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Bible Commentaries
Acts 20

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

PAUL’S LAST JOURNEY FROM ASIA, HIS MISSION TO JERUSALEM V. 1-5

1) "And after the uproar was ceased," (meta de to pausasthai ton thoroubon) "Then after the uproar had been caused to cease," when all was quieted down in Ephesus again.

2) "Paul called unto him the disciples” (metapempsamenos ho Paulos tous mathetas) "Paul summoned the disciples," of the church at Ephesus, and perhaps some from other local churches in Asia Minor.

3) "And embraced them," (kai parakalesas) "And exhorting, embracing or motivating them," to go on in the common faith, 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9; Judges 1:3; By this joined emotional parting the disciples confirmed their love and commitment to one another, to Paul, and to the continued spread of the gospel thru the church, John 13:34-35; Ephesians 3:21.

4) "And departed for to go into Macedonia," (aspasamenos ekselthen poreuesthai eis Makedonian) "Saluting (them) he went out from them to travel into Macedonia," a country north and northeast of Greece, a Roman proconsular province from B.C. 142 till the time of Tiberius, then from the time of Claudius Caesar 41 A.D. it, with Achaia, became the whole of Greece, 1 Corinthians 16:5; 2 Corinthians 2:12-13; Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 9:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:8.

Verse 2

1)"And when he had gone over those parts," (dietlthon de ta mera ekeina) "Then when he had gone through those parts," where he had formerly labored in Macedonia, inclusive of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, Acts 16:12; Acts 17:1; Acts 17:10.

2) "And had given them much exhortation," (kai parakalesas autous logo pollo) "And when he had exhorted or encouraged them with much speech," with much reasoning and many words from the scriptures, as later found in 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, to "watch and be sober," to "abstain from every form of evil," to "be at peace among themselves," and to "be not weary in well doing," 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 1 Thessalonians 3:13.

3) "He came into Greece," (elthen eis ten hellada) "He entered into Greece," south of Macedonia, Acts 17:15; Acts 18:1, with Corinth as its capitol.

Verse 3

1) "And there abode three months." (poiesas te menas treis) "And there he spent a period of three months," in the spring of A.D. 57, in Greece, perhaps Corinth and Cenchrea, Romans 16:1.

2) "And when the Jews laid wait for him," (genomenes epiboules auto hupo ton loudaion) "There existing a plot against him, originated by the Jews," as a plot was formed against him, instigated by the Jews, as in Acts 9:23; Acts 23:12; Acts 25:23 and recounted again, 2 Corinthians 11:26.

3) "As he was about to sail into Syria," (mellonti aganesthai eis ten Surian) "As he was about to set sail into Syria," from where he first began his extensive missionary tours, Acts 13:1-4; Acts 15:34-41. His intention was to go on from Syria to Jerusalem.

4) "He purposed to return through Macedonia." (egeneto gnomestou hupostrephaindia Makedonias)"He was of a mind (disposed) to return through Macedonia," tracing his recent tour there, through Greece and Macedonia with view to securing charitable gifts for the needy saints in Jerusalem and Judea, Acts 19:21.

Verse 4

1) "And there accompanied him," (suneipeto de auto) "Then there went in colleague with him," in close affinity of fellowship and purpose with Paul.

2) "Into Asia Sopater, of Berea;” (Sopatros purrou Beroiaios) "Sopater, son of Pyrrhus who was a Berean of Asia," mentioned Romans 16:21 as a kinsman of Paul.

3) "And of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus;” (Thesalonikeon de Aristarchus kai Sekoundos) "Aristarchus as well as Secundus," of the Thessalonians of Macedonia, Acts 19:29, Paul’s companions in travel, Acts 27:2; Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24.

4) "And Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus;” (kai Gaios Derbaios kai Timotheos) "And Gaius a Derbean and Timothy," both of Asia Minor, Romans 15:23; 3 John 1:1; Acts 19:22. Timothy appears to have been the soundest in doctrine, and most trusted letter carrier for Paul, who delivered his letter to the Ephesian church where he had received it from Paul in prison at Rome.

5) "And of Asia Tychicus and Trophimus." (Asianoi de Tushikos kai Trophumos) "Then Tychicus and Trophimus also Asians," as well as Gaius and Timothy, Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7-8; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12; Acts 21:29; 2 Timothy 4:20. All seven of the above named brethren were companions in travel, helpers of Paul, and perhaps elected messengers of both associations of churches, in colleague or fellowship, on both the continents of Asia and Europe, united in a common bond of benevolent spread of the gospel to all nations, Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21; Luke 24:46-52.

Verse 5

1) "These going before," (houtoi de proelthontes) "These men going on before us," the seven men mentioned Acts 20:4, preceded Paul and Luke, left Corinth before them, or other localities where they had been helping collect help, to carry to the needy brethren in Judea.

2) "Tarried for us at Troas."(emenon hemasen Troadi) "Awaited us at Troas," tarried, lingered, remained, or waited on us to arrive in Troas. The "us" seems to refer to Paul (and Luke who seems to accompany Paul) in all his travels hereafter, until he met death in Rome, 2 Timothy 4:11; Acts 16:8; Acts 16:11; 2 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Timothy 4:13. Troas is today known as Eski Stamboul.

Verse 6

ALL NIGHT MARATHON SERVICE AT TROAS V. 6-12

1) "And we sailed away from Philippi," (hemeis de eksepleusamen) "Then we sailed away," (apo Philippon) "from Philippi," in Macedonia, after we had retraced our steps from Greece, Acts 20:2-3. Neapolis was the seaport of Philippi from which Paul boarded the ship to sail. The writer of the book enters the tour of Paul, becomes a fellow-traveler with him and his missionary helpers again, refers to the group in the first person as "we," hereafter.

2) "After the days of unleavened bread," (meta tas hemeras ton azumon) "After (following) the days of unleavened bread," after the passover, Acts 12:3; Acts 18:18; 1 Corinthians 5:7. Here Luke with Paul and his company celebrated the passover, then sailed to Troas, to join some of their company who had preceded them there.

