Acts 20:1
And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.
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(1) Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them . . .—The latter verb implies a farewell salutation.

Departed for to go into Macedonia.—We are able from the Epistles to the Corinthians to fill up the gap left in the narrative of the Acts. Having sent Timotheus and Erastus to see after the discipline of the Church of Corinth (Acts 19:17), the Apostle was cheered by the coming of Stephanas and his two companions (1Corinthians 16:17), and apparently wrote by them what is now the First Epistle to the Corinthians. A previous Epistle had been sent, probably by Timothy, to which he refers in 1Corinthians 4:17. When he wrote that Epistle he intended to press on quickly and complete in person the work which it was to begin (1Corinthians 4:18-19). He was led, however, to change his purpose, and to take the land journey through Macedonia instead of going by sea to Corinth (2Corinthians 1:16-17), and so from Corinth to Macedonia, as he had at first intended. He was anxious to know the effect of his letter before he took any further action, and Titus, who probably accompanied the bearers of that letter, was charged to hasten back to Troas with his report. On coming to Troas, however, he did not find him, and after waiting for some time in vain (2Corinthians 2:12), the anxiety told upon his health. He despaired of life and felt as if the sentence of death was passed on him (2Corinthians 1:8; 2Corinthians 4:10-11). The mysterious thorn in the flesh “buffeted” him with more severity than ever (2Corinthians 12:7). He pressed on, however, to Macedonia (2Corinthians 2:13), probably to Philippi, as being the first of the churches he had planted, where he would find loving friends and the “beloved physician,” whose services he now needed more than ever. There, or elsewhere in Macedonia, Titus joined him, and brought tidings that partly cheered him, partly roused his indignation. There had been repentance and reformation where he most wished to see them, on the one hand (2Corinthians 6:6-12); on the other, his enemies said bitter things of him, sneered at his bodily infirmities (2Corinthians 10:10), and compared, to his disparagement, the credentials which Apollos had presented (2Corinthians 3:1) with his lack of them. The result was that Titus was sent back with the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, accompanied by some other disciple (probably St. Luke, but see Notes on 2Corinthians 8:18-19), the Apostle resolving to wait till they had brought matters into better order and had collected what had been laid up in store for the Church of Jerusalem, so that it might be ready for him on his arrival (2Corinthians 9:5). At or about this time also, to judge from the numerous parallelisms of thought and language between it and the Epistles to the Corinthians on the one hand, and that to the Romans on the other, we must place the date of the Epistle to the Galatians. (See Introduction to that Epistle.) Probably after Titus and Luke had left, and before Timotheus had returned—when he was alone, with no one to share the labour of writing, or to give help and counsel—tidings came that the Judaising teachers had been there also, and had been only too successful. How the tidings reached him we do not know, but if the purple-seller of Thyatira was still at Philippi, she might naturally be in receipt of communications from that city, and it was near enough to Galatia to know what was passing there.

Acts 20:1. After the uproar, Paul called unto him the disciples — To comfort and encourage them; and departed — From Ephesus, after the long abode he had made there; to go into Macedonia — To visit the churches at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. This, however, does not necessarily imply his immediate departure: he may have remained in Ephesus and its neighbourhood some months after the riot, to comfort the disciples, and establish the churches of Asia, whose salutation he sent in the conclusion of his first letter to the Corinthians. Besides, from Paul’s own account, it appears that he remained in the neighbourhood of Ephesus, waiting for the coming of Titus from Corinth. But Titus not arriving within the time appointed him, the apostle became impatient, and went forward to Troas, in the hope of meeting with him there. But being disappointed in that expectation also, he passed over into Macedonia, where at length Titus came to him.

20:1-6 Tumults or opposition may constrain a Christian to remove from his station or alter his purpose, but his work and his pleasure will be the same, wherever he goes. Paul thought it worth while to bestow five days in going to Troas, though it was but for seven days' stay there; but he knew, and so should we, how to redeem even journeying time, and to make it turn to some good account.The uproar - The tumult excited, by Demetrius and the workmen. After it had been quieted by the town-clerk, Acts 19:40-41.

Embraced them - Saluted them; gave them parting expressions of kindness. Compare the Luke 7:45 note; Romans 16:16 note; 1 Corinthians 16:20 note; 2 Corinthians 13:12 note; 1 Thessalonians 5:26 note; 1 Peter 5:14 note. The Syriac translates this, "Paul caned the disciples, and consoled them, and kissed them."

To go into Macedonia - On his way to Jerusalem, agreeably to his purpose, as recorded in Acts 19:21.


Ac 20:1-12. Paul Fulfils His Purpose of Proceeding Again to Macedonia and Greece—Returning Thence, on His Route for Jerusalem, He Revisits Philippi and Troas—His Ministrations at Troas.

