Acts 21:5
And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
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(5) We departed, and went our way.—Literally, and were going on our way, the tense bringing before us something like a procession wending its way from the city to the shore.

We kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.—The choice of the place was in itself natural enough. It was the spot where the two sets of friends were to part. It was removed from the stir and bustle of the city. We may add that it fell in with the common Jewish practice of using the banks of rivers or the seashore as a place of prayer. The beach of Tyre became for the time a proseuchè. (See Note on Acts 16:13.) It seems implied, from the use of the plural, that in this instance St. Paul was not the only spokesman of the prayers, but that others also (probably St. Luke himself, and the leading members of the Church of Tyre) joined in reciprocal intercession.

21:1-7 Providence must be acknowledged when our affairs go on well. Wherever Paul came, he inquired what disciples were there, and found them out. Foreseeing his troubles, from love to him, and concern for the church, they wrongly thought it would be most for the glory of God that he should continue at liberty; but their earnestness to dissuade him from it, renders his pious resolution the more illustrious. He has taught us by example, as well as by rule, to pray always, to pray without ceasing. Their last farewell was sweetened with prayer.Had accomplished those days - When those days were passed.

They all brought us on our way - They attended us. See the Acts 15:3 note; Romans 15:24 note; 1 Corinthians 16:6, 1 Corinthians 16:11 notes; 3 John 1:6 note. This was an expression of tender attachment, and of a deep interest in the welfare of Paul and his fellow-travelers.

We kneeled down - See the notes on Acts 20:36.

On the shore - Any place may be proper for prayer. See the notes on John 4:21-24. God is everywhere, and can as easily hear prayer on the seashore as in the most magnificent temple. This is an instance, as well as that in Acts 20:36, where the apostle evidently prayed with the church without a form of prayer. No man can believe that he thus poured forth the desires of his heart at parting, and commended them to God in a prescribed form of words. Scenes like this show more clearly than abstract arguments could do that such a form was not needed, and would not be used. Paul and his fellow-Christians, on the sand of the sea-shore, would pour forth the gushing emotions of their souls in language such as their circumstances would suggest, and no man can read this narrative in a dispassionate manner without believing that they offered an extempore prayer.

5. they all brought us on our way with wives and children … and we kneeled down on the shore and prayed—(See on [2082]Ac 20:36). Observe here that the children of these Tyrian disciples not only were taken along with their parents, but must have joined in this act of solemn worship. See on [2083]Eph 6:1. They all brought us on our way; to show their greater respect unto him, being loth to part with him so long as it was possible for them to enjoy him; so that they did not despise his temptation that was in the flesh, Galatians 4:14 but it is truly strange what follows, that he was received by them as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Kneeled down on the shore; this the Jews on extraordinary occasions were wont to do, whilst the temple itself were standing, viz. make every place a place of prayer in such a case, Acts 20:36.

And when we had accomplished those days,.... The seven days before mentioned:

we departed and went our way; from their quarters where they lodged, or from some one house of the disciples, where they met, and had conversed together:

and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city; that is, the disciples, even all of them that dwelt in that city, with their whole families, their wives and children, accompanied the apostle and those that were with him, through the streets of the city of Tyre, till they came out of it to the shore, where lay the ship they were to go aboard; and which was a mark of their affection and respect to the apostle, as well as a token of their public spirit, that they were not ashamed of Christ and his ministers, nor of their profession of the Gospel:

and we kneeled down on the shore and prayed; which was agreeably to the custom of the Jews, who had, as Tertullian observes (w), their "orationes litterales", their prayers at the sea shore; See Gill on Acts 16:13.

(w) Ad nationes, l. 1. c. 13.

And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
Acts 21:5-6. Ἐξαρτίσαι] cannot here denote to fit out (Lucian, V. H. i. 33; Joseph. Antt. iii. 2. 2; comp. 2 Timothy 3:17), to provide the necessaries for the journey, partly because the protasis: “but when we fitted out in those days” (not: had fitted out), would not suit the apodosis, and partly because in general there was no reason for a special and lengthened provisioning in the case of such a very short voyage. Hence we must adhere to the rendering usual since the Vulgate (expletis diebus) and Chrysostom (πληρῶσαι): but when it happened that we completed the (seven) days of our residence there, i.e. when we brought these days to a close. And that ἐξαρτίζειν was really so used by later writers, is to be inferred from the similar use of ἀπαρτίζειν (Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 447).

σὺν γυναιξὶ κ. τεκν.] the more readily conceivable and natural in the case of the small body of Christians after so long a stay. Baumgarten finds here the design of a special distinction of the church.

ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλ.] on the shore, because this was the place of the solemn parting. Hammond, overlooking this natural explanation, imagined quite arbitrarily that there was a προσευχή (see on Acts 16:13) on the shore.

ἀπησπασάμεθα (see the critical remarks): we took leave of one another, Himerius, p. 184. Lachmann, Praef. p. IX., unnecessarily conjectures ἀντησπασάμεθα.

