Acts 20:35
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(35) I have shewed you all things.—The words point to his motive in acting as he did. He sought to teach by example, to indicate in all things how others ought to act.

To support the weak.—The Greek verb is rightly rendered, but it deserves notice that it is the root of the noun translated “help” in 1Corinthians 12:28. The word “weak “is to be taken as implying bodily infirmities. (See Note on previous verse.)

To remember the words of the Lord Jesus.—The words that follow are not found in any of the four Canonical Gospels, nor indeed in any of the Apocryphal. They furnish, accordingly, an example of the wide diffusion of an oral teaching, embodying both the acts and the words of Christ, of which the four Gospels, especially the first three, are but partial representatives. On the other instances of sayings ascribed to our Lord, and probably in many cases rightly ascribed, see the Introduction to the First Three Gospels in Vol. I. of this Commentary. The injunction to “remember” the words implies that they had often been prominent in the Apostle’s teaching.

Acts

PARTING COUNSELS

THE BLESSEDNESS OF GIVING

Acts 20:35
.

How ‘many other things Jesus did’ and said ‘which are not written in this book’! Here is one precious unrecorded word, which was floating down to the ocean of oblivion when Paul drew it to shore and so enriched the world. There is, however, a saying recorded, which is essentially parallel in content though differing in garb, ‘The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.’ It is tempting to think that the text gives a glimpse into the deep fountains of the pure blessedness of Jesus Himself, and was a transcript of His own human experience. It helps us to understand how the Man of Sorrows could give as a legacy to His followers ‘My joy,’ and could speak of it as abiding and full.

I. The reasons on which this saying rests.

It is based not only on the fact that the act of giving has in it a sense of power and of superiority, and that the act of receiving may have a painful consciousness of obligation, though a cynic might endorse it on that ground, but on a truth far deeper than these, that there is a pure and godlike joy in making others blessed.

The foundation on which the axiom rests is that giving is the result of love and self-sacrifice. Whenever they are not found, the giving is not the giving which ‘blesses him that gives.’ If you give with some arriere pensee of what you will get by it, or for the sake of putting some one under obligation, or indifferently as a matter of compulsion or routine, if with your alms there be contempt to which pity is ever near akin, then these are not examples of the giving on which Christ pronounced His benediction. But where the heart is full of deep, real love, and where that love expresses itself by a cheerful act of self-sacrifice, then there is felt a glow of calm blessedness far above the base and greedy joys of self-centred souls who delight only in keeping their possessions, or in using them for themselves. It comes not merely from contemplating the relief or happiness in others of which our gifts may have been the source, but from the working in our own hearts of these two godlike emotions. To be delivered from making myself my great object, and to be delivered from the undue value set upon having and keeping our possessions, are the twin factors of true blessedness. It is heaven on earth to love and to give oneself away.

Then again, the highest joy and noblest use of all our possessions is found in imparting them.

True as to this world’s goods.

The old epitaph is profoundly true, which puts into the dead lips the declaration: ‘What I kept I lost. What I gave I kept.’ Better to learn that and act on it while living!

True as to truth, and knowledge.

True as to the Gospel of the grace of God.

II. The great example in God of the blessedness of giving.

God gives-gives only-gives always-and He in giving has joy, blessedness. He would not be ‘the ever-blessed God’ unless He were ‘the giving God.’ Creation we are perhaps scarcely warranted in affirming to be a necessity to the divine nature, and we run on perilous heights of speculation when we speak of it as contributing to His blessedness; but this at least we may say, that He, in the deep words of the Psalmist, ‘delights in mercy.’ Before creation was realised in time, the divine Idea of it was eternal, inseparable from His being, and therefore from everlasting He ‘rejoiced in the habitable parts of the earth, and His delights were with the sons of men.’

The light and glory thus thrown on His relation to us.

