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Bible Commentaries
Acts 20

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

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Acts 20:1 . καὶ ἀσπασ .] A B D E א , min. vss. have καὶ παρακαλὲσας , ἀσπασ . So Lachm. Yet D has πολλά before παρακαλ . (so Born.), and E καί before ἀσπασ . Other witnesses have καὶ παρακ . ἀσπασ . τε . So Rinck. παρακαλ . has certainly preponderant attestation in its favour, but against it the internal decisive consideration, that no reason is apparent for its subsequent omission, whereas it might very easily suggest itself from Acts 20:2 ; Acts 16:40 as a pious marginal remark to ἀσπασ .

Acts 20:4 . Πύῤῥου ] is wanting in Elz., and is condemned by Mill as an addition from tradition. But it has greatly preponderant attestation, and might be passed over quite as well on the ground of a varying tradition, as by mistake of the transcribers on account of the similar sound of the initial syllable in the following name.

Acts 20:5 . οὗτοι ] Lachm. reads οὗτοι δέ , after A B E א , min. A connective addition.

Acts 20:7 . ἡμῶν ] Elz. has τῶν μαθητῶν , in opposition to A B D E, min. Chrys. Aug. and most vss. An interpolation on account of the following αὐτοῖς . Still stronger witnesses support ἦμεν in Acts 20:8 , for which Elz. has ἦσαν .

Acts 20:9 . καθήμενος ] Instead of this, καθεζόμενος (Lachm. Tisch. Born.) is preponderantly attested. Comp. on Acts 2:2 .

Acts 20:11 . ἄρτον ] Lachm. Tisch. Born. read τὸν ἄρτον , according to A B C D* א *. Rightly; the article was neglected after Acts 20:7 , because its force was overlooked.

Acts 20:15 . καὶ μείν . ἐν Τρωγ ., τῇ ] A B C E א , min. have merely τῇ δέ . So Lachm. Several vss. and some more recent codd. have καὶ τῇ . But there was no occasion for the insertion of μείν . ἐν Τρ ., whereas its omission is very capable of explanation, because Trogyllium was not situated in Samos, as the context seemed to say.

Acts 20:16 . κεκρίκει ] Recommended by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. Tisch. Born., according to greatly preponderating evidence. But Elz. Scholz have ἔκρινε . A church-lesson begins at Acts 20:16 , and therefore the tense, which has its reference in what precedes, was altered.

ἦν ] Lachm. reads εἴη , following considerable witnesses. A grammatical improvement.

Acts 20:18 . After πρὸς αὐτόν A has ὁμοῦ ὄντων αὐτῶν , which Lachm. adopted; others have ὁμοθυμαδόν ; and others ὁμόσε ὄντων αὐτῶν (so Born., according to D). Different additions for the sake of completion.

Acts 20:19 . Before δακρ . Elz. has πολλῶν , which already Griesb. rejected, according to decisive testimony. A strengthening addition from 2 Corinthians 2:4 .

Acts 20:22 . According to decisive testimony read ἐγώ , with Lachm. Tisch., after δεδεμ .

Acts 20:23 . μοι ] is wanting in Elz., but is decidedly attested, and was easily passed over as quite unnecessary.

με ] is, according to decisive evidence, to be placed after θλίψεις (Lachm. Tisch.). Born. has μοι ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις , according to D, vss. Lucif., and that only after μένουσιν . But μοι is a mechanical repetition from the preceding, and ἐν Ἱεροσολ . is an addition by way of a gloss; the two, moreover, are not equally attested.

Acts 20:24 . ἀλλʼ οὐδενὸς … ἐμαυτῷ ] very many variations. Lachm. has ἀλλʼ οὐδενὸς λόγον ἔχω , οὐδὲ ποιοῦμαι τὴν ψυχὴν τιμίαν ἐμαυτῷ . Tisch. reads ἀλλʼ οὐδενὸς λόγου ποιοῦμαι τὴν ψυχὴν τιμίαν ἐμαυτῷ , according to B C D** א *, vss. Lucif. Born. reads essentially as Lachm., yet adding μοι after ἔχω , and μου after ψυχήν . The Recepta is founded on E G H, Chrys. Theophyl. Oec.; but G, Chrys. have not μου . The reading of Lachm. (A D* א , min. Vulg.), as well as the Recepta, are to be considered as alterations and expansions of the reading of Tisch., which was not understood.

After δρόμον μου Elz. Scholz have μετὰ χαρᾶς , which is wanting in A B D א , min. Lucif. Ambr. and several vss. A scholion.

Acts 20:25 . τοῦ Θεοῦ ] is wanting in A B C א , 13, 15*, 36, Copt. Syr. p. Arm. Chrys. Rightly deleted by Lachm. and Tisch. A supplementary addition. D has τοῦ Ἰησοῦ . So Born.

Acts 20:26 . ἐγώ ] Considerable witnesses have εἰμι , which Griesb. has recommended and Lachm. adopted. Rightly; ἐγώ came from Acts 18:6 .

Acts 20:28 . τοῦ Κυρίου ] Elz. has τοῦ Θεοῦ , which is adhered to among recent critics (following Mill, Whitby, Wolf, Bengel, and others), by Scholz, Alford, Rinck, Lucubr. crit. p. 82 f. The weight of evidence is externally decisive for τοῦ Κυρίου ; A C* D E, 13, 15, 18, 36, 40, 69, 73, 81, 95*, 130, 156, 163, 180, Copt. Sahid. Syr. p. (on the margin) Arm. Aeth. Constitutt. (2:61), Ir. (Acts 3:14 ), Eus. (on Isaiah 35:0 ), Ath. (ad Serap. 1 in ms.), Didym. (de Sp. St. 11), Chrys. Lucif. Aug. Jer. al. τοῦ Θεοῦ is found among uncial mss. only in B א , and, besides, only in about twenty more recent and inferior codd., and among vss. in the Vulg. Syr. p. (in the text); but among the Fathers in none before Epiph. and Ambros. See the more detailed statement of the evidence in Tisch. The internal decisive argument for τ . Κυρίου lies in the fact that in the Pauline Epistles ἐκκλ . τ . Κυρ . never occurs, but ἐκκλ . τ . Θεοῦ eleven times; hence at our passage the Pauline expression was written on the margin as a parallel, and then, welcome to hyper-orthodoxy (already in Ignat. ad Ephesians 1:0 , and in Tert. ad ux. ii. 3, there is found the expression blood of God, which others, even Ath., censured as unbiblical; see Wetstein and Tisch.), was taken into the text and transmitted. This appears far more accordant with the dogmatic tendency of those times and the monastic spirit than the usual justification of τοῦ Θεοῦ : “Probabilius est ob sequentia mutatum, quam e scriptis Pauli illatum esse” (Rinck, l.c.). The readings τοῦ Κυρίου Θεοῦ , τοῦ Θεοῦ κ . Κυρίου , and τοῦ Κυρίου κ . Θεοῦ (this latter Griesb. recommends, without, however, approving it, but Matth. received it), are combinations of the original reading with the Pauline parallel written on the margin. Teller’s and van Hengel’s proposal to read only τὴν ἐκκλ . is destitute of all critical support.

τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου ] Elz. has τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος , in opposition to A B C D E א , min. vss. Ir. Lucif. An alteration, which arose from the adoption of τ . Θεοῦ , in order to establish the interpretation of the blood of God.

Acts 20:29 . After ἐγώ Elz. Scholz, Tisch. have γάρ , against A C* D א , min. Vulg. Fathers. The more to be rejected, as others read ὅτι ἐγώ (B), others ἐγὼ δέ ( א *), others still καὶ ἐγώ . A connective addition. τοῦτο also, which Elz. Scholz, Tisch. have after οἶδα , has such preponderating evidence against it, and in such essential agreement with those witnesses which condemn γάρ , that it cannot be considered as original, although, taken by itself, it might be more easily omitted than added.

Acts 20:32 . After ὑμᾶς Elz. Scholz have ἀδελφοί , which Lachm. Tisch. Born. have deleted, according to A B D א , 33, 34, 68, Syr. Erp. Copt. Sahid. Vulg. Jer. If it had been original, there is no apparent reason for its omission; on the other hand, its insertion at this solemn passage was very natural.

οἰκοδ .] Approved by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. Born. But Elz. Scholz, Tisch. have ἐποικοδ ., against decisive testimony. A more precise definition corresponding to the persons in question; and therefore, also, D E, vss. add ὑμᾶς

Acts 20:35 . τῶν λόγων ] G and more than thirty min. Vulg. Sahid. Arm. Aeth. Chrys. Theophyl. have τὸν λόγον . So Rinck. Others have τοῦ λόγου after min.; so Bengel. Both are alterations, because only one saying of Christ afterwards follows.

The order μᾶλλον διδόναι (Elz. inverts it) is decidedly attested.

Verses 1-3

Acts 20:1-3 . Μετὰ δὲ τὸ παύσ . τ . θόρυβ .] is simply a statement of time , not, as Michaelis, Eichhorn, Bertholdt, and Hug hold, the motive of departure, for which there is no hint in the text (see on the contrary, Acts 19:21 ), and against which the resultless character of the tumult testifies.

ἀσπασάμενος ] here of the farewell salutation (combined with kissing and embracing), vale dicere , as Xen. Anab . vii. 1. 8, 40; Hell . iv. 1. 3; Cyrop . ii. 1. 1.

αὐτούς ] the Macedonian Christians.

Ἑλλάδα ] i.e. Ἀχαΐαν , Acts 19:21 . Luke alternates in his use of the appellations well known as synonymous, which, after Acts 19:21 , could occasion no misunderstanding. This against Schrader, who understands Ἑλλ . here of the districts lying between the Peloponnesus and Thessaly and Epirus, especially of Attica, and would have the journey to Corinth only inferred from Acts 19:31 .

ποιήσας τε μῆνας τρεῖς ] certainly for the most part in Corinth. The anakoluthic nominative, as in Acts 19:34 . That Luke, moreover, gives us no information of the foundation of the church at Corinth, and of the apostle’s labours there, is just one of the many points of incompleteness in his book.

τοῦ ὑποστρ .] namely, to Asia (Acts 20:4 ), from which he had come. The genitive depends directly on γνώμη , as in Acts 14:9 , Acts 27:20 . Comp. 1 Corinthians 9:5 .

Verse 4

Acts 20:4 . Ἄχρι τῆς Ἀσίας [106] ] excepting only the short separation from Philippi to Troas, Acts 20:5 , where those companions ( ΣΥΝΕΊΠΕΤΟ ), having journeyed before the apostle, waited for him. The statement is summary , not excluding the sailing before from Philippi to Troas, the Asiatic emporium; but Tittmann, Synon. N.T. p. 85, erroneously judges: “eos usque in Asiam cum Paulo una fuisse, deinde praeivisse eumque expectasse.” Acts 20:5-6 are at variance with this. Nor is there, with Wieseler, p. 293, and Baumgarten, to be artificially deduced from ἌΧΡΙ Τῆς ἈΣΊΑς the meaning: “up to that point from which people crossed to Asia;” so that Luke would oddly enough have indicated nothing else than as far as Philippi . On συνέπεσθαι (only here in the N.T.), comp. 2Ma 15:2 ; 3Ma 5:48 ; 3Ma 6:21 ; very frequent in the classics.

Of Sopater , the son of Pyrrhus, of Beroea, and whether he is identical with Sosipater, Romans 16:21 , nothing is known.

The other companions were two Thessalonians, Aristarchus (Acts 19:29 ) and Secundus (entirely unknown); further, an inhabitant of Derbe, Caius (thus different from the Macedonian, Acts 19:29 ; for Derbe belonged to Lycaonia, see on Acts 14:6 ); Timotheus , whose dwelling is supposed as known and therefore is not specified (see on Acts 16:1 ); and lastly, the two Asiatics, Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21 ; Colossians 4:7 ; 2 Timothy 4:12 ; Titus 3:12 ) and Trophimus (Acts 21:29 ; 2 Timothy 4:20 ). It was nothing but arbitrary violence, when Ernesti, Valckenaer, and Kuinoel, in order to identify Caius (how extremely frequent was the name!) with the Caius of Acts 19:12 and to make Timothy a native of Derbe, wished to put a comma after ΓΆΪΟς and then to read ΔΕΡΒ . ΔῈ ΤΙΜ . (Heinrichs: ΚΑῚ ΤΙΜ . ΔΕΡΒ . ). [107] Following the same presupposition, Olshausen contents himself with merely putting a point after ΓΆΪΟς and then taking ΚΑΊ in the signification of also! And for this even Wieseler, p. 26, and in Herzog’s Encykl . XXI. p. 276, has declared himself, appealing to the parallelism of the language, according to which, from Θεσσαλονικ . onwards, the nomen gentilitium is always placed first. But the parallelism is rather of this nature, that the nomen gentilitium first follows after ( Βεροι .), then precedes ( ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚ . ), then again follows after ( ΔΕΡΒ . ), and lastly, again precedes ( ʼΑΣΙΑΝ . ), thus in regular alternation .

We may add, that no special reason for such a numerous escort is indicated in the text, and hypotheses [108] referring to the point amount to mere subjective fancies.

[106] The omission of ἄχρι τ . Ἀσίκς is not strongly enough attested by B א , 13, Vulg. Aeth. Erp. Beda, particularly as it might easily have taken place for the sake of ver. 5. It is, however, approved by Lekebusch.

[107] Lachmann, Praef . p. ix., conjectured καὶ Δερβ . Τιμόθ . He places a point after Τιμόθ ., and makes the δέ , read by him after οὗτοι , ver. 5, to be resumptive (repeating the δέ after Ἀσιανοί ), which, as the discourse is not interrupted by parentheses, would be without motive and forced.

[108] According to Schneckenburger, they are the collection-commissioners of the chief churches ; according to Baumgarten, they appear, in their number corresponding to the deacons in Jerusalem, as representatives of the whole Gentile church ; comp. also Lange, II. p. 291. Such inventions are purely fanciful.