This section of the apostle's life, though peculiarly rich in material, is related with great brevity in the History. Its details must be culled from his own Epistles.

1, 2. departed—after Pentecost (1Co 16:8).

to go into Macedonia—in pursuance of the first part of his plan (Ac 19:21). From his Epistles we learn; (1) That, as might have been expected from its position on the coast, he revisited Troas (2Co 2:12; see on [2064]Ac 16:8). (2) That while on his former visit he appears to have done no missionary work there, he now went expressly "to preach Christ's Gospel," and found "a door opened unto him of the Lord" there, which he entered so effectually as to lay the foundation of a church there (Ac 20:6, 7). (3) That he would have remained longer there but for his uneasiness at the non-arrival of Titus, whom he had despatched to Corinth to finish the collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem (1Co 16:1, 2; 2Co 8:6), but still more, that he might bring him word what effect his first Epistle to that church had produced. (He had probably arranged that they should meet at Troas). (4) That in this state of mind, afraid of something wrong, he "took leave" of the brethren at Troas, and went from thence into Macedonia.

It was, no doubt, the city of Philippi that he came to (landing at Nicopolis, its seaport, see on [2065]Ac 16:11, 12), as appears by comparing 2Co 11:9, where "Macedonia" is named, with Php 4:15, where it appears that Philippi is meant. Here he found the brethren, whom he had left on his former visit in circumstances of such deep interest, a consolidated and thriving church, generous and warmly attached to their father in Christ; under the superintendence, probably, of our historian, "the beloved physician" (see on [2066]Ac 16:40). All that is said by our historian of this Macedonian visit is that "he went over those parts and gave them much exhortation." (5) Titus not having reached Philippi as soon as the apostle, "his flesh had no rest, but he was troubled on every side: without were fightings, within were fears" (2Co 7:5). (6) At length Titus arrived, to the joy of the apostle, the bearer of better tidings from Corinth than he had dared to expect (2Co 7:6, 7, 13), but checkered by painful intelligence of the efforts of a hostile party to undermine his apostolic reputation there (2Co 10:1-18). (7) Under the mixed feelings which this produced, he wrote—from Macedonia, and probably Philippi—his Second Epistle to the Corinthians (see [2067]Introduction to Second Corinthians); despatching Titus with it, and along with him two other unnamed deputies, expressly chosen to take up and bring their collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem, and to whom he bears the beautiful testimony, that they were "the glory of Christ" (2Co 8:22, 23). (8) It must have been at this time that he penetrated as far as to the confines of "Illyricum," lying along the shores of the Adriatic (Ro 15:19). He would naturally wish that his second Letter to the Corinthians should have some time to produce its proper effect ere he revisited them, and this would appear a convenient opportunity for a northwestern circuit, which would enable him to pay a passing visit to the churches at Thessalonica and Berea, though of this we have no record. On his way southward to Greece, he would preach the Gospel in the intermediate regions of Epirus, Thessaly, and Boeotia (see Ro 15:19), though of this we have no record.Acts 20:1-6 Paul goeth to Macedonia, and having passed over

divers countries cometh to Troas.

Acts 20:7-12 Where, as he preached long, Eutychus falleth out of a

window, and is taken up dead: Paul restoreth him to life.

Acts 20:13-16 He continueth his travels.

Acts 20:17-35 At Miletus he calleth to him the elders of the church

of Ephesus, and taketh a solemn and affectionate

leave of them, exhorting them to look well to their

charge, and commending them to God’s grace.

Acts 20:36-38 He prayeth with them and departeth.

Embraced them; \ took his farewell of them, and, as the manner of those countries was in meeting and parting with friends, he kissed them: as Luke 7:45, and far more anciently, Genesis 31:55. And this was the true ground of that kiss of peace, or the holy kiss, recommended Romans 16:16 1 Corinthians 16:20 2 Corinthians 13:12, and elsewhere, which was only a civility then in use.

Departed for to go into Macedonia; yielding to the present fury of Demetrius; not so much for his own safety, as for the good of the church, that it might not be further persecuted for his sake; and that elsewhere it might by his ministry be enlarged and built up.

And after the uproar was ceased,.... Which Demetrius, and the craftsmen, had raised at Ephesus, and which was put an end to by the speech of the town clerk, or register keeper of the theatre:

Paul called unto him the disciples; the members of the church at Ephesus, whom he convened, either at his own lodgings, or at their usual place of meeting:

and embraced them; or "saluted them"; that is, with a kiss, which was sometimes done at parting, as well as at meeting; see Acts 20:37 and so the Syriac version renders it, and "kissed" them, and so took his leave of them, and bid them farewell; the Alexandrian copy, and some other copies, and the Syriac and Vulgate Latin versions before this clause insert, "and exhorted, or comforted" them; that is, exhorted them to continue steadfast in the faith, and hold fast the profession of it without wavering, and comforted them under all their tribulations, and in a view of what afflictions and persecutions they must expect to endure for the sake of Christ, with the exceeding great and precious promises of the Gospel:

and departed to go into Macedonia; to visit the churches at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, and to establish them in the faith of the Gospel: he did not choose to leave Ephesus till the tumult was over, partly on his own account, that he might not bring upon himself an imputation of fear and cowardice; and partly on the account of the church at Ephesus, that he might not leave them in distress, and add to it; but now it was over, he judged it proper to take his leave of them, and visit other churches, the care of which equally lay upon him.

