians 9:2; A.D. 57–58, Rendall, Lightfoot; 56–57, Ramsay. Such a scheme would not only unite all the Gentile Churches in one holy bond of faith and charity, but it would mark their solidarity with the Mother Church at Jerusalem; it would be a splendid fulfilment by their own generous and loyal effort of the truth that if one member of the body suffered all the members suffered with it. We know how this vision which St. Paul had before his eyes of a universal brotherhood throughout the Christian world seemed to tarry; and we may understand something of the joy which filled his heart, even amidst his farewell to the elders at Miletus, as he anticipated without misgiving the accomplishment of this διακονία to the saints, a “ministry” which he had received from the Lord Jesus, Acts 20:24. On the coincidence between the narrative of the Acts cf. Acts 20:2-3; Acts 24:17-19, and the notices in St. Paul’s Epistles given above, see especially Paley, Horæ. Paulinæ, chap. ii., 1.— σώπατρος πύρρου β., see critical note; whether he is the same as the Sopater of Romans 16:21 who was with St. Paul at Corinth we cannot say—possibly the name of his father may be introduced to distinguish him, but perhaps, as Blass says, added in this one case “quod domi nobilis erat”.— γάϊος δ. καὶ τ., see above on p. 414, and Knabenbauer’s note as against Blass.— τυχικὸς: Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7 show that Timothy was in Rome at the time of St. Paul’s first imprisonment. He is spoken of as a beloved and faithful minister, and it would appear that as St. Paul was about to send him to Ephesus, he was presumably the bearer of the Epistle which at all events included the Ephesian Church. In Titus 3:12 we have another reference which shows the high place Timothy occupied amongst St. Paul’s trusted confidential friends, and from 2 Timothy 4:12 we learn that he had been a sharer in the Apostle’s second and heavier captivity, and had only left him to fulfil another mission to Ephesus.— τρόφιμος: probably like Tychicus an Ephesian. In Acts 21:29 he was with St. Paul at Jerusalem, and from 2 Timothy 4:20 we learn that he was at a later stage the companion of the Apostle after his release from his first imprisonment, and that he had been left by him at Miletus sick. On the absurd attempt to connect this notice of Miletus in the Pastoral Epistles with Acts 20:4 see Weiss, Die Briefe Pauli an Timotheus und Titus, p. 354; Salmon, Introd., fifth edition, p. 401.


Verse 5

Acts 20:5. προελθόντες, see critical note. If we read προσελ. render as in R.V. (margin), “these came, and were waiting for us at Troas,” cf. Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 287, and Rendall, in loco.ἡμᾶς: the introduction of the word is fatal to the idea that Timothy could have been the author of this “We” section.


Verse 6

Acts 20:6. μετὰ τὰς ἡμ. τῶν ., cf. Acts 12:3, i.e., the Passover. 1 Corinthians 5:7 shows us how they would “keep the Feast”. Ramsay’s “fixed date in the life of St. Paul,” Expositor, May, 1896, depends partly on the assumption that Paul left Philippi the very first day after the close of the Paschal week, but we cannot be sure of this, see Wendt’s criticism on Ramsay’s view, p. 326, edition 1899, and also Dr. Robertson “I. Corinthians” Hastings’ B.D., p. 485.— ἄχρις ἡμ. πέντε: “in five days,” i.e., the journey lasted until the fifth day, so πεμπταῖοι, cf. δευτεραῖοι, Acts 28:13. In Acts 16:11 the journey only lasted two (three?) days, but here probably adverse winds must be taken into account; or the five days may include a delay at Neapolis, the port of Philippi, or the land journey to the port; on ἄχρις see above Acts 1:2.— ἡμέρας ἑπτά, so as to include a whole week, and so the first day of the week, cf. 2 Corinthians 2:12-13, which shows how reluctantly Paul left Troas on his former visit, but see on the other hand, Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 295, who thinks that St. Paul would not have voluntarily stayed seven days at Troas.


Verse 7

Acts 20:7. τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σ., “on the first day of the week,” μιᾷ being used, the cardinal for the ordinal πρῶτος, like Hebrew אֶחָד, in enumerating the days of the month, see Plummer’s note on Luke 24:1; cf. Luke 18:12 (so Blass). We must remember that 1 Cor. had been previously written, and that the reference in 1 Corinthians 16:2 to “the first day of the week” for the collection of alms naturally connects itself with the statement here in proof that this day had been marked out by the Christian Church as a special day for public worship, and for “the breaking of the bread”. On the significance of this selection of the “first day,” see Milligan, Resurrection, pp. 67–69; Maclear, Evidential Value of the Lord’s Day, “Present Day Tracts” 54; and for other references, Witness of the Epistles, pp. 368, 369; Wendt (1899), p. 326.— μέλλων: Burton, Moods and Tenses, p. 71.— παρέτεινε, see μῦθον, Arist., Poet., xvii., 5, λόγους, and Acts 9:4, μῦθον.— μεσονυκτίου, cf. Acts 16:25.


Verse 8

Acts 20:8. λαμπάδες ἱκαναὶ, see critical note and reading in D. The words have been taken to indicate clearly that the accident was not due to darkness coming on through Paul’s lengthy discourse (so Weiss and Wendt), whilst Meyer regards them as introduced to show that the fall of the young man was not perceived at once. Others (so Felten) hold that the words mark the joy at the Sacramental Presence of the Lord and Bridegroom of the Church (Matthew 25:1), and Nösgen sees in them a note of joy in the celebration of the Christian Sunday (see also Kuinoel). But it is also allowable to see in this notice the graphic and minute touch of one who was an eye-witness of the scene, and who described it, as he remembered it, in all its vividness (Hackett, Blass). We can scarcely see in the words with Ewald an intention on the part of the narrative to guard against any suspicion attaching to the night meetings of the Christians (so Calvin, Bengel, Lechler); the date, as Nösgen says, is too early (so too Overbeck). Lewin also takes Ewald’s view, but with the alternative that the lights may have been mentioned to exclude any suspicion in the reader’s mind of any deception with regard to the miracle.


Verse 9

Acts 20:9. εὔτυχος: we are not old what position he occupied, but there is no hint that he was a servant.— ἐπὶ τῆς θυρ.: on the window sill—there were no windows of glass, and the lattice or door was open probably on account of the heat from the lamps, and from the number present—the fact that Eutychus thus sat at the window points to the crowded nature of the assembly, cf. 2 Kings 1:2, where a different word is used in LXX, although θυρίς is also frequently found.— καταφερ. . β.: the two participles are to be carefully distinguished (but R.V. does not); “who was gradually oppressed,” or “becoming oppressed with sleep,” present participle; “being borne down by his sleep,” i.e., overcome by it, aorist. Rendall takes ἐπὶ πλεῖον with κατενεχθεὶς (so W.H(333) margin), “and being still more overcome with the sleep,” but the words are usually taken with διαλεγ. See Bengel, Nösgen, Alford, Holtzmann, Weiss, Ramsay, Page on the force of the participles: “sedentem somnus occupavit … somno oppressus cecidit,” Bengel. καταφέρεσθαι: used only in Luke in N.T., and in no corresponding sense in LXX a medical term, and so much so that it was used more frequently absolutely than with ὕπνος in medical writings, and the two participles thus expressing the different stages of sleep would be quite natural in a medical writer.— βαθεῖ: one of the epithets joined with ὕπνος by the medical writers, see Hobart, pp. 48, 49, and his remarks on Luke 22:45, p. 84. The verb is also used in the same sense by other writers as by Aristotle, Josephus, see instances in Wetstein, but Zahn reckons the whole phrase as medical, Einleitung, ii., p. 436.— καὶ ἤρθη νεκρός: the words positively assert that Eutychus was dead—they are not ὡσεὶ νεκρός, cf. Mark 9:26, and the attempt to show that the words in Acts 20:10, “his life is in him,” indicate apparent death, or that life is still thought of as not having left him (so apparently even Zöckler, whilst he strongly maintains the force of the preceding words), cannot be called satisfactory; see on the other hand Ramsay, St. Paul, pp. 290, 291, and Wendt, in loco.


Verse 10

Acts 20:10. καταβὰς: by the outside staircase common in Eastern houses.— ἐπέπεσεν αὐτῷ καὶ συμ., cf. 1 Kings 17:21-22; 2 Kings 4:34; there as here the purport of the act was a restoration to life.— ΄ὴ θορ.: “make ye no ado,” R.V., cf. Mark 5:39 (Mark 9:23), where the word is used of the loud weeping and wailing of the mourners in the East; see above on Acts 9:39.— γὰρ ψ., see above.


