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embracing him said, 'Trouble not yourselves; for his Paul went down, and fell on life is in him.
him, and embracing him said,
Make ye no ado; for his life 11. When he therefore was come up again, and is in him. And when he was 11
gone up, and had broken the had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, Bread," "and eaten, and had even till break of day, so he departed.
talked with them a long while,
even till break of day, so he 12. And they brought the young man alive, and departed. And they brought 12 I 2.
the lad alive, and were not a were not a little comforted.
little comforted. 13. And we went before to ship, and sailed unto But we, going before to the 13
ship, set sail for Assos, there Assos, there intending to take in Paul : for so had he intending to take in Paul: for appointed, minding himself to go afoot.
so had he appointed, intend.
ing himself to go by land. 14. And when he met with us at Assos, we took him And when he met us at Assos, 14
we took him in, and came to in, and came to Mitylene.
1 Matt. 9:24.
Elijah (1 Kings 17:21) and Elisha (2 Kings, 4:34). The close contact, the clasp of warm affection, gave a new intensity to the prayer of faith. — Plumptre. For his life is in him. He was now assured that his prayer was answered, and felt the returning of life.
II. And had broken bread, as purposed in ver. 7. The breaking of bread (the communion), the solemn conclusion of the long service of prayer and exhortation doubiless had been interrupted by the accident to Eutychus. — Schaff. It is possible that the love feast and the Eucharist had been observed as soon as they assembled, and that the eating here described was what we call an early breakfast, preceding the departure of these honored guests. - Alexander. The bread was in these early communions literally broken. The loaf, probably a long roll, was placed before the celebrant, and each piece was broken off as it was given to the communicant. — Plumptre. This celebration of the Lord's Supper is narrated as though it were a usual part of the services, and starts the question whether many of our churches do not make it too formal an occasion. Certainly in the early Church the custom was to partake of the Lord's Supper frequently. -- Rev. Com. Talked a long while. Rather, had much companionship; the preaching was over, social converse followed. -- Abbott. Break of day. Between five and six o'clock A.M. at that season of the year.
12. They brought the young man alive apparently to the upper chamber. - Farrar. And were not a little comforted. His friends and fellow-worshippers “ were not a little comforted” by the restoration to life again of one whom they were already mourning for as dead; but their joy was doubtless greatly increased by the powerful witness to the truth of their belief which such a notable miracle afforded. — Schaf.
IV. From Troas to Miletus. — Vers. 13-16. 13. We, viz., the writer and other companions of the apostle. Went before. Rev. Ver., going before, though from the circumstances of the case it could not have been long first. They may have left as soon as the assembly broke up, while Paul still remained a short time (see 11), or in order to reach Assos in good season may have left even before the conclusion of the service. Sailed into Assos. A seaport of the Roman province of Asia in the ancient district of Mysia. It was a splendid and populous city, situated on the top of a rocky eminence by the shore of the Gulf of Adramyttium, and being about half way from Troas to Mitylene, was a convenient halting-place for vessels going from one place to the other. The inhabitants were mostly Greeks. The name Asso still exists in the neighborhood, but the place of the remains is called Beahsahm. – Abbott. To go afoot, or by land. It was only 19 or 20 miles distant from Troas, on an excellent Roman road, and the apostle could traverse this distance in a much shorter time than the ship required to double the promontory terminating in Cape Lectum (a distance of about 40 miles). The narrative indicates that he was found at Assos on the arrival of the ship. — Abbott. His object, it is conjectured, may have been to visit friends on the way, or to have the company of brethren from Troas whom the vessel was not large enough to accommodate. — Hackett. Possibly, also, after the exciting scene at Troas he may have been glad to have even a day of comparative solitude for meditation and prayer as to the great work that lay before him, before embarking on the ship with all its motley crew of passengers and sailors. - Plumptre.
14. Met with us at Assos. This was on Monday, April 17 (Lewin), and they could easily sail that same day the remaining 30 miles to Mitylene. Mitylene. Mitylene, the capital of the island of Lesbos, was celebrated for the beauty of its situation and the mag. 15. And we sailed thence, and came the next day Mitylene. And sailing from 15
thence, we came the following over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at day over against Chios; and Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium ; and the next day
the next day we touched at
Samos; and the day after we came to Miletus.
we came to Miletus. For Paul 16
had determined to sail past 16. For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus,
Ephesus, that he might not because he would not spend the time in Asia : for lhe have to spend time in Asia;
for he was hastening, if it hasted, if it were possible for him, 2 to be at Jerusalem were possible for him, to be 3 the day of Pentecost.
at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.
1 Acts 18: 21; 19:21; 21:4, 12.
? Acts 24:17.
