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ACTS
The continued Life of Jesus through the Apostles

CHAPTER TWENTY

"Model Minister"
Key Verse = Acts 20:24


  1. Journeys in Greece 3. From Troas to Miletus
  2. Eutychus Raised From The Dead at Troas 4. The Ephesian Elders Exhorted



JOURNEYS  IN  GREECE

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Acts 20:1-3
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(1)  After the uproar had ceased, Paul called the disciples to himself, embraced them, and departed to go to Macedonia.

And after the tumult had ceased, Paul called to him the disciples and comforted them and kissed them and then departed and went to Macedonia.

(2)  Now when he had gone over that region and encouraged them with many words, he came to Greece

And when he had traveled through those countries and had comforted them with many words, he came to Greece.

(3)  and stayed three months. And when the Jews plotted against him as he was about to sail to Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia.

There he remained three months. But the Jews laid a plot against him, just as he was about to sail for Syria; so he decided to return to Macedonia.


The narratives of Acts 20 and 27 presuppose correct data on the length of travel between the places listed and take into account seasonal wind patterns and so forth. In short, they read like the report of an eyewitness.

The uproar
The riot started by Demetrius and the silversmiths in chapter 19 (19:23-41).

The tumult excited by Demetrius apparently induced Paul to leave Ephesus sooner than he had intended. He had written to the Corinthians that he should leave that place after Pentecost, 1 Corinthians 16:8 ("But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost"); but it is very probable that he left it sooner.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

To go to Macedonia
Hinted in Acts only at 24:17 but clear in his letters, Paul's purpose is to collect the offering of the Macedonian (Philippi, Thessalonica) and Achaean (Corinth) churches to help the poor Christians in Jerusalem, to demonstrate the unity of Jewish and Gentile Christians (see comment on Rom 15:26 1 Cor 16:1 1 Cor 16:5 2 Cor 8-9). He may have gone through Illyricum from Macedonia's Via Egnatia (Romans 15:19; cf. comment on Acts 16:9); if so, many months pass before he reaches Achaea.

Came to Greece
Into Greece proper, of which Athens was the capital. While in Macedonia he had great anxiety and trouble, but was at length comforted by the coming of Titus, who brought him intelligence of the liberal disposition of the churches of Greece in regard to the collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem, 2 Cor 7:5-7.

Stayed 3 months
Paul wrote Romans from this area (Romans 15:26-28), approximately AD 58. Although some sailors and ship-owners were Jewish, most were Gentiles. On a ship to Syria, however, many travelers may have been Jewish — especially if the ship planned to reach Syria-Palestine by Passover.
Romans 15:26-28
For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain.     (NKJV)

Plotted against him
We have read of a number of plots, some originated by Jews, some by Gentiles. We have seen in general that sometimes people receive the Gospel and sometimes they reject it. Their rejection can be either active or passive, the latter expressing itself as indifference, apathy or a feeling of superiority even while approving of the believers. The following table presents instances of each, showing the verses in the book of Acts and the locations of the Jewish and Gentile responses to the Gospel:
RESPONSE JEWS GENTILES
Believing the Gospel 2:41 Jerusalem 14:1  Iconium
13:43 Pisidian Antioch 16:14, 30 Philippi
14:1 Iconium 17:4 Thessalonica
17:4 Thessalonica 17:11-12 Berea
17:11-12 Berea 17:34 Athens
18:8 Corinth 18:8 Corinth
19:9 Ephesus 19:17-20 Ephesus
28:24 Rome  
Rejecting the Gospel
(Active Opposition)
4:1ff., 5:17ff., 6:11-14,
7:54-8:3, 9:29, 12:3-4, 21:27ff.
Jerusalem 12:1-4 Jerusalem
9:23-24 Damascus 14:5, 19 Iconium
13:45, 13:50, 14:19 Pisidian Antioch 16:16 ff Philippi
14:2, 5, 19 Iconium 19:23 ff Ephesus
17:5-8, 13 Thessalonica  
18:6, 12-13 Corinth
19:9 Ephesus
20:3 Greece
Rejecting the Gospel
(Passive Opposition, indifference, etc.)
2:47, 4:21,
5:34-39
Jerusalem 26:24, 28 Caesarea
28:24 Rome 17:32 Athens
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Return through Macedonia
It is probable that the Second Epistle to the Corinthians was written during this time in Macedonia, and sent to them by Titus.

From the Amplified Bible
(1)  After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples and warned and consoled and urged and encouraged them; then he embraced them and told them farewell and set forth on his journey to Macedonia.
(2)  Then after he had gone through those districts and had warned and consoled and urged and encouraged the brethren with much discourse, he came to Greece.
(3)  Having spent three months there, when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he resolved to go back through Macedonia.

Acts 20:4-6
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(4)  And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia — also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.

And there accompanied him as far as Asia Minor, Sopater of the city of Berea and Aristarchus and Secundus of Thessalonica and Gaius of the city of Derbe and Timotheus of Lystra, and from Asia Minor Tychicus and Trophimus.

(5)  These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas.

These men went before us and waited for us at Troas.

(6)  But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.

But we departed from the Macedonian city of Philippi, after the days of unleavened bread, and sailed and arrived at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days.


Just as prominent representatives from each of the Jewish communities would bring the annual temple tax to Jerusalem, so Paul has traveling companions from different Christian communities serving the poor in Jerusalem. This offering would show the Jerusalem church that the Gentile Christians still recognize the Jewishness of their faith (see Romans 15:26-27  "For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.").
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

From Berea
Sopater
Perhaps the same person who, in Romans 16:21, is called Sosipater which is a full version of the shorter "Sopater" ("Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you".)
Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles identify him as the son of a man named Pyrrhus.
He would be one of the converts from Paul's short stay in Berea during his second missionary journey (Acts 17:10-14).

From Thessalonica
Aristarchus
He was grabbed by the mob during the riot in Ephesus (Acts 19:29)
His name re-appears in Acts 27:2 (So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.).
He was mentioned as being in prison with Paul in Rome in Colossians 4:10 (Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you.)
And in Philemon 24 where he is mentioned as a "fellow laborer" in Rome, and not as a prisoner at this time ( "Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers".)
Secundus
This is the only time he is mentioned in Scripture.
He was apparently either the second child, or the second son, since his name is Latin meaning "second."
The name is found in a list of politarchs on a Thessalonian inscription.

From Derbe
Gaius
He was possibly one of Paul's converts from his first missionary trip (Acts 14:20 & 21) or a convert of the small group of believers Paul left at Derbe, or a convert during Paul's short stay there during his second missionary journey (Acts 16:1).
Most likely not the same Gaius as in (Acts 19:29).
The name is the Greek form of the Latin Caius, and was extremely common.
One with  this name was baptized by Paul at Corinth, 1 Corinthians 1:14, and entertained him as his host while he abode there, Romans 16:23, and was probably the same to whom the Apostle John directs his third epistle.
There is no evidence that the Gaius here is the same as any of these.

From Lystra
Timothy
"Of Lystra," is added by the Syriac.
This was the same person of whom mention is made, Acts 16:1, and to whom Paul wrote the two epistles of 1st and 2nd Timothy.
It was on this evidence, probably that the ancient Syriac translator added, "of Lystra", to the text. This reading is not supported by any Manuscript.
Timothy was s constant companion of Paul throughout his 2nd Missionary trip, and well known. This was probably Luke's way of saying: "Timothy, who needs no introduction."

From Asia
Tychicus
This man was high in the confidence and affection of Paul.
In Eph 6:21-22 he styles him "a beloved brother, and faithful minister in the Lord."
Trophimus
Trophimus was from Ephesus, Acts 21:29.
In Colossians 4:7 Paul refers to him as "a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord"

Waited for us
The word "us," here, shows that Luke had again joined Paul as his companion. In Acts 16:12 it appears that Luke was in Philippi, in the house of Lydia. Why he remained there, or why he did not attend Paul in his journey to Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, etc., is not known. It is evident; however, that he here joined him again.

The "we" picks up where it left off; Paul had left Luke in Philippi.

Days of Unleavened Bread
After the days of Matzah (unleavened bread), that is, after Passover. Sha’ul (Paul), the observant Jew, kept Pesach (Passover)..
(From Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Paul was a Jew, though a Christian, and observed the Jewish feasts, though he protested against Gentiles being forced to do it (Colossians 2:16 "So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.").
(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright © 1985 by Broadman Press.)

