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fuse in flattery; he addressed them." Frontinus in Stratagem, lib. iii. cap. 2. speaking of a public meeting in the theatre at Agrigentum, observes, ubi ex more Grwcorum locus consulandi priebebatur; which, according to the custom of the Greeks, is the place for public deliberation. See several examples in Kypke.
Verse 31. Certain of the chief of Asia"] Tivs; nuv Atriasyuiv; some of the Asiarchs. The Asiarchs were those to whom the care and regulation of the public games were entrusted: they were a sort of high priests, and were always persons of considerable riches and influence. These could not have been Christians, but they were what the sacred text states them to have been, avnu liikci his friends; and foreseeing that Paul would be exposed to great danger if he went into the theatre, amidst such a tumultuous assembly, they sent a message to him, entreating him not to go into danger so apparent. Query: Did he not go, and fight with these wild beasts at Ephesus? 1 Cor. xv. 32.
Verse 32. Some—cried one tiling, and some another] This is an admirable description of a tumultuous mob, gathered together without law or reason; getting their passions inflamed, and looking for an opportunity to commit outrages, without why or therefore; principle or object.
For the assembly zcas confused] 'H txxA>jiria; the same word which we translate church: and thus we find that it signifies any assembly good or bad, lawful or unlawful; and that only the circumstances of the case, can determine the precise nature of the assembly, to which this word is applied.
Verse 33. They drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jezcs putting him forward'] From this and the following verse it is pretty evident, that this Alexander was brought forward on this occasion by the Jews, that he might make an oration to the multitude, in order to exculpate the Jews, who were often by the heathens confounded with the Christians; aud cast the whole blame of the uproar upon Paul and his party. And he was probably chosen, because he was
aAlexander "beckoned with the hand, A.M.«r.tota
, , , , , , „ A. D. cir. 59.
and would have made his defence Au.oiymp. unto the people. cjr^ccix. a.
34 But when they knew that he Avas a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
35 And when the town-clerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is c a worshipper of
an able speaker: and when he beckoned with his hand to gain an audience, the Greeks, knowing that he was a Jew, and consequently as much opposed to the worship of Diana as Paul was, would not hear him : and therefore, to drown his apology, ra> 8r,u.w for the pevjdc, viz. the Jews, they vociferated, for the space of two hours, Great is Diana of the Ephesians! There does not seem any just ground lrom the text to suppose, that this Alexander was a Christian; or that he was now about to make an apologj;for the Christians: it is generally believed, that he is the same with Alexander the copper-smith, of whom St. Paul speaks, 2 Tim. iv. M. and whom, with Philetus, he was obliged to excommunicate, 1 Tim. 1. 20. By the Jews putting him forward, we are to understand (heir earnestness to get him to undertake their defence, and criminate, as much as possible, St. Paul and his companions, and the Christian cause in general; which he would no doubt have done, without vindicating the worship of Diana, which, as a Jew, he would not dare to attempt.
Verse 35. When ttie town-clerk] 'O ypappanvs, literally the scribe. The Syriac has Jisjjliot l-A-i y reisha damedinato, the chief or prince of the city. The latter Syriac has, the scribe of the city. Some think that (he word recorder would do better here than town-clerk; and indeed it is evident, (hat a magistrate of considerable authority and influence is intended.
Ye men of Ephesus] The speech of this man may be thus analysed; 1. He states that there was no need of a public declaration that the Ephesians were worshippers of Diana; this every person knew, and nobody attempted to contest it, ver. 35, 30. 2. That the persons accused were not guilty of any public offence, nor of any breach of the laws of the city, 37. 3. That if they were, this was not a legal method of prosecuting them, 38, 39. 4. That they themselves, by this tumultuous meeting, bad exposed themselves to the censure of the law; and were in danger of being called into question for it, ver. 40. See Dodd.
Is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana] The -word: nanupos neocoros, which we translate worshipper, signified at first, among the ancient Greeks, no more than sweeper of the temple, and answered nearly to our sexton: in process of time, the care of the temple was entrusted to this person: at length the neocori became persons of great conse- j quence, and were those who offered sacrifices for the life of the emperor. Whole cities took this appellation, as appears on many ancient coins and medals; and Ephesus is supposed to hare been theirs* that assumed this title. At this time, it was commonly known as belonging to this city. "What man is there that knoweth not that the city of the Ephesians is the Neocoros of the great goddess Diana .'" As if he had said, "The whole city is devoted to her worship: it is reputed >n honour to our highest characters, even to sweep her tem- j pie, and open and shut her doors. Besides, we offer to her the highest sacrifices ; and are entrusted with the reli-' gious service that pertains to the emperor's safety."