Verse 11

Acts 20:11. κλάσας ἄρτον: if we read τὸν ἄρ., see critical note, “the bread,” so R.V., i.e., of the Eucharist; so Syriac. The words evidently refer back to Acts 20:7, see Blass, Gram., p. 148.— γευσ.: often taken to refer not to the Eucharist, but to the partaking of the Agape or common meal which followed. If so, it certainly appears as if St. Paul had soon taken steps to prevent the scandals which occurred in Corinth from the Holy Communion being celebrated during or after a common meal, 1 Corinthians 9:23, since here the Eucharist precedes, Luckock, Footprints of the Apostles as traced by St. Luke, ii., 199. Wendt, who still identifies the breaking of the bread with the Agape (so Holtzmann, Weiss), protests against the view of Kuinoel and others that reference is here made to a breakfast which St. Paul took for his coming journey. Dean Plumptre refers to the use of γεύομαι in Hebrews 6:4 as suggesting that here too reference is made to the participation of the Eucharist; but, on the other hand, in Acts 10:10 (see Blass, in loco) the word is used of eating an ordinary meal, and Wendt refers it to the enjoyment of the Agape (cf. also Knabenbauer, in loco). Weiss urges that the meaning of simply “tasting” is to be adopted here, and that τε shows that Paul only “tasted” the meal, i.e., the Agape, and hurried on with his interrupted discourse, whilst Lewin would take γευσ. absolutely here, and refer it to a separate ordinary meal; although he maintains that the previous formula κλάσ. τὸν ἄρτον must refer to the Eucharist. In LXX the verb is frequent, but there is no case in which it means definitely more than to taste, although in some cases it might imply eating a meal, e.g., Genesis 25:30; for its former sense see, e.g., Jonah 3:7. In modern Greek γευματίζω = to dine, so γεῦμα = dinner.— ἐφʼ ἱκανόν τε ὁμιλ.: on St. Luke’s use of ἱκανός with temporal significance see above on p. 215, cf. with this expression 2 Maccabees 8:25. ὁμιλ.: only in Luke in N.T., cf. Luke 24:14-15, Acts 24:26; here, “talked with them,” R.V., as of a familiar meeting, elsewhere “communed,” R.V.; so in classical Greek, and in Josephus, and also in modern Greek (Kennedy); in LXX, Daniel 1:19 : ὡμίλησεν αὐτοῖς β., “the king communed with them”. In the passage before us the alternative rendering “when he had stayed in their company” is given by Grimm-Thayer, sub v.ἄχρις αὐγῆς, cf. Polyaen., iv., 18, κατὰ τὴν πρώτην αὐγὴν τῆς ἡμέρας (Wetstein); only here in N.T., found in Isaiah 59:9, 2 Maccabees 12:9, but not in same sense as here.— οὕτως, cf. Acts 20:7, after a participle, as often in classical Greek, Simcox, Language of the N. T., p. 175, see also Acts 27:17, and Viteau, Le Grec du N. T., p. 190 (1893).


Verse 12

Acts 20:12. ἤγαγον: the subject must be supplied; probably those who had attended to the boy, and who, now that he was sufficiently recovered, brought him back to the room. Rendall thinks that the expression means that they took the lad home after the assembly was over. The comfort is derived from the recovery of the boy, as is indicated by ζῶντα, and it is forced to refer it to the consolation which they received from the boy’s presence, as a proof which the Apostle had left behind him of divine and miraculous help (so Wendt, Weiss); see also , critical note, and Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 291.— ζῶντα: the word is pointless unless on the supposition that the accident had been fatal. It is in fact impossible to deny that a miracle is intended to be narrated; otherwise the introduction of the whole story is meaningless, as Overbeck insists against Baur and Renan. The word νεκρός, the action of Paul, the word ζῶντα all point to an actual death, whilst the vivid details in the narrative also indicate the presence of an eye-witness as an informant. Schneckenburger has shown exhaustively, as Zeller admits, that an actual raising of the dead is intended; but we are asked to see in the narrative only an attempt to set off the raising of Eutychus against the raising of Tabitha at Joppa, a parallel between Paul and Peter; so Baur, and recently Overbeck and Weizsäcker. But the conclusion of Overbeck is disappointing in face of the fact that he dwells (p. 333) most pointedly upon the difference between the narrative here and in Acts 9:36—how in this latter case we have the expectation of the miracle emphasised, whilst here it is entirely wanting; how too the laudatory description of Tabitha may be contrasted with the simple mention of the name, Eutychus here.— οὐ μετρίως: often in Plutarch, cf. 2 Maccabees 15:38. On Luke’s use of οὐ with an adjective, to express the opposite, see Lekebusch, Apostelgeschichte, p. 62; Klostermann, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, p. 52; and four times in “We” sections (twelve times in rest of Acts, rare in rest of N.T.), Acts 20:12, Acts 27:14; Acts 27:20, Acts 28:2; Hawkins, Horæ Synopticæ, p. 153.


Verse 13

Acts 20:13. ἡμεῖς, i.e., without Paul.— ἄσσον: south of Troas in the Roman province of Asia, and some miles east of Cape Lectum. The opposite coast of Lesbos was about seven miles distant. Its harbour gave it a considerable importance in the coasting trade of former days. A Roman road connected it with Troas and the Troad coast. The sculptures from the Temple of Athena erected on the hill on which Assos itself was built form some of the most important remains of archaic Greek art: most of them are now in Paris. “Assos” (Ramsay), Hastings’ B.D., B.D.2. Steph. Byz. describes Assos as situated ἐφʼ ὑψηλοῦ καὶ ὀξέος καὶ δυσανόδου τόπου.— ἀναλαμβάνειν: assumere in navem; cf. Polyb., xxx., 9, 8. The only other instance at all parallel in N.T. is 2 Timothy 4:11, where we might render “to pick him up on the way,” Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, p. 437.— διατεταγ.: with middle significance, cf. Acts 7:44, Acts 24:23; Winer-Moulton, xxxix., 3.— πεζεύειν: “to go by land,” R.V. (margin, “on foot”): “de terrestri (non necessario pedestri) itinere,” Blass; a much shorter route than the sea voyage round Cape Lectum. The land journey was about twenty miles, Itin. Anton., B.D.2. Probably Paul took the journey in this way for ministerial purposes; others suggest that he did so for the sake of his health, others to avoid the snare of the Jews, or from a desire for solitude. But it may be questioned whether this somewhat lengthy foot journey would be accomplished without any attendant at all. It does not follow, as has been supposed, that the ship was hired by Paul himself, but that he used its putting in at Assos for his own purpose.


Verse 14

Acts 20:14. συνέβαλεν, cf. Acts 17:18. The verb is peculiar to St. Luke; its meaning here is classical, cf. also Jos., Ant., ii., 7, 5. Rendall thinks that the imperfect (see critical note) may mean that Paul fell in with the ship while still on his way to Assos, and was taken on board at once; he therefore renders “as he came to meet us at Assos”.— ΄ιτυλήνην: the capital of Lesbos, about thirty miles from Assos, and so an easy day’s journey; Lewin, St. Paul, ii. 84, cf. Hor., Od., i., 7, 1; Ep., i., 11, 17. Its northern harbour into which the ship would sail is called by Strabo, xiii., 2, μέγας καὶ βαθύς, χώματι σκεπαζόμενος (Wetstein).


Verse 15

Acts 20:15. κἀκεῖθεν, see on Acts 16:12, Acts 14:26.— κατηντήσαμεν, cf. Acts 16:1, Acts 18:19; Acts 18:24, “we reached a point on the mainland,” Ramsay, ἀντικρὺ χ. over against, i.e., opposite Chios; often in Greek writers, only here in N.T., but W.H(334), Weiss, ἄντικρυς, 3 Maccabees 5:16 (Nehemiah 12:8, see Hatch and Redpath). On καταντᾶν εἰς, and καταντᾶν ἄντ. as here, see on Acts 16:1, Acts 18:19; Klostermann, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, p. 49.— χίου: The island Chios (Scio) in the Ægean was separated from the Asian coast by a channel which at its narrowest was only five miles across. The ship carrying St. Paul would pass through this picturesque channel on its way south from Mitylene. An interesting comparison with the voyage of St. Paul may be found in Herod’s voyage by Rhodes, Cos, Chios and Mitylene, towards the Black Sea (Jos., Ant., xvi., 2, 2). Amongst the seven rivals for the honour of being the birthplace of Homer, the claims of Chios are most strongly supported by tradition. On the legendary and historic connections of the places named in this voyage see Plumptre, in loco, and “Chios” (Ramsay), Hastings’ B.D.— τῇ δὲ ἑτέρᾳ: (see critical note). Wetstein calls attention to the variety of phrases, τῇ ἑτ., τῇ ἐπιούσῃ, τῇ ἐχομ. The phrase before us is found in Acts 27:3, so that it only occurs in the “We”, sections and nowhere else in Acts, but the expression “the next day” occurs so much more frequently in the “We” sections than in any other passages of the same length that we might expect a larger variety of phrases to express it, Hawkins, Horæ Synop., pp. 153, 154; and Klostermann, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, p. 50.— παρεβάλομεν εἰς σ.: “we struck across to Samos,” Ramsay, cf. Thuc., iii., 32, where the verb means “to cross over to Ionia” (see Mr. Page’s note, and the passage quoted also in Wetstein, and L. and .). On the frequency of this and other nautical terms in Acts cf. Klostermann, u. s., p. 49.— καὶ μείν. ἐν τρω., see critical note.— ΄ίλητον: practically the port of Ephesus. The latter city had long gained the pre-eminence once enjoyed by Miletus, the former capital of Ionia, Pliny, N. H., v., 31; cf. Herod., Acts 20:28-36, for the revolt of Miletus against Persia and its disastrous consequences. Miletus had been the mother of some eighty colonies. Here Thales and Anaximander were born. The silting up of the Menander had altered its position even in St. Paul’s day, and now it is several miles from the sea; Lewin, St. Paul, ii., 90; Renan, Saint Paul, p. 501; Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, p. 480.


