Acts 19:21
After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) Paul purposed in the spirit.—Better, perhaps, in spirit. The Greek word, however, implies a reference to something more than human volition. The spirit which formed the purpose was in communion with the Divine Spirit. (See Notes on Acts 17:16; Acts 18:5.)

We learn from the First Epistle to the Corinthians what were the chief antecedents of this purpose. There had been intercourse, we may believe, more or less frequent, with the churches of both Macedonia and Achaia during the two years which St. Paul had spent at Ephesus; and there was much to cause anxiety. It had been necessary for him to send a letter, not extant, to warn the Corinthians against their besetting impurity (1Corinthians 5:9). The slaves or freed-men of Chloe had brought tidings of schisms, and incestuous adulteries, and grave disorders in ritual and discipline. (See Introduction to the First Epistle to the Corinthians.) These things called for the Apostle’s presence. With these was joined another purpose. He wished to revisit Jerusalem, and to appear there as the bearer of a munificent contribution from the Gentile churches to the suffering church of the Hebrews. (See Notes to 1Corinthians 16:1; 2Corinthians 8:1.)

After I have been there, I must also see Rome.—This is the first recorded expression of a desire which we learn from Romans 1:13; Romans 15:23, had been cherished for many years, possibly from the time when he was first told that he was to be sent far off unto the Gentiles (Acts 22:21). It was doubtless strengthened by personal contact with the numerous disciples from that city whom he met at Corinth, some of them dating their conversion from a time anterior to his own (Romans 16:7), and by the report which he heard from them of the faith and constancy of their brethren (Romans 1:8). His work would not seem to him complete until he had borne his witness in the great capital of the empire.

Acts

THE FIGHT WITH WILD BEASTS AT EPHESUS

Acts 19:21 - Acts 19:34
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Paul’s long residence in Ephesus indicates the importance of the position. The great wealthy city was the best possible centre for evangelising all the province of Asia, and that was to a large extent effected during the Apostle’s stay there. But he had a wider scheme in his mind. His settled policy was always to fly at the head, as it were. The most populous cities were his favourite fields, and already his thoughts were travelling towards the civilised world’s capital, the centre of empire-Rome. A blow struck there would echo through the world. Paul had his plan, and God had His, and Paul’s was not realised in the fashion he had meant, but it was realised in substance. He did not expect to enter Rome as a prisoner. God shaped the ends which Paul had only rough-hewn.

The programme in Acts 19:21 - Acts 19:22 was modified by circumstances, as some people would say; Paul would have said, by God. The riot hastened his departure from Ephesus. He did go to Jerusalem, and he did see Rome, but the chain of events that drew him there seemed to him, at first sight, the thwarting, rather than the fulfilment, of his long-cherished hope. Well it is for us to carry all our schemes to God, and to leave them in His hands.

The account of the riot is singularly vivid and lifelike. It reveals a new phase of antagonism to the Gospel, a kind of trades-union demonstration, quite unlike anything that has met us in the Acts. It gives a glimpse into the civic life of a great city, and shows demagogues and mob to be the same in Ephesus as in England. It has many points of interest for the commentator or scholar, and lessons for all. Luke tells the story with a certain dash of covert irony.

We have, first, the protest of the shrine-makers’ guild or trades-union, got up by the skilful manipulation of Demetrius. He was evidently an important man in the trade, probably well-to-do. As his speech shows, he knew exactly how to hit the average mind. The small shrines which he and his fellow-craftsmen made were of various materials, from humble pottery to silver, and were intended for ‘votaries to dedicate in the temple,’ and represented the goddess Artemis sitting in a niche with her lions beside her. Making these was a flourishing industry, and must have employed a large number of men and much capital. Trade was beginning to be slack, and sales were falling off. No doubt there is exaggeration in Demetrius’s rhetoric, but the meeting of the craft would not have been held unless a perceptible effect had been produced by Paul’s preaching. Probably Demetrius and the rest were more frightened than hurt; but men are very quick to take alarm when their pockets are threatened.