3 Acts 2:1.
Cor. 16: 8.
nificence of its buildings. It was famous as the birthplace of Sappho and the poet Alcæus (Strabo xiii. 2. 2). Like most of the Greek cities, it received from the Romans the privilege of freedom. The whole island is now under the Turkish power, and is called by the ancient name of its capital, Mitylene. — Gloag.
15. We sailed thence. After the usual manner of the Mediterranean navigation of the time, the ship put into harbor where it was possible every evening. - Plumpire. The next day. Tuesday, April 18. Over against Chios. The island well known under its modern name Scio for the dreadful sufferings of its inhabitants in the Greek war of independence. — Abbott. Arrived at Samos. Wednesday, April 19. Samos was at this time a very populous island off the coast of Lydia, from which it was separated by a narrow channel. It was celebrated for its fertility and numerous products. Under the rule of the Turks it has greatly decreased in population. The vessel in which Paul sailed did not remain over night at Samos, but crossed over to Trogyllium on the mainland. — Gloag. Tarried at Trogyllium. Trogyllium was the name of a city and promontory between Ephesus and the mouth of the Meander, at the foot of Mount Mycale. The channel between it and the island of Samos was very narrow, being only about a mile broad (Strabo, xiv, I. 12). A little to the east to the head of the promontory there is an anchorage which is still called St. Paul's Port. — Gloag. The next day. Thursday, April 20. We came to Miletus. Miletus, called also Miletum, was a very celebrated city in ancient times, situated near the mouth of the Meander. It was the ancient capital of Ionia, the mother of numerous colonies and the birthplace of a great number of distinguished men. When in its glory (in Paul's time) it possessed four harbors, and was renowned for its riches and commerce. — Gloag. It was 30 miles south of Ephesus, so that Paul sailed past Ephesus to reach it. The sediment of the Meander has filled up the Latmian gulf on which it stood, so that its site is now ten miles inland.
16. For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus. The English phrase is unfortunately ambiguous. What is meant is that he had decided to continue his voyage without going to Ephesus — to pass it by. — Plumptre. Because he would not spend the time in Asia. Rev. Ver., that he might not have to spend time in Asia. - Cambridge Bible. Therefore he took passage in a vessel going to other ports. He avoided revisiting Ephesus lest the many friends and their pressing solicitations should have delayed his voyage; and there was barely sufficient time before him to reach Jerusalem in time for the Pentecost feast, so he sent the message to Ephesus which we read of in the next verse. - Schaff. Hasted ... to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost. Which that year, A.D. 58, was May 16, so that he had only a little more than three weeks left for the journey. Pentecost was the feast that attracted most pilgrims from all parts of the world.
REASONS WHY PAUL WISHED TO REACH JERUSALEM BEFORE PENTECOST. (1) That he might report his mission and its results to St. James and the Elders; (2) deliver the amount of the collections (24:17; 1 Cor. 16:3, 4; Rom. 15:25); (3) refute the calumnies circulated against him (21:21); and (4) avail himself of the opportunity afforded by the presence of many strangers for making the Gospel known to a greater number and variety of people than would ordinarily have been found there. — Cook. (5) There would be at such a time an opportunity for the apostle to meet the more prominent members of the Christian body. - Cambridge Bible. (6) He knew such a mark of respect for the Hebrew custom would be pleasing to the Jewish Christians. (7) He was also especially desirous to present the gifts of the Gentile churches in presence of the vast concourse of foreign Jews at the great Pentecostal feast, and thus spread abroad in all lands the great fact that the Gentile Christians were one with their Jewish brethren, and refused to separate themselves from them. – Rev. Com.
LIBRARY REFERENCES. Among the best Commentaries on the Acts for Sunday-school teachers are those of Abbott, Schaff (Popular Commentary), Gloag, Alford (New Testament for English Read:rs), Alexander, Meyer, Denton, Barnes, Ellicott (Handy Commentary); International Revision Commentary; Cambridge Bible for Schools ; Hackett; Butler's Bible Readers' Commentary; Stock's Lesson on the Acts ; Blunt's Annotated Bible; see also Lewin's St. Paul; Vaughn's The Church of the First Days, Conybeare and Howson's Life and Edisles of Paul; Farrar's Life and Work of St. Paul; Farrar's Early Days of Christianity; Schaff's History of the Apostolic Church; Fisher's Beginnings of Christianity; Lewin's Fasti Sacri is the most complete manual of dates and contemporary history.
PRACTICAL. 1. Ver. 2. All people need much exhortation and spiritual help and comfort from those of larger experience and deeper knowledge.
2. Ver. 3. The good are often assailed by bad men.
3. They should take every possible precaution to fulfil the trusts committed to their hands, and to avoid even the appearance of wrong.
4. Ver. 4. It is a blessed thing, so blessed as to be worthy of record in the best of books, to be the companions of a good and great man.