Verse 16

Acts 20:16. ἔκρινε (see critical note) … παραπλεῦσαι τὴν .: “to sail past Ephesus,” R.V., i.e., without stopping there. The words have sometimes been interpreted as if St. Paul had control over a ship which he had hired himself, and could stop where he pleased, so Alford, Hackett, Rendall. But if so, there seems no definite reason for his going to Miletus at all, as it would have been shorter for him to have stopped at Ephesus, or to have made his farewell address there. According to Ramsay the probabilities are that Paul experienced at Troas some delay in continuing his journey. In starting from Troas he had therefore to choose a vessel making no break in its voyage except at Miletus, or a vessel intending to stop at Ephesus, perhaps as its destination, perhaps with a previous delay elsewhere. He determined for the former by the shortness of the time, and his desire to reach Jerusalem. He may no doubt have been also influenced to some extent by the thought that it would be difficult to tear himself away from a Church which had so many claims upon him, and by the reflection that hostilities might be aroused against him and his progress further impeded (cf. McGiffert, p. 339, who thinks that the author’s reason for St. Paul’s desire not to visit Ephesus “is entirely satisfactory”).— χρονοτριβ.: nowhere else in N.T. or in LXX, but in Arist., Plut.— γένηται αὐτῷ, cf. Acts 11:26 for construction.— ἔσπευδε γὰρ: if the verb expresses as the imperfect intimates the whole character of the journey (Blass, Gram., p. 216), the repeated long delays at first sight seem inexplicable, but we know nothing definitely of the special circumstances which may have occasioned each delay, and we must not lose sight of the fact that the Apostle would have to guard against the constant uncertainty which would be always involved in a coasting voyage. Whether St. Paul reached Jerusalem in time we are not told. St. Chrysostom maintained that he did, see also Ramsay, St. Paul, pp. 296, 297; McGiffert, p. 340 (on the other hand, Weiss, Renan, Felten). Mr. Turner, Chron. of N. T., p. 422, holds that the Apostle probably reached Jerusalem just in time, while Farrar sees in Acts 24:11 an intimation that he arrived on the very eve of the Feast. The Pentacostal Feast was the most crowded, most attended by foreigners, cf. Acts 2:1.


Verse 17

Acts 20:17. ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς ΄. π.: Apparently the Apostle could reckon on a stay of some days at Miletus. If we take into account the landing, the despatching a messenger to Ephesus, and the summoning and journeying of the elders to Miletus, probably, as Ramsay thinks, the third day of the stay at Miletus would be devoted to the presbyters.— μετεκαλέσατο: “called to him,” R.V., cf. Acts 2:39 (and see on Acts 7:14, only in Acts), indicating authority or earnestness in the invitation.— τοὺς πρεσβ., see on Acts 12:25, and also below on Acts 20:28. For Pauline words and phraseology characterising the addresses, see following notes.

When Spitta remarks (Apostelgeschichte, p. 252 ff.) that the speech at Miletus is inferior to no part of Acts, not even to the description of the voyage in chap. 27, in vividness of expression and intensity of feeling, he expresses the opinion of every unbiassed reader. He justly too lays stress upon the fact that while criticism admits the forcible and direct impression derived from the speech, it fails to account for it in the most natural way, viz., by the fact that whilst for the addresses delivered in the Pisidian Antioch and in Athens we are dependent upon a report derived from hearsay, we are here in possession of the testimony of an eyewitness, and of a hearer of the speech (p. 252). Spitta (p. 254) defends the speech against the usual objections. It is disappointing to find that Hilgenfeld is content to regard the whole speech as interpolated by his “author to Theophilus”. Clemen refers the whole speech to his R. or to R.A.; thus whilst Acts 20:19 a is referred to R., 19b with its reference to the plots of the Jews is ascribed to R.A. (Redactor Antijudaicus); Jüngst ascribes Acts 20:19 b from the words καὶ δακρύωνἰουδ. to the Redactor, but the previous part of the chap. 21 to ταπεινοφροσύνης, Acts 20:19, to his source A. So Acts 20:38 with its reference to Acts 20:25 is referred to the Redactor; whilst Clemen refers Acts 20:38 a to his R.A., 38b to R.


Verse 18

Acts 20:18. ὑμεῖς: “ye yourselves,” R.V., ipsi, emphatic, cf. Acts 10:37, Acts 15:7.— ἀπὸ π. .: to be connected with what follows, although it is quite possible that the word may hold a middle place (Alford), connected partly with ἐπίσ. and partly with ἐγεν.— ἐπέβην: “set foot in Asia,” R.V., only in Acts, except Matthew 21:5, also with the dative of place, Acts 25:1, but the local meaning is doubtful (LXX, Joshua 14:9). Rendall renders “I took ship for Asia,” but although the expression elsewhere refers to a voyage, cf. Acts 21:2; Acts 21:4; Acts 21:6, Acts 27:2, it is not always so used, e.g., Acts 25:1.— πῶς μεθʼ .… ἐγεν., cf. Acts 7:38 (versor cum), Acts 9:19, Mark 16:10. Bethge points out that the phrase is always used of intimate association and contrasts the less intimate significance of σύν. See also critical note and reading in .


Verse 19

Acts 20:19. δουλεύων: the word occurs six times in St. Paul’s Epistles of serving God, the Lord, Christ, 1 Thessalonians 1:9, Romans 12:11 (R., margin, τῷ καιρῷ), Acts 14:18, Acts 16:18, Ephesians 6:7, Colossians 3:24 (once in Matthew and Luke, of serving God, Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13), and cf. St. Paul’s expression δοῦλος of himself, Romans 1:1, Galatians 1:10, Philippians 1:1, Titus 1:1.— μετὰ πάσης ταπεινοφ.: this use of πᾶς may be called eminently Pauline, cf. Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 1:8, Ephesians 4:2, Ephesians 6:18, 2 Corinthians 8:7; 2 Corinthians 12:12, 1 Timothy 3:4; 2 Timothy 4:2, Titus 2:15; Titus 3:2 (see Hackett’s note). ταπειν., a word which may justly be called Pauline, as out of seven places in the N.T. it is used five times by St. Paul in his Epistles, and once in his address in the passage before us; Ephesians 4:2, Philippians 2:3, Colossians 2:18; Colossians 2:23; Colossians 3:12 (elsewhere, only in 1 Peter 5:5). It will be noted that it finds a place in three Epistles of the First Captivity, although used once disparagingly, Colossians 3:18. In pagan ethics ταπεινός was for the most part a depreciatory characteristic, although some few notable exceptions may be quoted, Trench, Synonyms, i., 171 ff. In the LXX and Apocrypha it has a high moral significance and is opposed to ὕβρις in all its forms. The noun is not found either in LXX or Apocrypha, and the adjective ταπεινόφρων (1 Peter 3:8) and the verb ταπεινοφρονεῖν (not in N.T.), although each found in LXX once, the former in Proverbs 29:23 and the latter in Psalms 130:2 (cf. instances in Aquila and Symmachus, Hatch and Redpath), cannot be traced in classical Greek before the Christian era, and then not in a laudatory sense. The noun occurs in Jos., B. J., iv., 9, 2, but in the sense of pusillanimity, and also in Epictet., Diss., iii., 24, 56, but in a bad sense (Grimm-Thayer). But for St. Paul as for St. Peter the life of Christ had conferred a divine honour upon all forms of lowliness and service, and every Christian was bidden to an imitation of One Who had said: πραΰς εἰμι καὶ ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ, Lightfoot on Philippians 2:3; “Ethics” (T. B. Strong), Hastings’ B.D., i., 786; Cremer, Wörterbuch, sub v. ταπεινος.— δακρύων, cf. Acts 20:31, 2 Corinthians 2:4, Philippians 3:18. “Lachrymæ sanctæ … cum his tamen consistit gaudium”: Bengel. St. Paul was no Stoic, for whom ἀπάθεια was a virtue, the accompaniment of wisdom and the passport to perfection; see Romans 12:15 : “in every age the Christian temper has shivered at the touch of Stoic apathy”. Here the word refers not to the Apostle’s outward trials which were rather a source of joy, but to his sorrow of heart for his brethren and for the world, ἔπασχε γὰρ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀπολλυμένων, Chrysostom.— πειρασμῶν, cf. St. Paul’s own words, 1 Thessalonians 3:3, Philippians 1:27, 2 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 6:4-10, 2 Corinthians 11:26, κινδύνοις ἐκ γενους (Galatians 4:14). In our Lord’s own life and ministry there had been “temptations,” Luke 4:13; Luke 22:28; and a beatitude rested upon the man who endured temptation, James 1:12; James 1:2. The noun is found no less than six times in St. Luke’s Gospel, but only here in Acts. It occurs four times in St. Paul’s Epistles, and may be fairly classed as Lucan-Pauline (Bethge). On its use in N.T. and LXX see Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek, p. 71 ff., and compare Mayor, Epistle of St. James, James 1:2.— ἐπιβ. τῶν .: evidently classed amongst the πειρασμῶν, Hatch, u. s., although we must not suppose that St. Luke tells us of all the Apostle’s dangers, trials and temptations here any more than elsewhere. Nothing of the kind is mentioned in connection definitely with the Ephesian Jews, “sed res minime dubia, Acts 21:27,” Blass. The noun has not been found in any classical author, but it occurs in Dioscorides, Præf., i., see Grimm, sub v., and several times in LXX, six times in Ecclus. and in 1 Maccabees 2:52.