The speech is a perfect example of how self-interest masquerades in the garb of pure concern for lofty objects, and yet betrays itself. The danger to ‘our craft’ comes first, and the danger to the ‘magnificence’ of the goddess second; but the precedence given to the trade is salved over by a ‘not only,’ which tries to make the religious motive the chief. No doubt Demetrius was a devout worshipper of Artemis, and thought himself influenced by high motives in stirring up the craft. It is natural to be devout or moral or patriotic when it pays to be so. One would not expect a shrine-maker to be easily accessible to the conviction that ‘they be no gods which are made with hands.’

Such admixture of zeal for some great cause, with a shrewd eye to profit, is very common, and may deceive us if we are not always watchful. Jehu bragged about his ‘zeal for the Lord’ when it urged him to secure himself on the throne by murder; and he may have been quite honest in thinking that the impulse was pure, when it was really mingled. How many foremost men in public life everywhere pose as pure patriots, consumed with zeal for national progress, righteousness, etc., when all the while they are chiefly concerned about some private bit of log-rolling of their own! How often in churches there are men professing to be eager for the glory of God, who are, perhaps half-unconsciously, using it as a stalking-horse, behind which they may shoot game for their own larder! A drop of quicksilver oxidises and dims as soon as exposed to the air. The purest motives get a scum on them quickly unless we constantly keep them clear by communion with God.

Demetrius may teach us another lesson. His opposition to Paul was based on the plain fact that, if Paul’s teaching prevailed, no more shrines would be wanted. That was a new ground of opposition to the Gospel, resembled only by the motive for the action of the owners of the slave girl at Philippi; but it is a perennial source of antagonism to it. In our cities especially there are many trades which would be wiped out if Christ’s laws of life were universally adopted. So all the purveyors of commodities and pleasures which the Gospel forbids a Christian man to use are arrayed against it. We have to make up our minds to face and fight them. A liquor-seller, for instance, is not likely to look complacently on a religion which would bring his ‘trade into disrepute’; and there are other occupations which would be gone if Christ were King, and which therefore, by the instinct of self-preservation, are set against the Gospel, unless, so to speak, its teeth are drawn.

According to one reading, the shouts of the craftsmen which told that Demetrius had touched them in the tenderest part, their pockets, was an invocation, ‘Great Diana!’ not a profession of faith; and we have a more lively picture of an excited crowd if we adopt the alteration. It is easy to get a mob to yell out a watchword, whether religious or political; and the less they understand it, the louder are they likely to roar. In Athanasius’ days the rabble of Constantinople made the city ring with cries, degrading the subtlest questions as to the Trinity, and examples of the same sort have not been wanting nearer home. It is criminal to bring such incompetent judges into religious or political or social questions, it is cowardly to be influenced by them. ‘The voice of the people’ is not always ‘the voice of God.’ It is better to ‘be in the right with two or three’ than to swell the howl of Diana’s worshippers,

II. A various reading of Acts 19:28 gives an additional particular, which is of course implied in the received text, but makes the narrative more complete and vivid if inserted.

It adds that the craftsmen rushed ‘into the street,’ and there raised their wild cry, which naturally ‘filled’ the city with confusion. So the howling mob, growing larger and more excited every minute, swept through Ephesus, and made for the theatre, the common place of assembly.

On their road they seem to have come across two of Paul’s companions, whom they dragged with them. What they meant to do with the two they had probably not asked themselves. A mob has no plans, and its most savage acts are unpremeditated. Passion let loose is almost sure to end in bloodshed, and the lives of Gaius and Aristarchus hung by a thread. A gust of fury storming over the mob, and a hundred hands might have torn them to atoms, and no man have thought himself their murderer.

What a noble contrast to the raging crowd the silent submission, no doubt accompanied by trustful looks to Heaven and unspoken prayers, presents! And how grandly Paul comes out! He had not been found, probably had not been sought for, by the rioters, whose rage was too blind to search for him, but his brave soul could not bear to leave his friends in peril and not plant himself by their sides. So he ‘was minded to enter in unto the people,’ well knowing that there he had to face more ferocious ‘wild beasts’ than if a cageful of lions had been loosed on him. Faith in God and fellowship with Christ lift a soul above fear of death. The noblest kind of courage is not that born of flesh or temperament, or of the madness of battle, but that which springs from calm trust in and absolute surrender to Christ.