He gives. He does not exact until He has given. He gives what He requires. The requirement is made in love and is itself a ‘grace given,’ for it permits to God’s creatures, in their relation to Him, some feeble portion and shadow of the blessedness which He possesses, by permitting them to bring offerings to His throne, and so to have the joy of giving to Him what He has given to them. ‘All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee.’ Then how this thought puts an end to all manner of slavish notions about God’s commands and demands, and about worship, and about merits, or winning heaven by our own works.

Notice that the same emotions which we have found to make the blessedness of giving are those which come into play in the act of receiving spiritual blessings. We receive the Gospel by faith, which assuredly has in it love and self-sacrifice.

Having thus the great Example of all giving in heaven, and the shadow and reflex of that example in our relations to Him on earth, we are thereby fitted for the exemplification of it in our relation to men. To give, not to get, is to be our work, to love, to sacrifice ourselves.

This axiom should regulate Christians’ relation to the world, and to each other, in every way. It should shape the Christian use of money. It should shape our use of all which we have.

20:28-38 If the Holy Ghost has made ministers overseers of the flock, that is, shepherds, they must be true to their trust. Let them consider their Master's concern for the flock committed to their charge. It is the church He has purchased with his own blood. The blood was his as Man; yet so close is the union between the Divine and human nature, that it is there called the blood of God, for it was the blood of Him who is God. This put such dignity and worth into it, as to ransom believers from all evil, and purchase all good. Paul spake about their souls with affection and concern. They were full of care what would become of them. Paul directs them to look up to God with faith, and commends them to the word of God's grace, not only as the foundation of their hope and the fountain of their joy, but as the rule of their walking. The most advanced Christians are capable of growing, and will find the word of grace help their growth. As those cannot be welcome guests to the holy God who are unsanctified; so heaven would be no heaven to them; but to all who are born again, and on whom the image of God is renewed, it is sure, as almighty power and eternal truth make it so. He recommends himself to them as an example of not caring as to things of the present world; this they would find help forward their comfortable passage through it. It might seem a hard saying, therefore Paul adds to it a saying of their Master's, which he would have them always remember; It is more blessed to give than to receive: it seems they were words often used to his disciples. The opinion of the children of this world, is contrary to this; they are afraid of giving, unless in hope of getting. Clear gain, is with them the most blessed thing that can be; but Christ tell us what is more blessed, more excellent. It makes us more like to God, who gives to all, and receives from none; and to the Lord Jesus, who went about doing good. This mind was in Christ Jesus, may it be in us also. It is good for friends, when they part, to part with prayer. Those who exhort and pray for one another, may have many weeping seasons and painful separations, but they will meet before the throne of God, to part no more. It was a comfort to all, that the presence of Christ both went with him and stayed with them.I have showed you - I have taught you by instruction and example. I have not merely discoursed about it, but have showed you how to do it.

All things - Or, in respect to all things. In everything that respects preaching and the proper mode of life, I have for three years set you an example, illustrating the design, nature, and duties of the office by my own self-denials and toil.

How that - Or, that - ὅτι hoti. I have showed you that ye should by so laboring support the weak.

So labouring - Laboring as I have done. Setting this example, and ministering in this way to the needs of others.

To support the weak - To provide for the needs of the sick and feeble members of the flock, who are unable to labor for themselves. "The weak" here denotes "the poor, the needy, the infirmed."

And to remember - To call to mind for encouragement, and with the force of a command,

The words of the Lord Jesus - These words are nowhere recorded by the evangelists. But they did not pretend to record all his sayings and instructions. Compare John 21:25. There is the highest reason to suppose that many of his sayings which are not recorded would be treasured up by those who heard them; would be transmitted to others; and would be regarded as a precious part of his instructions. Paul evidently addresses the elders of Ephesus as if they had heard this before, and were acquainted with it. Perhaps he had himself reminded them of it. This is one of the Redeemer's most precious sayings; and it seems even to have a special value from the fact that it is not recorded in the regular and professed histories of his life. It comes to us recovered, as it were, from the great mass of his unrecorded sayings; rescued from that oblivion to which it was hastening if left to mere tradition, and placed in permanent form in the sacred writings by the act of an apostle who had never seen the Saviour before his crucifixion. It is a precious relic - a memento of the Saviour - and the effect of it is to make us regret that more of his words were not recovered from an uncertain tradition, and placed in a permanent form by an inspired penman. God, however, who knows what is requisite to guide us, has directed the words which are needful for the welfare of the church, and has preserved by inspiration the doctrines which are adapted to convert and bless man.

