ACTS 15-20

Chapter 15: The Council At Jerusalem


       1. The Dissention At Antioch V. 1-2

V. 1

1. "And" = connects this verse with Chapter 14; any time God's work is progressing as it was at Antioch, Satan is going to oppose it; since external persecution had not stopped the work of God, the devil resorts to internal strife and lies. (John 8:44)

2. "Certain men" = they are referred to as Judaizers, those who were Jews first and later professed Christianity; they taught that the only way one could be saved was to become a proselyte Jew first (legalism).

3. "Came down" = Judea was a high and hilly region, and going from there toward the level countries adjacent to the sea was represented to be descending or going down.

4. This was a voluntary decision and does not in any way teach a "denominational hierarchy" that governs the affairs of the local church.  In fact their activity is disclaimed by the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15:24.  Paul calls them "false brethren" in Gal. 2:4‑5.

5. "Taught" = to shape the will of the one taught by the communication of information, in this case untrue; the tense indicates they began to teach and kept it up.

6. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to the saved at Antioch.

7. "Circumcised" = the principle rite of the Jewish religion; this would parallel baptism today.

8. "Manner of Moses" = a usage prescribed by the law of Moses (OT); their teaching not only involved just the one act of circumcision but they endeavored to convince these Gentile believers of the necessity of keeping the law of Moses.

9. "Cannot be saved" = would not be able or possible to be saved from their sins; these men no doubt were sincere but sincerely wrong; keep in mind how easy it could be for these Judaizers to be confused because they had been steeped in OT teaching that the Gentiles could only be saved through Israel.  Our upbringing has an effect on what we believe.


V. 2

1. "Dissension" = strife; denotes here that there was an earnest and warm discussion.

2. "Disputation" = mutual questioning or discussion.

3. "No small" = not little; not briefly; Paul and Barnabas were not willing to see this Gentile church brow‑beaten and treated as heretics by these self‑appointed regulators of Christian orthodoxy from Jerusalem.

4. "Determined" = appointed; they (the church) appointed a group (Paul, Barnabas, and certain others) to go to Jerusalem to settle this question (matter at hand).

5. "Elders" = title of the pastors; the early church had more than one pastor.


       2. The Deliberation At Jerusalem V. 3-21

V. 3

1. "Brought on their way by the church" = as was the custom of that day the whole assembly (church) of believers at Antioch turned out to the escort the group for a short distance on the way.

2. "Phenice" = Phoenicia; the province south of Antioch which lay along the Mediterranean Sea and extended south to Mount Carmel joining Samaria. (See Map 1)

3. "Samaria" = the province which was located between Phenice and Judea. (See Map 1)

4. "Declaring" = to narrate through wholly.

5. "Conversion" = a turning, from idols to the true God.

6. "Joy" = cheerfulness; gladness of heart.

7. "Brethren" = believers; saved of Phenice who were Jewish and of Samaria who were Samaritans (half Jewish); all were rejoicing  with  great  joy  when  they  heard  the  report  of the success  of  the Word of God  among  the  Gentiles;  evidently the Judaizers had not visited these churches; therefore, they accepted what God had done without question.



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V. 4

1. "Received" = to take fully; welcome.

2. "Declared" = to announce in detail; to report.


V. 5

1. "Rose up" = to arise in an assembly to speak.

2. "Sect" = a body of men separating themselves from others and following their own doctrine; this group was of the Pharisees who were very legalistic yet the Bible says they "believed"; whether they believed with the head like those of John 2:23‑24 or with the heart and were truly saved, we do not know for sure; one thing we do know is that if they were truly saved when they heard the truth the Holy Spirit who lived inside them showed them their error and they changed their minds concerning this doctrine. (John 16:13)

3. "Needful" = necessary.

4. These Pharisees made the covenant of the law more important than Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.  But the cross was no after thought in God's plan.  Jesus was and is the Lamb of God "slain from the foundation of the world." (Rev. 13:8)  The first promise (Gen. 3:15) looking ahead to Christ was long before the giving of the law.  These Pharisees thought Christianity should be added to the Law but the reverse was true. (Gal. 3:17‑19)


V. 6

1. "To consider" = to know; to have absolute, positive knowledge of a fact once for all.

2. The church is not named here but it seems from verses 12 and 22 that the whole church come together with the apostles and elders.  This matter was very important to the believers for many still followed the customs of their fathers with respect to the kosher food laws and some of the other Jewish forms and ceremonies.


V. 7

1. "Disputing" = mutual questioning, not in the sense of arguing but in the sense of discussion; the Greek implies that both sides of the matter were sincerely investigating the question, expecting to find a solution.

2. "Much" = the discussion was lengthy.

3. "Rose up" = stood up; Peter reminded them that by God's choice he had taken the gospel to the Gentiles at Caesarea and they believed.

4. "Know" = to put the mind upon; comprehend; they knew because Peter reported to them in Acts 11 all that had happened at Cornelius' house.


V. 8

1. "Knoweth the hearts" = one word in the Greek; means God knows what is in the hearts (inner being) of all; He saw faith in their hearts; we do not know our hearts. (Jer. 17:9)

2. "Bare them witness" = to give testimony in one's favor; God bore witness to the fact that these Gentiles were believers by giving them the Holy Ghost just as He had to all the Jewish believers.


