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From January 4 to March 29, 1885.
Studies in the Acts of the Apostles.
LESSON I. — JANUARY 4.
PAUL AT TROAS. — ACTS 20 : 2–16.
GOLDEN TEXT.- And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them. - ACTS 20: 7. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
1. The Author. Luke, the author of the third Gospel. He was born, probably, at Antioch; of Greek descent; a physician; a companion of Paul. He first joined Paul at Troas, and accompanied him on his second missionary journey to Philippi (Acts 16:10, II), A.D. 51. After that there is no mention of his presence till he joins Paul again at Philippi, A.D. 57 (Acts 20:6), on his third missionary journey, and remains with him till Paul's arrival at Jerusalem. Lewin thinks Luke remained all these years at Philippi.
II. Date of Writing. Somewhere between A.D. 63 and 66.
IV. Scope and Nature. “It is a record of the personal action of the Lord Jesus Christ in the first evolution of his Gospel and the formation of his Church.” “It is a record of the inspired life of the Church.”
TIME of this lesson. The few recorded events of this lesson occupied nearly a year of Paul's third great missionary journey, from May 28, A.D. 57 to Apr. 23, A.D. 58.
PAUL'S JOURNEYINGS in this lesson: -
this, Paul leaves Ephesus for Troas, and Sun., March 26, from sunset, to sunset on thence he goes to Macedonia.
Mon., Apr. 3, the eight days of the feast April to November is spent in preaching of the Passover.
throughout Macedonia (Acts 20:2), and Tues., Apr. 4, A.D. 58, Paul leaves Philippi for probably his tour extended into Illyricum Troas. on the north-west, as mentioned in Rom. Sat., Apr. 8, arrives at Troas. 15: 19.
Sun., Apr. 9, to Mon., Apr. 17, remains at Troas. November, Paul departs from Macedonia for Sun., Apr. 16, preaches at Troas. Greece.
Mon., Apr. 17, leaves Troas and goes to Nov. 27, he arrives at Corinth in Greece. Mitylene. Nov. 27, A.D. 57 to Feb. 27, A.D. 58, Paul re- | Tues., Apr. 18, to Chios. mains at Corinth (Acts 20:3).
Wed., Apr. 19, to Samos. Feb. 27 to March 27, A.D. 58, journey by land Thurs., Apr. 20, to Miletus.
from Corinth to Philippi on his way to Sun., Apr. 23, Paul preaches at Miletus to the Jerusalem.
1 Elders of Ephesus. CONTEMPORARY EVENTS. — Nero, emperor of Rome, 4th year, age about 21. Felix, governor of Judea. Agrippa II., king of Trachonitis, etc., east of the Sea of Galilee and upper Jordan. Seneca, a stoic philosopher, at Rome, formerly tutor to Nero, - a writer of a number of books. Suetonius, a Roman general in Great Britain.
EPISTLES. -- During this time Paul wrote 2 Corinthians, autumn, 57, in Macedonia; Galatians, winter of 57, 58, at Corinth; and Romans, spring of 58, at Corinth.
PRONUNCIATIONS. — Aristär'chủs (ch = k); A'siă Á'shěă); As'sõs; Běre'ă;
2. And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece
3. 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.
And when he had gone 2
1 Acts 9:23; 23: 12; 25: 3. 2 Cor. 11:26. Chi'os; Dër' bě; Eph'ěsús; Eū'tychủs (ch = k); Galiús (Ga'yus); Măcědo'nīă (c=s); Mile'tus; Mītýle'ně; Philip'pi; Sā'mos; Sěcũn'dús; Sõp'átěr; Sýrliă; Thěssălo'nians; Timo'thěŭs; Tro'ăs; Troph'imús; Trogýl'liūm; Tých'icũs (ch = k).