It is more blessed to give - It is a higher privilege; it tends more to the happiness of the individual and of the world. The giver is more blessed or happy than the receiver. This appears:

(1) Because it is a condition for which we should be thankful when we are in a situation to promote the happiness of others.

(2) because it tends to promote the happiness of the benefactor himself. There is pleasure in the act of giving when it is done with pure motives. It promotes our own peace; is followed by happiness in the recollection of it; and will be followed by happiness forever. That is the most truly happy man who is most benevolent. He is the most miserable who has never known the luxury of doing good, but who lives to gain all he can, and to hoard all he gains.

(3) it is blessed in the reward that shall result from it. Those who give from a pure motive God will bless. They will be rewarded, not only in the peace which they shall experience in this life, but in the higher bliss of heaven, Matthew 25:34-36. We may also remark that this is a sentiment truly great and noble. It is worthy of the Son of God. It is that on which he himself acted when he came to give pardon to the guilty, comfort to the disconsolate and the mourner, peace to the anxious sinner, sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, life to the dead, and heaven to the guilty and the lost. Acting on this, he gave his own tears to weep over human sorrows and human guilt; his own labors and toils to instruct and save man; his own life a sacrifice for sin on the cross. Loving to give, he has freely given us all things. Loving to give, he delights in the same character in his followers, and seeks that they who have wealth, and strength, and influence should be willing to give all to save the world. Imitating his great example, and complying with his command, the church shall yet learn more and more to give its wealth to bless the poor and needy; its sons and its daughters to bear the gospel to the benighted pagan; its undivided and constant efforts to save a lost world. Here closes this speech of Paul; an address of inimitable tenderness and beauty. Happy would it be if every minister could bid such an adieu to his people, when called to part from them; and happy if, at the close of life, every Christian could leave the world with a like consciousness that he had been faithful in the discharge of his duty. Thus dying, it will be blessed to leave the world; and thus would the example of the saints live in the memory of survivors long after they themselves have ascended to their rest.

35. that so labouring—as I have done for others as well as myself.

ye ought to support the weak to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he—"how Himself."

said, It is more blessed to give than to receive—This golden saying, snatched from oblivion, and here added to the Church's abiding treasures, is apt to beget the wish that more of what issued from those Lips which "dropped as an honeycomb," had been preserved to us. But see on [2078]Joh 21:25.

I have showed you all things; as in Acts 20:27.

So labouring; with more than ordinary pains and constancy.

To support; that they do not fall; or, being fallen, that they may rise again. The word imports the stretching out of the hand to retain any that are going away, or to hold up any that are falling.

The weak; in knowledge, faith, or any other grace.

The words of the Lord Jesus; Paul might have these words by the relation of others who heard them spoken by our Savionr; for all things that he said or did could not be written, John 20:30.

It is more blessed to give than to receive; not so much in that giving speaks abundance and affluence, but as it shows our charity and goodness, in which we resemble and imitate God. The substance of these words which are attributed to our Saviour, though not the terms, may be found in divers places, as Luke 6:38 16:9.