5. Ver. 7. The importance of keeping the Sabbath.
6. The way to keep the Sabbath : by going to church, by worship, by religious instruction, by the communion of saints, by doing good.
7. Ver. 9. Do not sleep in church.
g. But help them out of their great losses occasioned by it.
11. The Gospel is ever bringing the dead to life, and helping those who have brought themselves into trouble.
12. Ver. II. Christian conversation, “breaking bread” together, the communion of saints are great sources of strength and joy.
13. Ver. 13. Even one whose heart is in heaven needs seasons of retirement. Even one whose work is all sacred needs the periodical refreshment of his own soul by converse with a Father and Saviour in heaven. The 20 miles' walk from Troas to Assos furnished, we doubt not, such an opportunity.-- Vaughn.
14. Vers. 14-16. Wherever the foot of a good man treads is hallowed ground. 15. Ver. 16. It is well to take much pains to attend the great meetings of the church.
SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS. As this is the first lesson of a series on Paul's travels and work, it will be well to spend more time than is usually wise in teaching the FRAMEWORK of the lesson, that the scholars may have clear ideas and a vivid picture of the scenes and events which are to impress the practical truths upon them. It gives reality and power and definiteness to the lessons, and writes them deeper on the memory.
First let some scholar give a BRIEF ACCOUNT of the ACTS; another a few words about PAUL.
The MAP. It is well to take an ancient and a modern map and place them side by side. Then trace out Paul's third missionary tour from the beginning. This will enable you to REVIEW the preceding history by having the scholars tell what was done at each place.
Then follow out PAUL'S DIARY as given in to-day's lesson, noting both the days and the deeds at each place. The lessons of to-day are taught by the EVENTS.
We may call the SUBJECT, A SABBATH WITH AN APOSTLE.
I. ON THE WAY (vers. 2-6). He started from Ephesus, and spent several months in Macedonia. The chief teaching here is on exhortation, to what, the need of it, when to be given, how to be received. Next follows three months in Greece. Here we see how the best of men are sometimes hated and opposed. Paul's wise method of avoiding danger. Emphasis may be laid on the work of Paul all this time, in the midst of his preaching, in urging collections for the poor. The companions of Paul. The blessedness of this companionship and their advantage to him. Note Luke's joining them. Then Paul set a good example in attending the great meetings of God's people (in vers. 6 and 16). Paul proceeds to Troas.
II. A SABBATH WITH PAUL AT TROAS (vers. 7–12). Draw from the scholars the various things that Paul did on this Sabbath. Impress the duty of keeping the Sabbath, of attending church, of listening to the service, of reverent worship, of proper behavior in church, of communion with saints. The delight and profit of the instruction of a great, good man making it worth while to listen all night. There will be other lessons from Eutychus, excuses for him, his wrong, his death, being brought to life. The life-giving power of the Gospel.
III. THE DEPARTURE (vers. 13-16) needs but brief tracing on the map.
LESSON II. — JANUARY 11.
PAUL AT MILETUS. — ACTS 20: 17–27. GOLDEN TEXT, — Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. — ACTS 20: 21.
TIME. - Sunday, April 23, A.D. 58. Paul arrived at Miletus on Thursday, April 20. As the distance between Ephesus and Miletus was about 45 miles by the ways of travel, if Paul sent for the elders on Thursday afternoon, they might well arrive by Sunday. — Lewin.
PLACE. -- Miletus, then a celebrated city of Asia Minor, some 30 miles south of Ephesus, at the mouth of the river Meander. It was the capital of Ionia, and the birthplace of a number of celebrated men. It was beginning to decline in Paul's time, and is now a ruin. It was then, with its four harbors, famous for its commerce and riches.
RULERS. - Nero, emperor of Rome, aged 21, fourth year of his reign. Felix was governor of Judea. This year the Passover was March 27; Pentecost, May 16; Tabernacles, Sept. 21.
PAUL, aged 56, on his third great missionary journey, toward its close.
INTRODUCTION. In our last lesson Paul was hastening on from Europe toward Jerusalem, which he desired to reach in time for the great Feast of Pentecost (May 16), where he would meet friends from all parts of the civilized world, and reach many with the story of the Gospel among the Gentiles. He had travelled as far as Miletus, and remaining there a brief time he sent to Ephesus for the elders to come and consult with him. The lesson for to-day is a part of his address to them.
17. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
And from Miletus he sent 17 to Ephesus, and called to him the elders of the church.