3) "And came unto them to Troas in five days " (kai elthomen pros autous eis ten Troas archi hemeron pente) "And we came to meet them in Troas after five days of sailing," perhaps hindered by opposing winds, as the journey had been formerly made in two or three days, Acts 16:11.

4) "Where we abode seven days " (hopou dietripsamen hemeras hepta) "Where we stayed for a period of seven days," before he sailed on to Assos, Acts 20:13. During these seven days he preached to, taught, and fellowshipped with, the brethren of the church at Troas, Acts 20:7-12.

Verse 7

1) "And upon the first day of the week," (en de te mia ton sabbaton) "Then in (during) the first day of the sabbath This indicates that the church disciples observed the first day of the week on which they broke bread in worship capacity, evidently observed the Lord’s Supper. The term (Gk. mia) is a cardinal, instead of ordinal number, indicating that the one day of worship to Christians was day "one," not day "seven" of the week.

2) "When the disciples came together to break bread," (sunegmanon hemon klasai arton) "As we were assembled to break bread," in accord, in colleague, in fellowship, as a church (the church) in Troas. As they worshipped on the first, not the seventh day of the week, indicating that allegiance to the Law of Christ, not Moses, came first with them, Matthew 6:33; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Hebrews 10:24-25. It was the day for worship and alms giving.

3) "Paul preached unto them," (ho Paulo dielegeto autois) "Paul lectured to them," to the disciples, or church assembling in Troas. As he delivered to them matters regarding the gospel and its observance, 1 Corinthians 11:1-2; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. It is believed that they here observed the Lord’s Supper, after fasting into the evening, not engaging in a festive meal that led to drunkenness of some, as had been rebuked at Corinth, 1 Corinthians 11:1-34.

Verse 8

1) "And there were many lights," (esan de lampades hikanai) "Now there were a considerable number of lamps," "a sizable number of lamps were arranged," perhaps lampstands filled with oil to provide lights for long hours, so that no charges might be made against the disciples of harboring a clandestine meeting, 1 Corinthians 14:40. That there were "many lights" indicates preparation for a large, regular, congregation.

2) "In the upper chamber," (en to huperoo) "In the upper room," either second or third floor of the meeting place, or perhaps a split level second and third floor, both of which were furnished lights from the upper chamber tier, Acts 20:9, Acts 1:13; John 20:19.

3) "Where they were gathered together." (hou hemen sunegmenoi) "Where we were having been led to come together," for fellowship, study, and worship, both they and we- the disciples of the local church and Paul with near a dozen companions in travel, ministers, and messengers of the churches of Europe and Asia, bound to Jerusalem and Judea with financial help for needy brethren, Acts 19:21; Romans 15:25-32.

4) "Ready to depart on the morrow;” (mellon eksienai te epaurion) "Being about to depart on the following day," so far as his plans of itinerary had been set up.

5) "And continued his speech until midnight." (pareteinen te ton ligon mechri mesounktiou) "And he continued the reasoning (speech or lecture) until midnight," where the disciples had met in the upper room, for worship and praise, and to hear Paul speak once again, into the late hours of the night. Tho the preaching was long, it was not too long considering 1) the preacher, 2) the subject, and 3) the occasion, as he would see them no more in life.

Verse 9

1) "And there sat in a window," (kathezomenos de epi tes thuridos) "Then there sat upon the window sill," of an open window, indicating that the building was crowded- -There were then no glass windows. The lattice or shutter of wood had perhaps been opened for ventilation, probably from overcrowding of the room and heat from the lamps.

2) "A certain young man named Eutychus," (tis neanias onomati Eutuchos) "A certain young man known by the name Eutychus," perhaps an household servant, though there is no further information given about him. He could have been the keeper of the lights, sitting nearby in the upper chamber, servicing, looking after them, when he collapsed in sleep, and fell from this third floor of the church assembly, Acts 20:8.

3) "Being fallen into a deep sleep " (katapheromenos hupno bathei) "Being overborne (overtaken gently, like a ferry boat) by a deep sleep," becoming oppressed or borne down with sleep! He was blessed by hearing Paul, unfortunate in falling asleep, but also blessed in being restored to life by Paul.

4) "And as Paul was long preaching " (dialegomenou tou Paulou epi pleion) "While Paul lectured over a long period of time," into the midnight hours, lasting from 9 to 12 p.m. based on Hebrew reckoning of time -- It was a marathon message, sermon, or address.

5) "He sunk down with sleep," (katenechtheis apo tou hupnou) "And having been overborne from the sleep," collapsing with sleep, that overcame him, so that he was beyond a conscious muscular reflex state

6) "And fell down from the third loft," (epesin apo tou tristegou kato) "He fell down from the third floor," level of the building, perhaps the top level of the upper chamber, where the many lights, with their heat, were located, Acts 20:8.

7) "And was taken up dead." (kai erthe nekros) "And he was taken up (picked or lifted up) as a dead corpse," with vital life signs all gone, he was taken up for dead.

Verse 10

1) "And Paul went down and fell on him," (katabas de ho Paulos epepesin auto) "Then descending from the place of his lecture (in the upper room) Paul fell upon him," where he had been taken up for dead, perhaps from the ground outside the building, or at the foot of the outside staircase, common in Eastern homes.

2) "And embracing him said," (kai sumperilabon eipen) "And closely embracing him, he said," holding him very close to him, embracing him, Paul spoke to those crowded around them saying: (as the prophet of old), 2 Kings 4:34.

3) "Trouble not yourselves;" (me throubeisthe) "You all do not be terrified," don’t work yourselves into an emotional state, beyond self-control; Don’t make a lament, a big ado about this, or cause a public disturbance in the community at night-time over this, by loud weeping and wailing of mourners, then common in the East, Mark 5:37-43.