I have showed you all things,.... Both as to doctrine and practice, and had set them an example how to behave in every point, and particularly in this:

how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak; the sense of which is, that they should labour with their hands as he did, and so support the weak; either such who were weak in body, and unable to work and help themselves, and therefore should be helped, assisted, relieved, and supported by the labours of others, that were able; or the weak in faith, and take nothing of them, lest they should think the preachers of the word sought only their own worldly advantage, and so they should be stumbled and fall from the truth:

and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus; which the apostle had either collected as the sense of some passages of his, such as Luke 6:30, &c. or which though not recorded in any of the Gospels, the apostle might have received from one or other of the twelve disciples, as what were frequently used by Christ in the days of his flesh; and which the apostle had inculcated among the Ephesians, and now puts them in mind of them, they being worthy of remembrance: how he said,

it is more blessed to give than to receive: it is more comfortable, honourable, pleasant, and profitable: the giver is in a more comfortable situation, having an abundance, at least a sufficiency, and something to spare; whereas the receiver is often in want and distress, and so uncomfortable: it is an honour to give; an honour is reflected upon the giver, both by the receiver, and others; when to receive is an instance of meanness, and carries in it, among men, some degree of dishonour: it is a pleasure to a liberal man to distribute to the necessities of others; and it cannot be grateful to a man to be in such circumstances, as make it necessary for him to receive from others, and be dependent on them; and great are the advantages and profit which a cheerful giver reaps, both in this world, and that to come: wherefore the conclusion which the apostle would have drawn from hence is, that it is much more eligible for a man to work with his own hands, and support himself, and assist others, than to receive at the hands of others.

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought {m} to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