They spend the week in Philippi for the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. When one adds the remaining days (with parts of days reckoned as wholes, as generally in antiquity) presumed in the narrative, from their arrival in Philippi to their arrival in Jerusalem requires over thirty days. Thus they would arrive in Jerusalem before Pentecost (fifty days after Passover) and would still make one of the three major pilgrimage festivals (20:16). "Five days" (i.e., parts of five — perhaps four) was a slow voyage to Troas (16:11) but may include the half-day land journey from Philippi to Neapolis.
(From IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

They crossed the Aegean Sea. Paul, when he crossed it on a former occasion, did it in two days (Acts 16:11-12); but the navigation of the sea is uncertain, and they were now probably hindered by contrary winds.
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

HISTORICAL OUTLOOK FROM 400 A. D. BY ARCHBISHOP JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Homily 43 - Acts 20:1-6
There was need of much comforting after that uproar. Accordingly, having done this, he goes into Macedonia, and then into Greece. For, it says, "when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, and there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia." (v. 2, 3.) Again he is persecuted by the Jews, and goes into Macedonia. "And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. These going before tarried for us at Troas." (v. 4, 5.) But how does he call Timothy a man "of Thessalonica?" This is not his meaning, but, "Of Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus and Gaius: of Derbe, Timothy," etc., these, he says, went before him to Troas, preparing the way for him. "And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days." (v. 6.)
(Archbishop John Chrysostom of Constantinople A.D. 400)
(from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Volume 11, PC Study Bible formatted electronic
database Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(4)  He was accompanied by Sopater the son of Pyrrhus from Beroea, and by the Thessalonians Aristarchus and Secundus, and Gaius of Derbe and Timothy, and the Asians Tychicus and Trophimus.
(5)  These went on ahead and were waiting for us [including Luke] at Troas,
(6)  But we [ourselves] sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread [the Passover week], and in five days we joined them at Troas, where we remained for seven days.

EUTYCHUS  RAISED  FROM  THE  DEAD  AT  TROAS

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Acts 20:7   
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(7)  Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.

And on the first day of the week, while the disciples were assembled to break bread, Paul preached to them, and because he was ready to leave the next day, he prolonged his speech until midnight.


First day of the week
Most religious associations in the Greco-Roman world met together once a month. Although some early Christians may have met daily (2:46), they seem to have gathered especially on the first day of the week, probably because of the resurrection (Luke 24:1) and to avoid conflicting with synagogue gatherings on the Sabbath.
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

Barnes notes that this shows this is the day observed by Christians as holy time. Compare 1 Cor 16:2; Rev 1:10.
1 Corinthians 16:2-3
On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.      (NKJV)
Revelation 1:10
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day     (NKJV)

From the Jewish New Testament Commentary
Motza’ei-Shabbat in Hebrew means “departure of the Sabbath” and refers to Saturday night. The Greek text here says, “the first day of the sabbaton,” where Greek sabbaton transliterates Hebrew Shabbat and may be translated “Sabbath” or “week,” depending on the context. Since Shabbat itself is only one day, “the first day of the sabbaton” must be the first day of the week.
But what was meant by “the first day of the week”?
Or, to make the question's relevance to Messianic Judaism clearer, were the believers meeting on Saturday night or on Sunday night? (It is clear from the verse that the meeting was in the evening.)
A Saturday night meeting would fit more naturally with Jewish Shabbat observance, wherein the restful spirit of Shabbat is often preserved into Saturday evening, after the official end of Shabbat itself, which occurs after sunset when it gets dark enough to see three stars.
It would be natural for Jewish believers who had rested on Shabbat with the rest of the Jewish community to assemble afterwards to celebrate their common faith in Yeshua Jesus the Messiah. The Gentile believers who came along later would join in the already established practice, especially since many of them would have been “God-fearers” (10:2) already accustomed to following the lead of the Jews in whose company they had chosen to place themselves. And since by Jewish reckoning days commence after sunset, the sense of the Greek text seems best rendered by “Motza’ei-Shabbat,” not “Sunday.”
In various places this commentary notes the Christian Church's tendency to expunge Jewish influences, and I think an instance arises when the present verse is understood to refer to Sunday night. A Sunday night meeting would imply a break of one full day of work between the Jewish Shabbat and the gathering at which Sha’ul spoke. Although Sha’ul cautions Gentiles against being “Judaized” into legalistic observance of the Jewish Sabbath (Corinthians 2:16-17&NN, and possibly Galatians 4:8-10&N), although he asks the believers in Corinth to set aside money for the Jewish poor of Jerusalem also on “the first day of the sabbaton” (1 Corinthians 16:2&N), and although Yochanan John at Revelation 1:10 speaks of what most translators render as “the Lord's day” (I translate it “the Day of the Lord”), nevertheless the meeting in Ephesus must have been on Saturday night. For in this city, as in other places, Jewish believers constituted the core of the congregation — Sha’ul “took the talmidim disciples with him” from the synagogue (19:8-9), with many Gentiles coming to faith later (19:17, 20). The Jewish believers, as explained, would have been accustomed to prolonging Shabbat, so that they would probably not have minded Sha’ul's talking till midnight. A Saturday night meeting would continue the God-oriented spirit of Shabbat, rather than require the believers to shift their concern from workaday matters, as would be the case on Sunday night.
 I do not find the New Testament commanding a specific day of the week for worship. There can be no objection whatever to the practice adopted later by a Gentile-dominated Church of celebrating “the Lord's Day” on Sunday, including Sunday night; but this custom must not be read back into New Testament times. On the other hand, Messianic Jews who worship on Saturday night rather than Sunday can find warrant for their practice in this verse.
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

To break bread
Evidently to celebrate the Lord's Supper. Compare Acts 2:46. So the Syriac understands it, by translating it, "to break the Eucharist"; that is, the Eucharistic bread. It is probable that the apostles and early Christians celebrated the Lord's Supper on every Lord's Day.

Until midnight
The discourse of Paul continued until the breaking of day, Acts 20:11. But it was interrupted about midnight by the accident that occurred to Eutychus. The fact that Paul was about to leave them on the next day, probably to see them no more, was the principal reason why his discourse was so long continued. We are not to suppose, however, that it was one continued or set discourse. No small part of the time might have been passed in hearing and answering questions, though Paul was the chief speaker. The case proves that such seasons of extraordinary devotion may, in special circumstances, be proper. Occasions may arise where it will be proper for Christians to spend a much longer time than usual in public worship. It is evident, however, that such seasons do not often occur.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(7)  And on the first day of the week, when we were assembled together to break bread [the Lord's Supper], Paul discoursed with them, intending to leave the next morning; and he kept on with his message until midnight.

Acts 20:8-10
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(8)  There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together.

Now there was a great glow of light from the torches in the upper chamber where we were gathered together.

(9)  And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead.

And a young man named Eutychus was sitting at the window above and listening, and as Paul prolonged his speech, the youth fell into a deep sleep, and while asleep he fell down from the third loft, and was taken up as dead.

(10)  But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, "Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him."

And Paul wend down and bent over him and embraced him and said, Do not be excited for he still lives.


Many Lamps
Lampades hikanai - It was dark at night since the full moon (Passover) was three weeks behind. These lamps were probably filled with oil and had wicks that flickered and smoked.
(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright © 1985 by Broadman Press.)

The many oil lamps burning made the room smoky and stuffy and depleted the oxygen. I suppose Eutychus was sitting on the window sill to get some air. Unfortunately it still didn't keep him from going sound asleep and falling to his death.

In a window
Open windows were generally blocked off in the winter, but during summer one would sit in them to cool off. Either the heat from the lamps (midnight in April at Troas was not normally hot) or the crowdedness of the room had forced Eutychus to take a window seat. If he was old enough (cf. v. 12; but the term translated "boy" or "lad" there could also mean "slave"), he may have been tired from a hard day's work. Homes in much of the empire were a single story, but they were often two stories in more crowded urban areas. This is a fall from what Americans would call the second floor (which most languages call the "third floor"), which is not necessarily fatal; but Eutychus may have landed headfirst or hit his head on a hard object.

How old was Eutychus?
The Greek word neanias in Acts 20:9 means a man from twenty-four to forty years of age.
The word pais in Acts 20:12 means a young child or youth.
Dr. Howard Marshall, an eminent Greek scholar, says he was a "young lad of eight to fourteen years. Since the word Pais an mean "a servant,"
Eutychus may have been a young man who was also a servant. He may have worked hard that day and was weary. No wonder he fell asleep during the lengthy sermon!

Let's not be too hard on Eutychus. At least he was there for the service, and he did try to keep awake. He sat near ventilation, and he must have tried to fight off the sleep that finally conquered him. The tense of the Greek verb indicates that he was gradually overcome, not suddenly.
Also, let's not be too hard on Paul. After all, he was preaching his farewell sermon to this assembly, and he had a great deal to tell them for their own good. Those sitting near should have been watching Eutychus; but, of course, they were engrossed in what Paul was saying. Paul did interrupt his sermon to rush downstairs to bring the young man back to life. His approach reminds us of Elijah (1 Kings 17:21-22) and Elisha (2 Kings 4:34-35).
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

The TEV has brought the contrast that Luke has made between the Greek progressive tense (got sleepier and sleepier) and the Greek verb tense denoting instantaneous action (finally went sound asleep).
(from the UBS New Testament Handbook Series. Copyright © 1961-1997, by United Bible Societies.)

