Acts 20:26
Why I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) I am pure from the blood of all men.—The image was a familiar one in the Apostle’s lips (Acts 18:6). It rested on the language of an older prophet (Ezekiel 3:18; Ezekiel 3:20). He had acted on the teaching of that prophet, and none could require the blood of any man at his hands.

20:17-27 The elders knew that Paul was no designing, self-seeking man. Those who would in any office serve the Lord acceptably, and profitably to others, must do it with humility. He was a plain preacher, one that spoke his message so as to be understood. He was a powerful preacher; he preached the gospel as a testimony to them if they received it; but as a testimony against them if they rejected it. He was a profitable preacher; one that aimed to inform their judgments, and reform their hearts and lives. He was a painful preacher, very industrious in his work. He was a faithful preacher; he did not keep back reproofs when necessary, nor keep back the preaching of the cross. He was a truly Christian, evangelical preacher; he did not preach notions or doubtful matters; nor affairs of state or the civil government; but he preached faith and repentance. A better summary of these things, without which there is no salvation, cannot be given: even repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, with their fruits and effects. Without these no sinner can escape, and with these none will come short of eternal life. Let them not think that Paul left Asia for fear of persecution; he was in full expectation of trouble, yet resolved to go on, well assured that it was by Divine direction. Thanks be to God that we know not the things which shall befall us during the year, the week, the day which has begun. It is enough for the child of God to know that his strength shall be equal to his day. He knows not, he would not know, what the day before him shall bring forth. The powerful influences of the Holy Spirit bind the true Christian to his duty. Even when he expects persecution and affliction, the love of Christ constrains him to proceed. None of these things moved Paul from his work; they did not deprive him of his comfort. It is the business of our life to provide for a joyful death. Believing that this was the last time they should see him, he appeals concerning his integrity. He had preached to them the whole counsel of God. As he had preached to them the gospel purely, so he had preached it to them entire; he faithfully did his work, whether men would bear or forbear.Wherefore - In view of the past, of my ministry and labors among you, I appeal to your own selves to testify that I have been faithful.

I take you to record - Greek: I call you to witness. If any of you are lost; if you prove unfaithful to God, I appeal to yourselves that the fault is not mine. It is well when a minister can make this appeal, and call his hearers to bear testimony to his own faithfulness. Ministers who preach the gospel with fidelity may thus appeal to their hearers; and in the day of judgment may call on themselves to witness that the fault of the ruin of the soul is not to be charged to them.

That I am pure - I am not to be charged with the guilt of your condemnation, as owing to my unfaithfulness. This does not mean that he set up a claim to absolute perfection; but that, in the matter under consideration, he had a conscience void of offence.

The blood of all men - The word "blood" is often used in the sense of "death, of bloodshed"; and hence, of the "guilt or crime of putting one to death," Matthew 23:35; Matthew 27:25; Acts 5:28; Acts 18:6. It here means that if they should die the second death; if they should be lost forever, he would not be to blame. He had discharged his duty in faithfully warning and teaching them; and now, if they were lost, the fault would be their own, not his.

All men - All classes of people - Jews and Gentiles. He had warned and instructed all alike. Ministers may have many fears that their hearers will be lost. Their aim, however, should be:

(1) To save them, if possible; and,

(2) If they are lost, that it should be by no neglect or fault of theirs.

26. I am pure from the blood of all men—(Ac 18:6; and compare 1Sa 12:3, 5; Eze 3:17-21; 33:8, 9). I take you to record; I testify and affirm unto you; and I dare appeal unto yourselves concerning it.

I am pure from the blood of all men; from the guilt of destroying their souls; none of them have perished through my fault, having faithfully showed unto them the way of life, and earnestly persuaded them to walk in it. Thus, according as the Lord told Ezekiel, Ezekiel 3:19, the prophet that hath warned the wicked man, hath delivered his own soul. Wherefore I take you to record this day,.... This is a solemn appeal to the elders of the church at Ephesus, who knew his doctrine and manner of life for a considerable time among them:

that I am pure from the blood of all men: or "of you all", as some copies, and the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read; which seems most natural, since they could only bear a testimony for him with respect to themselves, and the people at Ephesus, where he had so behaved both in the faithful discharge of his ministry, and in his exemplary life and conversation; as that the ruin and destruction of no one of them could be laid to his charge, or any one perish for want of knowledge, or through any negligence of his; see Ezekiel 33:6.

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am {f} pure from the blood of all men.

(f) If you perish, yet there will fault with me. See Geneva (d) Ac 18:6

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 20:26-27. Διό] because, namely, this now impending separation makes such a reckoning for me a duty.

μαρτύρομαι] I testify, I affirm. See on Galatians 5:3.

ἐν τῆ σήμ. ἡμέρᾳ] “hoc magnam declarandi vim habet,” Bengel: it was, in fact, the parting day.