(m) As it were by reaching out the hand to those who otherwise are about to slip and fall away, and so to steady them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 20:35. πάντα ὑπέδ.: “in all things I gave you an example,” R.V., see also critical note. The verb and the cognate noun are both used in Greek in accordance with this sense, Xen., Oec[345], xii., 18, Isocr., v., 27, see Plummer on Luke 3:7, etc., so ὑπόδειγμα, Xen., De re eq., ii., 2, and for other instances of the similar use of the word see Westcott on Hebrews 8:5, Sir 44:16, 2Ma 6:28; 2Ma 6:31, 4Ma 17:23, cf. also Clem. Rom., Cor[346], 5:1, 46:1. οὕτως, i.e., as I have done, cf. Php 3:17.—κοπιῶντας: not of spiritual labours, but of manual, as the context requires. No doubt the verb is used in the former sense, 1 Corinthians 16:16, Romans 16:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:12, but also in the latter, 1 Corinthians 4:12, Ephesians 4:28, 2 Timothy 2:6 (so also κόπος by Paul). In St. Paul’s writings it occurs no less than fourteen times, in St. Luke only twice, Luke 5:5 (Luke 12:27). In classical Greek, so in Josephus, it has the meaning of growing weary or tired, but in LXX and N.T. alone, laboro viribus intentis (Grimm).—δεῖ, see above on p. 63.—ἀντιλαμβ.: only in Luke and Paul, Luke 1:54, 1 Timothy 6:2, cf. 1 Corinthians 12:28. The verb = to take another’s part, to succour (so too cognate noun), in LXX, Isaiah 41:9, Sir 2:6; Sir 3:12; Sir 29:9; Sir 29:20, of helping the poor, cf. also Psalms of Solomon, Acts 16:3; Acts 16:5, Acts 7:9, see further Psalms of Solomon, Ryle and James edit., p. 73; on ἀντίληψις, H. and R., sub. v. In classical Greek used in middle voice with genitive as here.—τῶν ἀθσενούν., cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:14, for a similar precept. The adjective need not be limited to those who sought relief owing to physical weakness or poverty, but may include all those who could claim the presbyters’ support and care, bodily or spiritual, cf. Romans 12:13. The usage of the gospels points to those who are weak through disease and therefore needing help, cf., e.g., Matthew 10:8, Mark 6:56, Luke 9:2, John 5:3, so also by St. Paul, Php 2:26-27, 2 Timothy 4:20, although there are instances in LXX where the word is used of moral rather than of physical weakness. When the word is used of moral or spiritual weakness in the N.T., such a meaning is for the most part either determined by the context, or by some addition, e.g., τῇ πίστει, Romans 14:1.—μνημονεύειν τε: the verb is used seven times by St. Paul in his Epistles, once by St. Luke in his Gospel, Luke 17:32, and twice in Acts in the words of St. Paul, cf. Acts 20:31. Twice in the Epistle of St. Clement of Rome we find a similar exhortation in similar words, chap. 13:1 and 46:7, and in each case the word may refer to a free combination of our Lord’s words (cf. Luke 6:30; Luke 14:14), so too in St.Polycarp, Epist., ii., 3. From what source St. Paul obtained this, the only saying of our Lord, definitely so described, outside the four Gospels which the N.T. contains, we cannot tell, but the command to “remember” shows that the words must have been familiar words, like those from St. Clement and St. Polycarp, which are very similar to the utterances of the Sermon on the Mount. From whatever source they were derived the references given by Resch, Agrapha, pp. 100, 150, show how deep an impression they made upon the mind of the Church, Clem. Rom., Cor[347], ii. 1, Did[348], i., 5, Const. Ap., iv., 3, 1; cf. also Ropes, Die Spriiche Jesus, p. 136. In thus appealing to the words of the Lord Jesus, St. Paul’s manner in his address is very similar to that employed in his Epistles, where he is apparently able to quote the words of the Lord in support of his judgment on some religious and moral question, cf. 1 Corinthians 7:10-12; 1 Corinthians 7:25, and the distinction between his own opinion, γνώμη, and the command of Christ, ἐπιταγή (Witness of the Epistles, p. 319). τε: Weiss (so Bethge) holds that the word closely connects the two clauses, and that the meaning is that only thus could the weak be rightly maintained, viz., by remembering, etc., ὅτι being causal. But however this may be, in this reference, ὅτι αὐτὸς εἶπεν, “how he himself said,” R.V. (thus implying that the fact was beyond all doubt), we may note one distinctive feature in Christian philanthropy, that it is based upon allegiance to a divine Person, and upon a reference to His commands. The emphatic personal pronoun seems to forbid the view that the Apostle is simply giving the sense of some of our Lord’s sayings (see above). Similar sayings may be quoted from pagan and Jewish sources, but in Aristotle, Eth. Nicom., iv., 1, it is the part τοῦ ἐλευθερίου to give when and where and as much as he pleases, but only because it is beautiful to give; even in friendship, generosity and benevolence spring from the reflection that such conduct is decorous and worthy of a noble man, Eth. Nicom., ix., 8. In Plato’s Republic there would have been no place for the ἀσθενεῖς. Even in Seneca who sometimes approaches very nearly to the Christian precept, when he declares, e.g., that even if we lose we must still give, we cannot forget that pity is regarded as something unworthy of a wise man; the wise man will help him in tears, but he will not weep with him; he helps the poor not with compassion, but with an impassive calm.—μακάριον: emphatic in position, see critical note. Bengel quotes from an old poet, cf. Athenæus, viii., 5, μακάριος, εἴπερ μεταδίδωσι μηδενίἀνόητος ὁ διδούς, εὐτυχὴς δʼ ὁ λαμβάνων. The lines are by no means to be regarded as the best expression of pagan ethics, but the μακάρ., which occurs more than thirty times on the lips of our Lord, bids us aim at something altogether higher and deeper and fuller than happiness—blessedness. In Judaism, whilst compassion for the poor and distressed is characteristic of a righteous Israelite, we must still bear in mind that such compassion was limited by legality and nationality; the universality of the Christian precept is wanting, Uhlhorn, Christian Charity, pp. 1–56, E.T., instances in Wetstein, and Bethge and Page, in loco.

[345] Oecumenius, the Greek Commentator.

[346] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[347] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[348] Διδαχὴ τῶν δωδέκα ἀποστόλων.