4) "For his life is in him." (he gar psuche autou en auto estin) "Because his life is (exists) in him," Similar miraculous restorations of life, or to conscious life, were performed by other men of God in Old and New Testament days, as recounted, 1 Kings 17:21-22, as Elijah raised the widow’s son at Zarephath; as Elisha restored life to the son of the Shuamite woman, 2 Kings 4:34; 2 Kings 4:36, and as Peter had raised Dorcas, also known as Tabitha from the dead, Acts 9:39-42. These special miracles and signs were done to attest the Divine ministry of God’s high called servants, that the lost might believe, John 20:31; Mark 2:5-11; Hebrews 2:4.

Verse 11

1) "When he therefore was come up again," (anabas de) "Then going back up," to the upper room, near where the place (window) was from which Eutychus had fallen.

2) "And had broken bread, and eaten," (kai kalasas ton arton kai geusamenos) "And when he had broken bread and tasting or eating," the common meal that came to follow, not precede the Lord’s Supper, such as the Corinth church had done leading to grave wrong, 1 Corinthians 11:17-23. Fasting, not feasting, should precede the Lord’s Supper – 1 Corinthians 11:23-34.

3) "And talked a long while," (eph’ hikanon te homilesas) "And conversed over a considerable period of time," no longer lecturing, but more of a general round table fellowship type of discussion. He simply seems to have eaten a light meal, or early breakfast, before leaving early the next day for Assos, Acts 20:13.

4) "Even till the break of day" (achri auges) "Until light of day," even until day light, around six o’clock in the morning, or break of day, about five o’clock a.m.

5) "So he departed." (houtos ekselthen) "Thus he went forth," left from Troas where he had stayed for seven days among the church brethren, Acts 20:6.

Verse 12

1) "And they brought the young man alive "(egagondeton paida zonta) "Then they led the lad living," alive from the dead, perhaps meaning that those who had cared for him, after his fall, carried or accompanied him to his home, after the assembly was over and daylight had come. Like the former paralyzed man at the Gate Beautiful became a living testimony to God’s miraculous power, so did this Eutychus experience at Troas, Acts 3:1-11.

2) "And were not a little comforted." (kai pareldethesan ou metrios) "Were not comforted just moderately," meaning they were much comforted, grateful for Paul’s bringing him back miraculously from a state of the dead; The God who comforted them with Paul’s presence, and miraculous power, prepared them to comfort others thru that experience, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

Verse 13

FROM TROAS TO MILETUS, JERUSALEM BOUND V. 13-16

1) "And he went before to ship," (hemeis de proelthontes epi to polion) "Then we went forth upon the ship," the missionary band, without Paul, went aboard ship at Troas seaport.

2) "And sailed unto Assos," (anechthemen epi ten Asson) "And set sail for Assos," some twenty-four miles south of Troas in the Roman province of Asia, and perhaps at the cape of Lectum, approaching Assos from the Aegean Sea.

3) "There intending to take in Paul:" (ekeithen mellontes analambanein ton Paulon) "There expecting, intending to receive or join Paul," to pick him up on the way.

4) "For so had he appointed," (houtos gar diategmenos hen) "For thus it was having been arranged," or planned, in his itinerary. Whether Paul had personally rented this ship or planned secretly for his personal pick up at this Assos port, for security purposes, is not known.

5) "Minding himself to go afoot,” (mellon sutous pezeuein) "Himself intending to go from Troas to Assos afoot, - by land, overland a distance of about twenty miles. Whether he chose the more solitude route, or made it for ministerial purposes, or to avoid a death trap set for him when he would have attempted to go back on ship, is a matter of uncertainty.

Verse 14

1) "And when he met with us at Assos," (hos de suneballen hemin eis ten Asson) "Now when he met with (joined) us in Assos," when he joined the mission bound band at Assos, for the Jerusalem and Judean objective of helping the needy saints.

2) "We took him in, and came to Mitylene.” (analabontes auton elthomen eis Mitulenen) "When we had taken him up (aboard the ship) we came into Mitylene," (the capitol of Lesbos, about thirty miles south of Assos. The island is now called Metelino.

Verse 15

1) "And we sailed thence," (kakeithen apopleusantes) "And from there we sailed away," disembarked, cut ship, or lifted anchors.

2) "And came the next day over against Chios;” (te epiouse kateatesamen anti krus Chiou) "Arriving the next day just off Chios;" The island Chios in the Aegean Sea is separated from the coast of Asia by a channel that was only five miles wide, a picturesque channel thru which Paul sailed south from Mitylene to Samos.

3) "And the next day we arrived at Samos," (te de hetera parebalomen eis Samon) "Then on the other (the next) we crossed over into Samos;" The "we" refers to Paul and his some eight or more companions in travel, including Luke, Acts 20:4-6. Samos is an island in the Aegean Sea, seat of Juno-worship and birthplace of Pythagoras.

4) "And tarried at Trogyllium;" (not in oldest Gk. manuscripts), perhaps made a brief stop for refreshments.

5) "And the next day we came to Miletus." (te de echomene elthomen eis Mileton) "Then on the next day we came of our own accord into Miletus," former capitol of Ionia, once the mother city of some eighty colonies; native home of Thales and Anaximander, some 28 miles south of Ephesus. It was both a luxurious and licentious city in Paul’s time.

Verse 16

1) "For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus," (kekrikei gar ho Paulos parapleusai ten Epheson) "For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus," not taking time to visit other cities in Asia.

2) "Because he would not spend time in Asia:” (hopos me genetai auto chronotribesai en te Asia) "So that he should not spend time in Asia," that he might not have to feel obligated to go inland, into and unto the brethren of the churches in colleague, helping, fellowshipping churches there, Antioch of Pisidia, Derbe, Lystra, and lconium, Acts 13:14; Acts 14:1; Acts 14:6; Acts 14:8.

3) "For he hasted, if it were possible for him," (espeuden gar ei dunaton eie auto) "For he hastened that it might be possible for him," to deliver alms to the people, to answer hurtful charges against him, and to witness to those coming to the feast of Pentecost.

