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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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.
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.
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."Eutychus. Sitting in the window, and at last overcome by drowsiness, he fell to the earth, three stories below. The language implies that he was killed by the fall, and restored by the Divine power, exercised through Paul. The history is plain, simple, and easy to understand. Compare 2Ki 4:34.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.
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