Of the image which fell down from Jupiter?'] The original; image of the Ephesian Diana (see on ver. 27.) was supposed to have descended from heaven; which intimates, that it was so old, that no person knew either its maker, or the time in which it was formed; and it was the interest of the priests to persuade the people that this image had been sent to them as a present from Jupiter himself. Several images and sa-' cred things were supposed among the heathens, to be presents immediately from heaven. Euripides states the image of.i Diana of Tauris to be of this kind; and calls it hwnii tyx?Ma, the image fallen from Jupiter. Numa pretended , that the ancilia, or sacred shields, had come from heaven, i In imitation of these, many of the Italian papists believe, that the shrine of our lady of Lorello was also a divine gift to j their country. St. Isidore of Damietta says, that the heathen, \ in order to induce the people to believe that such images came j from heaven, either banished or slew the artists that had; formed them, that there might be no evidence of the time in which, or the persons by whom, they were made: this point!! secured, it was easy to persuade the credulous multitude, that ||
they had been sent from heaven. The story of the Palladium, on which the safety of Troy was said to depend, is well known. It was an image of Minerva, and also supposed to have descended from Jupiter.
Verse 37. These men—are neither robbers of churches] 'Upo<rv\ovs; spoilers of sacred places. As his design evidently was to appease and conciliate the people, he fixed first on a most incontrovertible fact: These men have not spoiled your temples; nor is there any evidence that they have even blasphemed your goddess. The apostles acted as prudent men should; they endeavoured to enlighten the minds of the multitude, that the absurdity of their gross errors might be the more apparent; for when they should know the truth, it was likely that they would at once abandon such gross falsehood.
Verse 38. If Demetrius—have a matter against any man] If it be any breach of law, in reference to Demetrius and the artists, the law is open, ayopxiit aytiVTOn ; these are the Terms of law, public courts, times of sessions or assize; or, rather, the judges are now sitting: so the words may be understood. And there are deputies, avSvirstrti proconsuls, appointed to guard the peace of the state, and to support every honest man in his right: let them implead one another; let the one party bring forward his action of assault or trespass, and the other put in his defence: the laws are equal and impartial, and justice will be done to him who is wronged.
Verse 39. But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters] In which the safety of the state, or the national worship is concerned, know that such a matter is not the business of the mob; it must be heard and determined in a lawful assembly, ev rx cyyofjuu ExxXijma, one legally constituted, and properly authorized to hear and determine on the subject.
Verse 40. For we are in danger, Sfc] Popular commotions were always dreaded by the Roman government; and so they should by all governments; for when might has nothing to direct its operations but passion, how destructive must these operations be. One of the Roman laws made all
such commotions of the people capital offences against those who raised them. Qui ctetum ct concursus feccrit, capifc puniatur; " He who raises a mob shall forfeit his life." If such a law existed at Ephesus; and it probably did, from this reference to it in the words of the town-clerk or recorder; then Demetrius must feel himself in great personal danger; and that his own life lay now at the mercy of those whom he had accused; concerning whom he had raised such an outcry, and against whom nothing disorderly could be proved.
Verse 41. He dismissed the assembly."] Tt;v ExxXijtriav. Another proof that the word sxxKytria, which we generally translate church, signifies an assembly of any kind, good or bad, legal or illegal.
1. Hon forcible are right words! From tho conduct of this prudent, sensible man, we may learn how much influence persons of this character may hare, even oyer the unbridled multitude. But where the civil power associates itself with the loveless might of the many, There, must be confusion and every evil work. What a blessing to the community is the civil lata! Were it not for this, the unthinking multitude would destroy others, andat lastdestroy themselves. Law and justice are from God; and the civil power, by which they are supported and administered, should be respected by all who regard the safety of their persons or property.
41 And when he had thus spoken,
"Job 5. 13. Psal. 65. 7.
2. Though the ministry of St. Paul was greatly blessed at Ephesus, and his preaching appears to have been very popular; yet this sunshine was soon darkened: peace with the world cannot last long; the way of the Lord will always be opposed by those who love their own nays.
3. How few would make an outward profession of religion, were there no gain connected with it: and yet, as one justly observes, Religion is rendered gainful, only by some external part of it. For this very reason, the external part of religion is always on the increase, and none can find fault with it, without raising storms and tempests; while the internal part wastes and decays, no man laying it to heart. Demetrius and his fellows would have made no stir for their worship, had not the apostles' preaching tended to discredit that by which they got their wealth. Most of the outcriej that have been made against all revivals of religion; revival, by which the church has been called back to its primitive principles and purity, have arisen out of self-interest. The cry of the church is in danger, has been echoed only by those who found their secular interest at stake; and knew that reformation must unmask them; and shew, that the slothful and wicked servants could no longer be permitted to live on the revenues of that church, which they disgraced by their lives, and corrupted by their false doctrines. He that ea(» the church's bread, should do the church's work: and he that will not work, should not be permitted to eat.
, CHAPTER XX.