εἰς τὰ ἴδια] to their habitations. Comp. on John 16:32; John 16:27; and see Valckenaer, p. 581 f.

Whether the ship prepared for the voyage (τὸ πλοῖον) was the same in which they had arrived, cannot be determined.

Acts 21:5. ἐξαρτίσαι: here in the sense of accomplishing the days, i.e., finishing the time, the seven days during which we had to remain for the cargo to be unloaded or for other business = ἀπαρτίζειν (and cf. Luke 14:28), Vulgate, “expletis diebus,” Chrys., πληρῶσαι, so Oecum., Theoph. The verb is only used once elsewhere in N.T., and there by St. Paul, 2 Timothy 3:17 = furnishing, completing, so Jos., Ant., iii., 2, 2, where the verb is used as in 2 Tim., l. c., and some have thought that here the verb means that the ship was completely prepared for the continuance of her voyage. So Rendall who takes ἡμᾶς (reading ἐξαρ. ἡμᾶς) as the object, and renders “and when it proved that the days furnished us”; on St. Paul’s stay and its reason see Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 300, and for other explanations, Nösgen and Weiss, in loco. There is no reason to interpret the words as meaning that the Apostle found that his desire, Acts 20:16, could not be fulfilled, and that so he was content to remain the seven days.—προπεμ., see above: πάντων. The clause has been taken (Wendt) to intimate that the number of disciples at Tyre was small; this was probably the case, but it is not clear from the words here. σὺν γυν. καὶ τέκ., a descriptive touch of an eyewitness (Zöckler); on this local use of ἕως as characteristic of Luke, cf. Friedrich, p. 20.—θέντεςαἰγ., see Acts 20:36. αἰγ., a smooth shore in distinction to one precipitous and rocky, Acts 27:39, also found in Matthew 13:2; Matthew 13:48, John 21:4. In LXX, Jdg 5:17, Sir 24:14 (al[350], and cf. note in Speaker’s Commentary, in loco). See Hackett’s note on this accurate description of the beach on both sides of the site of the ancient Tyre, and also a parallel to the scene described in this passage from modern missionary life.

[350] Alford’s Greek Testament.

5. And when we had accomplished those days] Rev. Ver. very literally “And when it came to pass that we had accomplished the days.” This means, of course, the seven days mentioned above. The verb rendered “accomplished” is very unusual in this sense, though the Vulgate explains it so, and Chrysostom gave it that meaning, so we may accept it. Some, keeping to a more common use of it “to fit out,” have proposed to understand the word “ship” as the object of it, and to render “when we had refitted (the ship) during those days.”

we departed and went our way] Because of the word “way” coming in the next clause for different Greek, the Rev. Ver. has here “went on our journey.”

and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children] i.e. with their wives and children, the whole Christian community escorting the Apostle to the shore. The existence of these families shews that “the disciples” (Acts 21:4) is required. They were the Church of Tyre.

and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed] To follow the reading of the oldest text, the Rev. Ver. joins the construction of this verse with the following, “and kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and bade each other farewell.” On the action cp. Acts 20:36.

Acts 21:5. Ἐγένετο ἡμᾶς ἐξαρτίσαι) This is more than if he were to say, ἐξηρτίσαμεν, we accomplished or fulfilled. It came to pass that without hindrance we stayed at Tyre.—τὰς ἡμέρας) the days, which we had determined.—σὺν γυναιξὶ καὶ τἑκνοις, with wives and children) a great number, differently from the custom of the world.—ἔξω, outside) a long way, through so great a city.—[ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν, on or at the shore) not by way of pageant or escort, but in order to bid farewell.—V. g.

Verse 5. - It came to pass that we had accomplished for we had accomplished, A.V.; the days for those days, A.V.; on our journey for our way, A.V.; they all, with wives and children, brought us on our way for they all brought us on our way, with wires and children, A.V.; kneeling down on the beach we prayed for we kneeled down on the shore and prayed., A.V. and T.R. Accomplished the days. There is no other example of this use of the word ἐξαρτίζειν, which always means "to fit out, to equip thoroughly," as e.g. Josephus, 'Ant. Jud.,' 3. 2:2, where he speaks of soldiers τοῖς ἅπασι καλῶς ἐξηρτισμένους well equipped in all respects; and in the only other passage in the New Testament where it occurs, 2 Timothy 3:17, where it is rendered "thoroughly furnished," or "furnished completely." R.V. Hence some would render the passage here "when we had refitted (the ship) during these days." But this is a very harsh construction, and it is better, with the glossaries, lexicons, the Vulgate, and most commentators, to take the word here in the unusual sense of "to complete," applied to time. The days are the seven days mentioned in ver. 4, which were probably determined by the time it took to unlade the ship and get the new cargo on board. Acts 21:5Accomplished (ἐξαρτίσαι)

Only here and 2 Timothy 3:17, where it is used in the sense of equip or furnish.


The first time that children are mentioned in the notice of a Christian church.

Shore (αἰγιαλὸν)

Rev., beach. See on Matthew 13:2.

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