4) "To be in Jerusalem the day of Pentecost " (ten hemeran tes pentekostes genesthai eis lerosolums) "To be in Jerusalem (on) the day of Pentecost," fifty days following the annual Passover of the Jews, that he might witness of Jesus our Passover, to the Jewish people gathered there, 1Co 53; Acts 21; Acts 19:21; Galatians 4:10-11. Pentecost was the one annual feast at which more people were in Jerusalem than any other time of the year. Whether or not Paul arrived in time for it is not definitely known, but Acts 24:11 seems to indicate he did.

Verse 17

ASSEMBLY OF ASIAN ELDERS OF THE CHURCH CALLED TO EPHESUS, ADDRESSED, V. 17-27

1) "And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus," (apo de tes Miletou pempsas eis Epheson) "And from Miletus sending (on) to Ephesus," Paul, sent a message on to Ephesus by others, perhaps not in his own party. For it was at Ephesus he had once spent some three years teaching, debating, and preaching, with the school of Tyrannus as his home-base of teaching, confirming in the faith, and indoctrinating, till all Asia had heard the word, Acts 19:9-10; Acts 20:31.

2) "And called the elders of the church." (metekalesato tous presbuterous tes ekkiesias) "He summoned (called ahead for) the elders of the church;" The term "the church" is used in institutional sense, it appears in this context. The phrase "the elders of the church" refers to the elders, plurality of ordained leaders, not only in the church at Ephesus, but also likely those of other nearby congregations, to come and meet him for his special final address to them, as overseers of congregations in Asia, Acts 20:18; Acts 20:25-38.

An Elder was a Bishop or overseer, only when elected to the office of Bishop, or overseer of a church. The terms are not synonymous, as asserted by Protestants and protestant-baptists. All Bishops are elders, but all elders are not bishops, just as all fathers are men, but all men are not fathers, and as all mothers are women, but all women are not mothers, and as all army officers are soldiers, but all soldiers are not army officers. See Pastoral Epistles volume, by Garner Howes, for more explicit details on this often misunderstood subject.

Verse 18

1) "And when they were come to him," (hos de paregenonto pros auton) "Then when they came to him," met him at a previously arranged place in Ephesus, whether in the school meeting place of Tyrannus, Acts 19:9-10; or some other place, open to this final fellowship conference of Paul and his eight or more companions, is not known. Some believe that Paul stayed in Miletus, and the elders came down there to the port city to meet him, in some unnamed place.

2) "He said unto them, Ye know," (eipen autois humeis epistasthe) "He said to them you all understand," have knowledge, an understanding that," as mature ordained elders, prepared by character, Bible knowledge, and leadership qualities to be teachers and leaders in the church or churches, Acts 16:4-5; It was an emphatic knowledge as in Acts 10:37; Acts 15:7.

3) "From the first day that I came into Asia," (apo prostes hemeras aph’ es epeben eis ten Asia) "From the first day, from which time I set foot on the ground in Asia," to do mission work, Acts 13:1-52.

4) "After what manner I have been with you at all se sons," (pos meth’ humon ton panta chronon egenomen) "How that l was with you all the whole time," or how that all the time, the whole time I was with you all, indicating an intimate, very personal association with them in Christian mission labors, 1 Corinthians 3:9, how that he conducted himself while among them, 1 Thessalonians 3:10.

Verse 19

1) "Serving the Lord," (douleuon to kurio) "Continually, I was serving the Lord," as His (God’s servant) Romans 1:1; Galatians 1:10; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:1. Six times the phrase is used by Paul in his epistles as serving God, the Lord, and Christ, 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Romans 12:11; Romans 14:18; Romans 16:18; Ephesians 6:7; Colossians 3:24.

2) "With all humility of mind, and with many tears," (meta pases tapeinophrosunes kai dakruon) "With all humility of mind, disposition, or attitude, even with tears," not tears of regret because of his trials, but with tears of joy for the honor of serving the Lord Himself, with tears of sorrow of heart for his own kinsman -brethren, the Jews, in rejecting Jesus Christ, Romans 9:3; Romans 10:1-4; Romans 12:16; Philippians 2:3; 1 Peter 5:5.

3) "And temptations, which befell me," (kai peirasmon ton sunbanton moi) "And trials that fell upon and attached to me," or took me down, humbled me, 1 Thessalonians 3:3; Philippians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 6:4-10; 2 Corinthians 11:26. Our Lord had endured such temptations, or testing, and pronounced a benediction upon such as endured them for His sake, Luke 4:13; Luke 22:28; Matthew 5:10-11; James 1:12.

4) "By the lying in wait of the Jews:” (en taisepiboulais ton loudaion) "By the plots (guerrilla tactics) of the Jews," who "hounded" him throughout his missionary witnessing journey, in both Asia and Europe in the cities of Ephesus, Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, and Corinth, so that he certified the words of our Lord, John 15:20; 2 Timothy 3:12.

Verse 20

1) "And how I kept back nothing," (hos ouden hupesteilamen) "As I kept or held back not one thing," did not shrink because of fear, from delivering to or sharing even one thing, even as he did to the Corinthian brethren, 1 Corinthians 15:14; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

2) "That was profitable unto you," (ton sumpheronton tou me) "Of the things beneficial to you, not at all," did I hold back, or withhold profitable to the salvation of their souls from hell, or salvation of their lives to sanctified, separated service to the Lord, Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 2:10; James 1:22.

3) "But have shewed you, and have taught you publickly," (anangeilai humin kai didaksai humas demosia) "Declare to you all and to teach you publicly," before the public, in the synagogue at Ephesus, for three months, and in the school of Tyrannus for two years, Acts 19:8-10. In the synagogues he preached, wherever he went in any country, on any continent, Acts 17:4; Acts 17:17; Acts 18:4; Acts 19:8.

4) "And from house to house," (kai kat’ oidous) "And from residence to residence," house to house, in homes as specifically recounted in Corinth, 1 Corinthians 16:19, when he taught in a church in the home, residence) of Aquila and Priscilla, Acts 18:1-3. Such teaching indicates both a vision of, and zeal for, the salvation of souls and lives of men, Proverbs 19:18; Amos 8:11-12; Isaiah 6:1-8.

