Acts 19:11
And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
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(11) And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul.—The Greek phrase is negative: no common works of power—not such as one might meet with any day. (See Note on Acts 28:2, where the same phrase recurs.) The noun is that which was technically used by physicians for the healing “powers” or “virtues” of this or that remedy, and is so far, though used freely by other writers, characteristic of St. Luke.

Acts 19:11-12. And God — To add the greater efficacy and success to this important doctrine; wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul — Who, as he abode longer at Ephesus than at any other city we read of, so he wrought more and greater miracles than in any other. So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs, or aprons — Greek, σουδαρια η σιμικινθια, sudaria vel semicinctia. These two words, originally Latin, have been differently rendered, but the etymology of the first plainly determines it to signify pieces of linen with which they wiped the sweat from their faces, and the latter word signifies things round their waists, doubtless girdles or sashes. Aprons made no part of the ordinary dress of the Greeks; yet they might possibly be occasionally used, both by men and women, to preserve their clothes clean, while they were engaged in some particular kind of work. Dr. Macknight thinks, that these handkerchiefs and aprons belonged to the sick, from whom they were brought to touch Paul’s body, and then taken back to them, when they had the effect here mentioned. And the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits — Which occasioned many of these diseases, though they might appear purely natural; went out of them — In this respect Paul was equal to Peter, whose shadow, as he passed by, overshadowing the sick, who were laid on couches in the streets of Jerusalem, cured them of their distempers, Acts 5:15. Hence we may infer, that it was in a great measure owing to the multitude and greatness of Paul’s miracles, that so many of the inhabitants of Ephesus, and of the province of Asia, embraced the gospel.

19:8-12 When arguments and persuasions only harden men in unbelief and blasphemy, we must separate ourselves and others from such unholy company. God was pleased to confirm the teaching of these holy men of old, that if their hearers believed them not, they might believe the works.Special miracles - Miracles that were remarkable; that were not common, or that were very unusual (οὐ τὰς τυχών ou tas tuchōn). This expression is Classical Greek. Thus, Longinus says of Moses that he was no common man - οὐχ ̓ ὁ τύχων ἀνήρ ouch ho tuchōn anēr. 11, 12. God wrought special—no ordinary

miracles by the hands of Paul—implying that he had not been accustomed to work such.

Special miracles; not common or ordinary things, or such as might happen by chance.

By the hands of Paul; as Acts 5:12; by his means and ministry.

And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul. For the confirmation of the doctrine which he preached, and of his mission, as an apostle; and these were not any sort of miracles, common and vulgar ones, and much less things of chance, and what were merely accidental, as the word may signify; but they were rare and uncommon ones, and in which there was a visible display of the power of God; to whom as the efficient cause they are ascribed, the apostle being only an instrument God made use of. And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
Acts 19:11-12. Οὐ τὰς τυχούσ.] not the usual, i.e. distinguished, not to be compared with those of the Jewish exorcists (Acts 19:13). Comp. Acts 28:2. The opposite: μικραὶ καὶ αἱ τυχοῦσαι πράξεις, Polyb. i. 25. 6. On τυχών, in the sense of vulgaris, see generally, Vigerus, ed. Hermann, p. 364; and on the very frequent connection by way of litotes with οὐ, see Wetstein in loc.; Valckenaer, p. 559 f.; from Philo, Loesner, p. 219. Comp. 2Ma 3:7.

ὥστε καὶ κ.τ.λ.] so that also (among other things) towels and aprons were brought to the sick from his skin, and (thereby) the ailments were removed from them, etc.

σιμικίνθιον, not preserved elsewhere, the Latin semicinctium, is explained either as a handkerchief (Oecumenius: ἐν ταῖς χερσὶ κατέχουσιπρὸς τὸ ἀπομάττεσθαι τὰς ὑγρότητας τοῦ προσώπου, οἷον ἱδρῶτας, πτύελον, δάκρυον κ. τὰ ὅμοια, comp. Theophylact and Suicer, Thes. II. p. 959), or usually as an apron, in favour of which is the etymology, and Martial, Epigr. xiv. 151. Very probably it was a linen apron (ἀμφότερα λινοειδῆ εἰσι, Schol. ap. Matth.), which workmen or waiters (Pignor. de serv. p. lxxv.) wore after laying aside their upper garment, and which, when they had it on, they likewise used for the purpose remarked by Oecumenius.

ἀπὸ τοῦ χρωτὸς αὐτοῦ] so that they had just been used by him and been in contact with his skin. Luke, who also here (comp. Luke 4:40 f. al.) distinguishes the ordinary sick from the possessed, represents the healing of the former and the deliverance of the latter as an effect, which was brought about by the cloths laid on them; for ὥστε down to ἐκπορ. forms together the description of a peculiar kind of those unusual miraculous δυνάμεις. Purely historical criticism, independent of arbitrary premisses laid down à priori, has nothing to assail in this view, as the healing power of the apostle, analogous to the miraculous power of Jesus, might through his will be transmitted by means of cloths requested from him to the suffering person, and received by means of the faith of the latter. The truth of the occurrence stands on the same footing with the N.T. miraculous cures in general, which took place through the will of the worker of miracles, partly with and partly without sensible transmission. By relegating the matter from the historical domain of miracles, which is yet undoubtedly to be recognised in the working of Paul (Romans 15:19; 2 Corinthians 12:12), to the sphere of legends as to relics (Baur, Zeller), with comparison of Acts 5:15, or to that “of the servants’ rooms and houses behind” (Hausrath), the narrative of our passage is easily dismissed, but not got rid of, although a more special embellishment of it by the importunity of those seeking help, and by the pouring out of the sweat of the apostle as he worked (Baumgarten), of which the text indicates nothing, is to be set aside.

Acts 19:11. οὐ τὰς τυχ., cf. Acts 28:2, the phrase is peculiar to St. Luke, “not the ordinary,” i.e., extraordinary, with which the deeds of the Jewish exorcists could not be compared, see Klostermann, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, p. 52, for the same phrase cf. 3Ma 3:7, and also Deissmann, Neue Bibelstudien, p. 83; so too in classical Greek.—ἐποίει: “continued to work,” or ex more, Blass.

11. And God wrought special miracles [Gr. powers] by the hands of Paul] The language of the historian is noteworthy. God works, Paul is the instrument. (Cp. The mighty hand of Moses, Deuteronomy 34:12.) The imperfect tense of the verb in the Greek implies that these manifestations of God’s power were continued during the Apostle’s stay. This was no mere spasmodic excitement over some powerful discourse. “By the hands” is probably only the Jewish mode of expressing “by.” See note on Acts 5:12.

Acts 19:11Special (οὐ τὰς τυχούσας)

A peculiar expression. Lit., not usual or common, such as one might fall in with frequently.

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