Paul retires to Macedonia, 1. He goes into Greece, where he tarries three months; and purposing to sail to Syria, he returns through Macedonia, 2, 3. Several persons accompany him into Asia, and then go before and tarry for him at Troas, 4, 5. Paul and Luke sail from Philippi, and in five days reach Troas, where they meet their brethren from Asia, and abide there seven days, 6. On the first day of the week, the disciples coming together to break bread, Paul preaching to them, and continuing his speech till midnight, a young man of the name of Eulychus, being in a deep sleep, fell from the third loft, and was killed, 7—9. Paul restores him to life, resumes his discourse, and continuing it till day-break, then departs, 10—12. Luke and his companions sail to Assos, whither Paul comes by land, 1 3. He embarks with them at Assos, comes to Milylcne, 14. Sails thence, and passes by Chios, arrives at Samos, tarries at Trogyttium, and comes to Miletus, 15. Purposing to get as soon as possible to Jerusalem, he sends from Miletus, and calls the elders of the church of Ephesus, to whom he preaches a most affecting sermon, gives them the most solemn exhortations, kneels down and prays with them, takes a very affecting leave of them, and sets sail for Casarea, in order to go to Jerusalem, 16—S8.
NOTES ON CHAP. XX. Verse 1. After the uproar was ceased] The tumult excited by Demetrius apparently induceU Paul to leave Ephesus sooner than he had intended. He had written to the Corinthians, that he should leave that place after Pentecost, 1 Cor. xri. 8. but it is very probable that he left it sooner.
Verse 2. He came into Greece] Ei; ry/ 'EXXaJa, into Hellas, Greece properly so called, the regions between Thessaly and Propontis, and the country of Achaia. He did not, however, go there immediately: he passed through Macedonia, ver. 1. in which he informs us, 2 Cor. vii. 5, 6, 7. that he suffered much, both from believers and infidels: but was greatly comforted by the arrival of Titus, who gave him a very flattering account of the prosperous state of the church at Corinth. A short time after this, being still in •Macedonia, he sent Titus back to Corinth, 2 Cor. viii. 16,17. and sent by him the Second Epistle which he wrote to that church, as Theodoret and others suppose. Some time after, he visited Corinth himself, according to his promise, 1 Cor. r»i. 5. This was his third voyage to that city, 2 Cor. xii. 14. xiii. 1. What he did there at this time cannot be distinctly known; but, according to St. Augustin, he ordered every thing relative to the Holy Eucharist, and the proper manner in which it was to be received. See Calmet.
Verse 3. Abode three months] Partly, as we may suppose, at Corinth, at Athens, and in Achaia; from which place he is supposed to have sent his Epfrtle to the Romans, because he continued longer here than at any other place; and mentions several of the Corinthians in his salutations to the believers of Rome.
When the Jezss laid sail for him] Paul had determined to go by sea to Syria, and from thence to Jerusalem. This was the first object of his journey; and this was the readiest road he could take: but hearing that the Jews had laid wait for him, probably to attack his ship on the voyage, seize his person, sell him for a slave, and take the money which he was carrying to the poor saints at Jerusalem; he resolved to go as much of the journey as he conveniently could, by land. Therefore, he returned through Macedonia, and from thence to Troas, where he embarked to sail for Syria, ou his way
3 And there abode three months. And b when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia.
4 And there accompanied him into Asia, Sopater of Berea; and of the Theasalonians,
» Ch. 9. 23. & 23.12. & 13. 3. 2 Cor. 11. 26.
to Jerusalem. The whole of his journey is detailed in this and the fallowing chapter. See also the Map.
Verse 4. And there accompanied him] Rather, says Bp. Pearce, there followed him as far as to Asia; for they were not in his company till he set sail from Philippi, and came to them at Troas, in Asia, whither they had gone before, and where they tarried for him, ver. 5.
Into Asia] A%pi rrt; \<rtx;; these words are wanting iu two MSS. Erpen, the /EUUopic, Coptic, and Vulgate. Some think that they embarrass this place ; for how these could accompany him into Asia, and go before him, and tarry for him at Troas, ver. 6. is not so very clear; unless we suppose, what I have glanced at in the Table of Contents, that they came with him to Asia; but he tarrying a short time, they proceeded on their journey, and stopped for him at Troas, where he shortly after rejoined them. Mr. Wakefield gets rid of the difficulty, by reading the verse thus: Now Sopater of Berea accompanied him; but Aristarchus and Secundus of Thessalonica, Gains of- Derbe, Timothy of Lystra, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia, went before, and tarried for us at Troas.
Sopater of Berea] Sopater seems to be the same as Sosipater, whom St. Paul mentions as his kinsman, Rom. xvi. 21. ADE. more than twenty others, with the Coptic, Armenian, latter Syriac in the margin, Vulgate, ltula, Theophylact, Origen and Bede, add nvppov Svpatcr the Son Of Pyrbbus. Griesbach has received this into his text.