Verses 5-6

Acts 20:5-6 . Ἡμᾶς ] Luke had remained behind at Philippi, Acts 16:40 . Now, when Paul, on his present journey back through Macedonia, came to Philippi, Luke again joined him. But the above-mentioned seven companions ( οὗτοι ) journeyed before (wherefore? is unknown; possibly to make preparations for the further sea voyage) to Troas, and there waited the arrival of Paul and Luke. For οὗτοι cannot, without arbitrariness, be otherwise referred than to all the seven above mentioned, which is not precluded by Acts 21:29 , Acts 27:2 , and thereby, no doubt, our passage is decisive against the hypothesis that Timothy speaks in the ἡμεῖς (see Introduction, § 1). Hence the supporters of that hypothesis are necessarily reduced to refer, as already Beza and Wolf have done, οὗτοι merely to Tychicus and Trophimus (Steiger on Col . p. 337; Schenkel in the Stud. u. Krit . 1841, p. 85; Ulrich, Bleek, Beitr . I. p. 52; de Wette, Lachmann).

μετὰ τὰς ἡμέρ . τῶν ἀζ .] Paul remained over the Paschal days (A.D. 59) in quietness, keeping holy the festival of his people in Christian freedom. Comp. Chrys.

ἄχρις ἡμερ . πέντε ] specifies ἄχρι τίνος (Heliod. iv. 19. 65), i.e. how long the ἔρχεσθαι lasted from the sailing from Philippi, namely, up to five days . Comp. on Luke 2:37 ; Plut. Mor . p. 791 E. The reading πεμπταῖοι (D, Born.) is a correct gloss.

ἡμέρας ἑπτά ] a full week . Comp. Acts 21:4 . More is not to be sought behind this simple statement of time (in opposition to Baumgarten, II. p. 48 f.).

Verse 7

Acts 20:7 . But on the first (see on Matthew 28:1 ; 1 Corinthians 16:2 ) day of the week . That the Sunday was already at this time regularly observed by holding religious assemblies and Agapae ( κλάσαι ἄρτον ; see on Acts 2:42 ), cannot, indeed, be made good with historical certainty, since possibly the observance of the Agapae in our passage might only accidentally occur on the first day of the week (because Paul intended to depart on the following day), and since even 1 Corinthians 16:2 , Revelation 1:10 , do not necessarily distinguish this day as set apart for religious services . But most probably the observance of Sunday is based on an apostolic arrangement yet one certainly brought about only gradually and in the spirit of Christian freedom [109] the need of which manifested itself naturally (importance of the resurrection of Jesus and of the effusion of the Spirit at Pentecost) and indeed necessarily, in the first instance, when the gospel came to be diffused among the Gentiles who had no Sabbath festival; and the assumption of which is indispensable for the explanation of the early universal observance of that day ( τῇ τοῦ ἡλίου , ΛΕΓΟΜΈΝῌ ἩΜΈΡᾼ ΠΆΝΤΩΝ ΚΑΤᾺ ΠΌΛΕΙς ἈΓΡΟῪς ΜΕΝΌΝΤΩΝ ἘΠῚ ΤῸ ΑὐΤῸ ΣΥΝΈΛΕΥΣΙς ΓΊΝΕΤΑΙ , Justin, Apol . I. 67; comp. c. Tryph . p. 34; Ignat. ad Magnes . 9; Barnab. 15), although for a long time the observance of the Sabbath along with it was not given up by the Jewish Christians and even by others ( Constitt. ap . ii. 59. 2, vii. 23. 2, can. 66; Orig. Hom . 28; Eus. iii. 27), a circumstance which was doubtless connected with the antignostic interest. Rightly, therefore, is the μία τῶν σαββ . in our passage regarded as a day of special observance . See on the whole subject, Augusti, Denkw . III. p. 345 ff.; Schöne, über die kirchl. Gebräuche, I. p. 335 ff.; Neander, apost. K . I. p. 198; Ewald, p. 164 ff.; Harnack, christl. Gemeindegottesd . p. 115 ff. The observance of Sunday was not universally introduced by law until A.D. 321 by Constantine. See Gieseler, K. G. I. l, p. 274, Exodus 4:0 .

αὐτοῖς ] to the assembled. Luke changes his standpoint (previously ἩΜῶΝ ), as the discourse was held with the Christians of that place .

μέχρι -g0- μεσον -g0- .] On Sunday (not Saturday) evening they had assembled for the love-feast. On τείνειν and its compounds, used of long speaking , see Heind. ad Plat. Gorg . p. 465 D; Pflugk, ad Eur. Med . 1351.

[109] See Neander in the Deutsch. Zeitschr . 1850, p. 203 ff.

Verses 8-10

Acts 20:8-10 . Ἦσαν δὲ λαμπ . ἱκ .] therefore the fall of the young man could at once be perceived. The lamps served for the lighting up of the room, for it was night; but perhaps at the same time for heightening the solemnity of the occasion. According to Ewald, Luke wished to obviate the evil reports concerning the nocturnal meetings of the Christians (comp. Calvin and Bengel); but they remained withal nocturnal and thereby exposed to suspicion.

Whether Eutychus was a young man serving (Rosenmüller, Heinrichs), which at least is not to be inferred from the occurrence of the name among slaves and freedmen (Artem. iii. 38; Phaedr. 3, prol.), the text does not say.

ἐπὶ τῆς θυρίδ .] on the (open) window , i.e. on the window-seat . The openings of the windows in the East, having no glass, were sometimes with and sometimes without lattice-work (see Winer, Realw .). So they are still at the present day.

καταφερόμενος κ . τ . λ .] falling into a deep sleep . καταφέρεσθαι is the proper word for this among Greek writers (comp. also Aquila, Psalms 75:6 ), usually with εἰς ὕπνον (Lucian, Dial. mer . ii. 4; Herodian, ii. 1. 3, ii. 9. 6). Comp. Hom. Od . vi. 2 : ὕπνῳ κ . καμάτῳ ἀρημένος . Observe the logical relation of the participles: But as there sat ( καθεζόμ ., see the critical remarks) a young man, falling (in his sitting there) into deep sleep during the prolonged discourse of Paul, he fell, overpowered by the sleep , from the third story, etc.

As to ἐπὶ πλεῖον , comp. on Acts 4:17 . The discourse continued for a longer time (Acts 18:20 ) than the young man had expected.

ἀπὸ τοῦ ὑπνοῦ ] ἀπό denotes the proceeding from, the power producing the effect (Bernhardy, p. 222; Buttmann, neut. Gr . p. 277 [E. T. 322]), and the article denotes the sleep already mentioned (Matthew 1:24 ).

ἤρθη νεκρός ] he was taken up dead . The words affirm nothing else than that the young man actually fell down dead and was taken up dead (Chrys.: διὰ τοῦτο ἀποθανὼν , ἵνα Παῦλον ἀκούσῃ , Calvin, Beza, and others; recently Schneckenburger, Schwegler, Zeller, and Baumgarten); and only so understood has the fall, as well as the conduct of the apostle in Acts 20:10 and the result, the significance which can have induced its being narrated, namely, as a raising from the dead . [110] This we remark in opposition to the view which has become common, as if Ὡς ΝΕΚΡΌς were used (“apparently dead,” de Wette; comp. Ewald).