INTRODUCTION. We now resume the course of the history of the Church as given in the Acts of the Apostles at the point where we left it last summer, Lesson VII., Second Quarter, 1884. Paul was then on his third great missionary journey, and had spent nearly three years at Ephesus. Finally at the great Ephesian Games, in May, A.D. 57, the silversmiths, who made shrines of Diana and found their sales seriously lessened by the progress of the Gospel, stirred up the mob and made a great uproar, so that Paul left the city. He went first to Troas (2 Cor. 2: 12, 13), and thence to Macedonia, where we find him at the beginning of the present lesson.
EXPLANATORY. I. Nine Months in Macedonia and Greece. — Vers. 2, 3. From May 27, A.D. 57 to Feb. 27, A.D. 58. 2. And when he had gone over those parts, i.e., of Macedonia (ver. I). Six years had elapsed since Paul had first visited Macedonia, and been beaten with rods in the market-place of Philippi. Ile would again visit those cities of Macedonia where he had founded churches, namely, Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. — Gloag. And he would preach the Gospel in those portions he had not hitherto visited. He travelled as far westward as the confines of Illyricum, the western borders of Macedonia (Rom. 15:19), laying the foundation of future Christian churches in every principal town (Rom. 15:23). It was here and now that Paul wrote his Second Epistle to the Corinthians. That he wrote the letter in Macedonia is evident from 2 Cor. 9:2-4. — Abbott. And had given them. The Christians of Macedonia and all who would come to hear him. Much exhortation. Every church needs much exhortation, line upon line and precept upon precept; but especially would this be needed by a church just converted from heathenism, and surrounded with every evil and debasing influence. This exhortation would include (1) instruction in the truths of the Gospel, that they might be well grounded and established in the truth. (2) Impulse and persuasion to strengthen right feelings and awaken earnestness. (3) The Greek word is the root of the one translated Comforter in John, and the exhortation doubtless included comfort in their many trials and labors. (4) One of the things to which Paul exhorts them is the remembrance of the poor saints in Jerusalem as he had promised (Gal. 2:9). Here, as in Galatia, he causes a collection to be made for them (2 Cor. 9:1; Rom. 15:26). This tour of exhortation lasted about six months. – P. He came into Greece, i.e., Achaia. — Meyer. And nearly co-extensive with the modern kingdom of Greece. -Abbott. Most of three months was certainly spent in Corinth, the principal city. — Meyer, Here was the scene of his former labors, and a great centre of Christianity.
3. And there abode three months. This was Paul's second long stay at Corinth. But it was now nearly four years since his first visit, and many things had happened in the meantime. They had received two long letters from him, and now he comes to confirm them in right doctrines and practice. It was just before his departure from Corinth that Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans. – Hackett. To this period of his life belongs the peculiar experience of sorrow and spiritual conflict described in 2 Cor. 12: 7–10. — Abbott. And when the Jews laid wait for him. We are not informed as to the nature of this plot formed against St. Paul by his unhappy countrymen. Dr. Clarke supposes it was to obtain the money collected throughout the churches for the poor saints, at Jerusalem. — Pierce. All through his busy, anxious life their terrible and sleepless hostility dogged his footsteps, for they looked upon him as the bitterest foe of the Jewish traditions. It was most likely that the Jews on this occasion, becoming aware of St. Paul's intention to sail from Cenchrea, one of the ports of Corinth (in fact a seaside suburb of populous Corinth), watched the harbor in order to surprise him and kill him. — Schaff's Popular Commentary.
4. And there accompanied him into Asia, Sopater of the
c turn through Macedonia. And 4
there accompanied him as far Berea ; and of the Thessalonians, 1 Aristarchus and as Asia Sopater of Beroea, the
son of Pyrrhus; and of the Secundus ; and 2 Gaius of Derbe, and 3 Timotheus ; 1 Thessalonians, Aristarchus and of Asia, 4 Tychicus and 5 Trophimus.
and Secundus; and Gaius of
Derbe, and Timothy: and of 5. These going before tarried for us at Troas. Asia, Tychicus and Trophi
mus. But these had gone 5
1 Acts 19:29; 27: 2. Col. 4: 10. ? Acts 19:29. 3 Acts 16:1. 4 Eph. 6:21. Col. 4: 7.
6 2 Tim. 4 : 12. Tit. 3: 12. Acts 21: 29. 2 Tim. 4: 20.
