|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:7-12 Though the disciples read, and meditated, and prayed, and sung apart, and thereby kept up communion with God, yet they came together to worship God, and so kept up their communion with one another. They came together on the first day of the week, the Lord's day. It is to be religiously observed by all disciples of Christ. In the breaking of the bread, not only the breaking of Christ's body for us, to be a sacrifice for our sins, is remembered, but the breaking of Christ's body to us, to be food and a feast for our souls, is signified. In the early times it was the custom to receive the Lord's supper every Lord's day, thus celebrating the memorial of Christ's death. In this assembly Paul preached. The preaching of the gospel ought to go with the sacraments. They were willing to hear, he saw they were so, and continued his speech till midnight. Sleeping when hearing the word, is an evil thing, a sign of low esteem of the word of God. We must do what we can to prevent being sleepy; not put ourselves to sleep, but get our hearts affected with the word we hear, so as to drive sleep far away. Infirmity requires tenderness; but contempt requires severity. It interrupted the apostle's preaching; but was made to confirm his preaching. Eutychus was brought to life again. And as they knew not when they should have Paul's company again, they made the best use of it they could, and reckoned a night's sleep well lost for that purpose. How seldom are hours of repose broken for the purposes of devotion! but how often for mere amusement or sinful revelry! So hard is it for spiritual life to thrive in the heart of man! so naturally do carnal practices flourish there!
Verse 8. - We for they, A.V. and T.R. It is not obvious why St. Luke mentions the many lights. Some say to mark the solemnity of the first day of the week (Kuinoel); some, to remove all possible occasion of scandal as regards such midnight meetings (Bengel); some, to explain how the young man's fall was immediately perceived (Meyer); others, to account for the young man's drowsiness, which would be increased by the many lights, possibly making the room hot (Alford); for ornament (Olshausen). But possibly it is the mere mention by an eye-witness of a fact which struck him. It is obvious that the room must have been lit for a night meeting - only perhaps there were more lights than usual.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And there were many lights in the upper chamber,.... Which were lighted up, both for necessary uses, to see by, to read the word, and to administer the ordinance of the supper, and for the comfort and pleasure of the whole company, both preacher and hearers; as well as to remove all ground of suspicion, or occasion of reproach, as if it was a midnight society met for wicked practices: but this no ways countenances the use of lamps and wax candies in the daytime at divine worship, since this was in the night; of the upper chamber, in which it was usual to meet for religious exercises, see Mark 2:4, where they were gathered together; the Alexandrian copy, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions read, "where we were gathered together".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. there were many lights in the upper chamber—not a mere piece of graphic detail by an eye-witness [Hackett, Howson], but mentioned, probably, as increasing the heat and contributing to drowsiness [Webster and Wilkinson], as the next clause seems to show.
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