ἘΠΈΠΕΣΕΝ ΑὐΤῷ Κ . Τ . Λ . ] not in order to examine him, but in order to revive him by his contact, in a way similar to the procedure of Elisha and Elijah, 2 Kings 4:34 ; 1 Kings 17:17 ff.

μὴ θορυβεῖσθε · ἡ γὰρ ψυχὴ κ . τ . λ .] Thus he speaks, obviating the consternation of those present (comp. on μὴ θορυβ ., Dem. de cor . 35), when he had convinced himself of the successful intervention of his miraculous influence. His soul is in him, i.e. he is living! ἡ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ (not ἘΝ ΑὐΤῷ ) has the emphasis, not spoken without a lively feeling of victory . The young man had, in fact, been but now ἄψυχος . Accordingly there is no ambiguity of the words, in which Lekebusch asserts that we desiderate an added “ again ,” and would explain this ambiguity on the ground that the author himself was not quite convinced of the miraculous nature of the incident. See, on the other hand, Oertel, Paulus in d. Apostelgesch . p. 147.

[110] Baur’s criticism in the case, however, converts an event which was in itself natural into a parallel in a miraculous form with the raising of the dead narrated of Peter in chap. 9.

Verses 11-12

Acts 20:11-12 . On account of the discoursings the intended partaking of the Agapae (Acts 20:7 ) had not yet taken place. But by the fall of the young man these discoursings were broken off; and now, after Paul had returned to the room, he commences, as the father of a family among those assembled, the so long deferred meal he breaks the bread, and eats, and discourses at table (comp. Chrysostom) until break of day, whereupon he thus ( οὕτως , after all that is mentioned in ἀναβὰς … αὐγῆς ; see Buttmann, neut. Gr . p. 262 [E. T. 306]) leaves the place of meeting. After his departure, they (“qui remanserant apud adolescentem,” Erasmus) brought the lad alive (into the room), and they (those assembled) were by this greatly ( οὐ μετρίως , often so with Plutarch, also in Isocrates and others) comforted over their separation from the apostle, who had left behind such a σημεῖον of his miraculous power.

κλάσας τὸν (see the critical remarks) ἄρτον stands in definite reference to κλάσαι ἄρτ ., Acts 20:7 , and therefore the article is put. Piscator, Grotius, Kuinoel, and others erroneously hold that a breakfast is meant, which Paul partook of to strengthen him for his journey, and that therefore γευσάμ . is subjoined. But the Agape was, in fact, a real meal, and therefore γευσάμ . denotes nothing else than that Paul had begun to partake of it. It is only added to bring more prominently forward this partaking as having at length taken place.

ὁμιλήσας , as in Luke 24:14 ; more familiar than διαλεγ ., Acts 20:9 . Comp. Acts 10:24 .

ἤγαγον ] they brought him , so that he came into the midst of them; but only now , so that thus subsequently to his revival, Acts 20:10 , he must have gradually recovered, in order to be able to return into the room.

τὸν παῖδα ] he must consequently have been still very young.

ζῶντα ] Opposed to νεκρός , Acts 20:9 , and for the joyful confirmation of the words of the apostle, Acts 20:10 .

Verse 13

Acts 20:13 . Ἡμεῖς ] without Paul.

Ἄσσος , a seaport in Mysia, south of Troas, opposite Lesbos, ἐφʼ ὑψηλοῦ κ . ὀξέος κ . δυσανόδου τόπου , Steph. Byz.

ἦν διατεταγμ .] middle (Winer, p. 246 [E. T. 328]), for he had so arranged , namely, that they should from thence ( ἐκεῖθεν ) receive him on board ( ἀναλαμβ .).

αὐτός ] He for his part chose the route by land, probably because he had a particular official object in view. More arbitrary are the suggestions of Calvin, that it took place valetudinis causa ; of Michaelis and Stolz, that he wished to escape the snares of the Jews; of Lange, that he acted thus in order to withdraw himself from the circle of his too careful protectors; and of Ewald, that he did so in order to be solitary.

Verses 14-15

Acts 20:14-15 . Εἰς τὴν Ἄσσον ] The element of the previous movement the notion of coming -together still prevails. Kühner, II. p. 317. So also the landing εἰς Σάμον , Acts 20:15 .

Μιτυλήνη , the beautiful (Hor. Od. i. 7. 1, Ep. i. 11. 17) capital of Lesbos, on the east coast.

ἀντικρύ ] over against. See Lobeck, ad Phryn . p. 444.

καὶ μείν . ἐν Τρωγ .] Thus on the same day they had sailed over from Samos, where they had touched ( παρεβάλ .), to Trogyllium (a town and promontory on the Ionian coast, Strabo, xiv. p. 636 f.; Plin. N. H . v. 29), distant only forty stadia, and there passed the night. On the different modes of writing the name Τρωγ ., see Bornemann.

Verses 16-17

Acts 20:16-17 . The ship was thus entirely at his disposal, probably one hired specially for this voyage.

παραπλ . τ . Ἔφεσον ] he sailed past Eph .; for in the chief church of Asia, to which Paul stood in such intimate relation, and where he also would encounter his opponents (1 Corinthians 16:9 ), he would have been under the necessity of tarrying too long. In order to avoid such prolonged contact with friend and foe, because on account of the aim of his journey he might not now spend the time ( χρονοτρ ., comp. Aristot. Rhet . iii. 3; Plut. Mor . p. 225 B) in Asia, he arranged the interview with the presbyters, which was to subserve the longing of his parting love as well as the exigency of the threatening future, not at the very near Trogyllium, but at Miletus, distant about nine geographical miles from Ephesus.

εἰ δυνατ . ἦν αὐτῷ ] if it should be possible for him. Direct form of expression (Kühner, § 846). Of another nature is the conception in Acts 27:39 : εἰ δύναιντο .

γένεσθαι ] in the sense of coming , as in John 6:25 ; Luke 22:40 , al . Comp. Acts 21:17 , Acts 25:15 .

πέμψας ] as in Matthew 14:10 , and in the classical writers. He caused them to be summoned to him by an embassy to Ephesus.

Verses 18-19

Acts 20:18-19 . “In hac concione [111] praecipue huc insistit Paulus, ut, quos Ephesi creaverat pastores, suo exemplo hortetur ad munus suum fideliter peragendum,” Calvin. It is a clear and true pastoral mirror .

Only the Ephesian ( τῆς ἐκκλησ ., Acts 20:17 ) presbyters were assembled; not, as Iren. iii. 14. 2 relates, those also of the neighbouring churches, an error which arose, perhaps, on account of Acts 20:28 , from the later episcopal dignity.