As he was about to sail into Syria. Rev. Ver., about to set sail for Syria. He had apparently gone so far as to arrange for his passage and go on board, and was nearly departed before he got the warning news. — Cambridge Bible. To Syria, i.c., to Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:3). He purposed. Better, he determined, with Rev. Ver. As the scheme for killing him had been meant to be carried out at sea, the choice of an overland journey and a prompt departure made the forming of a new plan impossible to the conspirators. — Cambridge Bible. To return through Macedonia, i.., to go by land as far as Philippi instead of by sea as at first proposed.
II. The Journey from Corinth to Troas. – Vers. 4-6. 4. And there accompanied him. They accompanied the apostle through Macedonia, but when the party arrived at Philippi these crossed to Troas in advance, and waited for him there. – Rev. . H. Blunt in Annotated Bible.
REASONS FOR THESE SEVEN ACCOMPANYING Paul. (1) They were doubtless delegates from the leading churches (1 Cor. 16:3) to aid Paul in carrying the large sums of money which had been collected to the church at Jerusalem, with the salutations of the Gentile churches. (2) In carrying so large a sum in trust these acted, as it were, as auditors of his accounts, and would be witnesses that all was right. Paul sought to avoid even the suspicion of the malversations which the tongue of slanderers were so ready to impute to him (2 Cor. 8: 20, 21). – Plumptre. (3) They would act as a body-guard through the more dangerous part of the journey, and the money distributed among so many carriers would be safer. Into Asia. Rev. Ver., as far as Asia. The small Roman province on the coast, in the west of Asia Minor. The whole party went as far as Asia, probably to Miletus, while Trophimus (Acts 21 : 29) and Aristarchus (Acts 27: 2) probably went all the way to Jerusalem with him. -- Hackett. Sopater of Berea. Of these companions three were natives of Macedonia and four of Asia Minor. Of Sopater nothing further is known. Aristarchus had been associated with Paul at Ephesus (chap. 19:29). Secundus is not mentioned elsewhere. Gaius of Derbe. So styled to distinguish him from another who belonged to Macedonia (19:29). Timothy. The well-known disciple of Paul, to whom the two Epistles bearing his name were addressed. Tychicus (Fortunate) was probably a native of Ephesus. He was the bearer of the Epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians from Paul, then a prisoner at Rome (Col. 4:7, 8; Eph. 6: 21, 22). Trophimus accompanied the apostle on this journey all the way to Jerusalem. – Revision Com.
5. These going before. Rev. Ver., had gone before, that is, had gone when Luke and Paul sailed. When all had reached Philippi by land the seven embarked for Troas in advance of Paul, who remained a short time longer at Philippi. The reasons may have been (1) that Paul wished to attend once more the Passover with his beloved Philippian church, or (2) perhaps the delay may have been on account of Luke, who now joined the party, or (3) it may have been, as Lewin suggests, the better to escape a watchful foe who would be seeking to obtain the funds. - P. Tarried for us at Troas. Here the language of the narrative suddenly changes from the third person to the first. The writer Luke had now joined Paul. His name has to be added to the list of St. Paul's companions. We may, perhaps, assume that he went less as an official delegate from the church of Philippi than as a friend, and probably St. Paul's health needing his services as physician. — Plumptre. The close personal connection of Luke and Paul appears to have dated from the years 51, 52. They were together from the time of the arrival of Paul at Troas (chap. 16:8); they crossed over together into Europe, but when Paul left Philippi (16:40) Luke was left behind, and, it has been supposed, made Philippi the centre of his work for several years. Here again, after the lapse of five or six years, they met. The rest of the Acts is told by an eye-witness of the various events recorded. We may therefore conclude with certainty that from this time (A.D. 57) till Paul was entrusted to the charge of the soldier at Rome (A.D. 62) Luke was continually with his beloved master. — Schaff.
6. 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.