ὅτι καθαρ. εἰμι (see the critical remarks): that I am pure from the blood of all (comp. on Acts 18:6), i.e. that I am free of blame in reference to each one, if he (on account of unbelief) falls a prey to death, i.e. to the eternal ἀπώλεια. Each one is affected by his own fault; no one by mine. καθαρὸς ἀπό (Tob 3:14) is not a Hebraism, נָקִי מִדָּם; even with Greek writers καθαρ. is not merely, though commonly, joined with the genitive (Bernhardy, p. 174), but also sometimes with ἀπό (Kypke, II. p. 108 f.).

οὐ γὰρ ὑπεστειλ.] brought forward once more in accordance with Acts 20:20; so extremely important was it to him, and that, indeed, as the decisive premiss of the καθαρός εἰμι κ.τ.λ.

τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ] the divine counsel κατʼ ἐξοχήν, i.e. the counsel of redemption, whose complete realization is the βασίλεια τοῦ Θεοῦ, the Messianic kingdom; hence here ἀναγγ.… Θεοῦ, in Acts 20:24 διαμαρτ.… Θεοῦ, and in Acts 20:25 κηρύσσ. τ. βασιλ. τ. Θεοῦ, denote one and the same great contents of the gospel, although viewed according to different aspects of its nature.

πᾶσαν] the whole, without suppressing, explaining away, or concealing aught of it.Acts 20:26. If we read διότι, critical note, we have a word which is not used by the other Evangelists, but three times in Luke’s Gospel and five times in Acts; in each passage in Acts it is referred to Paul, Acts 13:35, Acts 18:10 (2), Acts 20:26, Acts 22:18, and it occurs nine or ten times in Paul’s Epistles. On account of the Apostle’s approaching departure, such a reckoning is demanded.—μαρτύρομαι: only in Luke and Paul, and in both cases in Acts referred to Paul, here and in Acts 26:22, Galatians 5:3, Ephesians 4:17, 1 Thessalonians 2:12, “I protest,” properly “I call to witness,” but never = μαρτυρῶ in classical Greek; in Jdt 7:28 we have the fuller construction, of which this use of the dative here is a remnant, Lightfoot, Galatians 5:3. The verb occurs once more in 1Ma 2:56 (but [337] [338], al.).—ἐν τῇ σήμερον ἡμερᾷ: Attic, τήμερον, i.e., ἡμ. with pronom. prefix (cf. Matthew 28:15 but ἡμέρας [W. H.]), the very day of my departure; the exact phrase occurs twice elsewhere, but both times in Paul’s writings, 2 Corinthians 3:14, W. H., Romans 11:8 (quotation); “Hoc magnam declarandi vim habet,” Bengel. Several times in LXX, cf. Jos., Ant., xiii., 2, 3, found frequently in classical Greek.—καθαρὸς ἀπὸ, cf. Acts 17:6, where a similar phrase is used by St. Paul; the adjective is found seven times in. St. Paul’s Epistles, but only here and in Acts 17:6 in Luke’s writings. In LXX, cf. Job 14:4, Proverbs 20:9, Tob 3:14, Susannah, ver 46; in Psalms of Solomon, 17:41, and, for the thought, Ezekiel 3:18-20. In classics for the most part with genitive, but in later Greek with ἀπό, see however Blass, Gram., p. 104, and instances from Demosthenes; and Deissmann for instances from papyri, Neue Bibelstudien, pp. 24, 48; Ramsay, “Greek of the Early Church,” etc.; Expository Times, December, 1898, p. 108. Only a Paul could say this with fitness; we could not dare to say it, Chrys., Hom., xliv.

[337] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[338] Codex Cryptoferratensis (sæc. vii.), a palimpsest fragment containing chap. Acts 11:9-19, edited by Cozza in 1867, and cited by Tischendorf.26. Wherefore I take you to record this day] The Rev. Ver., to explain the older English, gives “I testify unto you.” The sense seems a little more than this. The Apostle not only gives his own testimony, but challenges them to confirm or refute it.

that … all men] St Paul looks upon himself as one like the watchmen of the house of Israel (Ezekiel 33:8) to each of whom God says, if he warn not the wicked from his way, “his blood will I require at thine hand.”Acts 20:26. Διὀ, wherefore) This is deduced from Acts 20:20.—μαρτύρομαι, I take you to record) Your conscience will be a witness to me. This is the force of the middle verb.—σήμερον, this day) This expression has a great explanatory power.—καθαρὸς, pure) This ought to be the chief care of one taking leave.Verse 26. - Testify unto you for take you to record, A.V. The solemnity of this address is dependent upon the speaker's conviction that he was speaking to his hearers for the last time. Hence the force of the words, "this day" (ἐν τῇ σήμερον ἡμέρᾳ); "my last opportunity." I am pure, etc. (comp. Ezekiel 3:17-21; Ezekiel 33:2, 9; Hebrews 13:17). Note the peril of hiding or watering God's truth. This day (τῇ σήμερον ἡμέρᾳ)

Very forcible. Lit., on to-day's day; this, our parting day.

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