Verse 20

Acts 20:20. ὑπεστειλάμην: “how that I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that was profitable,” R.V., cf. Acts 20:27, where βουλήν follows the same verb ἀναγγέλλειν, here followed by οὐδέν; on the construction see Page’s note, in loco. The verb means to draw or shrink back from, out of fear or regard for another. In the same sense in classical Greek with οὐδέν or μηδέν: “locutio Demosthenica.” Blass and Wendt, cf. also Jos., B. J., i., 20, 21; Vita, 54; in LXX, Deuteronomy 1:17, Exodus 23:21, Job 13:8, Wisdom of Solomon 6:7, Habakkuk 2:4; see Westcott on Hebrews 10:38. It is used once in Galatians 2:12 by Paul himself. It is possible that the verb may have been used metaphorically by St. Paul from its use in the active voice as a nautical term to reef or lower sail, and there would be perhaps a special appropriateness in the metaphor, as St. Paul had just landed, and the sails of the ship may have been before his eyes in speaking, to say nothing of the fact that the word would become familiar to him day by day on the voyage (see Humphry, Plumptre, Farrar); but it is not well to press this special metaphorical usage too far here, especially as the word is frequently used elsewhere of military rather than nautical matters (see Lightfoot’s note on Galatians 2:12, and the use of the verb in Polybius).— τῶν συμφ., cf. 1 Corinthians 7:35; 1 Corinthians 10:33; Pauline: “the things profitable for their salvation,” a message not always agreeable, but which nevertheless the Apostle spoke with the same παῤῥησία ( ὑποστέλλεσθαι is the opposite of παῤῥησιάζεσθαι, Page) which characterised him. Blass compares also the whole phrase ὑποστείλασθαι περὶ ὧν ὑμῖν συμφέρειν ἡγοῦμαι, Dem., i., 16.— δημ. καὶ κατʼ οἴκους: publice et privatim, another and a further glimpse of the Apostle’s work at Ephesus: publicly in the synagogue and in the school of Tyrannus, privately as in the Church in the house of Aquila and Priscilla, 1 Corinthians 16:19.


Verse 21

Acts 20:21. διαμαρτ., see above on p. 92; Lucan—Pauline.— μετάν. καὶ πίστιν, cf. the earliest notes in the preaching of Jesus, Mark 1:15, and these were equally the notes of the preaching of St. Peter and St. Paul alike. Whether Paul was preaching to Jews or Gentiles, to philosophers at Athens or to peasants at Lystra, the substance of his teaching was the same under all varieties of forms, cf. Acts 14:15, Acts 17:30, Acts 26:20. It is quite arbitrary to refer μετάνοια to the Gentile and πίστις to the Jew.— ἰουδ. τε καὶ ἕλλησι, Pauline, cf. Romans 1:16; Romans 2:9-10; Romans 3:9; Romans 3:12, 1 Corinthians 1:24.


Verse 22

Acts 20:22. καὶ νῦν ἰδού: the exact phrase occurs again in Acts 20:25, and only once elsewhere in words ascribed to Paul, Acts 13:11 ( ἰδού νῦν, twice in Paul only, 2 Corinthians 6:2).— δεδεμένος τῷ πνεύματι: “bound in the spirit,” compulsus animo, Blass; so δέω in classical Greek, Xen., Cyr., viii., 1, 12; Plato, Rep., viii., p. 567 e, cf. Acts 19:21, Acts 18:25, 1 Corinthians 5:3. The fact that the Holy Spirit is specifically so called in Acts 20:23 seems to decide for the above rendering in this verse; but see Weiss on Acts 20:23; Ramsay also renders “constrained by the Spirit”. Possibly πνεῦμα is named as that part of the man in closest union with the Spirit of God, cf. Romans 8:16, so that the sense is not affected. If we compare with Acts 19:21 the expression presents an advance in the Apostle’s thought—his purpose becomes plainer, and the obligation more definite, as the Spirit witnesses with his spirit. The expression may mean that the Apostle regarded himself as already bound in the spirit, i.e., although not outwardly bound, he yet knows and feels himself as one bound. For St. Paul’s frequent use of πνεῦμα cf. Romans 1:9; Romans 8:16; Romans 12:11, 1 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Corinthians 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 14:14, etc. Oecumenius and Theophylact take πνεύματι with πορεύομαι, i.e., bound, as good as bound, I go by the leading of the Spirit to Jerusalem; but this seems forced. Paley, Horæ Paulinæ, ii., 5, remarks on the undesigned coincidence with Romans 15:30.— συναντήσοντά μοι: the verb is found only in Luke in N.T. (except Hebrews 7:10 as a quotation, Genesis 14:17), and only here in this sense, cf. Ecclesiastes 2:14; Ecclesiastes 9:11, also Plut., Sulla, 2; Polyb., xx., 7, 14; middle, τὰ συναντώμενα. On the rarity of the future participle in Greek, and its use in this passage “an exception which proves the rule,” see Simcox, Language of the N. T., p. 126.


Verse 23

Acts 20:23. πλὴν ὅτι: The collocation is found nowhere else in N.T. except in Philippians 1:18, only that (so Alford, Lightfoot, W.H(335), see Lightfoot, l. c., for parallels), i.e., knowing one thing only, etc., “I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me,” so from step to step κατὰ πόλιν, on his journey, St. Paul was warned and guided, cf. Acts 21:4; Acts 21:11.— κατὰ πόλιν, Lucan-Pauline; κατά used several times by Luke, alone amongst the synoptists, in his Gospel and in the Acts with this distributive force in connection with πόλις; Luke 8:1; Luke 8:4; Luke 13:22; cf. Luke 15:21; in the text, as also in Titus 1:5; the only other passage in which the collocation occurs in N.T., the phrase is adopted by St. Paul.— δεσμὰ καὶ θλίψεις: δεσμὰ in St. Luke; Luke 8:29, Acts 16:26, but it is noticeable that the two nouns are found together in Philippians 1:17, and in 2 Corinthians 1:8. θλίψις is used of the affliction which befel the Apostle in Asia, including that of public danger, as well as illness and mental distress. On the variation between masculine and neuter in δεσμός and in other nouns see Blass, Gram., p. 28.— μένουσιν: only twice in N.T., with accusative of the person, here and in Acts 20:5.


Verse 24

Acts 20:24. See critical note. “But I hold not my life of any account, as dear unto myself,” R.V., reading λόγου for λόγον omitting οὐδὲ ἔχω and μου. Both verbs ἔχω and ποιοῦμαι are found in similar phrases in LXX, Tobit 6:16, Job 22:4, so also in classical Greek (Wetstein). The former verb is used in N.T. as = habere, æstimare, cf. Luke 14:18 and by St. Paul, Philippians 2:29.— ὡς τελειῶσαι, see critical note. “So that I may accomplish my course,” R.V., “in comparison of accomplishing my course,” margin. Difficulty has arisen because this is the only case in the N.T. in which ὡς appears in a final clause, Burton, p. 85 (but see W.H(336), Luke 9:52, and Viteau, Le Grec du N. T., p. 74 (1893)). The whole phrase is strikingly Pauline, cf. Philippians 3:12, where the same verb immediately seems to suggest the δρόμος (Alford), Galatians 2:2, 1 Corinthians 9:24, 2 Timothy 4:7.— μετὰ χαρᾶς, see critical note, cf. Philippians 1:4, Colossians 1:11, Hebrews 10:34. The words are strongly defended by Ewald.— τήν διακονίαν, see above on p. 422 “saepe apud Paulum,” cf. Romans 11:13. Apostleship is often so designated, Acts 1:17; Acts 1:25; Acts 21:19, 2 Corinthians 4:1, and other instances in Hort, Ecclesia, p. 204.— διαμαρτ., cf. Acts 6:4, where the διακ. τοῦ λόγου is the highest function of the Apostles.


