|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:21-31 Persons who came from afar to pay their devotions at the temple of Ephesus, bought little silver shrines, or models of the temple, to carry home with them. See how craftsmen make advantage to themselves of people's superstition, and serve their worldly ends by it. Men are jealous for that by which they get their wealth; and many set themselves against the gospel of Christ, because it calls men from all unlawful crafts, however much wealth is to be gotten by them. There are persons who will stickle for what is most grossly absurd, unreasonable, and false; as this, that those are gods which are made with hands, if it has but worldly interest on its side. The whole city was full of confusion, the common and natural effect of zeal for false religion. Zeal for the honour of Christ, and love to the brethren, encourage zealous believers to venture into danger. Friends will often be raised up among those who are strangers to true religion, but have observed the honest and consistent behaviour of Christians.
Verse 22. - And having sent for so he sent, A.V.; Timothy for Timotheus, A.V.; he for but he, A.V.; while for season, A.V. Two of them, etc. Erastus is here mentioned for the first time. If he is the same person who is mentioned in Romans 16:23; 2 Timothy 4:20, it is probable that he was one of St. Paul's Corinthian converts who had gone with him from Corinth to Jerusalem and Antioch, and had accompanied him through Phrygia and Galatia to Ephesus. Silos, who had been Timothy's companion on the former visit to Macedonia, seems to have left St. Paul, possibly at Jerusalem, from whence he originally came (Acts 15:22, 32, 34), and to have attached himself to Peter (1 Peter 5:12). Perhaps he was especially connected with the mission to Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, etc., as it appears from the passage just quoted that he was "a faithful brother unto them," A.V.; "or our faithful brother," R.V. He himself stayed, etc. This phrase is in singular harmony with 1 Corinthians 16:8, which seems clearly to have been written after Timothy's departure for Macedonia and before his arrival at Corinth, since Timothy is not mentioned either in the superscription or among the salutations (1 Corinthians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 16:19, 20), and his coming to Corinth is spoken of as doubtful, though probable, in 1 Corinthians 16:10. Both passages imply a prolongation of Paul's stay at Ephesus beyond his original intention. The special reason for this prolongation of his sojourn at Ephesus, and which is alluded to in 1 Car 16:9, is thought to be the Artemisian or Ephesian games, which were celebrated at Ephesus in May - and therefore just at this time - and which brought a vast concourse of Ionians to Ephesus. It was at this time, doubtless, that the principal sale of "silver shrines of Diana" took place, and therefore it was natural that Demetrius and his fellow-craftsmen should be very angry when they found their usual gains were cut short by the multitude of converts all over Proconsular Asia. We learn from 1 Corinthians 16:7 that Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus had arrived at Ephesus from Corinth. It is likely that their presence, together with that of Tychicus and Trophimus, two Asiatic converts, enabled St. Paul to dispense with the services of Time-thy and Erastus for a time. Ἔπεσχεν, understand σεαυτόν, kept himself back, i.e. stayed; χρόνον, a while, an indefinite phrase, but indicating a short time. Herodotus has ἐπίσχοντες (8. 113), ἐπισχὼν ὀλίγον χρόνον (1. 132), and ἐπισχὼν χρόνον (9. 49).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So he sent into Macedonia,.... To Philippi, or Thessalonica, or Berea, or some of the places there, to let them know of his coming, and to prepare for him:
two of them that ministered unto him; that were his assistants in preaching the Gospel:
Timotheus and Erastus; the former of these was a disciple he found at Lystra, and took along with him, and to whom he afterwards wrote two epistles; and the latter seems to be the same with him, who was chamberlain of the city of Corinth, and is said to abide there, Romans 16:23 The Ethiopic version, instead of Erastus, wrongly reads Aristarchus; whereas it is certain, he was not sent into Macedonia, but was with the apostle at Ephesus in the tumult, Acts 19:29.
But he himself stayed in Asia for a season; that is, at Ephesus, as the following narration shows.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. So he sent into Macedonia … Timotheus and Erastus—as his pioneers, in part to bring "them into remembrance of his ways which were in Christ" (1Co 4:17; 16:10), partly to convey his mind on various matters. After a brief stay he was to return (1Co 16:11). It is very unlikely that this Erastus was "the chamberlain of the city" of Corinth, of that name (Ro 16:23).
he himself stayed in—the province of
Asia for a season—that is, at Ephesus, its chief city. (Asia is mentioned in contrast with Macedonia in the previous clause).
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