See also Acts 16:14-15; Acts 16:34 - Here Paul was taken into the homes of two new converts, to help them become established, oriented, in their new walk of faith in Christ, Ephesians 2:10.

Verse 21

1) "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks,” (diamarturomenos loudaiois te kai Hellesin) "Solemnly witnessing, both to Jews and to Greeks," publicly in synagogues, schools, and market places, and privately in homes and in church assemblies, which met in homes, Romans 1:13-16; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; 1 Corinthians 16:19.

2) "Repentance toward God," (ten eis theon metanoian) "Repentance to or toward God," the one true God, the Godhead. The essence of fact and form of Paul’s preaching to Jew and Gentile, like that of his Lord, varied or changed but little, whether to philosophers on Mars’ Hill in Athens, or to peasants in Lystra. His substance of teaching was the same, even when presented in varieties of form or style; Repentance and faith were the central core of the way to salvation, which he preached to and for all men, even as his Lord had done, Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3; Luke 13:5; Acts 14:15; Acts 17:30-32; Acts 26:20. It is arbitrary, without scriptural or defensible sanction, to teach that repentance was for the Jews and faith was for the Gentiles, Romans 1:14-16; Acts 10:43.

3) "And faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."(kai pistin eis ton kurion hemon lesoun) "And faith to, toward, or in our Lord Jesus;" (Directionally, Repentance is directed to the Godhead(Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), against whom man is by nature and practice a sinner, then directionally, the wooed, convicted, pricked soul of the sinner, is commanded to accept the offered gift of faith (a noun) and "believe," by volition, will, or expression of choice desire, place his accepted "gift of faith" in Jesus Christ, at which point of obedience, and by which, he becomes a child of God, receives a pure heart, is justified, etc., Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Proverbs 1:22-23; John 1:11-12; Galatians 3:26; Acts 15:9; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 1:16; Romans 4:3-5; Acts 10:43. What Jesus and Paul taught and preached, true witnesses, and the church of Jesus Christ, must keep on preaching, till the Lord returns for His own, Matthew 28:20.

Verse 22

1) "And now behold," (kai nun idou) "And now and hereafter, behold or observe;" The (Gk. nun "now") means for now and in continuity, without ceasing, hereafter forever. Paul simply said, "This is it," so far as my life and ministry with you all is concerned. The same phrase is used again Acts 20:25 regarding the finality of his fellowship with them It is also found 1 Corinthians 6:2.

2) "I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem," (dedemenos ego to pneumati poreuomai eis lerousalem) "Having been bound by the Spirit I am going of my own volition into Jerusalem," meaning constrained of, or led by, the Spirit, as God’s Spirit constrained or witnessed to His spirit, Acts 20:23. In the Spirit "as good as bound," arrested and shackled already I go to Jerusalem, was Paul’s disclosure of himself and his future, that he had wholly resigned to the Lord, 2 Corinthians 5:14.

3) "Not knowing the things that shall befall me there." (ta en aute sunantesonta emoi me eidos) "Not knowing the things in it that are going to meet me," to be around me there, overtake me, or confront me, as he knew not (the specifics) of what tomorrow held for him, though the spirit led him on, James 4:14-15; Romans 8:28; Hebrews 13:5.

"I know not where His islands lift

their fronded palms in air,

I only know I cannot drift,

beyond His love and care."

Verse 23

1) "Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city," (plen hoti to pneuma to hagion kata polin diamarturetai moi) "Except, or only, that in every city (where I go) the Holy Spirit solemnly witnesses to me," leads me, bears witness with my spirit, helps me in my prayers and labors, Romans 8:14; Romans 8:16; Romans 8:26-27; 1 John 4:13; Romans 5:5. Paul did not ask to see "the distant scene" "one step is enough for me," for step by step, Paul was guided, as Joseph long ago, Genesis 50:19-20.

2) "Saying that bonds and afflictions abide me." (legon hoti desma kai thlipseis me menousin) "Saying repeatedly that bonds or chains and afflictions (tribulations) await me," or remain yet for me; Yes, step by step, on his pilgrimage journey, God’s Spirit warned and guided him, Acts 21:4. The term rendered "tribulation" may refer to either or both physical illness, distress, and harm, as well as mental stress and distress, 2 Corinthians 1:8; Philippians 1:16-17,

The Holy Spirit bore this witness to the disciples, Acts 21:4; and to Agabus, Acts 21:11; and perhaps even more frequently than Luke recounted.

Verse 24

1) "But none of these things move me," (all’ oudenos logou poioumai) "But I make not one account of such," such does not move me away from my call and labors, not even one bit, do not control the rudder, or course of my life or ministry, 2 Corinthians 12:10. Blessed is that person who is not a slave to environment, circumstances of life, or fear of man, all of which bring a snare to man, and pass away, 1 John 2:15-17; Proverbs 29:25; Job 11:15.

2) "Neither count I my life dear unto myself," (ten psuchen timian hemauto) "Nor precious to myself do I selfishly account my life," or hold to my life covetously, for myself, selfishly. He considered that he belonged to God, soul and body, and was to glorify Him in everything, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 15:58; James 4:13-17.

3) "So that I might finish my course with joy," (hos teleioso ton dromon mou) "So that I might finish my course," as I please, for myself, in the will of the Lord, not merely to entertain or please men, 2 Timothy 4:7-8; even as his Lord had done, Hebrews 12:1-3.

4) "And the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus," (kai ten diakonian hen elabon para tou kuriou lesou) "And the common stewardship ministry (divers ministry) which I received from the Lord Jesus," a five phase preaching, teaching, soul winning, fund raising benevolent, and writing ministry, Acts 9:15-16; Acts 22:14-15; Acts 26:15-20; 2 Corinthians 11:22; Galatians 1:11-12; Ephesians 3:1-10; Philippians 1:29.

5) "To testify the gospel of the grace of God." (diamarturasthai to euangellion tes kartios tou theou) "To witness solemnly the gospel (message) of the grace of God," toward which he gave testamentary evidence of the grace of God, thru the gospel, Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 1 Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:8-10.