And {1} after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.

(1) Paul departs from Ephesus by the consent of the church, not to be idle or at rest, but to take pains in another place.

Acts 20:1-3. Μετὰ δὲ τὸ παύσ. τ. θόρυβ.] is simply a statement of time, not, as Michaelis, Eichhorn, Bertholdt, and Hug hold, the motive of departure, for which there is no hint in the text (see on the contrary, Acts 19:21), and against which the resultless character of the tumult testifies.

ἀσπασάμενος] here of the farewell salutation (combined with kissing and embracing), vale dicere, as Xen. Anab. vii. 1. 8, 40; Hell. iv. 1. 3; Cyrop. ii. 1. 1.

αὐτούς] the Macedonian Christians.

Ἑλλάδα] i.e. Ἀχαΐαν, Acts 19:21. Luke alternates in his use of the appellations well known as synonymous, which, after Acts 19:21, could occasion no misunderstanding. This against Schrader, who understands Ἑλλ. here of the districts lying between the Peloponnesus and Thessaly and Epirus, especially of Attica, and would have the journey to Corinth only inferred from Acts 19:31.

ποιήσας τε μῆνας τρεῖς] certainly for the most part in Corinth. The anakoluthic nominative, as in Acts 19:34. That Luke, moreover, gives us no information of the foundation of the church at Corinth, and of the apostle’s labours there, is just one of the many points of incompleteness in his book.

τοῦ ὑποστρ.] namely, to Asia (Acts 20:4), from which he had come. The genitive depends directly on γνώμη, as in Acts 14:9, Acts 27:20. Comp. 1 Corinthians 9:5.

Acts 20:1. μετὰ δὲ τὸ παύσ.: the words may indicate not only the fact of the cessation of the tumult, but that Paul felt that the time for departure had come.—θόρ., cf. Matthew 26:5; Matthew 27:24, Mark 14:2; three times in Acts 21:34; Acts 24:18, and several times in LXX. In Acts 21:34 it is used more as in classics of the confused noise of an assembly (cf. Mark 5:38), but in the text it seems to cover the whole riot, and may be translated “riot”.—ἀσπασάμενος: “non solum salutabant osculo advenientes verum etiam discessuri,” Wetstein, and references; so in classical Greek, cf. also Acts 21:6-7; Acts 21:19.

Acts 20:1-6. Paul journeys through Macedonia and Greece, and returns as far as Troas

1. And after the uproar was ceased] Some little time may have elapsed and public feeling have become calm enough for a meeting of the Christian congregation.

Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them] The oldest authorities read “Paul having sent for the disciples,” and then add “and exhorted them” (adopted by R. V.). The word rendered “embraced” signifies as it is rendered in Acts 21:6, “to take leave of,” “to make parting greetings.” He did not probably feel that it would be wise to leave till he saw the Church in quiet once more.

and departed for to go into Macedonia] In fulfilment of the purpose mentioned in Acts 19:21. We see from 2 Corinthians 2:13 that he went first to Troas expecting to meet Titus there. He did not find him till he reached Macedonia, from which country he wrote the second letter to Corinth.

Acts 20:1. Μετὰ ταῦτα) Demetrius did not succeed in his attempt. Paul remained until all was quiet.

Verse 1. - Having sent for... and exhorted for called unto him, A.V. and T.R.; took leave of them, and departed for and embraced them, and departed, A.V. Departed for to go into Macedonia. This was St. Paul's purpose, as he had written to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:5) from Ephesus. He judged it wise, not only with a view to his own safety and that of his companions, but also for the rest and quiet of the Ephesian Church, to take advantage of the lull in the popular storm, and withdraw into quiet waters before any fresh outbreak occurred. Aquila and Priscilla seem to have left Ephesus about the same time, or soon after, since the Epistle to the Romans found them again at Rome (Romans 16:3, 4); and, if the view mentioned in the note to Acts 19:40 is true - that in the riot they had saved St. Paul's life at the risk of their own - there were probably the same prudential motives for their leaving Ephesus as there were in the case of the apostle. Acts 20:1Embraced (ἀσπασάμενος)

Better, as Rev., took leave. The word is used for a salutation either at meeting or parting. See Acts 21:6, Acts 21:7.

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