Taken up dead
Eerthee nekros - First aorist passive indicative of airoo.  Luke does not say hoos (as) or hoosei (as if).
The people considered him dead -

and Luke the physician seems to agree with that view.

(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright © 1985 by Broadman Press.)

In Greek "he was taken up" is an impersonal passive construction equivalent in English to they picked him up.

Luke actually says that he was dead (see JB "he was picked up dead").

Had Luke intended to say that he only appeared to be dead, he could easily have done this. Therefore, such a translation as "was picked up as dead" (Phillips) or "was picked up for dead" (NEB) is misleading.
(from the UBS New Testament Handbook Series. Copyright © 1961-1997, by United Bible Societies.)

Paul probably stretched himself on him as Elisha did on the Shunammite's son, 2 Kings 4:33-35. It was an act of tenderness and compassion, evincing a strong desire to restore him to life.

His life is in him
In the same sense in which Christ said, "The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth" (Luke 8:52).
(from Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Excerpts from "The Apostle: A Life of Paul"
In the upper part of a tenement house in the middle of Troas the Christians were gathered together on the Saturday night, the last of Paul's visit. He had found a ship and his party would be leaving next morning.
The little church of Troas, fruit of his two brief previous calls and of the evangelization which had spread from Ephesus, evidently lacked a wealthy member who could invite them to worship on his lawn.  They were using the attic which in a tenement house covered the two or three apartments forming each of the two floors below, and were crushed in, every man and woman, and their children who could not be left at home.  Sweaty bodies made the air close, smoke curled from the spouts of little vegetable-oil lamps; the room grew hot and stuffy, for though the night temperature in April was moderate, Troas stood in a sheltered, narrow coastal plain.
A young man called Eutychus had wedged himself on the window sill and listened fascinated as Paul unfolded mysteries of the faith... But Eutychus had put in a hard day's manual labor, for his pagan master knew nothing of Sabbath rest, and as he listened his head nodded despite himself.  Midnight came and went.  All eyes were on Paul and when Eutychus' head dropped lower on his chest none of the other youths noticed to prod him awake.  Paul's voice floated in and out until it was lost altogether.
Suddenly there was a crash and a commotion.  Eutychus had fallen right out of the window onto the narrow street below.  It was not a deep drop, some fifteen feet, but he fell hard.  By the time Paul had followed the agonized rush of the boy's friends and relations down the stairs, Luke had pronounced Eutychus dead.  They stepped aside for Paul.  He knelt and pressed the body close to his own, and those who knew their Scripture would recall that this is what both Elijah and Elisha did with dead boys.  Paul said: "Do not worry.  He is alive!"
(From "The Apostle: A Life of Paul," by John Pollock; RiverOak Publishing, a division of Cook Communication Ministries)

PARALLELS BETWEEN THE MINISTRIES OF PETER AND PAUL IN ACTS

Similarity Peter Paul
Healing crippled men 3:2-8 14:8-10
Healing via extraordinary means 5:15 (his shadow) 19:12 (handkerchiefs)
Casting out demons 5:16 16:18
Being flogged or beaten 5:40 16:23
Defeating sorcerers 8:18-24 13:6-11
Raising the dead 9:36-41 20:9-12
Escaping from prison 12:6-11 16:25-26

From the Amplified Bible
(8)    Now there were numerous lights in the upper room where we were assembled,
(9)    And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting in the window. He was borne down with deep sleep as Paul kept on talking still longer, and [finally] completely overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead.
(10)  But Paul went down and bent over him and embraced him, saying, Make no ado; his life is within him.

Acts 20:11 & 12
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(11)  Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed.

And when Paul was come up again, and had broken bread and eaten, he continued to speak till daybreak; then he departed to journey by land.

(12)  And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.

And they carried away the young man alive, and rejoiced over him exceedingly.


He returned to his work immediately after this interruption. He came up again to the meeting, they broke bread together in a love-feast, which usually attended the eucharist, in token of their communion with each other, and for the confirmation of friendship among them; and they talked a long while, even till break of day. Paul did not now go on in a continued discourse, as before, but he and his friends fell into a free conversation. They knew not when they should have Paul's company again, and therefore made the best use they could of it when they had it, and reckoned a night's sleep well lost for that purpose. Before they parted they brought the young man alive into the congregation, every one congratulating him upon his return to life from the dead, and they were not a little comforted. It was matter of great rejoicing among them, not only to the relations of the young man, but to the whole society, as it not only prevented the reproach that would otherwise have been cast upon them, but contributed very much to the credit of the gospel.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

HISTORICAL OUTLOOK FROM 400 A. D. BY ARCHBISHOP JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Homily 43 - Acts 20:7-12
For it seems to me that he made a point of keeping the feasts in the large cities. "From Philippi," where the affair of the prison had taken place. This was his third coming into Macedonia, and it is a high testimony that be bears to the Philippians, which is the reason why he makes some stay there. "And upon the day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." (v. 7.) It was then the (season between Easter and) Pentecost. See how everything was subordinate to the preaching. It was also, it says, the Lord's day. Not even during night-time was he silent, nay he discoursed the rather then, because of stillness. Mark how he both made a long discourse, and beyond the time of supper itself. But the Devil disturbed the feast-not that he prevailed, however-by plunging the hearer in sleep, and causing him to fall down. "And," it says, "there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him, said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.
When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted." (v. 8-12.)
But observe, I pray you, the theatre, how crowded it was: and the miracle, what it was. "He was sitting in a window," at dead of night. Such was their eagerness to hear him! Let us take shame to ourselves! "Aye, but a Paul" say you, "was discoursing then." Yes, and Paul discourses now, or rather not Paul, either then or now, but Christ, and yet none cares to hear. No window in the case now, no importunity of hunger, or sleep, and yet we do not care to hear: no crowding in a narrow space here, nor any other such comfort.
And the wonderful circumstance is, that though he was a youth, he was not listless and indifferent; and though (he felt himself) weighed down by sleep, he did not go away, nor yet fear the danger of falling down. It was not from listlessness that he slumbered, but from necessity of nature. But observe, I beseech you, so fervent was their zeal, that they even assembled in a third loft: for they had not a Church yet. "Trouble not yourselves," he says. He said not, "He shall come to life again, for I will raise him up:" but mark the unassuming way in which he comforts them: "for his life," says he, "is in him. When he was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten." This thing cut short the discourse; it did no harm, however. "When he had eaten," it says, "and discoursed a long while, even till break of day, so he departed."
(from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Volume 11, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(11)  When Paul had gone back upstairs and had broken bread and eaten [with them], and after he had talked confidentially and communed with them for a considerable time — until daybreak [in fact] — he departed.
(12)  They took the youth home alive, and were not a little comforted and cheered and refreshed and encouraged.



FROM  TROAS  TO  MILETUS

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Acts 20:13 & 14
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(13)  Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had given orders, intending himself to go on foot.

But we went on board the ship, and sailed to the port of Assos, where we were to take in Paul, as he had commanded us when he left to travel by land.

(14)  And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene.

When we had welcomed him at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene.


Sailed to Assos
There were several cities of this name. One was in Lycia; one in the territory of Eolis; one in Mysia; one in Lydia; and another in Epirus. The latter is the Assos intended here. It was between Troas and Mitylene. The distance to it from Troas by land was about 20 miles, while the voyage round Cape Lecture was nearly twice as far and accordingly Paul chose to go to it on foot.

Assos was about twenty miles overland from Alexandria Troas, the main port, about a day's journey on foot. For short distances, especially if one had to wait at ports for ships that could take on passengers, a land journey might not take much longer, and traveling on foot was cheaper than buying passage on a boat.

Mitylene
Mitylene was the main town of the island of Lesbos.

This was the capital of the island of Lesbos. It was distinguished by the beauty of its situation, and the splendor and magnificence of its edifices. The island, on which it stood, Lesbos, was one of the largest in the Aegean Sea, and the seventh in the Mediterranean. It is a few miles distant from the coast of Aeolia, and is about 168 miles in circumference. The name of the city now is Castro.

From the Amplified Bible
(13)  But going on ahead to the ship, the rest of us set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for that was what he had directed, intending himself to go by land [on foot].
(14)  So when he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and sailed on to Mitylene.

Acts 20:15 & 16
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(15)  We sailed from there, and the next day came opposite Chios. The following day we arrived at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium. The next day we came to Miletus.

And we sailed thence the next day towards the island of Chios; and the following day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus.

(16)  For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.

For Paul had determined not to stop at Ephesus, fearing he might be delayed there, because he was hastening, if it were possible for him, to celebrate the day of Pentecost at Jerusalem.