Verse 25

1) "And now behold I know," (kai nun idou ego oida) "And behold, I now and hereafter know," based on the probability of human experience, for he had already disclaimed any absolute foreknowledge of details of what lay ahead for him, Acts 20:23; as James also asserted, James 4:14-17.

2) "That ye all" (hoti humeis pantes) "That you all," all of you elders of the church, the New Testament institution of service and worship that Jesus established, as elders of then existing local congregations in Asia, Acts 20:17-21; Acts 20:31.

3) "Among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God," (en eis dielthon kerusson ten basileian) "Among whom I went about proclaiming (heralding) the kingdom," in Asia. His going among them as elders for three years in Asia, among the churches, seems to indicate that they were not merely elders of the church at Ephesus, but also perhaps, from among the plurality of local congregations, Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; Colossians 4:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Timothy 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:18.

4) Shall see my face no more." (oukete opsesthe to prosopon mou) "You all will see my face no more," my body presence no more. Such was the Spirit’s revelation to Paul, a message from God that he conveyed to the plurality of elders of the church, who came from different congregations in Asia, to meet Paul in Ephesus for this last encouraging message, and solemn earthly goodbye, Acts 14:23; 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Verse 26

1) "Wherefore I take you to record this day," (dioti marturomai humin en te semeron hemers) "Wherefore I witness to you all this day," I give my testamentary deposition today, I call you all lobe my witnesses this day, to go on record for history, now and hereafter, in the presence of two or three witnesses, Deuteronomy 19:15; John 5:30-32; John 8:14; John 8:17; Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; 2 Corinthians 13:1.

2) "That I am pure," (hoti katharos eimi) "That I am clean," clear of guilt, unchargeable, free from, or clear of any indictment, by virtue of his testamentary witnessing to Jews and Gentiles in all Asia, Ezekiel 33:6-9; Ezekiel 3:19; Ezekiel 3:21; Acts 13:46.

3) "From the blood of all men." (apo tou haimatos panton) "From the blood of all," all men, John 8:21; John 8:24; as he had declared himself of the Jews, Acts 18:6.

Verse 27

1) "For I have not shunned," (ou gar huoesteilamen tou me) "Because I held or kept not back," did not forego, or withhold, Acts 20:20. No church, or area of Paul’s mission field ministry was better informed of the purpose of redemption concept thru the ages, in Christ, culminating in God’s receiving glory, in the church body, throughout all the ages, than the church at Ephesus, and the Asian congregations, as set forth in the Book of Ephesians, Ephesians 3:1-11.

2) "To declare unto you all," (anangeilai humin pasan) "To declare (or make known to you all)," to all of you, to disclose to you, to all of you elders, you brethren, at least some of whom, were also "overseers" or bishops over the flock of God, of their locality, Acts 20:28.

3) "The counsel of God." (tou boulen tou theou) "The counsel, mind, or disposition of God," toward all of you. The counsel, mind, disposition or purpose of God toward these, as Gentiles, involved not only God’s inclusion of their redemption in His eternal purpose, in Jesus Christ, but also that they should constitute and perpetuate His church body (new covenant company), as His bride, the house of God, as custodian and administrator of His order of worship and Divine service, in bearing the message of redemption to the nations, in the Gentile age, and giving God "glory in the church, by Jesus Christ, throughout all ages," or into the unceasing aeons of the aeons, John 3:28-29; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 22:28-30; John 15:16; John 15:26-27; 1 Timothy 3:15; Revelation 19:5-9.

Verse 28

ELDERS, WHO WERE ALSO BISHOPS, CHARGED, AND COMMENDED V. 28-32

1) "Take heed therefore unto yourselves," (prosechete heautois) "Take heed or be ye therefore cautious unto yourselves," toward your choices and conduct of life, 1 Corinthians 9:27; Colossians 4:17; 1 Timothy 4:16. As elders, mature ordained leaders, teachers - men as candidates qualified for election to: 1)The office of a deacon or, 2)The office of a Bishop; There was no office of Elders in New Testament churches, 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 3:13. A Bishop is an ordained elder, elected by a church as an overseer of that flock, the office-holder over that flock.

2) "And to all the flock," (kai panti to poimnio) "And to or toward all the flock," the congregation, the house of God in a particular location, 1 Timothy 3:15; Matthew 26:31-32; Isaiah 40:11; Luke 12:32; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 5:1-4.

3) "Over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers," (en ho humas to pneuma to hagion etheto epiekopous) "In which (position or location) the Holy Spirit placed you all (as) overseers," (as pastors, to feed both the lambs and the sheep, the mature and immature believers in Christ, 1 Peter 5:1-4. In one place only, in the New Testament, is it indicated that a local church may have more than one bishop, one officer as overseer, and that was at Philippi, Philippians 1:1.

4) "To feed the church of God," (poimainein ten ekkIesian tou theou) "To shepherd (feed, lead, and defend or protect) the church (congregation or located assembly) of God," that belongs to God, that is called Christ’s bride, which He loved, for which He too gave Himself, John 3:28-29; 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; Revelation 19:5-9; Ephesians 5:25; Ephesians 3:21. To feed means to provide for the spiritual needs of the flock, in pastoral care, John 21:16-17.

5) "Which He hath purchased with His own blood." (en periepoiesato dia tou haimatos tou idiou) "Which He acquired (purchased) through His own blood," or the blood of His own Son Jesus Christ, who loved the church and gave Himself for her, Ephesians 5:25; 1 Timothy 3:15-16. The (Gk. periesato) is used in the sense of "to gain for one’s self."

Verse 29

1) "For I know this," (ego oida) "I know," (perceive or comprehend, because of the nature of man, the Word of God, and what I have observed in my mission ministry; I perceive this which I am to relate to you, based on the words of Jesus, my experience, and observation), Matthew 7:15-18; John 15:20.

2) "That after my departing," (hoti meta ten aphiksin mou) "That after the departure of me," after I have gone from your fellowship and council this final time, Acts 20:25; Acts 20:38.