7. And upon 3 the first day of the week, when the disciples came together 4 to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
before, and were waiting for
And upon the first day of 7 the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on
1 Ex. 12 : 14, 15; 23: 15.
? Acts 16: 8. 2 Cor. 2: 12. 2 Tim. 4:13.
4 Acts 2:42, 46. 1 Cor. 10: 16; II: 20.
31 Cor. 16: 2. Rev. 1: 10.
6. And we sailed away from Philippi, i.e., from its harbor, Neapolis, on the coast. After the days of unleavened bread, the festival of the Passover, which no doubt they observed, not in the Jewish spirit any longer, but with a recognition of Christ as the true Paschal Lamb. See John 1: 36 and 1 Cor. 5:7. – Hackett. Absolute non-observance
them to Troas in five days. The wind must have been adverse, for the voyage from Troas to Philippi (Neapolis), in chap. 16:11, seems to have been made in two days. Alford. It was about the time of the equinox, and north-east winds, directly in their face in going from Philippi to Troas, frequently prevail in the archipelago in the spring. If they sailed Tuesday, Apr. 4, the day after the close of the Passover week, they would reach Troas on Saturday eve, Apr. 8. — Lewin. Where we abode seven days. A long delay when Paul was in such haste to reach Jerusalem. Either (1) the church at Troas may have had special need of his advice and influence, or (2) the delay may have arisen from the mere necessity of attending on the movements of the vessel. — Lewin.
III. A Sunday at Troas. – Vers. 7–12. 7. Upon the first day of the week. This and the counsel given in i Cor. 16:2 are distinct proofs that the Church had already begun to observe the weekly festival of the Resurrection, our Sabbath, in place of, or where the disciples were Jews, in addition to, their weekly Sabbath. – Plumptre. Gradually this Christian day supplanted their Sabbath, though for a time both days were observed. The Jews demanded that the Gentile Christians should observe the Jewish Sabbath, a demand to which Paul told them not to accede (Col. 2: 16). — Abbott.
WHY THEY CHOSE THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK FOR THEIR RELIGIOUS SERVICES: (1) Christ rose from the dead on that day. (2) He appeared five times to his followers on the first day of the week. (3) It was the first day of the week when the Holy Spirit came down on Pentecost. (4) That day thus became the birthday of the Church. (5) They could most easily escape from the Pharasaic perversions of the Sabbath. (6) It was just as really the seventh day as was the other. (7) They were guided by the Holy Spirit. — P. To break bread. In the East bread is never cut with a knife, but always broken with the hand; hence,“ to break bread" is in oriental language the same as to eat. In New Testament usage it generally indicates an observance of the Lord's Supper, usually in connection with the agapæ or love-feasts, which were a prominent feature in the social services of the apostolic churches. See I Cor. 11: 20, etc. -- Abbott. From the famous letter of the younger Pliny, written 50 years later to the Emperor Trajan, describing the customs of the Christians, Lewin (27:7) infers that “the Christians met at break of day to celebrate our Lord's Resurrection, and again in the evening in commemoration of the Last Supper,” The meeting when Paul preached was the evening service at the close of the Lord's day. -- P. Paul preached unto them. Went on discoursing. The same word is translated reasoned, 17:2. It was not so much a continuous discourse as conversation, in the course of which questions were answered, difficulties explained, and doubts satisfied. - Cook. And continued his speech until midnight. The assembly was held at night; this was the ordinary practice among the early Christians, It seems that this brotherhood on “the Lord's Day," after the day's work was ended, met together, partook of the simple evening meal, after which prayer and preaching of the Word followed; and before they separated each Christian shared in the solemn breaking of bread, in compliance with their dear Master's last command the evening before his death on the Cross. — Schaff.
HINTS ON SABBATH WORSHIP. (1) Paul kept the Sabbath. He did not begin his journey till the Sabbath was over. (2) It was the custom of the disciples to attend Sabbath worship. Many young people attend Sabbath school but do not attend the preaching and worship services of the Sabbath. Let us impress upon them this duty and privilege. (3)
8. And there were many lights in the upper 1 cham- the morrow; and prolonged
his speech until midnight. ber where they were gathered together.