Aristarchus of Thessalonica] This person occurs in chap, xix. 29. and is mentioned there as a. Macedonian. He attended Paul in his journey to Rome, chap, xxvii. 2. aid was hit fcllow-labourcr, Philemon, ver. 24. and his fellows-prisoner, Col. iv. 10, 11. Secundus is mentioned no where but in this place.
Gaius of Derbe] This is supposed to be the same who is mentioned chap. xix. 26. and who is there called a rmt/i of Macedonia, of which some suppose he was a native, but de± scended from a family that came from Derbe; but as Gaiits, or Cuius, was a very common name, these might have been two distinct persons. One of this name was baptized by St. Paul at Corinth, 1 Cor. i. 14. and entertained him as his
host while he abode there, Kom. xvi. 23. and was probably the same to whom St. John directs his third Epistle.
And Timotheus'] Of Lystra is added by the Syriac. This was the same person of whom mention is made, chap. xvi. 1. and to whom St. Paul wrote the tzco Epistles, which are still extant; and who was a native of Lystra, as we learn from the above place. It was on this evidence, probably, that the ancient Syriac translator added of Lystra, to the text. This reading is not supported by any MSS.
Tychicus—of Asia] This person was high in the confidence of St. Paul. He stiles him a beloved brother, and faithful minister in the Lord, whom he sent to the Ephesians, that he might knots their affairs, and comfort their hearts, Ephes. chap. vi. 21, 22. He sent him for the same purpose, and with the same commendations, to the Colossians, Col. iv. 7, 8. Paul seems also to have designed him to superintend the church at Crete, In the absence of Titus; see Tit. iii. 12. He seems to have been the most intimate and confidential friend that Paul had.
Trophimus.] Was an Ephesian ; and both he and Tychicus are called Epea-tot, Ephesians, instead of Ao-iam, Asiatics, in the Codex Bezae, both Greek and Latin, and in the Sahidic. He accompanied Paul from Ephesus into Greece, as we see here; and from thence to Jerusalem, chap. xxi. 29. He had, no doubt, travelled with him on other journeys, for we find by 2 Tim. iv. 20. that he was obliged to leave him sick at Miletus, being then, as it is likely, on his return to his own kindred at Ephesus.
Verse 5. Tarried for us at Troas.] See the preceding verse. Troas was a small town in Phrygia Minor, in the province called the Troad; see chap. xvi. 8.
Verse b\ Days of unleavened bread] The seven days of the Pass-over, in which they ate unleavened bread. See the account of this festival in the notes on Exod. xii. It is evident from the manner in which St. Luke writes here, that he had not been with St. Paul since the time he accompanied him to Philippi, chap. xvi. 10—12. but he now embarks at Philippi with the apostle, and accompanies him
'Ex. 12.14, 15. & 23.13. 1 ch. 16. 8. 2 Cor. 2. 12. 2 Tim. 4. 13.
M Cor. 16. 2. Rev. 1. 10. ■ ch. 2. 42, 46. 1 Cot. 10. 16. &U.
20, &c. * cb. 1. 13.
to Troas, and continues with him through the rest of his journey.
To Trout in five days] So long they were making this voyage from Philippi, being obliged to keep always by the coast, and in sight of the land; for the magnetic needle was not yet known. See the situation of these places upon the Map.
Verse 7. Upon the first day of the Keek] What was called xvpixxr,, the Lord's day, the Christian sabbath, in which they commemorated the Resurrection of our Lord; and which, among all Christians, afterwards took the place of the Jetcish sabbath.
To break bread] To break jjisjoyoof eucarislia, the eucharist, as the Syriac has it; intimating by this, that they were accustomed to receive the holy sacrament on each Lord's day. It is likely that, besides this, they received a common meal together. Some think the ayairij, or lovefeast, is intended.
Continued his speech until midnight.] At what, time he began to preach we cannot tell, but wc hear taken he concluded. He preached during the whole night, for he did not leave off till the break of the next day, ver. 11. though about midnight his discourse was interrupted by the fall of Eutychus. As this was about the time of Pentecost, and we may suppose about the beginning of May, as Troas was in about 40 degrees of north latitude, the sun set there at seten P. M. and rose at Jive A. M. so that the night was about eight hours long; and taking all the interruptions together, and they could not have amounted to more than Itco hours; and, taking no account of the preceding day's work, Paul must have preached a sermon not less than sir hours long. But it is likely that a good part of this time was employed in hearing and answering questions; for SieXeytro, and Stateyipivw, may be thus understood.
Verse 8. Upper chamber] It was in an upper chamber in the temple that the primitive disciples were accustomed to meet: on that account, they might have preferred an iqipcr chamber whenever they could meet with it. The plou\