|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:17-27 The elders knew that Paul was no designing, self-seeking man. Those who would in any office serve the Lord acceptably, and profitably to others, must do it with humility. He was a plain preacher, one that spoke his message so as to be understood. He was a powerful preacher; he preached the gospel as a testimony to them if they received it; but as a testimony against them if they rejected it. He was a profitable preacher; one that aimed to inform their judgments, and reform their hearts and lives. He was a painful preacher, very industrious in his work. He was a faithful preacher; he did not keep back reproofs when necessary, nor keep back the preaching of the cross. He was a truly Christian, evangelical preacher; he did not preach notions or doubtful matters; nor affairs of state or the civil government; but he preached faith and repentance. A better summary of these things, without which there is no salvation, cannot be given: even repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, with their fruits and effects. Without these no sinner can escape, and with these none will come short of eternal life. Let them not think that Paul left Asia for fear of persecution; he was in full expectation of trouble, yet resolved to go on, well assured that it was by Divine direction. Thanks be to God that we know not the things which shall befall us during the year, the week, the day which has begun. It is enough for the child of God to know that his strength shall be equal to his day. He knows not, he would not know, what the day before him shall bring forth. The powerful influences of the Holy Spirit bind the true Christian to his duty. Even when he expects persecution and affliction, the love of Christ constrains him to proceed. None of these things moved Paul from his work; they did not deprive him of his comfort. It is the business of our life to provide for a joyful death. Believing that this was the last time they should see him, he appeals concerning his integrity. He had preached to them the whole counsel of God. As he had preached to them the gospel purely, so he had preached it to them entire; he faithfully did his work, whether men would bear or forbear.
Verse 26. - Testify unto you for take you to record, A.V. The solemnity of this address is dependent upon the speaker's conviction that he was speaking to his hearers for the last time. Hence the force of the words, "this day" (ἐν τῇ σήμερον ἡμέρᾳ); "my last opportunity." I am pure, etc. (comp. Ezekiel 3:17-21; Ezekiel 33:2, 9; Hebrews 13:17). Note the peril of hiding or watering God's truth.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wherefore I take you to record this day,.... This is a solemn appeal to the elders of the church at Ephesus, who knew his doctrine and manner of life for a considerable time among them:
that I am pure from the blood of all men: or "of you all", as some copies, and the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read; which seems most natural, since they could only bear a testimony for him with respect to themselves, and the people at Ephesus, where he had so behaved both in the faithful discharge of his ministry, and in his exemplary life and conversation; as that the ruin and destruction of no one of them could be laid to his charge, or any one perish for want of knowledge, or through any negligence of his; see Ezekiel 33:6.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. I am pure from the blood of all men—(Ac 18:6; and compare 1Sa 12:3, 5; Eze 3:17-21; 33:8, 9).
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