Verse 25

Acts 20:25. καὶ νῦν, see on Acts 20:22.— οἶδα: no infallible presentiment or prophetic inspiration, but a personal conviction based on human probabilities, which was overruled by subsequent events. The word cannot fairly be taken to mean more than this, for in the same context the Apostle himself had distinctly disclaimed a full knowledge of the future, Acts 20:23. And if οἶδα is to be pressed here into a claim of infallible knowledge, it is difficult to see why it should not be also so pressed in Philippians 1:25, where the Apostle expresses his sure conviction πεποιθώς οἶδα of a release from his Roman imprisonment, cf. Acts 26:27 where Paul uses the same verb in expressing his firm persuasion of Agrippa’s belief, but surely not any infallible knowledge of Agrippa’s heart. For a full discussion of the word see amongst recent writers Steinmetz, Die zweite römische Gefangenschaft des Apostels Paulus, p. 14 ff. (1897); Zahn, Einleitung, i., p. 436.— οὐκέτι ὄψεσθε: “shall no longer see,” see Rendall, whereas A. and R.V. rendering “no more,” οὐκέτι, give the impression that St. Paul definitely affirms that he would never return. Rendall compares Romans 15:23, but on the other hand Acts 8:39 seems to justify the usual rendering. The Apostle’s increasing anxiety is quite natural when we remember how even in Corinth he had thought of his journey to Jerusalem with apprehension, Romans 15:30, Paley, Horæ Paulinæ, ii., 5. On the inference drawn by Blass from this passage as to the early date of Acts, see his remarks in loco, and Proleg., p. 3, and to the same effect, Salmon, Introd., p. 407, fifth edition.— διῆλθον: the word taken in the sense of a missionary tour, see Acts 13:6, indicates that representatives not only of Ephesus but of other Churches were present, hence ὑμεῖς πάντες, διῆλθον κηρύσσων, coalescing into a single idea; the Apostle could not say διῆλθον ὑμᾶς, and so we have ἐν ὑμῖν substituted. If the word is Lucan it is also Pauline, and that too in this particular sense, cf. 1 Corinthians 16:5.— κηρ. τὴν βασ.: if Lucan, also Pauline—cf. Colossians 4:11. As our Lord had sent His first disciples to preach ( κηρύσσειν) the kingdom of God, and as He Himself had done the same, Luke 8:1; Luke 9:2, we cannot doubt that St. Paul would lay claim to the same duty and privilege; in his first Epistle, 1 Thessalonians 2:12, as in his latest, 2 Timothy 4:18, the kingdom of God, its present and its future realisation, is present to his thoughts; in his first journey, Acts 14:22, no less than in his third it finds a place in his teaching and exhortation; in his first Epistle, 1 Thessalonians 2:9, as in his latest, 2 Timothy 1:11; 2 Timothy 4:17, he does the work of a herald, κῆρυξ. No less than five times in 1 Corinthians, one of the Epistles written during his stay at Ephesus, the phrase βασιλεία θεοῦ occurs (it is not found at all in 2 Corinthians).


Verse 26

Acts 20:26. If we read διότι, critical note, we have a word which is not used by the other Evangelists, but three times in Luke’s Gospel and five times in Acts; in each passage in Acts it is referred to Paul, Acts 13:35, Acts 18:10 (2), Acts 20:26, Acts 22:18, and it occurs nine or ten times in Paul’s Epistles. On account of the Apostle’s approaching departure, such a reckoning is demanded.— μαρτύρομαι: only in Luke and Paul, and in both cases in Acts referred to Paul, here and in Acts 26:22, Galatians 5:3, Ephesians 4:17, 1 Thessalonians 2:12, “I protest,” properly “I call to witness,” but never = μαρτυρῶ in classical Greek; in Judith 7:28 we have the fuller construction, of which this use of the dative here is a remnant, Lightfoot, Galatians 5:3. The verb occurs once more in 1 Maccabees 2:56 (but (337) (338), al.).— ἐν τῇ σήμερον ἡμερᾷ: Attic, τήμερον, i.e., ἡμ. with pronom. prefix (cf. Matthew 28:15 but ἡμέρας [W. H.]), the very day of my departure; the exact phrase occurs twice elsewhere, but both times in Paul’s writings, 2 Corinthians 3:14, W. H., Romans 11:8 (quotation); “Hoc magnam declarandi vim habet,” Bengel. Several times in LXX, cf. Jos., Ant., xiii., 2, 3, found frequently in classical Greek.— καθαρὸς ἀπὸ, cf. Acts 17:6, where a similar phrase is used by St. Paul; the adjective is found seven times in. St. Paul’s Epistles, but only here and in Acts 17:6 in Luke’s writings. In LXX, cf. Job 14:4, Proverbs 20:9, Tobit 3:14, Susannah, ver 46; in Psalms of Solomon, 17:41, and, for the thought, Ezekiel 3:18-20. In classics for the most part with genitive, but in later Greek with ἀπό, see however Blass, Gram., p. 104, and instances from Demosthenes; and Deissmann for instances from papyri, Neue Bibelstudien, pp. 24, 48; Ramsay, “Greek of the Early Church,” etc.; Expository Times, December, 1898, p. 108. Only a Paul could say this with fitness; we could not dare to say it, Chrys., Hom., xliv.


Verse 27

Acts 20:27. ὑπεστ., see above on Acts 20:20.— τὴν β. τοῦ θεοῦ, see on Acts 2:23, and cf. especially Ephesians 1:11 for the phrase, and Acts 3:4 for the thought. No Epistle excels that to the Ephesians in the richness of its thoughts, and in its conception of a divine purpose running through the ages; no Epistle dwells more fully upon the conception of the Church as the Body of Christ, or exhorts more touchingly to diligence in keeping the unity of the Spirit, or insists more practically upon the sanctifying power of the One Spirit, and the sense of a divine membership in every sphere of human life. The rich and full teaching of the Epistle is addressed to men who are able to understand the Apostle’s knowledge of the mystery of Christ; in other words, to those to whom he had announced more fully than to others the counsel of God. The Ephesian Epistle may have been an encyclical letter, but it was addressed principally to the Ephesians as the representatives of the leading Church of the province of Asia. See amongst recent writers Gore, Ephesians, pp. 42, 43; and Lock, “Ephesians,” Hastings’ B.D., p. 718.— ὑμῖν: emphatically at the end, W.H(339); this revelation had been made to the presbyters before him, and the responsibility would rest with them of communicating it to others when their spiritual father had left them.


