And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)There sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus . . .—The name, like those of kindred meaning, such as Felix, Felicia, Felicissimus, Syntyche, Epaphroditus, Fortunatus, Faustus, Felicitas, was sufficiently common, especially among the freed-man class. In one instance, in an inscription in the Collegio Romano, the two names of Eutychus and Felicia appear as belonging to husband and wife.
And was taken up dead.—What follows is obviously related as a miraculous resuscitation; but it may be questioned, looking to St. Paul’s words, “his life is in him,” whether more than apparent death is meant. He was to all appearance dead—would have died but for the prayer of the Apostle; but there had been no fracture of limb or skull, and the cause of death, or of the state that looked like death, was the shock given to the brain and nerves by the violence of the fall.
The third loft - The third story.
And was taken up dead - Some have supposed that he was merely stunned with the fall, and that he was still alive. But the obvious meaning is, that he was actually killed by the fall, and was miraculously restored to life. This is an instance of sleeping in public worship that has some apology. The late hour of the night, and the length of the services, were the excuse. But, though the thing is often done now, yet how seldom is a sleeper in a church furnished with an excuse for it. No practice is more shameful, disrespectful, and abominable than that so common of sleeping in the house of God.
window—or window seat, or recess.
fell down from the third loft—"story."
and was taken up dead—"The window projected (according to the side of the room where it was situated) either over the street or over the interior court; so that in either case he fell on the hard earth or pavement below."Preaching; discoursing and arguing; for it does not seem to have been a continued speech, by the word here used.
Fell down from the third loft; this fall is thought by some to have been caused by Satan, (through God’s permission), that he might the more disturb Paul, and hinder, or put an end to, his sermon; which by the ensuing miracle God turned to a quite contrary effect.
named Eutychus; a Greek name, which signifies one of good fortune:
being fallen into a deep sleep; which may be accounted for without aggravating the case; as from his youth, he was a young man, and so more subject to sleep, and more easily overcome with it, than persons in years, by reason of the humours of the body which incline to it; and also from the length of service, and the lateness of the season of the night, all which contributed to bring on this deep sleep: it can hardly be thought that he purposely composed himself to sleep, for had he, he would never have chose so dangerous a place to sit in as a window, and that at so great an height from the ground; but this sleep seemed to come upon him at an unawares; what hand soever Satan might have in it, with a view to the young man's hurt, both as to soul and body, and to bring reproach and scandal upon the church, and the Gospel, it seems evident that the providence of God was in it, and which overruled it for a good end, even the greater confirmation of the Gospel, and very probably for the spiritual good of the young man.
And as Paul was long preaching he sunk down with sleep; being quite overcome, and bore down with it, not able to hold up his head, he either bowed down, or leaned backwards: and fell down from the third loft: or three story high, where the upper room was. It seems that he did not fall inward, for then he would have fallen no further than the floor of the upper room, but outward, out of the window into the street or yard; and this is the more evident from Paul's going down to him, mentioned in the next verse:And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 20:9. Εὔτυχος: we are not old what position he occupied, but there is no hint that he was a servant.—ἐπὶ τῆς θυρ.: on the window sill—there were no windows of glass, and the lattice or door was open probably on account of the heat from the lamps, and from the number present—the fact that Eutychus thus sat at the window points to the crowded nature of the assembly, cf. 2 Kings 1:2, where a different word is used in LXX, although θυρίς is also frequently found.—καταφερ. ὕ. β.: the two participles are to be carefully distinguished (but R.V. does not); “who was gradually oppressed,” or “becoming oppressed with sleep,” present participle; “being borne down by his sleep,” i.e., overcome by it, aorist. Rendall takes ἐπὶ πλεῖον with κατενεχθεὶς (so W.H margin), “and being still more overcome with the sleep,” but the words are usually taken with διαλεγ. See Bengel, Nösgen, Alford, Holtzmann, Weiss, Ramsay, Page on the force of the participles: “sedentem somnus occupavit … somno oppressus cecidit,” Bengel. καταφέρεσθαι: used only in Luke in N.T., and in no corresponding sense in LXX; a medical term, and so much so that it was used more frequently absolutely than with ὕπνος in medical writings, and the two participles thus expressing the different stages of sleep would be quite natural in a medical writer.—βαθεῖ: one of the epithets joined with ὕπνος by the medical writers, see Hobart, pp. 48, 49, and his remarks on Luke 22:45, p. 84. The verb is also used in the same sense by other writers as by Aristotle, Josephus, see instances in Wetstein, but Zahn reckons the whole phrase as medical, Einleitung, ii., p. 436.—καὶ ἤρθη νεκρός: the words positively assert that Eutychus was dead—they are not ὡσεὶ νεκρός, cf. Mark 9:26, and the attempt to show that the words in Acts 20:10, “his life is in him,” indicate apparent death, or that life is still thought of as not having left him (so apparently even Zöckler, whilst he strongly maintains the force of the preceding words), cannot be called satisfactory; see on the other hand Ramsay, St. Paul, pp. 290, 291, and Wendt, in loco.
 Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.9. And there sat in a [better, the] window] The window in that climate was only an opening in the wall, and not as in our country provided with a framework, the bars of which would have prevented the accident which is here described.
a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep] The last verb signifies borne down, overpowered, and the Rev. Ver. gives “borne down with deep sleep.” He was not a careless hearer, but sleep at the late hour overcame his youthful frame and he could resist it no longer.
and as Paul was long preaching] Better, “and as Paul discoursed yet longer” with Rev. Ver. The comparative degree refers to the expectation or the wearied powers of the young man. The discourse went on longer than he thought it would, or than he could keep awake.
he sunk down with sleep] The verb is the same as before. Read “being borne down by his sleep,” as the word is a participle.
and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead] To join on with the participial sentence preceding, render he fell down from the third story and, &c. The latticework with which such windows were closed in the East would be set wide open to admit the cool air into the crowded room. The lad fell out, and down to the floor of the courtyard. There has been much debate whether the restoration of Eutychus was meant to be described as miraculous; whether, that is, “dead” may not be taken for “in a swoon like death.” But St Luke’s expression (Acts 20:12) “They brought him alive” seems to leave no room for question. That life was gone by reason of the fall and was restored by the prayer of the Apostle is the natural reading of the story, which has all the vividness that marks the narrative of an eyewitness.Acts 20:9. Νεανίας) παῖς in Acts 20:12.—καταφερόμενος· κατενεχθεὶς) One and same participle, but in a different tense: although even the theme ἐνέγκω expresses more than φέρω. Sleep surprised (came unawares on) him whilst sitting: being “sunk down with sleep,” he fell.Verse 9. - The for a, A.V.; borne down with for being fallen into a, A.V.; discoursed yet longer for was long preaching, A.V.; being borne down by his sleep he for he sunk down with sleep, and, A.V.; story for loft, A.V. In the window; or, on the window-seat. The window was merely the opening in the wall, without any glass or shutter. Borne down; καταφερόμενος, the proper word in connection with sleep, either, as here, when sleep is the agent, or, followed by εἰς ὕπνον, falling into sleep. Yet longer; rather, as in the A.V., long; i.e. longer than usual, somewhat or very long.
See on Acts 9:25. The windows of an Eastern house are closed with lattice-work, and usually reach down to the floor, resembling a door rather than a window. They open, for the most part, to the court, and not to the street, and are usually kept open on account of the heat.
Fallen into a deep sleep (καταφερόμενος ὕπνῳ βαθεῖ)
Lit., borne down by, etc. A common Greek phrase for being overcome by sleep. In medical language the verb was more frequently used in this sense, absolutely, than with the addition of sleep. In this verse the word is used twice: in the first instance, in the present participle, denoting the coming on of drowsiness - falling asleep; and the second time, in the aorist participle, denoting his being completely overpowered by sleep. Mr. Hobart thinks that the mention of the causes of Eutychus' drowsiness - the heat and smell arising from the numerous lamps, the length of the discourse, and the lateness of the hour - are characteristic of a physician's narrative. Compare Luke 22:45.
Actually dead. Not as dead, or for dead.
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