They take the customary sea route, across from the island of Chios (probably near Cape Argennum), enabling them to avoid a longer voyage hugging the coast of the long promontory jutting forth into the Aegean Sea between Smyrna and Ephesus. From Chios it was much quicker to sail by the island of Samos and straight to Miletus, rather than cutting in toward the Asian coast to Ephesus. They put in at the Lion Harbor at Miletus, which sported a temple of Apollo; the city also had a sizable Jewish community (as did Samos, where the worship of Aphrodite and Isis was prominent).
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

Chios
Chios, called also Coos, is an island in the Archipelago, between Lesbos and Samos. It is on the coast of Asia Minor, and is now called Scio. It will long be remembered as the seat of a dreadful massacre of almost all its inhabitants by the Turks in 1823.

Samos
This was also an island of the Archipelago, lying off the coast of Lydia, from which it is separated by a narrow strait. These islands were celebrated among the ancients for their extraordinary wines.

Trogyllium
The name of a town and promontory of Ionia in Asia Minor, between Ephesus and the mouth of the river Meander, opposite to Samos. The promontory is a spur of Mount Mycale.

Miletus
Called also Mileturn.  Miletus was a city and seaport, and the ancient capital of Ionia. It was originally composed of a colony of Cretans. It became extremely powerful, and sent out colonies to a great number of cities on the Euxine Sea. It was distinguished for a magnificent temple dedicated to Apollo. It is now called by the Turks Melas. It was the birthplace of Thales, one of the seven wise men of Greece. It was about 40 or 50 miles from Ephesus.

To sail past Ephesus
He intended to sail past Ephesus without going to it. Had he gone to Ephesus, he would probably have been so delayed in his journey that he could not reach Jerusalem at the time of Pentecost.

Shavu‘ot (“Weeks,” Pentecost; see 2:1).  Sha’ul's desire to hurry to Yerushalayim  (Jerusalem) for Shavu‘ot shows that as a Messianic Jew he remained devoted to the Torah and to Jewish practice (see 13:9).
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

There were fifty days between Passover and Pentecost, and Paul's trip from Philippi to Troas had already consumed twelve of them. It took another four days to get to Miletus, so Paul decided not to go to Ephesus lest he lose any more valuable time.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

HISTORICAL OUTLOOK FROM 400 A. D. BY ARCHBISHOP JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Homily 43 - Acts 20:13-16
"And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Thasos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot." (v. 13.) We often find Paul parting from the disciples. For behold again, he himself goes afoot: giving them the easier way, and himself choosing the more painful. He went afoot, both that he might arrange many matters, and by way of training them to bear a parting from him. "And when he had joined us at Thasos, having taken him on board, we came to Mitylene; and having sailed thence on the morrow, we come over against Chios"-then they pass the island-"and on the next day we touched at Samos, and having stopped at Trogyllium, on the following day we came to Miletus. For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be in Jerusalem the day of Pentecost." (v. 14-16.) Why this haste?
Not for the sake of the feast, but of the multitude. At the same time, by this he conciliated the Jews, as being one that did honor the feasts, wishing to gain even his adversaries: at the same time also he delivers the word. Accordingly, see what great gain accrued, from all being present. But that the interests of the people of Ephesus might not be neglected on that account, he managed for this in a different way. Wherefore does the writer say where they came, and where they went to? To show in the first place that he was making the voyage more leisurely-and this upon human grounds-and sailing past (some): also (for the same reason he tells) where he made a stay, and what parts he sailed past; (namely,) "that he might not have to spend the time in Asia."
Since had he come there, he could not have sailed by; he did not like to pain those who would have begged him to remain. "For he hasted," it says, "if it were possible for him to keep the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem:" and (this) was not possible of he stayed. Observe, how he is also moved like other men. For therefore it is that all this is done, that we may not fancy that he was above human nature: (therefore) you see him desiring (something), and hasting, and in many instances not obtaining (his object): for those great and holy men were partakers of the same nature with us; it was in the will and purpose that they differed, and so it was that also they attracted upon themselves the great grace they did. See, for instance, how many things they order by an economy of their own.
"That we give not offence" (2 Corinthians 6:3) to those who wish (to take offence), and, "That our ministry be not blamed." Behold, both an irreproachable life and on the other hand condescension. This is (indeed to be ) called economy, to the (very) summit and height (of it). For he that went beyond the commandments of Christ, was on the other hand more humble than all. "I am made all things to all men," he says, "that I might gain all." (1 Corinthians 9:22.) He cast himself also upon dangers, as he says in another place; "In much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes in imprisonments." (2 Corinthians 6:4,5.) And great was his love for Christ. For if there be not this, all else is superfluous, both the economy (of condescending accommodation), and the irreproachable life, and the exposing himself to dangers. "Who is weak," he says, "and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I burn not?" (2 Corinthians 11:29.)
(from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Volume 11, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(15)  And sailing from there, we arrived the day after at a point opposite Chios; the following day we struck across to Samos, and the next day we arrived at Miletus.
(16)  For Paul had determined to sail on past Ephesus, lest he might have to spend time [unnecessarily] in [the province of] Asia; for he was hastening on so that he might reach Jerusalem, if at all possible, by the day of Pentecost.



THE  EPHESIAN  ELDERS  EXHORTED 

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Acts 20:17-19
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(17)  From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.

And from Miletus he sent and called the elders of the church of Ephesus.

(18)  And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you,

And when they had come to him, he said to them, You know from the very first day that I entered Asia Minor, how I have been with you always,

(19)  serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews;

Serving God with great humility and with tears and amid the trials which were brought upon me by conspiracies of the Jews.

Their ship had avoided the busy harbor of Ephesus, which was out of the way by the route across Chios and Samos; this ship had been the only one available going the right direction, but had not been going to their exact destination. The land route for messengers to reach Ephesus was over thirty miles, so they would have to travel quickly to arrive by Paul's third day; for those who could leave their work, to do so would be a big sacrifice. But Paul's mission to Jerusalem was urgent; he needed to present the offering at a festival, when Jerusalem would be full and this symbol of the church's ethnic unity would make the loudest statement.
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

Paul's Farewell Speech
Farewell speeches developed a standard form in antiquity, related to the literary form called "testaments" (in which a dying or departing figure left important, wise instructions for his children or followers). The language of the speech is more like Paul's than Luke's. Although historians tended to rewrite speeches in their own words, regular rhetorical training included practice in imitating others' styles. Because Luke presumably had little access to Paul's letters (they were not collected from various churches till long after Paul's death), he must have learned Paul's style from direct contact with him.

Many philosophers customarily appealed to their hearers in endearing terms, such as Paul uses here, and reminded them that any reproofs were given as signs of true friendship, as opposed to the flattery of false friends. That this language was common means only that it was culturally relevant to the hearers' needs, not that it was merely an empty rhetorical form; Paul and most others who used such language also meant it sincerely.

The discourse which follows is one of the most tender, affectionate, and eloquent which is anywhere to be found.

It is strikingly descriptive of the apostle's manner of life while with them
It evinces his deep concern for their welfare
It is full of tender and kind admonition
It expresses the firm purpose of his soul to live to the glory of God, and his expectation to be persecuted still
It  is a most affectionate and solemn farewell
No man can read it without being convinced that it came from a heart full of love and kindness; and that it evinces a great and noble purpose to be entirely employed in one great aim and object - the promotion of the glory of God, in the face of danger and of death.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

This discourse has three parts:
(a) (vv. 18-21) A review of Paul's past three-year's ministry in Ephesus
(b) (vv. 22-27) A description of the present situation
(c) (vv. 28-35) The future responsibilities of the Ephesian elders
(from Bible Knowledge Commentary/Old Testament Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries; Bible Knowledge Commentary/New Testament Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries. All rights reserved.)

Paul was not one to work into his ministry gradually like a diplomat feeling his way. "From the first day" he gave himself unsparingly to the work of the Lord in Ephesus, for Paul was an ambassador and not a diplomat.
The MOTIVE for Paul's ministry is found in the phrase "serving the Lord"
He was not interested in making money (Acts 20:33) or in enjoying an easy life (Acts 20:34-35), for he was the bond-slave of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:24; Romans 1:1 "a bondservant of Jesus Christ").  Paul was careful to let people know that his motives for ministry were spiritual and not selfish (1 Thessalonians 2:1-13).
The MANNER of his ministry was exemplary
He lived a consistent life which anybody could inspect for he had nothing to hide. He served in humility and not as a "religious celebrity" demanding that others serve him. But his humility was not a sign of weakness, for he had the courage to face trials and dangers without quitting. Paul was not ashamed to admit to his friends that there had also been times of tears (see also Acts 20:31,37; Romans 9:1-2; 2 Corinthians 2:4; Philippians 3:18).
The MESSAGE of his ministry
This was also widely known, because he announced it and taught it publicly (Acts 19:9) as well as in the various house churches of the fellowship. He told sinners to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ. This message was "the Gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24), and it is the only message that can save the sinner (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Galatians 1:6-12).
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

From the Amplified Bible
(17)  However, from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and summoned the elders of the church [to come to him there].
(18)  And when they arrived he said to them: You yourselves are well acquainted with my manner of living among you from the first day that I set foot in [the province of] Asia, and how I continued afterward,
(19)  Serving the Lord with all humility in tears and in the midst of adversity (affliction and trials) which befell me, due to the plots of the Jews [against me];

Acts 20:20 & 21
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(20)  how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,

And yet I did not neglect to preach to you about those things which were good for your souls, and I taught in the streets and from house to house,

(21)  testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus testifying both to the Jews and to the Arameans about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.