Verse 28

Acts 20:28. προσέχετεἑαυτοῖς (cf. 1 Timothy 4:16), Luke 17:3; Luke 21:34, Acts 5:35; Acts 8:6. In LXX with ἐμαυτῷ, Genesis 24:6, Exodus 10:28, Deuteronomy 4:9. “Non tantum jubet eos gregi attendere, sed primum sibi ipsis; neque enim aliorum salutem sedulo unquam curabit, qui suam negliget … cum sit ipse pars gregis,” Calvin, in loco, and also Chrys. (Bethge, p. 144).— ποιμνίῳ: the figure was common in the O.T. and it is found in St.Luke, Luke 12:32, in St. John, in St. Peter, but it is said that St. Paul does not use it, cf. however Ephesians 4:11, where, and nowhere else, he writes καὶ αὐτὸς ἔδωκετοὺς δὲ ποιμένας.— ἐνᾧ: “in the which,” R.V., not “over which”.— ὑμᾶς is again emphatic, but the presbyters were still part of the flock, see Calvin, u. s.ἔθετο, cf. 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Timothy 1:12; 1 Timothy 2:7, 2 Timothy 1:11. There is no ground whatever for supposing that the ἐπισκόποι here mentioned were not ordained, as the words τὸ π. τὸ ἅγ. ἔθετο may be used without any reference whatever to the actual mode of appointment. Dr. Hort allows that here the precedent of Acts 6:3-6 may have been followed, and the appointment of the elders may have been sealed, so to speak, by the Apostle’s prayers and laying-on-of-hands, Ecclesia, pp. 99, 100. The thought of appointment by the Holy Spirit, although not excluding the ordination of Apostles, may well be emphasised here for the sake of solemnly reminding the Presbyters of their responsibility to a divine Person, and that they stand in danger of losing the divine gifts imparted to them in so far as they are unfaithful to their office.— ποιμαίνειν: “to tend” as distinct from βόσκειν “to feed,” although the act of feeding as well as of governing is associated also with the former word; see on John 21:16. The figurative pastoral language in this passage was probably not unknown as applied to Jewish elders, Edersheim, Jewish Social Life, p. 282; Hort, Ecclesia, p. 101.— ἐπισκόπους: the word, which occurs five times in the N.T., is applied four times to officers of the Christian Church: in this passage, again at Ephesus in 1 Timothy 3:2, at Philippi in Philippians 1:1, at Crete in Titus 1:7; and once to our Lord Himself, 1 Peter 2:25 (cf. the significant passage, Wisdom of Solomon 1:6, where it is applied to God). In the LXX it is used in various senses, e.g., of the overseers of Josiah, 2 Chronicles 34:12; 2 Chronicles 34:17; of task-masters or exactors, Isaiah 60:17; of minor officers, Nehemiah 11:9; Nehemiah 11:14; of officers over the house of the Lord, 2 Kings 11:18; and in 1 Maccabees 1:51 of overseers or local commissioners of Antiochus Epiphanes to enforce idolatry, cf. Jos., Ant., xii., 5, 4. In classical Greek the word is also used with varied associations. Thus in Attic Greek it was used of a commissioner sent to regulate a new colony or subject city like a Spartan “harmost,” cf. Arist., Av., 1032, and Boeckh, Inscr., 73 (in the Roman period ἐπίμεληταί); but it was by no means confined to Attic usage. In another inscription found at Thera in the Macedonian period mention is made of two ἐπίσκοποι receiving money and putting it out at interest, and again at Rhodes, in the second century B.C., ἐπίσ. are mentioned in inscriptions, but we do not know their functions, although Deissmann claims that in one inscription, I. M. A. e., 731, the title is used of a sacred office in the Temple of Apollo, but he declines to commit himself to any statement as to the duties of the office: cf. also Loening, Die Gemeindeverfassung des Urchristenthums, pp. 21, 22; Gibson, “Bishop,” B.D.2; Gwatkin, “Bishop,” Hastings’ B.D.; Deissmann, Neue Bibelstudien, p. 57; Lightfoot, Philippians, p. 95. M. Waddington has collected several instances of the title in inscriptions found in the Haurân, i.e., the south-eastern district of the ancient Bashan (see the references to Le Bas—Waddington in Loening, u. s., p. 22, note, and Gore, Church and the Ministry, p. 402), but none of these give us precise and definite information as to the functions of the ἐπίσκοποι. But it is important to note that M. Waddington is of opinion that the comparative frequency of the title in the Haurân points to the derivation of the Christian use of the word from Syria or Palestine rather than from the organisation of the Greek municipality (Expositor, p. 99, 1887). It has been urged that the officers of administration and finance in the contemporary non-Christian associations, the clubs and guilds so common in the Roman empire, were chiefly known by one or other of two names, ἐπιμελητής or ἐπίσκοπος, Hatch, B.L., p. 36, and hence the inference has been drawn that the primary function of the primitive ἐπίσκοποι in the Christian Church was the administration of finance; but Dr. Hatch himself has denied that he laid any special stress upon the financial character of the ἐπίσκοποι, although he still apparently retained the description of them as “officers of administration and finance,” see Expositor, u. s., p. 99, note, thus adopting a position like that of Professor Harnack, who would extend the administration duties beyond finance to all the functions of the community. But however this may be (see below), there is certainly no ground for believing that the title ἐπίσκοπος in the Christian Church was ever limited to the care of finance (see the judgment of Loening on this view, u. s., p. 22), or that such a limitation was justified by the secular use of the term. If indeed we can point to any definite influence which connects itself with the introduction of the title into the Christian Church, it is at least as likely, one might say more likely when we consider that the Apostles were above all things Jews, that the influence lies in the previous use in the LXX of ἐπίσκοπος and ἐπισκοπή, and the direct appeal of St. Clement of Rome, Cor(340), 42:5, to Isaiah (LXX) Isaiah 60:17 in support of the Christian offices of ἐπίσκοποι and διάκονοι may be fairly quoted as pointing to such an influence. But whatever influences were at work in the adoption of the term by the early believers, it became, as it were, baptised into the Christian Church, and received a Christian and a higher spiritual meaning. This one passage in Acts 20:28 is sufficient to show that those who bore the name were responsible for the spiritual care of the Church of Christ, and that they were to feed His flock with the bread of life (see the striking and impressive remarks of Dr. Moberly, Ministerial Priesthood, p. 266). This one passage is also sufficient to show that the “presbyter” and “bishop” were at first practically identical, cf. Acts 20:17; Acts 20:28, Steinmetz, Die zweite römische Gefangenschaft des Apostels Paulus, p. 173, 1897, and that there is no room for the separation made by Harnack between the two, see his Analecta zu Hatch, p. 231, or for his division between the “patriarchal” office of the πρεσβύτεροι and the “administrative” office of the ἐπίσκοποι (Loening, u. s., pp. 23–27; Sanday, Expositor, u. s., pp. 12, 104; Gwatkin, u. s., p. 302). In the Pastoral Epistles the identity between the two is even more clearly marked, although Harnack cannot accept Titus 1:5-7 as a valid proof, because he believes that Acts 20:7-9 were interpolated into the received text by a redactor; cf. also for proof of the same 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Timothy 5:17-19; 1 Peter 5:1-2, although in this last passage Harnack rejects the reading ἐπισκοποῦντες (and it must be admitted that it is not found in (341) (342), and that it is omitted by Tisch. and W. H.), whilst he still relegates the passages in the Pastoral Epistles relating to bishops, deacons and Church organisation to the second quarter of the second century, Chron., i., p. 483, note. In St. Clement of Rome, Cor(343), xlii., 4, xliv. 1, 4, 5, the terms are still synonymous, and by implication in Didaché, xv., 1 (Gwatkin, u. s., p. 302, and Gore, u. s., p. 409, note). But if we may say with Bishop Lightfoot that a new phraseology began with the opening of a new century, and that in St. Ignatius the two terms are used in their more modern sense, it should be borne in mind that the transition period between Acts and St. Ignatius is exactly marked by the Pastoral Epistles, and that this fact is in itself no small proof of their genuineness. In these Epistles Timothy and Titus exercise not only the functions of the ordinary presbyteral office, but also functions which are pre-eminent over those of the ordinary presbyter, although there is no trace of any special title for these Apostolic delegates, as they may be fairly called. The circumstances may have been temporary or tentative, but it is sufficiently plain that Timothy and Titus were to exercise not only a general discipline, but also a jurisdiction over the other ministers of the Church, and that to them was committed not only the selection, but also the ordination of presbyters (Moberly, Ministerial Priesthood, p. 151 ff.; Bright, Some Aspects of Primitive Church Life, p. 28 ff., 1898; Church Quarterly Review, xlii., pp. 265–302).— τὴν ἐκκ. τοῦ θεοῦ, see critical note.— περιεποιήσατο, cf. Psalms 74:2. It has been thought that St. Paul adopts and adapts the language of this Psalm; in comparing his language with that of the LXX we can see how by the use of the word ἐκκλησία instead of συναγωγή in the Psalm he connects the new Christian Society with the ancient ἐκκλησία of Israel, whilst in employing περιεποιήσατο instead of ἐκτήσω (LXX), and retaining the force of ἐλυτρώσω, LXX, by reference to the λύτρον of the new Covenant, a deeper significance is given to the Psalmist’s language: a greater redemption than that of Israel from the old Egyptian bondage had been wrought for the Christian Ecclesia (Hort, Ecclesia, pp. 14 and 102). The verb περιποιεῖσθαι only in St. Luke and St. Paul in N.T., but in a different sense in the former, Luke 17:33. In 1 Timothy 3:13 (1 Maccabees 6:44) it is found in the sense of “gaining for oneself,” so in classical Greek. But it is to be noted that the cognate noun περιποίησις is associated by St. Paul in his Ephesian letter with the thought of redemption, εἰς ἀπολύτρωσιν τῆς περιποίησεως “unto the redemption of God’s own possession,” R.V.— τοῦ ἰδ. τοῦ αἵμ., see critical note.


