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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - ACTS 20

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    CHAPTER XX

    1. Embraced (aspasamenov). Better, as Rev., took leave. The word is used for a salutation either at meeting or parting. See ch. xxi. 6, 7.

    2. Greece. The Roman province of Achaia, comprehending Greece proper and the Peloponnesus. Luke uses Achaia (ch. xxix. 21) and Greece synonymously, as distinguished from Macedonia.

    3. Sail (anagesqai). Better, as Rev., set sail. See on Luke viii. 22; and compare Luke v. 3.

    4. So pater. The best texts add, the son of Pyrrhus. Compare Romans xvi. 21.

    Aristarchus. Compare Acts xix. 29.

    Gaius. Not the one mentioned in ch. xix. 29, who was a Macedonian.

    Tychicus and Trophimus. See Col. iv. 7, 8; Eph. vi. 21, 22; 2 Timothy iv. 12; Tit. iii. 2; Acts xxi. 29; 2 Tim. iv. 20.

    5. Us. The first person resumed, indicating that Luke had joined Paul.

    6. In five days (acriv hmerwn pente). Lit., "up to five days," indicating the duration of the voyage from Philippi.

    7. First (th mia). Lit., "the one day." The cardinal numeral here used for the ordinal.

    Week (sabbatwn). The plural used for the singular, in imitation of the Hebrew form. The noun Sabbath is often used after numerals in the signification of a week. See Matt. xxviii. 1; Mark xvi. 1; John xx. 19. To break bread. The celebration of the eucharist, coupled with the Agape, or love-feast.

    Preached (dielegeto). Better, as Rev., discoursed with them. It was a mingling of preaching and conference. Our word dialogue is derived from the verb.

    8. Many lights. A detail showing the vivid impression of the scene upon an eye-witness. It has been remarked that the abundance of lights shows how little of secrecy or disorder attached to these meetings.

    The upper chamber. See on ch. i. 13.

    9. The window. See on ch. ix. 25. The windows of an Eastern house are closed with lattice-work, and usually reach down to the floor, resembling a door rather than a window. They open, for the most part, to the court, and not to the street, and are usually kept open on account of the heat.

    Fallen into a deep sleep (kataferomenov upnw baqei). Lit., born down by, etc. A common Greek phrase for being over come by sleep. In medical language the verb was more frequently used in this sense, absolutely, than with the addition of sleep. In this verse the word is used twice: in the first instance, in the present participle, denoting the corning on of drowsiness - falling asleep; and the second time, in the aorist participle, denoting his being completely overpowered by sleep. Mr. Hobart thinks that the mention of the causes of Eutychus' drowsiness - the heat and smell arising; from the numerous lamps, the length of the discourse, and the lateness of the hour - are characteristic of a physician's narrative. Compare Luke xxii. 45.

    Dead (nekrov). Actually dead. Not as dead, or for dead.

    10. Fell on him. Compare 1 Kings xvii. 21; 2 Kings iv. 34.

    Trouble not yourselves (mh qorubeisqe). Rev., more correctly, make ye no ado. They were beginning to utter passionate outcries. See Matthew ix. 23; Mark v. 39.

    His life is in him. In the same sense in which Christ said, "The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth" (Luke viii. 52).

    11. Having gone up. From the court to the chamber above.

    Talked (omilhsav). Rather, communed. It denotes a more familiar and confidential intercourse than discoursed, in verse 7.

    13. To go afoot (pezeuein). Only here in New Testament. There is no good reason for changing this to by land, as Rev. The A.V. preserves the etymology of the Greek verb. The distance was twenty miles; less than half the distance by sea.

    15. Arrived (parebalomen). Only here and Mark iv. 30, where it is used more nearly according to its original sense, to throw beside; to bring one thing beside another in comparison. Here, of bringing the vessel alongside the island. The narrative implies that they only touched (Rev.) there, but not necessarily the word.

    16. To spend time (cronotribhsai). Only here in New Testament. The word carries the suggestion of a waste of time, being compounded with tribw, to rub; to wear out by rubbing. The sense is nearly equivalent to our expression, fritter away time.

    17. Having sent to Ephesus. About thirty miles.

    Elders. Called overseers or bishops in verse 28.

    20. Kept back (upesteilamhn). A picturesque word. Originally, to draw in or contract. Used of furling sails, and of closing the fingers; of drawing back for shelter; of keeping back one's real thoughts; by physicians, of withholding food from patients. It is rather straining a point to say, as Canon Farrar, that Paul is using a nautical metaphor suggested by his constantly hearing the word for furling sail used during his voyage. Paul's metaphors lie mainly on the lines of military life, architecture, agriculture, and the Grecian games. The statement of Canon Farrar, that he "constantly draws his metaphors from the sights and circumstances immediately around him," is rather at variance with his remark that, with one exception, he "cannot find a single word which shows that Paul had even the smallest susceptibility for the works of nature" ("Paul," i., 19). Nautical metaphors are, to say the least, not common in Paul's writings. I believe there are but three instances: Eph. iv. 14; 1 Tim. i. 19; vi. 9. Paul means here that he suppressed nothing of the truth through fear of giving offense. Compare Gal. ii. 12; Heb. x. 38.