Not only did the disciples restrain Paul as feeling that if the shepherd were smitten the sheep would be scattered, but interested friends started up in an unlikely quarter. The ‘chief of Asia’ or Asiarchs, who sent to dissuade him, ‘were the heads of the imperial political-religious organisation of the province, in the worship of “Rome and the emperors”; and their friendly attitude is a proof both that the spirit of the imperial policy was not as yet hostile to the new teaching, and that the educated classes did not share the hostility of the superstitious vulgar’ {Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, p. 281}. It is probable that, in that time of crumbling faith and religious unrest, the people who knew most about the inside of the established worship believed in it least, and in their hearts agreed with Paul that ‘they be no gods which are made with hands.’

So we have in these verses the central picture of calm Christian faith and patient courage, contrasted on the one hand with the ferocity and excitement of heathen fanatical devotees, and on the other with the prudent regard to their own safety of the Asiarchs, who had no such faith in Diana as to lead them to joining the rioters, nor such faith in Paul’s message as to lead them to oppose the tumult, or to stand by his side, but contented themselves with sending to warn him. Who can doubt that the courage of the Christians is infinitely nobler than the fury of the mob or the cowardice of the Asiarchs, kindly as they were? If they were his friends, why did they not do something to shield him? ‘A plague on such backing!’

III. The scene in the theatre, to which Luke returns in Acts 19:32, is described with a touch of scorn for the crowd, who mostly knew not what had brought them together.

One section of it kept characteristically cool and sharp-eyed for their own advantage. A number of Jews had mingled in it, probably intending to fan the flame against the Christians, if they could do it safely. As in so many other cases in Acts, common hatred brought Jew and Gentile together, each pocketing for the time his disgust with the other. The Jews saw their opportunity. Half a dozen cool heads, who know what they want, can often sway a mob as they will. Alexander, whom they ‘put forward,’ was no doubt going to make a speech disclaiming for the Jews settled in Ephesus any connection with the obnoxious Paul. We may be very sure that his ‘defence’ was of the former, not of the latter.

But the rioters were in no mood to listen to fine distinctions among the members of a race which they hated so heartily. Paul was a Jew, and this man was a Jew; that was enough. So the roar went up again to Great Diana, and for two long hours the crowd surged and shouted themselves hoarse, Gaius and Aristarchus standing silent all the while and expecting every moment to be their last. The scene reminds one of Baal’s priests shrieking to him on Carmel. It is but too true a representation of the wild orgies which stand for worship in all heathen religions. It is but too lively an example of what must always happen when excited crowds are ignorantly stirred by appeals to prejudice or self-interest.

The more democratic the form of government under which we live, the more needful is it to distinguish the voice of the people from the voice of the mob, and to beware of exciting, or being governed by, clamour however loud and long.Acts 19:21-22. After these things, &c. — After the extraordinary cures performed, and conversions made, at Ephesus, which have been mentioned above, Paul, being much concerned about the spiritual welfare of his former converts, and very solicitous to promote the progress of the gospel; purposed in spirit διελθων, having passed through Macedonia and Achaia — Where he had planted so many flourishing churches some time ago; to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome — That I may bear my testimony to the gospel in that metropolis of the world. “Paul sought not to rest, but pressed on, as if he had yet done nothing. He is already possessed of Ephesus and Asia. He purposes for Macedonia and Achaia. He has his eye upon Jerusalem; then upon Rome; afterward on Spain, Romans 15:26. No Cesar, no Alexander the Great, no other hero, comes up to the magnanimity of this little Benjamite. Faith, and love to God and man, have enlarged his heart even as the sand of the sea.” — Bengelius. Providence, accordingly, brought Paul to Rome, though in a manner different from that in which he had expected to visit it. So he sent Timotheus and Erastus into Macedonia — To give the churches notice of his intending to visit them, and to get their collection ready for the poor Christians in Judea. And soon after, he wrote his first epistle to the Corinthians, designing to follow it himself, as appears, 1 Corinthians 4:17-19. For the present, however, he himself stayed in Asia — In the country about Ephesus, founding churches and instructing the new converts.19:21-31 Persons who came from afar to pay their devotions at the temple of Ephesus, bought little silver shrines, or models of the temple, to carry home with them. See how craftsmen make advantage to themselves of people's superstition, and serve their worldly ends by it. Men are jealous for that by which they get their wealth; and many set themselves against the gospel of Christ, because it calls men from all unlawful crafts, however much wealth is to be gotten by them. There are persons who will stickle for what is most grossly absurd, unreasonable, and false; as this, that those are gods which are made with hands, if it has but worldly interest on its side. The whole city was full of confusion, the common and natural effect of zeal for false religion. Zeal for the honour of Christ, and love to the brethren, encourage zealous believers to venture into danger. Friends will often be raised up among those who are strangers to true religion, but have observed the honest and consistent behaviour of Christians.After these things were ended - After the gospel was firmly established at Ephesus, so that his presence there was no longer necessary.