Kept back nothing
"Kept back is" from hupesteilamen - to draw under or back.
It was so used of drawing back or down sails on a ship and, as Paul had so recently been on the sea, that may be the metaphor here. But it is not necessarily so as the direct middle here makes good sense and is frequent, to withdraw oneself, to cower, to shrink, to conceal. Demosthenes so used it to shrink from declaring out of fear for others.
(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright © 1985 by Broadman Press.)

No doctrine, no admonition, no labor. Whatever he judged would promote their salvation, he faithfully and fearlessly delivered.

A minister of the gospel must be the judge of what will be profitable to the people of his charge. His aim should be to promote their real welfare to preach what will be profitable. His object will not be to please their fancy, to gratify their taste, to flatter their pride, or to promote his own popularity. "All Scripture is profitable" (2 Tim 3:16); and it will be his aim to declare that only which will tend to promote their real welfare. Even
if it be unpalatable;
if it be the language of reproof and admonition;
if it be doctrine to which the heart is by nature opposed;
if it run counter to the native prejudices and passions of people;
yet, by the grace of God, it should be, and will be delivered.

Proclaimed it to you
Have announced or declared to you. The word here used anangeilai (NT: 312) is most commonly applied to "preaching in public assemblies, or in a public manner."

Publicly and House to House
Though Paul preached in public, and though his time was much occupied in manual labor for his own support (Acts 20:34), yet he did not esteem his public preaching to be all that was required of him, nor his daily occupation to be an excuse for not visiting from house to house.

We may observe here:
(1) That Paul's example is a warrant and an implied injunction for family visitation by a pastor.
If proper in Ephesus, it is proper still.
If practicable in that city, it is in other cities.
If it was useful there, it will be elsewhere.
If it furnished to him consolation in the retrospect when he came to look over his ministry, and if it was one of the things which enabled him to say, "I am pure from the blood of all men," it will be so in other cases.
(2) The design for which ministers should visit should be a religious design. Paul did not visit for mere ceremony; for idle gossip, or chit-chat; or to converse on the news or politics of the day.
His aim was to show the way of salvation, and to teach in private what he taught in public.
(3) How much of this is to be done is, of course, to be left to the discretion of every minister.
Paul, in private visiting, did not neglect public instruction. The latter he evidently considered to be his main or chief business. His high views of preaching are evinced in his life, and in his letters to Timothy and Titus. Yet, while public preaching is the main, the prime, the leading business of a minister, and while his first efforts should be directed to preparation for that, he may and should find time to enforce his public instructions by going from house to house; and often he will find that his most immediate and apparent success will result from such family instructions.
(4) If it is his duty to visit, it is the duty of is people to receive him as becomes an ambassador of Christ.
They should be willing to listen to his instructions; to treat him with kindness, and to aid his endeavors in bringing a family under the influence of religion.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Testifying
Bearing witness to the necessity of repentance toward God. Or teaching them the nature of repentance, and exhorting them to repent and believe. Perhaps the word "testifying" includes both ideas of giving evidence, and of urging with great earnestness and affection that repentance and faith were necessary.

"Charge," in the sense of "strongly urging, or entreating with great earnestness."

To Jews and Greeks
The Gospel is the same for Jews as for non-Jews: repentance and trust in God through Yeshua the Messiah. The Two-Covenant theory is wrong.
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

The Jews will not be saved because of obedience to the Law or Talmud or Mishna or any other Jewish work. They must come by the blood of the Lamb of God and only this way can they receive salvation.
Paul the Learner

"Jews and Greeks," among the Hebrews, denoted "the whole human race."  He urged the necessity of repentance and faith in all.

Paul's ministry:
I. ITS NATURE -- Testimony. He laid no claim to originality: he was simply a witness to tell just what he knew, no more, no less, and in such a way as to create conviction.
1. This testimony was --
(1) Complete -- "I kept back nothing": "I shunned not to declare all," etc.
(2) Profitable. It is worth man's while to listen to it. "Godliness is profitable," etc.
(3) Clear -- "Showed you."
(4) Educational -- "Sought you."
2. This testimony was delivered --
(1) Publicly.
(2) Privately.
II. ITS OBJECTS -- "Jews and Greeks."
1. To all men as generally typified by those two great races.
(1) The gospel is an universal remedy for an universal need.
2. To those whom Jews and Greeks specially represent.
(1) The Jews as representing the Pharisaism, Sadduceeism -- the formalism and religious freethinking of all time.
(2) The Greeks as representing the culture, science, art and worldliness of every age.
(from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.)

Repentance toward God
That those who by sin had gone away from God, and were going further and further from him into a state of endless separation from him, should by true repentance look towards God, turn towards him, move towards him, and hasten to him. He preached repentance as God's great command (ch. 17:30), which we must obey
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

"REPENTANCE" denotes that state of the soul which arises from a discovery of its contrariety to the righteous demands of the divine law. This is said to be "toward God," because seeing Him to be the Party dishonored by sin, it feels all its acknowledgments and compunctions to be properly due to Him as the Great Lawgiver, and directs them to Him accordingly; condemning, humbling itself, and grieving before Him, looking also to Him as its only Hope of deliverance.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ
We must be repentance look towards God as our end; and by faith towards Christ as our way to God. Sin must by repentance be abandoned and forsaken, and then Christ must by faith be relied on for the pardon of sin. Our repentance towards God is not sufficient, we must have a true faith in Christ as our Redeemer and Savior, consenting to him as our Lord and our God. For there is no coming to God, as penitent prodigals to a Father, but in the strength and righteousness of Jesus Christ as Mediator.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

"FAITH" is said to be "toward our Lord Jesus Christ," because, in the frame of mind just described it eagerly credits the testimony of relief divinely provided in Christ, gladly embraces the overtures of reconciliation in Him, and directs all its expectations of salvation, from its first stage to its last, to Him as the one appointed Medium of all grace from God to a sinful world.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

His was a balanced message that included the doctrines and duties, as well as the privileges and responsibilities, that belonged to the Christian life. In his preaching, he neither compromised nor went to extremes, but kept things in balance.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

HISTORICAL OUTLOOK FROM 400 A. D. BY ARCHBISHOP JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Homily 44 - Acts 20:17-21

See him, hasting to sail by, and yet not overlooking them, but taking order for all. Having sent for the rulers, through those he discourses to them (the Ephesians): but it is worthy of admiration, how finding himself under a necessity of saying certain great things about himself, he tries to make the least he can of it.
(Humeís epístasthe). "Ye know."
1. For just as Samuel, when about to deliver up the government to Saul says in their presence, "Have I taken aught of your hands? Ye are witnesses, and God also" (1 Samuel 12:3,5); (so Paul here).
2. David also, when disbelieved, says, "I was with the flock keeping my father's sheep: and when the bear came, I scared her away with my hands" (1 Samuel 17:34,35): and Paul himself too says to the Corinthians "I am become a fool; ye have compelled me." (2 Corinthians 12:11.) Nay, God Himself also does the same, not speaking of himself upon any and every occasion, but only when He is disbelieved, then He brings up His benefits.
3. Accordingly, see what Paul does here: first he adduces their own testimony: that you may not imagine his words to be mere boasting,
4. He calls the hearers themselves as witnesses of the things he says, since he was not likely to speak lies in their presence.
5. This is the excellence of a teacher, to have for witnesses of his merits those who are his disciples.
And what is wonderful, not for one day nor for two, says he, have I continued doing this. He wishes to cheer them for the future, that they may bravely bear all things, both the parting from him, and the trials about to take place-just as it was in the case of Moses and Joshua. And see how he begins: "How I have been with you the whole time, serving the Lord with all humility of mind." Observe, what most becomes rulers: "hating pride" (Exodus 18:21, LXX.), says (Moses): which (qualification) is especially in point for rulers, because to them there is (almost) a necessity of becoming arrogant. This (humility) is the groundwork of all that is good, as in fact Christ saith, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." (Matthew 5:3.) And (here) not simply, "with humility of mind," but, "with all humility." For there are many kinds of humility, in word and in action, towards rulers, and toward the ruled. Will you that I mention to you some kinds of humility? There are some who are lowly towards those who are lowly, and high towards the high: this is not the character of humility.
(from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Volume 11, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(20)  How I did not shrink from telling you anything that was for your benefit and teaching you in public meetings and from house to house,
(21)  But constantly and earnestly I bore testimony both to Jews and Greeks, urging them to turn in repentance [that is due] to God and to have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ [that is due Him].