ἈΠῸ ΠΡΏΤΗς ʼΑΣΊΑΝ ] belongs to the following Πῶς ἘΓΕΝΌΜΗΝ , to which it is emphatically prefixed (comp. on 1 Corinthians 15:2 ; Winer, p. 522 [E. T. 702]), not to ἘΠΊΣΤΑΣΘΕ ; for the point was not the continuity of the knowledge of those addressed, but that of the apostolic conduct. Tholuck, with justice, here calls attention to the frequency and force of the self-witness, which we meet with in Paul (1 Corinthians 4:16 ; 1 Corinthians 11:1 ; 2 Corinthians 1:12 ; Philippians 3:17 , al .; comp. Trip, p. 214 ff.). The reason thereof lies in his own special consciousness, 1 Corinthians 4:4 ; 1 Corinthians 15:10 ; and it is wrong to find in the self-witness of this speech the apologetic fabrication of a later adorer (see particularly, Zeller, p. 273).

The first day; see Acts 28:19 . On μεθʼ ὑμ . ἐγενόμ ., comp. Acts 7:38 .

Τῷ ΚΥΡΊῼ ] to Christ , as His apostles.

μετὰ πάσ . ταπεινοφρ .] with all possible humility , πολλὰ γὰρ εἴδη τῆς ταπεινοφροσύνης , Oecumenius. See also Theile, ad Ep. Jac . p. 6 ff.

δακρύων ] See on Acts 20:31 .

[111] On the Pauline character of this speech (in opposition to Baur, üb. d. Pastoralbr . p. 93), see Tholuck in the Stud. u. Krit . 1839, p. 305 ff.; Neander, p. 473 ff. According to Baur and Zeller, the whole speech (according to Schneckenburger, only part of it) is an apologetic fiction. Ewald correctly remarks: “to doubt its historical character in general, is folly itself.” Precisely this speech, and that to the Athenians, chap. 17, bear most decidedly and most directly the impress of vivid originality. See also Klostermann, Vindiciae Luc . p. 40 ff.; Trip, Paulus , p. 206 ff.

Verses 20-21

Acts 20:20-21 . Ὡς οὐδὲν κ . τ . λ .] sets forth more precisely the πῶς .

τοῦ μὴ ἀναγγ .] contains the design which would have been present in the ὑπεστ .: how I have held back (dissimulavi) nothing of what was profitable, in order not to preach and to teach it to you, etc. So also Acts 20:27 : for I have not been holding back, in order not , etc. The μή extends to both infinitives. That dissimulare might have taken place from the fear of men, or in order to please men. But see Galatians 2:14 ; Galatians 1:10 ; Rom 1:16 ; 1 Corinthians 4:3 , al .

On οὐδὲν ὑπεστειλάμην , comp. Dem. 54, ult.: πάνθʼ ἁπλῶς , οὐδὲν ὑποστειλάμενος πεπαῤῥησίασμαι , and 980. 22 : μηδὲν ὑποστελλόμενον μηδʼ αἰσχυνόμενον , also 415. 2 : μετὰ παῤῥησίας διαλεχθῆναι μηδὲν ὑποστελλόμενον (according to Becker). Isocr. p. 134 C; Diod. Sic. xiii. 70; also Plat. Ap. Socr . p. 24 A; and Stallb. in loc ; Krebs, Obss . p. 241.

τῶν συμφερόντων ] “Haec docenda sunt; reliqua praecidenda,” Bengel. Comp. 1 Corinthians 7:35 ; 1 Corinthians 12:7 .

τὴν εἰς τ . θεὸν μετάν .] the repentance, by which we turn to God. Comp. Acts 3:19 , Acts 8:22 , Acts 26:20 . It is not, with Beza, Bengel, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, to be referred only to the Gentiles (and πιστιν κ . τ . λ . to the Jews); for the call to this μετάνοια was addressed also to the Jews, inasmuch as they were unfaithful to God, not indeed by idolatry, but by immorality and hypocrisy (Romans 2:3 ). Comp. Mark 1:15 . Bengel, moreover, aptly remarks: Repentance and faith are the “summa eorum quae utilia sunt.”

Verse 22

Acts 20:22 . Ἰδού ] Singular , although addressed to several; see on Matthew 10:16 .

ἐγώ ] apostolic sense of personal significance in the consciousness of his important and momentous destiny.

δεδεμένος τῷ πνεύματι ] cannot denote the shutting off of any inward glimpse into the future , which is first expressed afterwards and in plain terms (Hahn, Theol. d. N.T . I. p. 412). Since, moreover, the Holy Spirit first comes in at Acts 20:23 , and. since the being fettered was first to befall the apostle in Jerusalem , Acts 20:23 , those views are to be rejected, which explain τὸ πνεῦμα of the Holy Spirit and δεδεμένος of the being fettered . Accordingly, the words are neither to be taken as: bound to the Holy Spirit (Romans 7:2 ; 1 Corinthians 7:27 ), i.e. dependent on Him (my first edition); nor: constrained by the Holy Spirit (Beza, Calvin, Calovius, Kypke, and others); nor: fettered, i.e . already as good as fettered, I go at the instigation of the Holy Spirit (Oecumenius, Theophylact, who put the comma after δεδεμ .); nor yet: fettered ( i.e. vincula praesentiens ) in my spirit (Erasmus, Grotius, Wolf, Bengel, Morus); but Paul expresses his consciousness of internal binding : bound, i.e. compelled and urged in my spirit (dative of more precise limitation). He knows, that as regards his journey to Jerusalem, he follows a necessity present to his higher self-consciousness and binding its freedom, an irresistible internal drawing of his higher personal life. Comp. Heinrichs, Kuinoel, de Wette, Lange, Ewald, Hackett. On δεδεμένος , comp. Plat. Rep . viii. p. 567 C, μακαρίᾳ ἄρα … ἀνάγκῃ δέδεται , ἣ προστάττει αὐτῷ κ . τ . λ .

τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ … εἰδώς ] The relation to Acts 20:23 is as follows: Paul knew not specially what was to befall him at Jerusalem , but only in general it was testified to him by the Holy Spirit in every city, that bonds and afflictions were awaiting him there.

Verse 23

Acts 20:23 . Πλὴν ὅτι ] except that, only knowing that , Plat. Phaed . p. 57 B; Soph. El . 418.

τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ] namely, by prophets (comp. Acts 13:2 , Acts 21:4 ; Acts 21:11 ), who made this known to me. This explanation, and not any reference to an internal intimation of the Spirit, is required by κατὰ πόλιν ( city by city , at which I arrive on this journey). That Luke has not as yet mentioned any such communication, does not justify the supposition of an unhistorical prolepsis (Schneckenburger, p. 135), as he has related the journey, Acts 20:14 ff., only in a very summary manner.

Verse 24

Acts 20:24 . According to the reading ἀλλʼ οὐδενὸς λόγου ποιοῦμαι τὴν ψυχὴν τιμίαν ἐμαυτῷ (see the critical remarks), this verse is to be interpreted: But of no word do I account my soul (my life) worthy for myself, i.e. the preservation of my life for my own personal interest is not held by me as worth speaking of . On τιμίαν , comp. Plat. Soph . p. 216 C: τοῖς μὲν δοκοῦσιν εἶναι τοῦ μηδενὸς τίμιοι , τοῖς δʼ ἅξιοι τοῦ παντός , and on οὐδενὸς λόγου , Herod, iv. 28 : λόγου ἄξιον (worthy of mention), Thuc. vi. 64. 2. According to the Recepta , as also according to Lachmann, it would have to be taken as: but to nothing do I take heed (I do not trouble myself about any impending suffering), even my life is not reckoned to me valuable for myself . On λόγον ποιεῖν τινος , comp. Wetstein and Kypke; and on λόγον ἔχειν τινος (Lachmann), Herod, i. 62, i. 115, al . (Schweigh. Lex. Herod . II. p. 76); Theocr. iii. 32; Tob 6:15 .