Purposed in the spirit - Resolved in his mind.

When he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia - In these places he had founded flourishing churches. It is probable that his main object in this visit was to take up a collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem. See the notes on Romans 15:25-26.

To go to Jerusalem - To bear the contribution of the Gentile churches to the poor and oppressed Christians in Judea.

I must also see Rome - See the notes on Romans 15:24. He did go to Rome, but he went in chains, as a prisoner.

21, 22. After these things were ended—completed, implying something like a natural finish to his long period of labor at Ephesus.

Paul purposed … when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem … After I have been there, I must also see Rome—Mark here the vastness of the apostle's missionary plans. They were all fulfilled, though he "saw Rome" only as a prisoner.

Paul purposed in the spirit; resolved with himself, or purposed in his heart, as Daniel 1:8. Yet in this his determination he had the influence and guidance of the Holy Ghost, and that in a more than ordinary manner; as we may see by the continued series of this history, how he came to all these places here mentioned. Paul travelled through these countries, and went to these cities, because he hoped for a greater harvest, where he might scatter the seed so far abroad. After these things were ended,.... After that the apostle had disputed with the Jews in their synagogue, for the space of three months, and in the school of Tyrannus about two years; and after many souls had been converted at Ephesus, and were formed into a church state, and were established in the faith:

when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia: in the former of which were the cities of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, and in the latter, Corinth; where the apostle had already been, and preached the Gospel with success, and had laid the foundation of a Gospel church state in each place; but was willing to visit them again, both to confirm them in the doctrines of the Gospel, and, if it was the will of God, that he might be the instrument of converting others, and adding them to them, as well as to make some collections among them, for the poor saints at Jerusalem: for through these places he intended

to go to Jerusalem; to visit the church there, and distribute to the poor what he had gathered, or should gather for them among the Gentile churches:

saying, after I have been there, I must also see Rome; the metropolis of the empire, and the glory of the whole world; and which to see was one of Austin's three wishes: but the apostle's desire was not so much to see the magnificence of the city, as the saints in it; and that he might impart some spiritual gift unto them, and have some fruit among them; and be a means of quickening and comforting them, and of gaining others to them; and it was the will of God that he should go there; and this he spake by a prophetic spirit, and as being under the impulse of the Spirit of God; see Acts 23:11.

{6} After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the {k} spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

(6) Paul is never weary.

(k) By the motion of God's Spirit: therefore we may not say that Paul ran rashly unto death, but as the Spirit of God led him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 19:21-22. Ταῦτα] these things hitherto reported from Ephesus (Acts 19:1-19). Schrader (der Apostel Paulus, II. p. 85 f.) would strangely refer it to the entire past labours of Paul, even including what is not related by Luke. An arbitrary device in favour of his hypothesis, that after Acts 19:20 a great journey to Macedonia, Corinth, Crete, etc., occurred. See, on the contrary, Anger, de temp. rat. p. 64 ff.

ἔθετο ἐν τῷ πνεῦμ.] he determined in his spirit, he resolved. Comp. on Acts 5:4.

τὴν Μακεδ. κ. Ἀχ.] see on Acts 18:12.

πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσ.] The special object of the journey is known from 1 Corinthians 16:1 ff.; 2 Corinthians 8; Romans 15:25 ff. The non-mention of this matter of the collection is so much the less to be set down to the account of a conciliatory design of the book (Schneckenburger, p. 67; Zeller, p. 267),—as if it made the apostle turn his eyes towards Jerusalem on account of the celebration of the festival (Acts 20:16, Acts 24:11; Acts 24:17),—since the very aim of the collection would have well suited that alleged tendency.[96]

δεῖ] in the consciousness of the divine determination, which is confirmed by Acts 23:11. From this consciousness is explained his earnest assurance, Romans 1:10 ff. And towards Rome now goes the whole further development[97] of his endeavours and of his destiny. He was actually to see Rome, but only after the lapse of years and as a prisoner.

Ἔραστον] 2 Timothy 4:20. Otherwise unknown and different from the person mentioned in Romans 16:23.

ἐπέσχε χρόνον] he kept himself (remained) behind for a time. See examples in Wetstein, and from Philo in Loesner, p. 219.

εἰς τ. Ἀσίαν] does not stand for ἐν τῇ Ἀσ. (in opposition to Grotius, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, and many others), but it denotes the direction in which this keeping back took place, toward Asia, where he was. Comp. the well-known ἐς δόμους μένειν, Soph. Aj. 80. Considering the frequency of this construction (comp. Acts 18:21) generally, and in the N.T. (Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 287 [E. T. 333]), it is not to be rendered, with Winer: for Asia, in order to labour there.

[96] Comp. 2 Corinthians 9:12 ff.; see Lekebusch, p. 280. How undesignedly the work of the collection remained here unmentioned, is evident from Acts 24:17.

[97] Compare Klostermann, Vindiciae Luc. p. 35 ff.Acts 19:21. διελθὼν, see on the force of the word Ramsay, Expositor, May, 1895, and above on Acts 13:6. Ramsay regards this as perhaps the most conclusive of the ten cases he cites of the use of the verb as denoting missionary travel. There is no reason to suppose that Paul paid a visit to Corinth during his stay at Ephesus; Acts 19:9-10 intimate that he resided at Ephesus through the whole period. Wendt thinks that the notice of this second visit to Corinth was omitted by Luke because it did not fit in with his representation of the ideal development of the Church. But is there any real argument to be found for it in the Epistles? The passages usually quoted are 2 Corinthians 2:1; 2 Corinthians 12:14; 2 Corinthians 13:1. But τρίτον τοῦτο ἔρχομαι may well express “I am meaning to come,” so that Paul would mean that this was the third time he had purposed to come to them, not that he had come for the third time; and this rendering is borne out by the Apostle’s own words, 2 Corinthians 12:14, Paley, Horæ Paulinæ, iv., 11, whilst with regard to 2 Corinthians 2:1 the words may simply mean that he resolves that his new, i.e., his second visit, πάλιν ἐλθεῖν, should not be ἐν λύπῃ, for we are not shut up to the conclusion that πάλιν must be connected with ἐν λύπῃ as if he had already paid one visit in grief; and this interpretation is at all events in harmony with 2 Corinthians 13:2, R.V. margin, and with Acts 1:23, R.V., see especially “II. Cor.” (Dr. A. Robertson) Hastings’ B.D., p. 494, and compare “Corinth” (Ramsay), ibid., p. 483; see also Farrar, Messages of the Books, pp. 211, 216; St. Paul, ii. 101, 118; Felten, note, p. 364; Renan, Saint Paul, p. 450, note; and in favour of the second visit to Corinth, McGiffert, p. 310, following Alford, Neander, Weizsäcker (so too in early days St. Chrysostom). In 1 Corinthians 16:5-9 Paul speaks of his intention to go through Macedonia to Corinth, but previously, 2 Corinthians 1:16, he had intended to sail from Ephesus to Corinth, then to go to Macedonia, and afterwards to return to Corinth. Why had he changed his plans? Owing to the bad news from Corinth, 2 Corinthians 1:23. But although he did not go to Corinth in person, he determined to write to reprove the Corinthians, and this he did in 1 Cor. It is possible that the Apostle’s determination to see Rome—the first notice of the desire so long cherished, Romans 1:13; Romans 15:23—may be closely connected with his friendship with Aquila and Priscilla (Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 255, and Plumptre, in loco, Hort, Rom. and Ephes., p. 11).21, 22. St Paul’s Plans for his Journey from Ephesus

21. After these things were ended] The foundations of the Ephesian Church seemed fully laid, when sacrifices of such a kind had been made by the converts, and so St Paul feels that he may leave the seed sown in good hope that it will grow.