And there were many lights 8
in the upper chamber, where 9. And there sat in a window a certain young man
we were gathered together. named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and And there sat in the window 9
a certain young man named as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, Eutychus,'borne down with and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up deep sleep; and as Paul dis
coursed yet longer, being dead.
borne down by his sleep he
fell down from the third story, 10. And Paul went down, and 2 fell on him, and held do
and was taken up dead. And to 1 Acts 1: 16. : 1 Kings 17: 21. 2 Kings 4: 34.
There was preaching, instruction in religious doctrines and duties; and the people did not haste away, but were anxious to learn. Let our attendance at church, our Sabbath reading, and our conversation all be religiously instructive. (4) There was worship by means of the Lord's Supper, and doubtless too by singing and prayer and the Word of God. There is need to impress upon our modern churches the duty and privilege of social worship.
8. And there were many lights. The Jews were accustomed, on their festal days, brilliantly to light their rooms for any great solemnity. --- Schaff. The upper chamber where they were gathered together. A guest chamber used for company and feasts; in Greek houses it usually occupied the upper story. — Abbott. In the high, narrow streets of eastern towns the upper story is often used for social purposes, partly as removed from the noise of the street, partly as being more open to the air. – Schaff
9. And there sat in a window. It should be observed that the windows of such places in general reached nearly to the floor; they would correspond well to what our word * window” signified originally, viz., windore, wind-door, i.e., a door for the admission of wind or air. - Hackett. They are usually closed only by lattice work. This window was doubtless wide open on account of the heat. These windows were often built out from the building, and overhung the street. A certain young man named Eutychus. A common name, especially among the freedmen. It's meaning is Fortunate. Being fallen into a deep sleep. The last verb signifies borne down, overpowered, and the Rev. Ver. gives, borne down with deep sleep. He was not a careless hearer, but sleep at the late hour overcamę his youthful frame, and he could resist it no longer. - Cambridge Bible. The place was hot and crowded, the services were long, “the topics were probably beyond his comprehension," the young man was doubtless very weary, the hour was late. Few in modern churches have so good an excuse for sleeping. – P. The parson says it was not that he did not love religion, or why should Paul make it his business to bring him to life again instead of letting him lie for a warning to the sleepy-headed ones. - Charles Reade. Even the preaching of an apostle did not keep all awake. Ministers may find encouragement in this incident who have drowsy hearers, but the hearers may also take warning. The preacher who sends you to sleep may quote the precedent of St. Paul, but it does not at all follow that he is a great apostle. Nor is it absolutely clear that St. Paul took to himself none of the responsibility for the accident. --- Jacox, Sec. Ann. And as Paul was long preaching. Better, and as Paul discoursed yet longer, with Rev. Ver. The comparative degree refers to the expectation or the wearied powers of the young man. The discourse went on longer than he thought it would, or than he could keep awake. -- Cambridge Bible. He sunk down with sleep. The verb is the same as before. Read, being borne down by his sleep, as the word is a participle. And fell down from the third loft, or story. Eutychus fell from the third story either on the pavement of the street, or more likely on the hard ground of the courtyard. The death of Ahaziah, king of Israel, was occasioned by a similar fall (2 Kings, 1:2, 17). — Cook. And was taken up dead. The words here are perfectly plain, and positively do not admit of any “watering down.” The facts related are perfectly simple, and admit of no explanation but one. - Schaff. This is obviously related as a miraculous resuscitation; but it may be questioned, looking to St. Paul's words, “his life is in him," whether more than apparent death is meant. He was to all appearance dead, would have died but for the prayer of the apostle; but there had been no fracture of limb or skull, and the cause of death or of the state that looked like death was the shock given to the brain and nerves by the violence of the fall. — Plumpire. There is no significance apparent in the incident, and no reason for the narrative if it be not a miracle, the only one, I believe, in the New Testament performed within the church, or at night, or without the attestation of unbelievers to its reality. — Abbott.
10. And fell on him, and embracing him. The act reminds us of those of