3) "Shall grievous wolves enter in among you,” (eiseleusontai lukoi bareis eis humas) "Vicious, carnivorous wolves will come in under cover among you all," will enter among you by cunning, clever deception. False teachers from without constitute the first source of danger to God’s flock as described 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Peter 2:1-3.

4) “Not sparing the flock,” (me pheidomenoi tou poimnou) "Not sparing the flock," of their blood letting hunger and greed, to satisfy their wolf-hunger or wolf-nature, for lamb flesh and sheep flesh, 2 Peter 2:1-3; Judges 1:12; Judges 1:16-19.

Verse 30

1) "Also of your own selves shall men arise," (kai eks humon auton asastesontai andres) "And out of yourselves (your own flock, church membership) responsible men, men of responsible age will rise up," in insurrection, to sabotage the peace, fellowship, and work of the flock, the church. This is the second source of danger to the church, as set forth 3 John 1:9; Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:15; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 2 Timothy 1:15.

2) "Speaking perverse things,’’ (lalountes destrammena) "Repeatedly speaking, perverted, distorted, inaccurate, untruthful things," things designed to cause dissension, dissatisfaction, division in the congregation, or flock of God, as described, 2 Peter 2:12-18, such as Alexander, Hymanaeus, and Philetus, 2 Timothy 2:17; 1 Timothy 1:20.

3) "To draw away disciples after them." (tou apospan tous Mathetas apiso heauton) "To draw away(spawn off) from the flock of God, disciples after themselves," after the manner or order of their perverted teachings, that are alien or foreign to the teachings of Jesus Christ - In perversion of the

a) Moral standards -

b) Ethical standards -

c) And doctrinal standards -and practices of the new covenant church, the house of God, that Jesus built, purchased, and commissioned, 2 Peter 2:19-22; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. Thus from without the local church, and within the local church fellowship, the people of God are to be on guard against pious religious perverters of both doctrinal and moral and ethical concepts of Jesus Christ and His church followers, Matthew 7:15-19; Matthew 7:22-23; 1 John 2:19.

Verse 31

1) "Therefore watch, and remember," (dio gregoreite mnemoneuontes) "Wherefore, you all watch (keep your eyes open) and continually remember," never forget, stay alert like a sentry guard. The watching implies an unsleeping alertness that can never be taken by surprise, 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 13:25; Colossians 1:28. Let my example show you the importance of watching, staying on guard against foes without and within the church.

2) "That by the space of three years night and day," (hoti trietian nukta kai hemeran) "That night and day, for a period of three years," approximately three years, roundly stated, Acts 19:8-10; Acts 20:18-21.

3) "I ceased not to warn every one with tears." (ouk epausamen meta dakruon noutheton hena hekaston) "I ceased not admonishing each of you all (everyone), even with weeping," with soft tears, as I preached to you and exhorted you, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, If a missionary apostle worked and warned so diligently with tears, how much more fervently should the pastor of his flock, over which he has been Divinely set as overseer, serve in fervency and tears, Psalms 126:5-6; Romans 12:15.

THE SHEPHERD’S STEWARDSHIP

"Cattle shall be delivered over to the cow herd in the morning; the cowherd shall tend them during the whole day with grass and water; and in the evening shall deliver them to the master, in the same manner as they were entrusted to him. If, by the fault of the cowherd, any of the cattle be lost or stolen, that cowherd shall make it good. When a cowherd has led cattle to any distant place to feed, if any die of distemper, in spite of the fact that the cowherd applied proper remedy, the cowherd shall carry the head, the tail, the fore-foot, or some such convincing proof taken from the animal’s body, to the owner of the cattle. having done this, he shaII be no further answerable. If he neglects to act thus, he shall make good the loss." Paul, therefore, compares the Ephesian Church to a flock of sheep, seeking pasturage under the guidance of their shepherds.

S.S. Times

Verse 32

1) "And now, brethren, I commend you to God," (kai ta nun paratithernat humas to kurio) "And now (and for hereafter forever) I commend you to the Lord," to His care, and mercy, and guidance, without my leadership 6r further council, Acts 20:25; Acts 20:38.

2) "And to the word of His grace," (kai to logo tes charitos auto) "And to or toward the word of His grace," I commend you all, and each of you, 1 Timothy 4:16; John 17:17.

3) "Which is able to build you up," (to dunameno oikodomesai) "Which is (exists) dynamic to build," sustain, or uphold you all, as elders, and bishops of churches of the Lord in Ephesus and Asia, Acts 20:17-21; 2 Peter 3:18; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:15-16; Ephesians 2:20-22.

4) "And to give you an inheritance," (kai dounai ten kleronomian) "And to give (to you) the inheritance (the estate of heirship)," Acts 26:18; Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 1:5; Judges 1:24. The "riches of His inheritance is declared," Judges 1:3. The phrase refers restrictedly to-the church," not to the sum total of believers, as taught by Protestants and protestant-baptists, Colossians 1:12.

5) "Among all them which are sanctified." (en tois hegaismenois pasin) "Among all those (of the flock), those having been sanctified," set apart in doing the flock-labors of their Lord, Luke 22:28-30; Every church, covenant fellowship, local congregation of the Lord, is sanctified, empowered, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and every member should be an example of such, in his daily conduct and influence of life, 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 12:1-2.

Verse 33

PAUL, AN EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY, INTEGRITY, AND WITNESSING BIDS ASIAN ELDERS A FINAL FAREWELL V. 33-38

1) "I have coveted no man’s" (oudenos epethumesa) "I coveted not of even one," from anyone. Unselfishly, without greed, self-gain, or covetous motivation, the true minister must labor among his flock, to be like Paul, and like his Lord. Paul sought not self -praise or self-emulation, but to warn these elders and bishops against covetousness or avarice, the king of all sins, 1 Timothy 6:10; Luke 12:15; 1 Samuel 12:3.