ὡς τελειῶσαι κ . τ . λ .] purpose in this non-regarding of his own life: in order (not to remain stationary half-way, but) to finish my course, etc. On δεόμος , comp. Act 13:25 ; 2 Timothy 4:7 ; Galatians 2:2 ; Philippians 2:16 ; 1 Corinthians 9:24 . On ὡς with the infinitive in the telic sense, see Bornemann, Schol. in Luc . p. 175, and in the Sächs. Stud . 1846, p. 60; Sintenis, ad Plut. Them. 26. Only here so in the N.T.

καὶ τὴν διακονίαν κ . τ . λ ] Epexegesis of the preceding figurative expression.

τὸ εὐαγγ . τ . χάρ . τ . Θεοῦ ] the knowledge of salvation, whose contents is the grace of God (manifested in Christ). Comp. Acts 14:3 .

Verse 25

points back to Acts 20:22 , now representing the separation there announced, for which Acts 20:23-24 have prepared them, as one of perpetuity for the life in time

Acts 20:25 points back to Acts 20:22 , now representing the separation there announced, for which Acts 20:23-24 have prepared them, as one of perpetuity for the life in time.

ἐγώ ] emphatic, as in Acts 20:22 , and with deep emotion.

The οἶδα , ὅτι οὐκέτι κ . τ . λ ., [112] rests, according to Acts 20:23 , on the conviction which he has now ( νῦν ) obtained by the communications of the Holy Spirit received from city to city concerning the fate impending over him at Jerusalem, that the imprisonment and affliction there awaiting him would terminate only with his death. And he has not deceived himself! For the assumption that he was liberated from Rome and returned to the earlier sphere of his labours, is unhistorical; see on Rom. Introd. § 1. But precisely in connection with the unfolding of his destination to death here expressed by him with such certainty, there passed into fulfilment his saying pointing to Rome (Acts 19:21 ), however little he himself might be able at this time to discern this connection; and therefore, probably, the thought of Rome was again thrown temporarily into the background in his mind. The fact, that he at a later period in his imprisonment expected liberation and return to the scene of his earlier labours (Philemon 1:22 ; Philippians 2:24 ), cannot testify against the historical character of our speech (Baur, Zeller), since he does not refer his οἶδα in our passage to a divinely -imparted certainty, and therefore the expression of his individual conviction at this time, spoken, moreover, in the excited emotion of a deeply agitated moment, is only misused in support of critical prejudgments. With this certainty of his at this time, which, moreover, he does not express as a sad foreboding or the like, but so undoubtingly as in Acts 20:29 , quite agrees the fact, that he hands over the church so entirely to the presbyters as he does in Acts 20:26 ff.; nor do we properly estimate the situation of the moment, if we only assume, with de Wette, that Luke has probably thus composed the speech from his later standpoint after the death of the apostle. According to Baumgarten, II. p. 85 ff., who compares the example of King Hezekiah, the οἶδα κ . τ . λ . was actually founded on objective certainty: God had actually resolved to let the apostle die in Jerusalem, but had then graciously listened to the praying and weeping of the Gentile churches. But in such passages as Philemon 1:22 , there is implied no alteration of the divine resolution; this is a pure fancy.

ὙΜΕῖς ΠΆΝΤΕς , ἘΝ ΟἿς ΔΙῆΛΘΟΝ ] all ye, among whom I passed through. In his deep emotion he extends his view; with this address he embraces not merely those assembled around him, nor merely the Ephesians in general, but, at the same time, all Christians, among whom hitherto he had been the itinerant herald of the kingdom. In Acts 20:26 the address again limits itself solely to those present.

[112] He does not say: that I shall not see you , but he says: that you shall not see me. He has not his own interest in view, but theirs.

Verses 26-27

Acts 20:26-27 . Διό ] because, namely, this now impending separation makes such a reckoning for me a duty.

μαρτύρομαι ] I testify , I affirm. See on Galatians 5:3 .

ἐν τῆ σήμ . ἡμέρᾳ ] “hoc magnam declarandi vim habet,” Bengel: it was, in fact, the parting day.

ὅτι καθαρ . εἰμι (see the critical remarks): that I am pure from the blood of all (comp. on Acts 18:6 ), i.e. that I am free of blame in reference to each one, if he (on account of unbelief) falls a prey to death, i.e. to the eternal ἀπώλεια . Each one is affected by his own fault; no one by mine. καθαρὸς ἀπό ( Tob 3:14 ) is not a Hebraism, נָקִי מִדָּם ; even with Greek writers καθαρ . is not merely, though commonly, joined with the genitive (Bernhardy, p. 174), but also sometimes with ἀπό (Kypke, II. p. 108 f.).

οὐ γὰρ ὑπεστειλ .] brought forward once more in accordance with Acts 20:20 ; so extremely important was it to him, and that, indeed, as the decisive premiss of the καθαρός εἰμι κ . τ . λ .

τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ ] the divine counsel κατʼ ἐξοχήν , i.e. the counsel of redemption, whose complete realization is the βασίλεια τοῦ Θεοῦ , the Messianic kingdom; hence here ἀναγγ .… Θεοῦ , in Acts 20:24 διαμαρτ .… Θεοῦ , and in Acts 20:25 κηρύσσ . τ . βασιλ . τ . Θεοῦ , denote one and the same great contents of the gospel, although viewed according to different aspects of its nature.

πᾶσαν ] the whole, without suppressing, explaining away, or concealing aught of it.

Verse 28

Acts 20:28 . Οὖν ] Therefore , since I am innocent, and thus the blame would be chargeable on you.

ἑαυτοῖς κ . π . τ . ποιμνίῳ ] in order that as well ye yourselves, as the whole church (Luke 12:32 ; John 10:1 ff.), may persevere in the pure truth of the gospel. See Acts 20:29-30 . On the prefixing of ἑαυτοῖς comp. 1 Timothy 4:16 .

τὸ πν . τ . ἅγ . ἔθετο ] This was designed to make them sensible of the whole sacredness and responsibility of their office. The Holy Spirit ruling in the church has Himself appointed the persons of the presbyters, not merely by the bestowal of His gifts on those concerned, but also by His effective influence upon the recognition and appreciation of the gifts so bestowed at the elections (see on Acts 14:23 ). Comp. Acts 13:2 ; Acts 13:4 .