Acts 20:22 & 23
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(22)  And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,

And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in the spirit, now knowing what will happen to me there.

(23)  except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.

Save that in every city the Holy Spirit testifies to me, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.


True intellectual heroes in Greco-Roman tradition were those who believed their teaching so much that they were willing to die for it; philosophers who died for their beliefs were considered noble and brave. Paul stands in the Old Testament prophetic tradition of speaking God's message no matter what the cost, but he also presents his message in a manner that resonates with the best in his hearers' culture.

Bound in the spirit
Strongly urged or constrained by the influences of the Holy Spirit on my mind. Not by any desire to see the place where my fathers worshipped, and not urged merely by reason, but by the convictions and mighty promptings of the Holy Spirit to do my duty in this case.
The expression "bound in the spirit" dedemenos (NT: 1210) too (NT: 3588) pneumati (NT: 4151) is one of great strength and emphasis.
The word deoo (NT: 1210), "to bind," is usually applied to "confinement by cords, fetters, or bands"; and then it denotes "any strong obligation,"  or "anything that strongly urges or impels."
When we are strongly urged by the convictions of duty, by the influences of the Holy Spirit, we should not shrink from danger or from death. Duty is to be done at all hazards. It is ours to follow the directions of God; results we may safely and confidently leave with him.

He knew that calamities and trials of some kind awaited him, but he did not know:
(1) Of what particular kind they would be; nor,
(2) Their issue, whether it would be life or death. We should commit our way unto God, not knowing what trials may be before us in life; but knowing that, if we are found faithful at the post of duty, we have nothing to fear in the result.

This was all that he knew, that bonds and afflictions were to be his portion. Either by direct revelation to him, or by the predictions of inspired men whom Paul might meet. It is probable that the meaning here is that the Holy Spirit had deeply impressed the mind of Paul by his direct influences, and by his experience in every city, that bonds and trials were to be his portion. Such had been his experience in every city where he had preached the gospel by the direction of the Holy Spirit, that he regarded it as his certain portion that he was thus to be afflicted.

In almost every city where Paul had been, he had been subjected to these trials. He had been persecuted, stoned, and scourged. So uniform was this, so constant had been his experience in this way, that he regarded it as his certain portion to be thus afflicted, and he approached Jerusalem, and every other city, with a confident expectation that such trials awaited him there.

From the Amplified Bible
(22)  And now, you see, I am going to Jerusalem, bound by the [Holy] Spirit and obligated and compelled by the [convictions of my own] spirit, not knowing what will befall me there —
(23)  Except that the Holy Spirit clearly and emphatically affirms to me in city after city that imprisonment and suffering await me.

Acts 20:24
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(24)  But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

But to me my life is nothing; I am not afraid. I desire only that I may finish my course with joy and the ministry which I have received from our Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

None of these things move me
Alarm me, or deter me from my purpose.
Greek: "I make an account of none of them."  I do not regard them as of any moment or as worth consideration in the great purpose to which I have devoted my life.

Nor do I count my life dear
I do not consider my life as so valuable as to be retained by turning away from bonds and persecutions. I am certain of bonds and afflictions; I am willing also, if it be necessary, to lay down my life in the prosecution of the same purpose.

So precious or valuable as to be retained at the sacrifice of duty. I am willing to sacrifice it if it be necessary. This was the spirit of the Savior, and of all the early Christians. Duty is of more importance than life; and when either duty or life is to be sacrificed, life is to be cheerfully surrendered.

So that I may finish...with joy
This is my main object, to finish my course with joy. It is implied here:

(1) That this was the great purpose which Paul had in view.
(2) That if he should even lay down his life in this cause, it would be a finishing his course with joy. In the faithful discharge of duty, he had nothing to fear. Life would be ended with peace whenever God should require him to finish his course.

"Finish the course" (e.g., NASB) or "finish the race" (NIV) are athletic images; philosophers often used such images to describe their own mission.

Close my career as an apostle and a Christian. Life is thus represented as a course, or race that is to be run,
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Hebrews 12:1
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
1 Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

With the approbation of conscience and of God, with peace in the recollection of the past. Man should strive so to live that he will have nothing to regret when he lies on a bed of death. It is a glorious privilege to finish life with joy. It is most sad when the last hours are embittered with the reflection that life has been wasted. The only way in which life may be finished with joy is by meeting faithfully every duty, and encountering, as Paul did, every trial, with a constant desire to glorify God.

Testify...of the grace of God
To bear witness to the good news of the favor of God. This is the great design of the ministry. It is to bear witness to a dying world of the good news that God is merciful, and that his favor may be made manifest to sinners. From this verse we may learn:

(1) That we all have a course to run, a duty to perform.
Ministers have an allotted duty; and so have men in all ranks and professions.
(2) We should not be deterred by danger, or the fear of death, from the discharge of that duty.
We are safe only when we are doing the will of God.
We are really in danger only when we neglect our duty, and make the great God our enemy.
(3) We should so live as that the end of our course may be joy.
It is, at best, a solemn thing to die; but death may be a scene of triumph and of joy.
(4) It matters little when, or where, or how we die if we die in the discharge of our duty to God.
He will order the circumstances of our departure, and He can sustain us in the last conflict. Happy is that life which is spent in doing the will of God, and peaceful that death which closes a life of toil and trial in the service of the Lord Jesus.

HISTORICAL OUTLOOK FROM 400 A. D. BY ARCHBISHOP JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Homily 44 - Acts 20:22-24
He adds, "And now, behold, I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there :save that the Holy Ghost witnesses in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God." (v. 22-24).
Wherefore says he this? By way of preparing them to be always ready to meet dangers, whether seen or unseen, and in all things to obey the Spirit. He shows that it is for great objects that he is led away from them. "Save that the Holy Ghost," he says, me, "in every city witnesses to me saying"-to show that he departs willingly; that you may not imagine it any bond or necessity, when he says, "bound in the Spirit-that in every city bonds and afflictions await me." Then also he adds this, "I count not my life dear, until I shall have fulfilled my course and the ministry, which I received of the Lord Jesus." Until I shall have finished my course, says he, with joy.
Do you mark how (clearly) these were the words not of one lamenting, but of one who forbore to make the most (of his troubles) of one who would instruct those (whom he addressed), and sympathize with them in the things which were befalling He says not, "I grieve indeed, but one must needs bear it:" "but," says he, "of none of those things do I make account, neither do I have," i. e. account "my life dear to me." Why this again? not to extol himself, but to teach them, as by the former words, humility, so by these, fortitude and boldness: "I have it not precious," i.e. "I love it not before this: I account it more precious to finish my course, to testify."
And he says not, "to preach," "to teach" - but what says he? "to testify - the Gospel of the grace of God." He is about to say something more uncomfortable, namely, "I am pure from the blood of all men (because on my part) there is nothing lacking:" he is about to lay upon them the whole weight and burden: so he first mollifies their feelings by saying, "And now behold I know that ye shall see my face no more." The consolation is twofold: both that "my face ye shall see no more," for in heart I am with you: and that it was not they alone (who should see him no more): for, "ye shall see my face no more, ye all, among whom I have gone about preaching the Kingdom." So that he may well (say), "Wherefore I take you to record seeing I shall be with you no more-" that I am pure from the blood of all men." (v. 26.)
(from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Volume 11, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(24)  But none of these things move me; neither do I esteem my life dear to myself, if only I may finish my course with joy and the ministry which I have obtained from [which was entrusted to me by] the Lord Jesus, faithfully to attest to the good news (Gospel) of God's grace (His unmerited favor, spiritual blessing, and mercy).

Acts 20:25-28
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(25)  "And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.

And now I know that you among whom I have traveled and preached the kingdom of God shall see my face no more.

(26)  Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.

Therefore, I testify to you this very day that I am innocent of the blood of all.

(27)  For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

For I have never shunned to declare to you all the will of God.

(28)  Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.


I am innocent of the blood of all
To the unbelieving Jews of Corinth Sha’ul had said, “Your blood be on your own heads; for my part, I am clean” (18:6&N). At the outset the Corinthians had refused to hear him; these Ephesian elders, attentive till now, still risk falling away and having blood guilt on their heads. The serious problems that will arise in Ephesus after he leaves (vv. 28-31) he has tried to avert by proclaiming the whole plan of God; their responsibility is to remain in “the care of the Lord and the message of his love and kindness” (v. 32).