Verse 29

Acts 20:29. ἐγὼ γὰρ οἶδα, see critical note. Baur and Zeller could only see in this assertion a vaticinium post eventum—the heresiarchs are portrayed in the general expressions in vogue in the second century; so too Renan thinks that the writer gives us the ideas of a later date, although he does not carry us further than 75–80 A.D. But if we accept the early date of the Didaché, that document is quite sufficient to show us that similar phraseology to that in the address before us was current in the Church at an earlier date than Baur and Zeller supposed. If St. Paul had been engaged all his life in struggling with false teachers, it would have been inconceivably short-sighted if he had thought that such dangers would cease after his departure, and still more inconceivable if with such presentiments he had neglected to warn the Church. The vagueness of the description of the heretical teachers is in itself a proof of genuineness, and a writer of a later date would have made it far less general, and more easily to be identified with some current error. It has been further objected by Zeller and Overbeck, and even by Wendt, that it is strange that with present opponents before him, 1 Corinthians 16:8-9, St. Paul should speak only of the future; but whilst he had himself been present among them he had been their protector against their enemies, but now that he was about to withdraw from them nothing was more natural than that he should warn them against the subtle attacks which might be more easily made when his own careful superintendence was no more.— εἰσελεύσονται: so men outside the fold—the when of their entrance is not specified precisely, but the words were amply fufilled in the presence of the emissaries of the Judaisers, creeping in from the Jewish communities into the Churches of Asia, as they had slunk into the Churches of Galatia, cf. Hort, Judaistic Christianity, pp. 130–146, on the teaching of the Judaisers and its evil influence in the Pastoral Epistles. There is at all events no need to refer the words with Grotius to outward persecution, such as that of Nero.— ἄφιξιν, i.e., his departure from amongst them (not necessarily including his death), not arrival, although the latter meaning attaches to the word in classical Greek, so too 3 Maccabees 7:18; Jos., Ant., iv., 8, 47 (but see both Alford and Blass, in loco).— λύκοι: continuing the imagery of Acts 20:28, cf. Matthew 7:15, Luke 10:3, John 10:12; so in the O.T. λύκοι of presumptuous and cruel rulers and judges, Ezekiel 22:27, Zephaniah 3:3. The similar kind of language used by Ignat., Philadelph., ii., 1, 2; Justin Martyr, Apol., i., 58; Iren., Adv. Hær., i., Præf. 2, may well have been borrowed from this, not vice versâ as Zeller maintained; but such imagery would no doubt be widely known from its employment in O. and N.T. alike.— βαρεῖς, cf. for the sense of the adjective, Hom., Il., i., 89; Xen., Ages., xi., 12; so too Diog. Laert., i., 72.— μὴ φειδ.: litotes, cf. John 10:12. The verb occurs six times in St. Paul’s Epistles, twice in Romans and four times in the Corinthian Epistles (only twice elsewhere in N.T. in 2 Pet.).


Verse 30

Acts 20:30. καὶ ἐξ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν αὐτῶς: αὐτῶν adds emphasis, “from your own selves”. The Pastoral Epistles afford abundant evidence of the fulfilment of the words, cf. 1 Timothy 1:20, 2 Timothy 1:15; 2 Timothy 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:8; 2 Timothy 3:13. To some extent the Apostolic warning was effectual at all events in Ephesus itself, cf. Revelation 2:2; Ignat., Ephes., vi., 2.— ἀναστήσονται: common word in Acts, see on Acts 20:17, used here perhaps as in Acts 5:36.— διεστραμμένα, cf. LXX, Deuteronomy 32:5. The verb is found twice in Luke 9:41 (Matthew 17:17), Acts 23:2, three times in Acts 13:8; Acts 13:10, and once again by St. Paul, Philippians 2:15, in a similar sense, cf. Arist., Pol., iii., 16, 5, viii., 7, 7; Arrian, Epict., iii., 6, 8.— ἀποσπᾷν τοὺς μαθητὰς: “the disciples,” R.V. with art(344) meaning that they would try and draw away those that were already Christians, μαθ. always so used in Acts. ἀποσ. to tear away from that to which one is already attached; used by St.Matthew 26:51, and elsewhere only by St.Luke 22:41, Acts 21:1; compare with the genitive of purpose after ἀνίστημι, 2 Chronicles 20:23.— ὀπίσω αὑτῶν, “after themselves,” cf. Acts 5:37, not after Christ, Matthew 4:19.


Verse 31

Acts 20:31. γρηγ.: the pastoral metaphor continued; verb used four times by St. Paul, and it may well have passed into familiar use in the early Church by the solemn injunction of our Lord on the Mount of Olives to watch, cf. also Luke 12:37, 1 Peter 5:8, Revelation 3:2-3; Revelation 16:15, and the names Gregory, Vigilantius, amongst the early converts.— τριετίαν: the three years may be used summarily i.e., as speaking in round numbers, or literally. It would have seemed out of place in such an appeal to say “two years and three months,” or whatever the exact time may have been. The intention was to give a practical turn to this watchfulness: triennium celeste, Bengel. The word is regarded by Vogel as a decided employment of a medical term by Luke from Dioscorides, see also to the same effect Meyer—Weiss, Evangelium des Lukas, note on Acts 1:1. The word is found only here in N.T., not at all in LXX, but used by Theophr., Plut., Artem.— νύκτα: perhaps placed first because it corresponded more closely to the idea of watching against attacks, or perhaps because it emphasised the ceaselessness of the Apostle’s labours, cf. Acts 26:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:10, 1 Timothy 5:5, 2 Timothy 1:3.— μετὰ δακρύων, cf. 2 Corinthians 2:4, Chrys., Hom., xliv. “Quod cor tamen saxatum, ut hisce lacrimis non emolliatur? qui non fleat flente Paulo?” Corn. à Lapide; see also Farrar, St. Paul, ii., 283.— νουθετῶν: only here in Acts, but seven times in St. Paul’s Epistles, but nowhere else in N.T., “admonish,” R.V. In classical Greek it is joined both with παρακαλεῖν and κολάζειν; St. Paul too used it in gentleness, or “with a rod”. In LXX, Job 4:3; Wisdom of Solomon 11:10; Wisdom of Solomon 12:2.— ἕνα ἕκαστον, 2 Corinthians 11:29 and John 10:3; αἶς ἕκαστος twice in St. Luke’s Gospel, Luke 4:40, Luke 16:5, six times in Acts, five times in St. Paul’s Epistles (only once elsewhere in N.T., Matthew 26:22, but not in T.R.).


Verse 32

Acts 20:32. καὶ τὰ νῦν, see above on Acts 4:29.— παρατίθ., cf. Acts 14:23.— τῷ λόγῳ τῆς χ. αὐτοῦ: as in the fourth Gospel, John 1:14-17, so here and in the Epistle to the Ephesians, we find great stress laid on χάρις, but we cannot conclude with Stier and others that in the word λόγος we have any reference here to the Word of St. John’s Gospel, although the similarity between St. John’s doctrine of the Word and St. Paul’s conception of our Lord’s Person is very close elsewhere; the thought here is however closely akin to that of St.James 1:21 (Hebrews 4:12). In his earliest Epistle the Apostle had spoken of the Word, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, ὅς καὶ ἐνεργεῖται ἐν ὑμῖν. The Word here is able to build up and to give, etc., which certainly seems to ascribe to it a quasi-personal character, even more so than in 2 Timothy 3:15, where the Apostle uses a somewhat similar phrase of the O.T. Scriptures, τὰ δυνάμενά (the same verb as here) σε σοφίσαι εἰς σωτηρίαν κ. τ. λ. The same phrase as here occurs in Acts 14:3, which points to its derivation from one imbued with Paul’s words and habits of thought, if not from the Apostle himself (Alford). Weiss and others refer τῷ δυν. to τῷ θεῷ ( κυρίῳ, see critical note), cf. Romans 16:25, Ephesians 3:20, Galatians 3:21, on the ground that although ἐποικοδομῆσαι ( οἰκοδ.) may refer to λόγος, yet the λόγος cannot be said δοῦναι κληρ. To the latter phrase Bethge, p. 158, strives to find some Scriptural analogies in the work attributed to λόγος, cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18, John 12:48. But it is best and simplest on the whole to regard the entire phrase τῷ θ. καὶ τῷ λ. as one, “quasi una notio sunt; agit enim Deus per verbum suum,” Blass; so Page.— ἐποικοδ., Ephesians 2:20, in the passive, see critical note. Whether we read the compound or the simple verb, the metaphor of building is prominent in Ephesians 2:21; Ephesians 4:12; Ephesians 4:16; Ephesians 4:29, as also in 1 Cor., cf. 1 Corinthians 3:10 (2), 1 Corinthians 3:2; 1 Corinthians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 14:3; 1 Corinthians 14:5; 1 Corinthians 14:12; 1 Corinthians 14:26, and cf. 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:19; 2 Corinthians 13:10. See note above on Acts 9:31. τὴν κληρ., Acts 7:5, see note; nowhere else in Acts, cf. for the thought Ephesians 3:18; Ephesians 1:11; and words elsewhere spoken by St. Paul, Acts 26:18; the word itself occurs three times in Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 5:5. In Ephesians 3:18 we have closely conjoined with κληρ. the βασιλ. τοῦ χ., cf. St. Paul’s words Acts 20:25 above. The word is frequent in Psalms of Solomon, cf. Acts 14:6-7, where the inheritance of the saints is contrasted with the inheritance of sinners in the Messianic consummation, and also Acts 15:11-12, Acts 17:26; see further on the word, Kennedy, p. 100.


Verse 33

Acts 20:33. cf. 1 Samuel 12:3, ἱματ., frequent in LXX, in N.T. only in Luke and Paul (except John 19:24, quotation); Luke 7:25; Luke 9:29, 1 Timothy 2:9. In 1 Maccabees 11:24 we have silver, gold and raiment, joined together as in this verse, describing Eastern riches, cf. James 5:2-3.— ἐπεθ., “he takes away that which is the root of all evil, the love of money”; be says not “I have not taken,” but “not even coveted” Chrys., Hom., xlv.


