And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He kneeled down, and prayed with them all.—The historian who has recorded what we may call the “charge” of St. Paul, shrinks, with a natural reverence, from reporting his prayer. Ephesians 3:14-21 will enable the thoughtful reader to represent to himself its substance, perhaps even its very thoughts and words.Acts 20:36-38. When he had thus spoken, he kneeled down — The posture generally used by the apostles and first Christians in prayer, as it had been also by our Lord himself, and by holy men of old; see the margin. And it is a posture peculiarly proper, as being expressive of humility before God, of reverence for him, and submission to him. And prayed with them all — Doubtless in the most fervent and affectionate manner. And they all wept sore — The old as well as the young, the men as well as the women. Anciently men, yea, the best and bravest of men, were easily melted into tears; a thousand instances of which might be produced, from profane as well as sacred writers. But now, notwithstanding the effeminacy which almost universally prevails, we leave those tears to women and children. Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more — In those parts where they had so long enjoyed the benefits of his ministry, inspection, and converse. Think, reader, what sorrow will be in the great day when God shall say to all who are found on the left hand, that they shall see his face no more! And they accompanied him unto the ship — Commending his person to the protection, and his labours to the blessing, of his great Master. 2 Chronicles 6:13; Daniel 6:10; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; Acts 9:40; Acts 21:5; Romans 11:4; Philippians 2:10; Ephesians 3:14; Mark 1:40. He kneeled down; a posture of great humility, becoming prayer, and frequently used on such occasions, especially in a time of great trouble and distress. Although bodily exercise alone do not profit, 1 Timothy 4:8, yet we may, and must on occasion, in prayer bow the knee, lift up the hand and eye;
1. Because it is a reasonable thing to give our bodies in his service to God that made them.
2. By this we may show that we are not ashamed to serve and own God before men. And:
3. These outward signs do sometimes stir up our own and others’ devotion. Acts 20:6 and
prayed with them all: and no doubt for them all; the Syriac version renders it, "and he prayed, and all the men with him"; the apostle, and the elders, joined together in prayer.And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 20:36-38. What a simple, true, tender, and affecting description!
κατεφίλουν] denotes frequent and fervent kissing. Comp. on Matthew 26:49; Luke 15:20.
ΘΕΩΡΕῖΝ] to behold, is chosen from the standpoint of the ὀδυνώμενοι. On the other hand, in Acts 20:25, ὌΨΕΣΘΕ.
ΠΡΟΈΠΕΜΠ.] of giving a convoy, as in Acts 15:3, Acts 21:5.
 It borders on wantonness to affirm that this impression of the speech is not so much that which the presbyters received from it, as that which “the reader of the Book of Acts is meant to receive from the previous narrative,” Zeller, p. 274.Acts 20:36. θεὶς τὰ γόν., see above on p. 203.36. The kneeling posture marks the special character and solemnity of the prayer. We find the Apostle doing the same in his parting from the brethren at Tyre (Acts 21:5). On the usual custom of standing in prayer, cp. Mark 11:25 and the account of the Pharisee and publican (Luke 18:11-13). It has often been noticed that the historian, who gives the speech with unusual fulness, does not venture to record the prayer.Acts 20:36. Θεὶς γόνατα, having knelt down) His spirit kindling into a glow, in public, ch. Acts 21:5.
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