ἐπισκόπους (also very common with classical writers), as overseers, as stewards , [113] denotes the official function of the presbyters (Acts 20:17 ), and is here chosen (not πρεσβυτέρους ) because in its literal meaning it significantly corresponds to the ποιμαίνειν . “Ipso nomine admonet velut in specula locatos esse,” etc., Galvin. [114] The figurative (Isaiah 40:11 ; Jeremiah 2:8 ; Ezekiel 34:2 ; John 10:14 ; John 21:15 ; and see Dissen, ad Pind. Ol. x. 9, p. 124) ποιμαίνειν comprehends the two elements, of official activity in teaching (further specially designated in Ephesians 4:11 ; comp. 1 Timothy 3:2 ), and of the oversight and conduct of the discipline and organization of the church. For the two together exhaust the ἐπισκοπεῖν (1 Peter 5:2 ).

On τ . ἐκκλησ . τοῦ Κυρίου (see the critical remarks), comp. Romans 16:16 ; Matthew 16:18 . With the reading τοῦ Θεοῦ this passage was a peculiarly important locus for the doctrine of the divinity of Christ and the communicatio idiomatum against the Socinians. See especially Calovius.

ἣν περιεποιήσατο κ . τ . λ .] which He has acquired (for His possession, Ephesians 1:14 ; Titus 2:14 ; 1 Peter 2:9 ) by His own blood , by the shedding of which He has redeemed believers from the dominion of the devil and acquired them for Himself as heirs of His eternal salvation. “Hic ergo grex est pretiosissimus,” Bengel. Comp. on Ephesians 1:14 ; 1 Corinthians 6:20 ; 1Co 7:23 ; 1 Peter 1:7 ; 1 Peter 1:19 .

[113] The comparison of the Athenian ἐπίσχοποι in dependent cities, with a view to explain this official name (Rothe, p. 219 f.; see on these also Hermann, Staatsalterth . § 157. 8), introduces something heterogeneous.

[114] How little ground this passage gives for the hierarchical conception of the spiritual office, see on Ephesians 4:11 ; Höfling, Kirchenverf. p. 269 f.

Verses 29-30

Acts 20:29-30 . Ἐγώ ] with similar emphasis, as in Acts 20:25 : After my departure

I know it not only will enemies from without intrude among you (Ephesian Christians, as whose representatives the presbyters were present), who will be relentlessly destructive to the welfare of the church; but also within the church itself, out of the midst of you, will men with perverse doctrines arise.

That by the very common figure of ravenous ( vehementes , comp. βαρύτατος ἀνταγωνιστής , Xen. Ages. 11, 12) wolves (Matthew 7:15 ; Luke 10:3 ; John 10:12 ) is not meant, as Grotius supposes, persecutio sub Nerone , but false teachers working perniciously , is rendered probable by the very parallelism of Acts 20:30 , and still more certain by the relation of εἰσελεύσ . to μετὰ τὴν ἄφιξίν μου , according to which Paul represents his presence as that which has hitherto withheld the intrusion of the λύκοι , a connection which, in the case of its being explained of political persecutors, would be devoid of truth.

ἄφιξις is here not arrival (as almost constantly with Greek writers), but departure, going away , Dem. 58, pen.; Herod. vii. 58. Paul does not specially mean his death , but generally his removal ( discessionem , Vulgate), on which the false teachers necessarily depended for the assertion of their influence. Moreover, his prediction without doubt rests on the observations and experiences (comp. 1 Corinthians 16:9 ) which he had made during his long ministry in Ephesus and Asia. He must have known the existence of germs in which he saw the sad pledge of the truth of his warning; and we have no reason to doubt that the reality corresponded to this prediction. At the time of the composition of the Epistle to the Ephesians, the false teachers may not yet have been working in Ephesus itself, but in Colossae and its neighbourhood these they were Judaists of an Essene-Gnostic type had made themselves felt (see Introduction to Colossians , § 2), and in Asia Minor generally the heretics of the First Epistle of John and probably also of that of Jude are to be sought, not to mention those of the Apocalypse and Pastoral Epistles. The indefinite and general expressions, in which the false teachers are here described, correspond to the character of prophetic foresight and prediction. According to Zeller, a later writer has by these sought to conceal his otherwise too glaring anachronism; whereas Baur finds the sectarian character, such as it existed at most toward the close of the first century, so definitely delineated, that he from this circumstance recognises a vaticinium post eventum ! Thus the same expression is for the one too indefinite, and for the other too definite ; but both arrive at the same result, which must be reached, let the Paul of the Book of Acts speak as he will.

ἀποσπᾷν κ . τ . λ .] to draw away, from the fellowship of true believers, after them. “Character falsi doctoris, ut velit ex se uno pendere discipulos,” Bengel. On ὀπίσω αὐτ ., comp. Acts 5:37 .

Verse 31

Acts 20:31 . Γρηγορεῖτε ] “ verbum pastorale, ” Bengel, comp. προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς καὶ παντὶ τῷ ποιμνίῳ Acts 20:28 , and that, encouraged by the recollection of my own example, μνημονεύοντες , ὅτι κ . τ . λ .

τριετίαν ] See on Acts 19:10 .

μετὰ δακρύων ] extorted both by afflictions (Acts 20:19 ) and by the sympathetic fervour with which Paul prosecuted his quite special ( ἕνα ἕκαστον ) pastoral care, 2 Corinthians 11:29 ; 2 Corinthians 2:4 .

νύκτα κ . ἡμέρ .] See on Luke 2:37 . νύκτα is here placed first, because it most closely corresponds to the figurative γρηγορεῖτε .

As to the idea of νουθεσία , admonition, see on Ephesians 6:4 .

Verse 32

Acts 20:32 . And now I commend you to God (Acts 14:23 ) and to the word of His grace (Acts 20:24 ), entrust you to Him to protect and bless you, and to the gospel to be the rule of your whole conduct, to Him who is able to build up (to promote the Christian life), and to give you inheritance (a share in the Messianic blessedness) among all who are sanctified (consecrated to God by faith).

τῷ δυναμένῳ ] is, with the Vulgate, Luther, Beza, Calvin, Grotius, Wolf, Bengel, de Wette, and others, to be referred to God ; so that a very natural hyperbaton occurs, according to which καὶ τῷ λόγῳ τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ appears as an inserted annexation to the general and main element τῷ Θεῷ of an accessory idea, which was not to be separated from τῷ Θεῷ , but which also does not prevent the continuance of the address by a more precise description of τῷ Θεῷ bearing on its object. Comp. Bernhardy, p. 459. We should, in reading, lay the emphasis on τῷ Θεῷ , and pass on more quickly over καὶ τῷ λόγῳ … αὐτοῦ . Others refer τῷ δυναμ . to τῷ λόγῳ , and understand the λόγος either correctly of the doctrine (Erasmus, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, Lange, and others), or erroneously (opposed to Luke’s and Paul’s mode of conception) of the personal (Johannean) Logos (Gomarus, Witsius, Amelot). But such a personification of the saving doctrine (James 1:21 ), according to which even the δοῦναι κληρονομίαν (evidently an act of God! ) is assigned to it, is without scriptural analogy. Comp. Colossians 1:12 f.; Galatians 4:7 ; Luke 12:32 .

As to κληρονομία , transferred from the allotted share in the possession of Palestine ( נַחֲלָה ) to the share of possession in the Messianic kingdom, see on Matthew 5:5 ; Galatians 3:18 ; Ephesians 1:11 . On ἐν τ . ἡγιασμ ., comp. Acts 26:18 ; Ephesians 1:18 .