Verse 34

Acts 20:34. αὐτοὶ: placed first for emphasis, so too emphasised in Acts 2:22, Acts 16:37, Acts 18:15. In 1 Corinthians 4:12 we may see an undesigned coincidence, and cf. the word κοπιῶντας in Acts 20:35, Paley, H.P., iii., 6.— ταῖς χρείαις μου καὶ τοῖς αὖσι μετʼ ἐμοῦ: so the work of the Christian convert ἐργαζ. τὸ ἀγ. ταῖς χερσίν is to be done ἵνα ἔχῃ μεταδιδόναι τῷ χρείαν ἔχοντι, Ephesians 4:28, and for the word χρεία as used by St. Paul elsewhere in same sense, cf. Romans 12:13, Philippians 2:25; Philippians 4:16, Titus 3:14.— ὑπηρέτησαν: only in Acts 13:36, used by Paul, Acts 24:23, used of Paul (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:1); Wisdom of Solomon 16:24.— αὗται: “callosæ, ut videtis,” Bengel, so Blass; quite in Paul’s manner, cf. Acts 26:29, Acts 28:20; so also πάντα, 1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Corinthians 10:33; 1 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 4:15. Paul pursued his trade at Ephesus probably with Aquila and Priscilla, possibly with Philemon, Philemon 1:17.


Verse 35

Acts 20:35. πάντα ὑπέδ.: “in all things I gave you an example,” R.V., see also critical note. The verb and the cognate noun are both used in Greek in accordance with this sense, Xen., Oec(345), xii., 18, Isocr., v., 27, see Plummer on Luke 3:7, etc., so ὑπόδειγμα, Xen., De re eq., ii., 2, and for other instances of the similar use of the word see Westcott on Hebrews 8:5, Sirach 44:16, 2 Maccabees 6:28; 2 Maccabees 6:31, 4 Maccabees 17:23, cf. also Clem. Rom., Cor(346), 5:1, 46:1. οὕτως, i.e., as I have done, cf. Philippians 3:17.— κοπιῶντας: not of spiritual labours, but of manual, as the context requires. No doubt the verb is used in the former sense, 1 Corinthians 16:16, Romans 16:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:12, but also in the latter, 1 Corinthians 4:12, Ephesians 4:28, 2 Timothy 2:6 (so also κόπος by Paul). In St. Paul’s writings it occurs no less than fourteen times, in St. Luke only twice, Luke 5:5 (Luke 12:27). In classical Greek, so in Josephus, it has the meaning of growing weary or tired, but in LXX and N.T. alone, laboro viribus intentis (Grimm).— δεῖ, see above on p. 63.— ἀντιλαμβ.: only in Luke and Paul, Luke 1:54, 1 Timothy 6:2, cf. 1 Corinthians 12:28. The verb = to take another’s part, to succour (so too cognate noun), in LXX, Isaiah 41:9, Sirach 2:6; Sirach 3:12; Sirach 29:9; Sirach 29:20, of helping the poor, cf. also Psalms of Solomon, Acts 16:3; Acts 16:5, Acts 7:9, see further Psalms of Solomon, Ryle and James edit., p. 73; on ἀντίληψις, H. and R., sub. v. In classical Greek used in middle voice with genitive as here.— τῶν ἀθσενούν., cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:14, for a similar precept. The adjective need not be limited to those who sought relief owing to physical weakness or poverty, but may include all those who could claim the presbyters’ support and care, bodily or spiritual, cf. Romans 12:13. The usage of the gospels points to those who are weak through disease and therefore needing help, cf., e.g., Matthew 10:8, Mark 6:56, Luke 9:2, John 5:3, so also by St. Paul, Philippians 2:26-27, 2 Timothy 4:20, although there are instances in LXX where the word is used of moral rather than of physical weakness. When the word is used of moral or spiritual weakness in the N.T., such a meaning is for the most part either determined by the context, or by some addition, e.g., τῇ πίστει, Romans 14:1.— μνημονεύειν τε: the verb is used seven times by St. Paul in his Epistles, once by St. Luke in his Gospel, Luke 17:32, and twice in Acts in the words of St. Paul, cf. Acts 20:31. Twice in the Epistle of St. Clement of Rome we find a similar exhortation in similar words, chap. 13:1 and 46:7, and in each case the word may refer to a free combination of our Lord’s words (cf. Luke 6:30; Luke 14:14), so too in St.Polycarp, Epist., ii., 3. From what source St. Paul obtained this, the only saying of our Lord, definitely so described, outside the four Gospels which the N.T. contains, we cannot tell, but the command to “remember” shows that the words must have been familiar words, like those from St. Clement and St. Polycarp, which are very similar to the utterances of the Sermon on the Mount. From whatever source they were derived the references given by Resch, Agrapha, pp. 100, 150, show how deep an impression they made upon the mind of the Church, Clem. Rom., Cor(347), ii. 1, Did(348), i., 5, Const. Ap., iv., 3, 1; cf. also Ropes, Die Spriiche Jesus, p. 136. In thus appealing to the words of the Lord Jesus, St. Paul’s manner in his address is very similar to that employed in his Epistles, where he is apparently able to quote the words of the Lord in support of his judgment on some religious and moral question, cf. 1 Corinthians 7:10-12; 1 Corinthians 7:25, and the distinction between his own opinion, γνώμη, and the command of Christ, ἐπιταγή (Witness of the Epistles, p. 319). τε: Weiss (so Bethge) holds that the word closely connects the two clauses, and that the meaning is that only thus could the weak be rightly maintained, viz., by remembering, etc., ὅτι being causal. But however this may be, in this reference, ὅτι αὐτὸς εἶπεν, “how he himself said,” R.V. (thus implying that the fact was beyond all doubt), we may note one distinctive feature in Christian philanthropy, that it is based upon allegiance to a divine Person, and upon a reference to His commands. The emphatic personal pronoun seems to forbid the view that the Apostle is simply giving the sense of some of our Lord’s sayings (see above). Similar sayings may be quoted from pagan and Jewish sources, but in Aristotle, Eth. Nicom., iv., 1, it is the part τοῦ ἐλευθερίου to give when and where and as much as he pleases, but only because it is beautiful to give; even in friendship, generosity and benevolence spring from the reflection that such conduct is decorous and worthy of a noble man, Eth. Nicom., ix., 8. In Plato’s Republic there would have been no place for the ἀσθενεῖς. Even in Seneca who sometimes approaches very nearly to the Christian precept, when he declares, e.g., that even if we lose we must still give, we cannot forget that pity is regarded as something unworthy of a wise man; the wise man will help him in tears, but he will not weep with him; he helps the poor not with compassion, but with an impassive calm.— μακάριον: emphatic in position, see critical note. Bengel quotes from an old poet, cf. Athenæus, viii., 5, μακάριος, εἴπερ μεταδίδωσι μηδενίἀνόητος διδούς, εὐτυχὴς δʼ λαμβάνων. The lines are by no means to be regarded as the best expression of pagan ethics, but the μακάρ., which occurs more than thirty times on the lips of our Lord, bids us aim at something altogether higher and deeper and fuller than happiness—blessedness. In Judaism, whilst compassion for the poor and distressed is characteristic of a righteous Israelite, we must still bear in mind that such compassion was limited by legality and nationality; the universality of the Christian precept is wanting, Uhlhorn, Christian Charity, pp. 1–56, E.T., instances in Wetstein, and Bethge and Page, in loco.


Verse 36

Acts 20:36. θεὶς τὰ γόν., see above on p. 203.


Verse 37

Acts 20:37. ἱκανὸς, cf. Acts 8:13.— ἐπιπεσόντες: an exact parallel only in Luke 15:22 (cf. also κατεφίλησεν in same verse), cf. above on ἐπιπίπτειν and in LXX, Genesis 33:4; Genesis 45:14; Genesis 46:29, Tobit 11:8, 3 Maccabees 5:49.— κατεφίλουν, imperfect, i.e., repeatedly and tenderly. The verb occurs three times in St. Luke’s Gospel, Acts 7:38; Acts 7:45, Acts 15:20, and once in Matthew and Mark of the kiss of Judas, cf. Xen., Mem., ii., 6, 33.


Verse 38

Acts 20:38. ὀδυνώμενοι: common in Luke and Acts, only three times elsewhere in N.T., Luke 2:48; Luke 16:24-25.— θεωρεῖν, Lucan, cf. Acts 17:16; Acts 17:22, “to behold,” R.V., to gaze with reverence upon his face.— μέλλουσι, see above p. 157.— προέπεμπον δὲ αὐτὸν: “and they brought him on his way,” R.V., cf. Acts 15:3 (see note), Acts 21:5; the harbour was some little distance from the town.

 


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Bibliography Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Acts 20:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/acts-20.html. 1897-1910.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 15th, 2019
the Third Week of Advent
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