EXPLANATORY. 1. Panl sends for the Elders of Ephesus. - Vers. 17, 18. 17. Miletus. See Place above. He sent to Ephesus. 30 miles in a direct line, but 35 to 45 by the ways of travel. Paul did not go to Ephesus himself, because it was not in the course of the ship he was sailing in. If he left Miletus, he might have missed the ship, whose time of sailing was ever uncertain, and have been thus delayed on his journey to Jerusalem. - P. For other reasons, see last lesson. And called the elders. Originally among the Jews the elders were either the heads of tribes or the oldest and most judicious of the people. Hence the name came to be applied to office, and was the title of the rulers of the synagogue on whom devolved the conduct of religious affairs; the prayer, reading, and exposition which consti'tuted the service. The name was transferred to the corresponding officers of the Christian church. The term bishop (overseer) was applied to the same office as in this lesson (vers. 17, 28). Every church had a number of elders, and there was no set distinction in the New Testament between a teaching and a ruling elder. Presbyter is simply the Greek word wbich is translated elder. The elders of the church at Ephesus were the preachers and officers of the church. — From Schaff's Bib. Dic.
18. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, I from the first day that I came into him, he said unto them,
And when they were come to 18 Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all
Ye yourselves know, from
the first day that I set foot in seasons,
Asia, after what manner I was
with you all the time serving 19 19. Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and
the Lord with all lowliness of with many tears, and temptations, which befell me 2 by mind, and with tears, and with
trials which befell me by the the lying in wait of the Jews :
18. And when they were come to him. The presbyters must have gathered together in all haste to obey the summons, and gone with eager steps out of the southern gate, which leads to Miletus. They were gathered together, probably in some solitary spot upon the shore, to listen to his address. This little company formed a singular contrast with the crowds which used to assemble at the times of public amusement in the theatre of Miletus. But that vast theatre is now a silent ruin, while the words spoken by a careworn traveller to a few despised strangers are still living as they were that day.- Conybeare and Howson. He said unto them. No discourse recorded in the Acts is so full of living personal interest. St. Luke would naturally be present at the meeting, and able to take notes of the address, and reproduce it almost if not altogether word for word. — Plumptre.
II. A Glimpse of Paul as a Pastor and Teacher. – Vers. 18-21. (I.) His MANNER OF LIFE. Ye know, from the first day that I came. Four years before this. Happy is he who can thus begin his address by appealing to the conscience and recollections of his hearers. — Bengel. Into Asia. The small Roman province on the west coast of Asia Minor, of which Ephesus was the capital. After what manner I have been with you. It is not personal pride, but proper regard for his position as apostle which leads him here and in other parts of this speech to speak of himself. - Prof. Riddle. At all seasons. Rather, as in Rév. Ver., all the time. This whole ministry in Asia was pursued in Ephesus, though its effects were felt throughout the province, and Christian churches were established at Hierapolis, Colosse, and elsewhere. -- Abbott.
19. Serving the Lord, i.e., Jesus. The minister is the servant, not of the church, but of Christ. — Abbott. He served the Lord in the discharge of the appropriate duties of his apostolic office, and in private life. To discharge aright our duties in any vocation is serving the Lord. — Barnes. All things may be done and should be done for the sake of the Lord as his servant, and so the whole life is sanctified and glorified. — P. With all humility of mind. Lowliness of mind. Neither refusing minor and seemingly insignificant work, e.g., in personal conversation as at Athens (chap. 17:17), nor hesitating to engage in manual labor für his own support and that of others (ver. 34), nor arrogating to himself to be a lord over God's heritage (1 Pet. 5:3). Observe that to know our own fidelity and to call others to attest it, is not inconsistent with true humility. But also observe that Paul never does this for self-praise, but only as a means of stimulating others to similar fidelity. --- Abbott. This was the same Paul who before Felix and Agrippa boldly declared the truth in Christ and sternly rebuked sin so that Felix trembled. There is no connection between humility and pusillanimity, though one may sometimes be mistaken for the other. – Wm. Denton. With many tears. “Many" should be omitted. Even the weaker phrase conveys a strong idea of Paul's sufferings in his ministry at Ephesus. — Alexander. The tears were not for his sufferings or for himself, but for others. His was a sorrow for souls that refused to believe and be saved. Tears of suffering. Tears of pastoral solicitude, tears of affection and friendship. — Schaff. So Christ wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44), and with Mary and Martha at the grave of Lazarus (John 11:35).
The intense SYMPATHY AND LOVE AMONG THE EARLY CHRISTIANS is most noteworthy. It was something strange and fresh in the old selfish world, and this sweet spirit which seemed after the crucifixion to have taken up its abode in the hearts of men and women was no doubt one of the most powerful agents in the rapid spread of the new doctrines. The revelation that God could so care for men as to weep (John u: 33–35) for them taught men the glorious beauty of mutual sympathy. Paul's intense sorrow for “souls that will not be redeemed” has been imitated and copied faithfully by many a noble heart in the long event. ful story of Christianity. Ages before the sore need of this sympathy had been felt and dimly groped after, but never found, and therefore never imitated. -- Schaff. And temptations. Rather trials. Perhaps including the temptation in his flesh alluded to in Gal. 4: 14, and