Paul purposed in the spirit] i.e. had settled it in his own mind.

when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia] Intending, no doubt, as was his wont, to visit the churches which had been founded on his previous mission (chapp. 16–18) from Philippi to Corinth.

to go to Jerusalem] With contributions, as we know, collected throughout the other churches for the needs of the central organization of the Christian movement. See 1 Corinthians 16:1-3. There this intended journey through Macedonia and to Corinth is alluded to, and the reason assigned for the Apostle’s lingering in Ephesus (Acts 19:8-9) “I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost, for a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” The opening of the door was manifest in the burning piles of magic books, of the many adversaries we read in this chapter in a description which might justify the Apostle in using the language of the Psalmist, “Great bulls of Bashan close me in on every side.” Perhaps such a thought was in his mind when he wrote of “fighting with beasts at Ephesus” (1 Corinthians 15:32).

saying. After I have been there, I must also see Rome] Of the long cherished desire which he had to visit the Imperial City, the Apostle speaks Romans 1:13, in which passage he intimates that the purpose had been often entertained, but hitherto disappointed.Acts 19:21. Ἐπληρώθη, were fulfilled or ended) Paul did not at this point think that he ought now to be at rest, but he pants after something more, in the same way as if he had done nothing. He gains possession of Ephesus and Asia; he makes an appointment for Macedonia and Achaia: he looks towards Jerusalem: he meditates Rome; thence to Spain. See Romans 15:26, with what goes before and follows. No Alexander, no Cæsar, no other hero, approaches to the large-mindedness of this Little Benjamite [2 Corinthians 10:1; 2 Corinthians 10:10; Php 3:5]. The truth concerning Christ, and faith and love towards Christ, enlarged his heart, like the sand of the sea [1 Kings 4:29]. Yet he proceeds in order: When these things were fulfilled or completed. Indeed the cause of Christianity had reached the proper degree of maturity in Asia: Acts 19:9; Acts 19:13-14; Acts 19:18.—ἔθετο ἐν τῷ πνεύματι, purposed in the spirit) This is said of a holy purpose: of a bad purpose, ἔθου ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου, thou hast conceived (laid up) in thine heart: ch. Acts 5:4. The design of Paul pleased the Lord: for He himself adds the promise, ch. Acts 23:11. Observe the energy of Paul, ch. Acts 20:2, note.—διελθὼν, having passed through) Construe this with πορεύεσθαι, to go, not with ἔθετο, purposed, for he was not yet in Macedonia.—[ἹερουσαλὴμῬώμην, to Jerusalem—Rome) Two metropolitan cities, the one in an ecclesiastical, the other in a political point of view.—V. g.]—δεῖ, I must) The Lord answers in ch. Acts 23:11, so must thou.—ἰδεῖν, see) He speaks in a noble spirit. Many adversities were awaiting him when about to see Rome. Paul regards not that consideration.Verse 21. - Now after for offer, A.V. Purposed in the spirit (ἔθετο ἐν τῷ πνεύματι); literally, set, fixed, or arranged it in his spirit, like the Hebrew phrase, שּׂוּם בְלֵב, in 1 Samuel 12, etc. Similarly of past things, Luke 1:66, ἔθεντο πάντες... ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῶν, "laid them up in their hearts "(comp. Acts 5:4). When he had passed through Macedonia, etc. Observe the constant solicitude of Paul to revisit the Churches which he had founded, so as to confirm the disciples in the faith and to consolidate his work (Acts 14:21; Acts 15:36; Acts 16:6; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5, etc.). It marks the unrivalled tenderness of his heart toward the disciples. Observe also the insatiable appetite of the apostle for spiritual conquests, and his noble contempt for idleness. He has but just won Ephesus and Asia, and already he undertakes Macedonia and Achaia. Nor does his mind stop there, but reaches on to Jerusalem, then stretches onwards to Rome, and meditates the invasion of Spain. Truly neither Alexander, nor Caesar, nor any hero of antiquity was a match for this little Benjamite (paulus) in the magnanimity of his designs (Bengel).
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