35. I have shewed you all things] Better (as Rev. Ver.) “In all things I gave you an example.” The verb is cognate with that noun which Jesus uses (John 13:15), “I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done unto you.”

how that so labouring] i.e. in like manner as the Apostle laboured. And the verb implies “wearying toil.” He had spared for no fatigue. He speaks of this toil (2 Corinthians 11:27), “in labour and travail.”

ye ought to support [Rev. Ver.help”] the weak] By “weak” does St Paul here mean those standing in need of material or moral help? Grimm (s. v.) takes it for the poor, those who are in want from any cause, as those must have been who could not support themselves, and whose wants the Apostle supplied by his own labour. Yet this is a very rare sense, as he admits, for the verb to have, and “feebleness” of faith and trust is much the more common meaning. And that sense suits well here. If among new converts large demands should be made for the support of those who minister, they who are weak in the faith as yet, may be offended thereby, and becoming suspicious, regard the preacher’s office as a source of temporal gain. An example like St Paul’s would remove the scruples of such men, and when they became more grounded in the faith, these matters would trouble them no more. For the use of “weak” in the sense of moral, rather than physical, weakness, cp. Job 4:3-4; Isaiah 35:3.

and to remember … Jesus] He appeals to them as though the saying was well-known, and as we notice this, we cannot but wonder at the scanty number of the words which have been handed down as “words of Jesus” beyond what we find in the Gospel. This is the only one in the New Testament, and from all the rest of the Christian literature we cannot gather more than a score of sentences beside. See Westcott, Introd. to Study of the Gospels, pp. 428 seqq.

how he said] The Greek has an emphatic pronoun, which is represented in the Rev. Ver.he himself said.”

It is.… receive] In support of what has just been said about strengthening the feeble in faith, these words seem as readily applicable to that view of the Apostle’s meaning, as to the sense of “poverty.” What would be given in this special case, would be spiritual strength and trust; what is referred to in “receive” is the temporal support of the preacher, which St Paul refrained from claiming. We cannot doubt that he felt how much more blessed it was to win one waverer to Christ than it would have been to be spared his toils at tent-making by the contributions of his converts.

Acts 20:35. Πάνταὄτι) i.e. I have showed you, as all things, so also this, that, etc. If I had not showed you this, I should not have showed you all things.—ὑπέδειξα, I have shown) by actual example.—ὑμῖν, you) the bishops. He admonishes these by his own example, courteously, without precept. Therefore in Acts 20:33 he does not say, the silver, etc., of none of you, which was evident of itself (without needing that he should say so); but of no man, viz. of no one even of my hearers.—τῶν ἀσθενούντων, the weak) viz. in the faith, 1 Corinthians 9:6; 1 Corinthians 9:22.—μνημονεύειν, to remember) accompanied with actual obedience.—τοῦ λόγου, the saying) So the ancient MSS., and with them the Latin Vulg. It is a reading midway between the extremes. Others read τὸν λόγον. Most read τῶν λόγων, which reading has arisen from the alliteration to the preceding τῶν. John 15:20, μνημονεύετε τοῦ λόγου.—αὐτὸς) Himself.εἶπε, said) Without a doubt the disciples kept in memory many sayings of JESUS, which are not to be read in our Scriptures in the present day.—μακάριον) blessed, divine. To give, is to imitate the blessed God, and to have recompense, Luke 14:14.—δίδοναι, to give) A specimen of the Divine giving occurs at Acts 20:32.—λαμβάνειν) to receive, although in a lawful way. The sentiment of the world is the very reverse, as expressed by an old poet in Athenæus, lib. viii. ch. 5, in the following Senarian Iambics:—

Δημοσθένης τάλαντα πεντηκοντʼ ἔχει·

Μακάριος, εἴπερ μεταδίδωσι μηδενί.

Καὶ Μετροκλῆς εἴληφε χρύσιον πολύ.

Ἀνόητος ὁ διδοὺς, εὐτυχὴς δʼ ὁ λαμβάνων.