2) "Silver or gold, or apparel," (arguriou e kursiou e himatismou) "Either silver, or gold, or apparel," that is even a garment to wear. Much of oriental wealth consisted of costly raiment, a thing Paul coveted of no one, 1 Corinthians 9:12; 2 Corinthians 7:2; Ezra 2:69; Nehemiah 7:70; 2 Corinthians 12:14.

Verse 34

1) "Yea, ye yourselves know," (autoi ginoskete)"You all yourselves know," from personal knowledge and observation. The tent-craft trade that Paul began with Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth, Greece, on the European continent, he seems to have continued with them together, here in Ephesus on the Asian continent, where they too had come, Acts 18:18-19; Acts 18:26.

2) "That these hands have ministered unto my necessities," (hoti tais chreiais mou hupertesan hai cheires autai) "That to my needs these hands (I hold before you) ministered," while I was among you all, even as he had done with Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth, in the tent-making craft, Acts 18:1-3; 2 Corinthians 12:15.

3) "And to them that were with me."(kai tois ousin met’ emou) "As well as to the needs of those (my missionary helpers) who were, have been with me;" He not only supported himself, but also helped support certain missionary helpers, perhaps including Luke, who traveled with him, 1 Corinthians 4:9-16; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12.

Verse 35

1) "I have shewed you all things," (panta hupedeiksa humin) "I have showed (demonstrated to) you all, all things," been an example to them in all kind of things, that members of the flock of God (the church) should do, or practice, in following him, as he followed Christ, 1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1; Philippians 3:17.

2) "How that so labouring," (hoti houtos kopiontis) "That labouring continually, as I have shown you by example;- the Gk. verb indicates laboring, wearying-toil, even earning bread at times by the sweat of the face, Genesis 3:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.

3) "Ye ought to support the weak," (dei antilambanesthai) "Ye ought (or it becomes you) to succor, sustain, or give aid to those who are ailing, continually weakened or sick," in body or mind, physically or emotionally, as practiced and commended of the Lord, Ephesians 4:28.

4) "And to remember the words of the Lord Jesus," (mnemoneuein te ton logon tou kuriou lesou) "To continually remember or keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus," some of which were repeated by the disciples, which the gospel writers admittedly did not record, John 21:25.

5) "How He said," (hoti autos eipen) "That He said," emphatically declared, though it is not recorded by the Evangelists, as indicated John 20:31; John 21:25; This may have alluded to Luke 6:38.

6) "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (makarion esin mallon didonai a lambranein) "It is (exists as) more blessed (a more blessed thing) to give (again and again) than to receive, again and again." The Sea of Galilee gives, and gives repeatedly, with life and fresh water, while the Dead Sea receives continually, but never gives, resulting in lifelessness and inactivity in her body, Matthew 25:34-40.

Verse 36

1) "And when he had thus spoken," (kai tauta eipon) "And when he (Paul) had said these things," completed his address to the elders (mature ordained leaders) of the church, who had come together at Ephesus, by a previous call and arrangement by Paul, Acts 20:17-18. When he had concluded his farewell counsel with, and exhortation to, the elders and bishops.

2) "He kneeled down and prayed with them all." (theis ta gonata autou sun pasin autois proseuksato) "Placing his knees down on a level with all of them (of the elders), kneeling down, he prayed." Tho it was, and is, an unrecorded prayer, except in heaven, as the prayer of many a saint since that hour; It moved the elder brethren to sobbing tears, expressed as follows: As Daniel prayed, even in times of sorrow and danger, Daniel 6:10-11; In Gethsemane our Lord kneeled down in deep sorrow and prayed in resignation to the will of His Father, Luke 22:41-42; Acts 9:40; Paul later prayed with the brethren there, who went out of the city with them, and helped them on their way, Acts 21:5.

Verse 37

1) "And they all wept sore," (hikanos de klauthmos egeneto panton) "Then there was considerable sobbing (crying openly) from all of them," severely, sorely, crying aloud, openly, tenderly, sobbing, without shame, even as they had seen Paul do in his compassionate labors among them, for near three previous years, Acts 20:19; as revealed Romans 9:1-3; Romans 10:1-4; Romans 12:15.

2) "And fell on Paul’s neck," (kai epipesontes epi ton trachelon tou Paulou) "And falling on (upon) the neck of Paul, as he remained kneeling, bowed before them and God," as an oriental custom, from ancient times, Genesis 44:14; Genesis 45:14-15; Genesis 46:29.

3) "And kissed him," (katephiloun autuon) "They fervently, affectionately kissed him," not as Judas betrayed the Lord with a cold "kiss of death," but as a loving mother kisses the fevered brow of her dying baby; with earnest, sorrowing salutations, to one whose face they would see no more on earth, Acts 20:25. It was surely what was referred to as "an Holy kiss," Romans 16:16.

Verse 38

1) "Sorrowing most of all," (odunomenoi malista) "Suffering or grieving most of all," not so much that they would see him no more, but that hope for his future help and council would not come from him any more, at all, 2 Corinthians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; Revelation 21:4; John 16:20.

2) "For the words which he spake," (epi to logo ho eirekei) "Over the statement he had made," the words he had spoken, Acts 20:26.

3) "That they should see his face no more." (hoti ouketi mellousin to prosopon autou theorein) "That they were to behold (or look upon, look into) his face no more hereafter on earth, - much as he later wrote to Timothy from Rome, 2 Timothy 4:5-8; Revelation 14:13-14; 2 Corinthians 5:1.

4) "And they accompanied him unto the ship." (proepempon de auton eis to ploion) "And then escorted, went with him to the ship," as he left them for a few more earthly labors, death in Rome, and then for heaven’s glory, where he would await their arrival. Would you ask yourself, "Am I sailing for glory? Am I aboard the old ship of Zion? Is glory my destination?" If it is not, receive the Lord Jesus Christ by repentance and faith, be baptized into the flock of God, the church of Jesus Christ, and get on board the old ship of Zion. Sail on! Sail on! and on! and on! till the glory call to heaven’s shore, Ephesians 3:21; 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Acts 20". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/acts-20.html. 1985.
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