    21. Repentance toward God. Repentance has the article: the repentance which is due to God. So, also, faith: the faith which is due toward Christ, as the advocate and mediator.

    29. Bound in the spirit. In his own spirit. Constrained by an invincible sense of duty. Not by the Holy Spirit, which is mentioned in the next verse and distinguished by the epithet the Holy.

    23. Testifieth (diamarturetai). The compound verb signifies full, clear testimony. Not by internal intimations of the Spirit, but by prophetic declarations "in every city." Two of these are mentioned subsequently, at Tyre and Caesarea (ch xxi. 4, 11).

    24. But none of these things move me, neither count I, etc. The best texts omit neither count I, and render, I esteem my life of no account, as if it were precious to myself.

    Dear (timian). Of value; precious.

    Course (dromon). A favorite metaphor of Paul, from the race-course. See 1 Cor. ix. 24-27; Philip. iii. 14; 2 Tim. iv. 7.

    25. I know. The I is emphatic: I know through these special revelations to myself (ver. 23).

    26. This day (th shmeron hmera). Very forcible. Lit., on today's day; this, our parting day.

    27. Shunned. The same word as in verse xx. kept back.

    28. To yourselves and to all the flock. To yourselves first, that you may duly care for the flock. Compare 1 Tim. iv. 16.

    Overseers (episkopouv). Denoting the official function of the elders, but not in the later ecclesiastical sense of bishops, as implying an order distinct from presbyters or elders. The two terms are synonymous. The elders, by virtue of their office, were overseers. 26 To feed (poimainein). See on Matt. ii. 6. The word embraces more than feeding; signifying all that is included in the office of a shepherd: tending, or shepherding.

    Purchased (periepoihsato). Only here and 1 Tim. iii. 13. See on peculiar people, 1 Pet. ii. 9. The verb means, originally, to make (poiew) to remain over and above (peri): hence to keep or save for one's self; to compass or acquire.

    29. Grievous (bareiv). Lit., heavy: violent, rapacious.

    31. Watch (grhgoreite). See on Mark viii. 35.

    To warn (nouqetwn). From nouv, the mind, and tiqhmi, to put. Lit., to put in mind; admonish (so Rev., better than warn). "It's fundamental idea is the well-intentioned seriousness with which one would influence the mind and disposition of another by advice, admonition, warning, putting right, according to circumstances" (Cremer).

    32. I commend. See on 1 Pet. iv. 19.

    Build you up. A metaphor in constant use by Paul, and preserved in the words edify, edification (Latin, aedes, "a house" and facere, "to make") by which oijkodomew and its kindred words are frequently rendered. In old English the word edify was used in its original sense of build. Thus Wycliffe renders Gen. ii. 22, "The Lord God edified the rib which he took of Adam, into a woman."

    So, too, Spenser:

    "a little wide There was a holy temple edified." Faerie Queene, i., 1, 34.

    33. Raiment. Mentioned along with gold and silver because it formed a large part of the wealth of orientals. They traded in costly garments, or kept them stored up for future use. See on purple, Luke xvi. 19; and compare Ezra ii. 69; Neh. vii. 70; Job xxvii. 16. This fact accounts for the allusions to the destructive power of the moth (Matt. vi. 19; Jas. v. 2).

    35. I have shewed you all things (panta upedeixa umin). The verb means to shew by example. Thus Luke vi. 47, "I will shew you to whom he is like," is followed by the illustration of the man who built upon the rock. So acts ix. 16. God will shew Paul by practical experience how great things he must suffer. The kindred noun uJpodeigma is always rendered example or pattern. See John xiii. 15; Jas. v. 10, etc.; and note on 2 Pet. ii. 6. Rev., correctly, In all things I gave you an example.

    So. As I have done.

    To help (antilambanesqai). See on Luke i. 54.

    He said (autov eipe). Rev., more strictly, "he himself said." This saying of Jesus is not recorded by the Evangelists, and was received by Paul from oral tradition.

    The speech of Paul to the Ephesian elders "bears impressed on it the mark of Paul's mind: its ideas, its idioms, and even its very words are Pauline; so much so as to lead Alford to observe that we have probably the literal report of the words spoken by Paul. 'It is,' he remarks, 'a treasure-house of words, idioms, and sentences peculiar to the apostle himself"' (Gloag).

    37. Kissed (katefiloun). See on Matt. xxvi. 49.

    38. See (qewrein). See on Luke x. 18. The word for steadfast, earnest contemplation suggests the interest and affection with which they looked upon his countenance for the last time.

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