Verse 35. - In all things I gave you an example for I have showed you all things, A.V.; help for support, A.V.; he himself for he, A.V. In all things (πάντα, for κατὰ πάντα, 1.q. πάντως); altogether, in all respects. Gave you an example. The common use of ὑποδείκνυμι is, as rendered in the A.V., "to show," "to teach," as in Acts 9:16; Luke 6:47; and repeatedly in the LXX. But perhaps its force here is equivalent to the phrase in John 13:15, ὑπόδειγμα ε}δωκα ὑμῖν, "I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you," as the R.V. takes it. So laboring; viz. as ye have seen me do. To help the weak. Meyer, following Bengel and others, understands this to mean the weak in faith," like ἀσθενής in 1 Corinthians 9:22. They say that St. Paul's self-denial in refusing the help he had a right to claim as an apostle, and supporting himself by his labor, was a great argument to convince the weak in faith of his disinterestedness and of the truth of his gospel, and so he recommends the elders of the Church to follow his example. But the word here is ἀσθενούντων, and ἀσθενεῖν and ἀσθενεία rather suggest the idea of bodily weakness (Matthew 25:36; Matthew 10:8, etc.; Luke 5:15, etc.), and the words of the Lord Jesus which follow suggest almsgiving to the needy. So that it is better to understand the word of the weakly and poor, those unable to work for themselves. Doubtless St. Paul, out of his scanty earnings, found something to give to the sick and needy. The sentiment in our text is thus exactly analogous to the precept in Ephesians 4:28. The very word there used, χερσίν, recalls the αἱ χεῖρες αὕται of ver. 34. To remember the words of the Lord Jesus. This is a solitary instance era saying of our Lord's, not recorded in the Gospels, being referred to in Scripture. There are many alleged sayings of Christ recorded in apocryphal Gospels or in the writings of Fathers as Papias and others (Routh, 'Reliq. Sac.,' 1:9, 10, 12), some of which may be authentic; but this alone is warranted by Scripture. How it came to St Paul's knowledge, and that of the Ephesian elders to whom he seems to have taken for granted that it was familiar, it is impossible to say. But it seems likely that, in those very early days, some of the Lord's unwritten words may have floated in the memory of men, and been preserved by word of mouth. Clement (1 Corinthians it.) seems to refer to the saying when he writes in praise of the former character of the Corinthians, that they were then ἥδιον διδόντες η} λομβάνοντες. But he probably had it from the Acts of the Apostles, as had the author of the 'Apostol. Constitut.' (4. 3, 1). Similar apophthegms are quoted from heathen writers, as those cited by Kuinoel: Δωρεῖσθαι καὶ διδόναι κρεῖττον η} λαμβάνειν (Artemidor., 'Onirocr.,' 4, 3); Μᾶλλόν ἐστὶ τοῦ ἐλευθέρου τὸ διδόναι οι{ς δεῖ ἠ λαμβάνειν ὕθεν δεῖ (Arist., 'Nieom.,' 4, 1), "It is more becoming to a free man to give to whom he ought to give, than to receive from whom he ought to receive." Acts 20:35I have shewed you all things (πάντα ὑπέδειξα ὑμῖν)

The verb means to shew by example. Thus, Luke 6:47, "I will shew you to whom he is like," is followed by the illustration of the man who built upon the rock. So Acts 9:16. God will shew Paul by practical experience how great things he must suffer. The kindred noun ὑπόδειγμα is always rendered example or pattern. See John 13:15; James 5:10, etc.; and note on 2 Peter 2:6. Rev., correctly, In all things I gave you an example.

So

As I have done.

To help (ἀντιλαμβάνεσθαι)

See on Luke 1:54.

He said (αὐτὸς εἶπε)

Rev., more strictly, "he himself said." This saying of Jesus is not recorded by the Evangelists, and was received by Paul from oral tradition.

The speech of Paul to the Ephesian elders "bears impressed on it the mark of Paul's mind: its ideas, its idioms, and even its very words are Pauline; so much so as to lead Alford to observe that we have probably the literal report of the words spoken by Paul. 'It is,' he remarks, 'a treasure-house of words, idioms, and sentences peculiar to the apostle himself'" (Gloag).

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