The image of secondhand guilt for someone's blood is common in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 21:1-9), but here Paul refers especially to the watchman who does not warn the wicked to turn from his or her way (Ezekiel 3:18-20; 33:8-9).
Ezekiel 3:18-19
When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
Ezekiel 33:8-11
When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall surely die!' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

Overseers
Episkópous (NT: 1985)  a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, any curator, guardian, or superintendent.

"Overseer" was usually a Greek term for a ruling officer, although the Dead Sea Scrolls include a Hebrew equivalent. Even though the image of shepherd as a leader is not exclusively Jewish, it is especially Old Testament language for the leaders of God's people. God would call shepherds to account for how they watched over his flock.

From the Amplified Bible
(26)  Therefore I testify and protest to you on this [our parting] day that I am clean and innocent and not responsible for the blood of any of you.
(27)  For I never shrank or kept back or fell short from declaring to you the whole purpose and plan and counsel of God.
(28)  Take care and be on guard for yourselves and the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you bishops and guardians, to shepherd (tend and feed and guide) the church of the Lord or of God which He obtained for Himself [buying it and saving it for Himself] with His own blood.

Acts 20:29-31
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(29)  For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.

For I know this, that after I have departed, fierce wolves will attack you, which will not spare the flock.

(30)  Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Also from among yourselves, men shall arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them.

(31)  Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

Therefore watch and remember that for three years, night and day, I did not cease to teach every one of you with tears.


Savage wolves
Persons professing to be teachers; Judaizing Christians, who, instead of feeding the flock, would feed themselves, even to the oppression and ruin of the church.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Paul was referring to false teachers, the counterfeits who exploit the church for personal gain (Matt 7:15-23; 10:16; Luke 10:3; 2 Peter 2:1-3). How important it is that believers know the Word of God and be able to detect and defeat these religious racketeers.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
Matthew 7:15
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Matthew 10:16
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
2 Peter 2:1-3
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

These verses explain the need for the command to elders to guard themselves and the flock. False teachers, called savage wolves, would enter the flock, or even some of their own would distort the truth. This warning is attested by subsequent references to the church at Ephesus (1 Tim 1:6-7,19-20; 4:1-7; 2 Tim 1:15; 2:17-18; 3:1-9; Rev 2:1-7). Again Paul urged the leaders, Be on your guard!
(from Bible Knowledge Commentary/Old Testament Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries; Bible Knowledge Commentary/New Testament Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries. All rights reserved.)

Paul predicted that troubles would come to the Ephesian church from two sources:
1. fierce wolves would enter the church from without,
2. false teachers would arise from their own midst
to turn disciples away from the faith. The growth of heresy at Ephesus is reflected in 1 Tim 1:3-7.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)
1 Tim 1:6-7
...some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

Exhortation often appealed to people to remember. "Night and day" was a standard way of saying "all the time"; parts of a night and of a day could be reckoned as the whole.

HISTORICAL OUTLOOK FROM 400 A. D. BY ARCHBISHOP JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Homily 44 – Acts 20:28-31
Why then, he who does not speak, has blood to answer for: that is, murder! Nothing could be more terrifying than this. He shows that they also, if they do it not, have blood to answer for. So, whereas he seems to be justifying himself, in fact he is terrifying them. "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers (or, bishops) to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood." (v. 28.) Do you mark? he enjoins them two things.
1. Neither success in bringing others right of itself is any gain-for,
2. I fear, he says, "lest by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away" (1 Corinthians 9:27); nor the being diligent for one's self alone.
For such an one is selfish, and seeks his own good only, and is like to him who buried his talent. "Take heed to yourselves:" this he says, not because our own salvation is more precious than that of the flock, but because, when we take heed to ourselves, then the flock also is a gainer. "In which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God." See, it is from the Spirit ye have your ordination. This is one constraint: then he says, "To feed the Church of the Lord." Lo! another obligation: the Church is the Lord's. And a third: "which He hath purchased with His own blood." It shows how precious the concern is; that the peril is about no small matters, seeing that even His own blood He spared not. He indeed, that he might reconcile those who were enemies, poured out even His blood: but thou, even when they are become thy friends, art not able to retain them. "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock." (v. 29.)
Again he engages them from another quarter, from the things which should come after: as when he says, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood. After my departing," he says, "grievous wolves shall enter in among you" (Ephesians 6:12); twofold the evil, both
1. That he himself would not be present, and
2. That others would assail them.
"Then why depart, if thou knowest this beforehand?" The Spirit draws me, he says. Both "wolves," and "grievous, not sparing the flock;" and what is worse, even "from among your own selves:" the grievous thing (this), when the war is moreover an intestine war. The matter is exceeding serious, for it is "the Church of the Lord :" great the peril for with blood He redeemed it: mighty the war, and twofold. "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (v. 30.) "How then? what comfort shall there be?" "Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." (v. 31.) See how many strong expressions are here: "with tears," and "night and day," and "every one."
For it was not that if he saw many, then he came in (to the work), but even were it for a single soul, he was capable of doing everything (for that one soul). So it was, in fact, that he compacted them together
( sunekrothsen ) (so firmly as he did). "Enough done on my part: three years have I remained:" they had establishing enough, he says; enough of roofing. "With tears," he says. Seest thou that the tears were on this account? The bad man grieves not: grieve thou: perhaps he will grieve also. As, when the sick man sees his physician partaking of food, he also is incited to do the same: so likewise here, when he sees thee weeping, he is softened: he will be a good and great man.
(from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Volume 11, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Note: Say you have gone to a place that had never heard the gospel and you worked for a living to support yourself and even others, and you started a work and build it up and put someone in charge of this work, and being a prophet of God you knew that your works would be destroyed after you left, how would you feel?
Paul the Learner

From the Amplified Bible
(29)  I know that after I am gone, ferocious wolves will get in among you, not sparing the flock;
(30)  Even from among your own selves men will come to the front who, by saying perverse (distorted and corrupt) things, will endeavor to draw away the disciples after them [to their own party].
(31)  Therefore be always alert and on your guard, being mindful that for three years I never stopped night or day seriously to admonish and advise and exhort you one by one with tears.

Acts 20:32-35
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(32)  "So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all the saints.

(33)  I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel.

I have never coveted silver or gold or apparel.

(34)  Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.

Indeed you yourselves know that my own hands have provided for my needs and for those who have been with me.

(35)  I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

I have showed you all things, how that one must work hard and be mindful of the weak and remember the words of our Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.


There are also dangers within us, and this seems to be where Paul put the greatest emphasis. "Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves" (Acts 20:28). He names five sins that are especially destructive to the life and ministry of spiritual leaders in the church.
The first is carelessness (Acts 20:31),
failing to stay alert and forgetting the price that others have paid so that we might have God's truth. "Watch and remember!" are words we had better heed. It is so easy for us today to forget the toil and tears of those who labored before us (Hebrews 13:7). Paul’s warning and weeping should be constant reminders to us to take our spiritual responsibilities seriously.
The second sin is shallowness (Acts 20:32).
We cannot build the church unless God is building our lives daily. There is a balance here between prayer ("I commend you to God") and the Word of God ("the word of His grace"), because these two must always work together (1 Samuel 12:23; John 15:7; Acts 6:4). The Word of God alone is able to edify and enrich us, and the spiritual leader must spend time daily in the Word of God and prayer.
Covetousness is the third sin we must avoid (Acts 20:33)
It means a consuming and controlling desire for what others have and for more of what we ourselves already have. "Thou shalt not covet" is the last of the Ten Commandments, but if we do covet we will end up breaking all the other nine! Those who covet will steal, he, and murder to get what they want and even dishonor their own parents. Covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5). In the qualifications for an elder, it is expressly stated that he must not be guilty of the sin of covetousness (1 Timothy 3:3).
Paul also mentioned laziness (Acts 20:34)
Paul earned his own way as a tentmaker, even though he could have used his apostolic authority to demand support and thereby have an easier life. It is not wrong for Christian workers to receive salaries, for "the laborer is worthy of his hire" (Luke 10:7; 1 Timothy 5:18). But they should be certain that they are really earning those salaries! (Read Proverbs 24:30-34.)
Finally, Paul warned about selfishness (Acts 20:35)
True ministry means giving, not getting, it means following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ Dr. Earl V. Pierce used to call this "the supreme beatitude" because, unlike the other beatitudes, it tells us how to be more blessed! These words of Jesus are not found anywhere in the Gospels, but they were a part of the oral tradition, and Paul memorized them.