Verses 33-35

Acts 20:33-35 . Paul concludes his address, so rich in its simplicity and deeply impressive, by urging on the presbyters the complete disinterestedness and self-denial, with which he had laboured at Ephesus, as a τύπος (2 Thessalonians 3:9 ) for similar conduct. Comp. 1Co 9:4 ff.; 2 Corinthians 11:7 ff; 2 Corinthians 12:14 ff.; 2 Thessalonians 3:8 ff. Reason for this: not the obviating of a Judaistic reproach (Olshausen), not a guarding of the independence of the church in the world (Baumgarten); but the necessity of the ἀντιλαμβάνεσθαι τῶν ἀσθενούντων , Acts 20:35 .

ἀργ . ἢ χρυσ . ἢ ἱματ .] specification of what are usually esteemed the most valuable temporal possessions. Comp. James 5:2-3 .

αὐτοί ] without my needing to say it to you.

καὶ τοῖς οὖσι μετʼ ἐμοῦ ] Thus also for his companions, to their necessities, he applied the gain of his manual labour.

αὗται ] he shows them, and certainly they were not soft and tender.

πάντα [115] ὙΠΈΔΕΙΞΑ ὙΜῖΝ , ὍΤΙ ] either in all points (1 Corinthians 10:33 ; see on Ephesians 4:15 ; Lobeck, ad Aj . 1402; Kühner, § 557 A. 4) I have shown to you (by my example) that; or, all things I have showed to you (by my example) in reference to this, that , etc. ( ὅτι = εἰς ἐκεῖνο , ὅτι , as in John 2:18 ; John 9:17 ; 2 Corinthians 1:18 ; Mark 16:14 , et al. ). The former is simpler.

οὕτω ] so labouring , as I have done, so toiling hard (comp. 1 Corinthians 4:12 ). Not: my fellow-labourers in the gospel (Klostermann), which, at variance with the context, withdraws from οὕτως its significance. It is the example-giving οὕτως . Comp. 1Co 9:24 ; 1 Corinthians 9:26 ; Philippians 3:17 .

ΤῶΝ ἈΣΘΕΝΟΎΝΤΩΝ ] is, with Erasmus, Calvin, Beza, Grotius, Calovius, Er. Schmid, Bengel, and others, including Neander, Tholuck, Schneckenburger, Baumgarten, to be explained of those not yet confirmed in Christian principles and dispositions . Comp. Romans 14:1 ; Romans 15:1 ; 1 Corinthians 9:22 ; 1Th 5:14 ; 2 Corinthians 11:21 . These might easily consider the work of one teaching for pay as a mere matter of gain, and thus be prejudiced not only against the teacher, but also against the doctrine, 1 Corinthians 9:12 . But if, on the other hand, the teacher gained his livelihood by labour, by such self-devotion he obviated the fall of the unsettled, and was helpful to the strengthening of their faith and courage (comp. 2 Corinthians 12:14 ). This is that ἀντιλαμβάνεσθαι τῶν ἀσθενούντων , in which Paul wished to serve as a model to other teachers and ecclesiastical rulers. Others (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theopbylact, et al. , including Wetstein, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, Olshausen, de Wette, Hackett) render it: that they should help the poor and needy by support (comp. Ephesians 4:28 ); which meaning would have to be derived not from the usus loquendi of ἀσθεν . taken by itself, but, with Kuinoel (“qui non possunt laborando sibi ad vitam tuendam necessaria comparare”), from the context. Comp. Arist. Pac . 636; Eur. Suppl . 433; Herod. ii. 88. See Valckenaer, ad Herod . viii. 51; and Raphel, Herod, in loc . But the recommendation of liberality is remote from the context; the faithfulness and wisdom of the teacher manifesting itself in gaining his own support by labour, of which the text speaks, must have a spiritual object, like the teaching office itself (1 Corinthians 9:12 ) not the giving of alms, but the strengthening of the weak in faith. The more naturally this meaning occurs, the less would Paul, if he had nevertheless meant the poor , have expressed himself by ἀσθενούντων , but rather by ΠΤΩΧῶΝ or a similar word.

ΜΝΗΜΟΝΕΎΕΙΝ ΛΑΜΒΆΝΕΙΝ ] and to be mindful of the saying of the Lord Jesus (namely) that He Himself has said: It is blessed (i.e. bliss-giving ; the action itself according to its moral nature, similarly to the knowing in John 18:3 , is conceived as the blessedness of the agent) rather (potius) to give than to receive . “The two being compared, not the latter, but rather the former , is the μακάριον .” The special application of this general saying of Christ is, according to the connection in the mind of the apostle, that the giving of spiritual benefits, compared with the taking of earthly gain as pay, has the advantage in conferring blessedness; and the μακαριότης itself is that of eternal life according to the idea of the Messianic recompense, Luke 6:20 ff., Luke 6:38 ; Luke 14:14 .

The explanatory ὍΤΙ , dependent on ΜΝΗΜΟΝ . , adduces out of the general class of ΤῶΝ ΛΌΓ . Τ . ΚΥΡ . a single saying (comp. Acts 15:15 ), instead of all bearing on the point.

Whether Paul derived this saying, not preserved in the Gospels (see on the dicta ἄγραφα of Christ, Fabric. Cod. Apocr . N.T. pp. 321 335; Ewald, Jahrb . VI. 40 f., and Gesch. Chr . p. 288), from oral or written tradition, remains undecided.

References to the same saying: Constitt. ap. iv. 3.Acts 1 : ἐπεὶ καὶ ὁ Κύριος μακάριον εἶπεν εἶναι τὸν διδόντα ἤπερ τὸν λαμβάνοντα , perhaps also Clem. 1 Corinthians 2 : ἥδιον διδόντες ἢ λαμβάνοντες . Analogous profane sayings (Artemidor. iv. 3) may be seen in Wetstein. The opposite: ἈΝΌΗΤΟς ΔΙΔΟῪς , ΕὐΤΥΧῊς Δʼ ΛΑΜΒΆΝΩΝ , in Athen. viii. 5.

[115] Lachmann, whom Klostermann follows, refers πάντα to ver. 34, as Beza already proposed. But if so, Paul, in ver. 24, would evidently have said too much , especially on account of καὶ τοῖς οὖσι μετʼ ἐμοῦ .

Verses 36-38

Acts 20:36-38 . What a simple, true, [116] tender, and affecting description!

κατεφίλουν ] denotes frequent and fervent kissing. Comp. on Matthew 26:49 ; Luke 15:20 .

ΘΕΩΡΕῖΝ ] to behold , is chosen from the standpoint of the ὀδυνώμενοι . On the other hand, in Acts 20:25 , ὌΨΕΣΘΕ .

ΠΡΟΈΠΕΜΠ . ] of giving a convoy , as in Acts 15:3 , Acts 21:5 .

[116] It borders on wantonness to affirm that this impression of the speech is not so much that which the presbyters received from it, as that which “the reader of the Book of Acts is meant to receive from the previous narrative,” Zeller , p. 274.

Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Acts 20". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hmc/acts-20.html. 1832.
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