This beatitude does not suggest that people who receive are "less blessed" than people who give. (The beggar in Acts 3 would argue about that!) It could be paraphrased, "It's better to share with others than to keep what you have and collect more." In other words, the blessing does not come in accumulating wealth, but in sharing After all, Jesus became poor that we might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). One of the best commentaries; on this statement is Luke 12:16-31.
2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Paul closed this memorable occasion by kneeling down and praying for his friends, and then they all wept together. It is a difficult thing to say good-bye, especially when you know you will not see your friends again in this life. But we have the blessed assurance that we will one day see our Christian friends and loved ones in heaven, when Jesus Christ returns (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Meanwhile, there is a job to be done - so, let's do it!
(From The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

An inheritance
"An inheritance among all those who are sanctified" (NASB) (i.e., "set apart" or "separated" for God) refers to the Jewish hope that they as God's people would inherit the world to come, just as Israel had "inherited" the Promised Land.
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

Paul continually looked forward to the time when he and his converts should meet in the heavenly kingdom; this helped to sustain him under persecution and disappointment. He turned from the shame which was put upon him by man to the glory which waited to be revealed, and his heart was more than satisfied. This should be the result of our contemplation of the future; it should lead to inward exaltation. It should lead to
(1) such devotedness to the work we are doing for our Master that we shall rise above the fear of man, and even welcome the losses we endure for Christ's sake;
(2) the devout committing of ourselves and of our charge to the love and faithfulness of him who is unfailingly gracious and true;
(3) a sustaining, animating hope, in whose blessed radiance all earthly experiences are lighted up. But in order to this there is presupposed in us what there was in Paul;
(4) an entire surrender of ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ himself. - C.
(from The Pulpit Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Philosophers were often accused of seeking personal monetary gain, and many (especially those who acted from sincere motives) had to deny it, providing supporting evidence for their denial. "Clothes" (NASB) were part of one's substance in the ancient East, just as silver coins were.

Working with one's hands was not humiliating to an artisan, but the small upper class (who drew their income from landowning) and most of the philosophical elite despised manual labor. Many rabbis had trades, but philosophers preferred charging fees, sponging off rich nobles or begging. The motives of those who gave freely (what ancients called benefaction) were harder to question, as philosophers who lived off charity and moralists who demanded no return often pointed out.
(From IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

THE MODEL MINISTER – OR SUCCESSFUL SERVANT:
1. (v. 19) The general business…Serving the Lord
2. (v. 28) The obligation…Taking heed to ourselves and all the flock
3. (v. 21) The substance of the message…Repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ
4. (v. 20) The place…Publicly and from house to house
5. (vs. 19, 31) The object and manner…Warning every one, night and day, with all humility of mind and with tears
6. (v. 18) The time…At all seasons
7. (v. 18) The endurance…From the first day
8. (v. 20, 26, 27) The faithfulness and integrity…I have kept back nothing…I am pure from the blood of all men, for I have not shunned declaring the whole counsel of God
9. (v. 33) The innocence and self-denial…I have coveted no man’s silver or gold
10. (v. 24) The patience and resolution…None of these things move me
11. (v. 32) The faith, trust and confidence…I commend you to God
12. (v. 28) The source…The Holy Ghost hath made us overseers
13. (v. 28) The recipients…The Church of God, which He hath purchased
                   WITH HIS OWN BLOOD

HISTORICAL OUTLOOK FROM 400 A. D. BY ARCHBISHOP JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Homily 45 - Acts 20:32
What he does when writing in an Epistle, this he does also when speaking in council: from exhorting, he ends with prayer: for since he had much alarmed them by saying, "Grievous wolves shall enter in among you" (v. 29), therefore, not to overpower them, and make them lose all self-possession, observe the consolation (he gives). "And now," he says, as always, "I commend you, brethren, to God, and to the word of His grace: that is, to His grace: it is grace that saveth. He constantly puts them in mind of grace, to make them more earnest as being debtors, and to persuade them to have confidence. "Which is able to build you up." He does not say, to build, but, "to build up," showing that they had (already) been built. Then he puts them in mind of the hope to come; "to give you an inheritance," he says, "among all them which are sanctified."
Then exhortation again: "I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel." (v. 33.) He takes away that which is the root of evils, the love of money. "Silver, or gold," he says. He says not, I have not taken, but, not even "coveted." No great thing this, but what follows after is great. "Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so laboring, ye ought to support the weak." (v. 34, 35.) Observe him employed in work and not simply that, but toiling. "These hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me:" so as to put them to shame. And see how worthily of them. For he says not, Ye ought to show yourselves superior to money, but what? "to support the weak"-not all indiscriminately-"and to hear the word of the Lord which He spake, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
For lest any one should think that it was spoken with reference to them, and that he gave himself for an ensample, as he elsewhere says, "giving an ensample to you" (Philippians 3:17), he added the declaration of Christ, Who said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." He prayed over them while exhorting them: he shows it both by action,-"And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all," (v. 36)-he did not simply pray, but with much feeling:  great was the consolation-and by his saying, "I commend you to the Lord. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more." (v. 37, 38.) "And they accompanied them," it says, "unto the ship. And it came to pass, that after we had torn ourselves from them"-so much did they love him, such was their affection towards him-"and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: and finding a ship sailing over unto Phoenicia, we went aboard, and set forth. Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre" (Acts 21:1-3). (Archbishop John Chrysostom of Constantinople A. D. 400)
(from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Volume 11, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(32)  And now [brethren], I commit you to God [I deposit you in His charge, entrusting you to His protection and care]. And I commend you to the Word of His grace [to the commands and counsels and promises of His unmerited favor]. It is able to build you up and to give you [your rightful] inheritance among all God's set-apart ones (those consecrated, purified, and transformed of soul).
(33)  I coveted no man's silver or gold or [costly] garments.
(34)  You yourselves know personally that these hands ministered to my own needs and those [of the persons] who were with me.
(35)  In everything I have pointed out to you [by example] that, by working diligently in this manner, we ought to assist the weak, being mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, It is more blessed (makes one happier and more to be envied) to give than to receive.

Acts 20:36-38
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(36)  And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

And when he had thus spoken, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

(37)  Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him,

And they all wept bitterly, and they embraced him and kissed him;

(38)  sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.

But they were most distressed because of the words he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.


Brief kisses might be used in momentary greetings, but repeated kissing and embraces were signs of great affection, such as one would bestow on a family member, a dear teacher or a close friend; thus Paul had bonded deeply with these Christians (cf. 1 Samuel 20:41). Many Romans and Greek philosophers believed that it was not proper for men to cry, but narrative sources often report it in extreme circumstances, such as a sad parting.
(From IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

After the parting sermon that Paul preached to the elders of Ephesus, which was very affecting, we have here the parting prayer and tears, which were yet more affecting; we can scarcely read the account here given of them, and meditate upon them with dry eyes.
I.  They parted with prayer
1. It was a joint prayer.
He not only prayed for them, but prayed with them, prayed with them all; that they might put up the same petitions for themselves and one another that he put up to God for them all, and that they might learn what to ask of God for themselves when he was gone.
2. It was a humble reverent prayer.
This was expressed by the posture they used: He kneeled down, and prayed with them, which is the most proper gesture in prayer, and significant both of adoration and of petition, especially petition for the forgiveness of sin.
3. It was a prayer after sermon;
and, we may suppose, he prayed over what he had preached. He had committed the care of the church at Ephesus to those elders, and now he prays that God would enable them faithfully to discharge this great trust reposed in them, and would give them those measures of wisdom and grace which it required; he prayed for the flock, and all that belonged to it, that the great Shepherd of the sheep would take care of them all, and keep them from being a prey to the grievous wolves.
 
II. They parted with tears
1. They all wept sorely
We have reason to think the Paul himself began; though he was determined to go, and saw his call clear to other work, yet he was sorry in his heart to leave them.
2. They fell upon Paul's neck, and kissed him, all, one after another, each bewailing his own loss.
3. That which cut them to the heart thus, and made this place such a Bochim, such a place of weepers, was, that word which Paul spoke, that he was certain they should see his face no more. If he had given them directions to follow him, as he did to those that were his usual companions, or any intimation that he would come hereafter and make them a visit, they could have borne this parting pretty well; but when they are told that they shall see his face no more in this world, that it is a final farewell they are now giving and taking, this makes it a great mourning
 
III. They accompanied him unto the ship, partly to show their respect for him (they would bring him on his way as far as they could), and partly that they might have a little more of his company and conversation; if it must be the last interview, they will have as much of him as they can, and see the last of him. And we have reason to think that when they came to the water-side, and he was about to go on board, their tears and embraces were repeated. But this was a comfort to both sides, and soon turned this tide of passion, that the presence of Christ both went with him and staid with them.  
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(36)  Having spoken thus, he knelt down with them all and prayed.
(37)  And they all wept freely and threw their arms around Paul's neck and kissed him fervently and repeatedly,
(38)  Being especially distressed and sorrowful because he had stated that they were about to see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.



(End of Chapter Twenty)

 

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