V. 9

1. From the experience at Caesarea, Peter learned that God does not distinguish between or make a separation between Gentile believers and Jewish believers in any way. (Eph. 2:14)

2. "Purifying" = to cleanse from sin and its guilt; this was done by grace through faith alone, without circumcision and without keeping the law. (Eph. 2:8‑9)


V. 10

1. "Tempt" = to test; put God to the test by disregarding what He had done and made plain at Caesarea; to do so is a very serious kind of unbelief; legalism is a substitute for faith.

2. "Yoke" = figure of servitude; refers to being under law which neither these Jewish believers in Jerusalem nor their ancestors had been able to bear (had strength to carry).

3. To require the Gentiles to be circumcised would be to place them under this same yoke of the law and they would not be able to bear it either.


V. 11

1. "We" = Peter standing with Paul and Barnabas.

2. "Believe" = tense represents continuous action; believe this truth now and will continue to believe.

3. "Through" = by means of; on account of.

4. "Grace" = unearned and unmerited favor; G‑God's, R‑riches, A‑at, C‑Christ's, E‑expense. (Eph. 2:8-9)

5. "We shall be saved" = refers to the Jews being saved in exactly the same way as the Gentiles, by grace and not law.

6. The Pharisees in this period of time were very strict, made the legalistic burdens heavy, and refused to help anyone carry it. (Mat. 23:4)

7. Peter makes it very clear that grace has, through Christ, removed those burdens.


V. 12

1. "Gave audience" = to hear; Peter's words quieted the crowd and they listened in silence, giving their full attention as Barnabas and Paul spoke.

2. "Declaring" = to explain or give a detailed analysis.

3. "Miracles" = fingerpost of God; a supernatural happening by which God authenticates the men sent by Him.

4. "Wonders" = miracles regarded as startling.

5. "Wrought" = worked; performed; they gave credit to God for working these miracles while they were just the human instruments God used.

6. The miracles were also witness to the fact that God had accepted the Gentiles.  He would not keep doing miracles among them if they had not had faith. (Mat. 13:58)


V. 13

1. "Held their peace" = to keep silent; after Paul and Barnabas finished  speaking all the crowd was silent until James spoke.

2. "James" = an elder of the Jerusalem church; half brother of our Lord; he spoke as a humble brother, not as one who had superior authority; a servant of the Lord simply responding to the Holy Spirit.

3. "Hearken" = listen; unusual appeal for attention.


V. 14

1. "Simeon" = the Aramaic form of Simon, the Hebrew name for Peter; the use of this name showed James' close relationship with the Jewish Christians not the Judaizers.

2. "Declared" = to explain or give a detailed analysis; he summarized what Peter had said.

3. "First" = indicates, as Peter did, that this experience of Paul and Barnabas is not the beginning of work among the Gentiles.

4. "Did visit" = to look upon; to look after; provide for; this meant a gracious divine intervention to bring salvation and blessings.

5. "To take out" = to choose; to select; God wanted a people for His name, a people who would honor His name and be His people. (John 1:11)


V. 15

1. "This" = God visiting the Gentiles at Cornelius' house is in agreement with the words of the prophets of which he gives the sense of Amos 9:11‑12 in verses 16‑17.

2. "Is written" = tense indicates a completed action in past time and stands on record today (Psa. 119:89); it was important for the Jewish believers to see that this truth was not based on the experience at the house of Cornelius alone but also was founded on the written Word of God that had already been given.


V. 16

1. "Tabernacle" = refers to the house or royal residence of David and the kings of Israel.

2. Amos prophesied the fall of the whole house of Jacob (Israel and Judah).  This came to pass but the promise of God was that He will rebuild it.  This  threefold repetition was to emphasize that God would indeed fulfill His promises to David.


V. 17

1. "Residue of men" = life remaining, refers to the Gentiles called "remnant of Edom" in Amos 9:12; Edom is representative of the Gentiles.

2. "Seek after" = to search out; crave; seek after diligently.

3. "All the Gentiles" = all the heathen nations; all who are not Jews; this was a clear prediction that other nations were to be favored and that without any mention of their conforming to the rites of the Jewish people.

4. "Upon whom my name is called" = who are called by my name; who are regarded as my people.

5. "Who doeth all these things" = refers to the Lord who will certainly accomplish this in His time.

6. These verses make it clear that God was concerned about the Gentiles even though they did not know it.


V. 18

1. "Known" = well known.

2. "The beginning of the world" = one word in the Greek; means "from of old"; refers to eternity past.

3. The meaning of this verse is: God sees everything future; He knows what He will accomplish; He has a plan; all His works are so arranged in His mind that He sees everything distinctly and clearly.  None of these happenings have caught Him by surprise.  Since they are His plan they should not be opposed and resisted by us.


V. 19

1. "Wherefore" = in view of the facts just presented; this plain purpose of God as shown by Amos.

2. "Sentence" = to have an opinion; to think; James is not acting as a judge but simply as a Christian brother giving a word of wisdom as the Spirit led.

3. "Trouble" = to cause trouble in the matter; to harass further; means that they should not add any further requirements to the faith and practice of the Gentile believers.

4. "Which" = who.

5. "Turned" = converted; refers to repentance.


V. 20

1. "Abstain" = to keep away; refrain; to hold oneself back from.

2. "Pollutions" = defilements, refers to idolatrous practices and things sacrificed to idols.

3. "Fornication" = illicit sex acts in general; the various types of heterosexual and homosexual immoralities habitually practiced by so many Gentile heathen; the context reveals whether it is before marriage or after marriage.

4. "Things strangled" = an animal deprived of life without shedding its blood.

5. "Blood" = they were not to eat blood; this command was in effect long before Moses' day, for God had told Noah not to eat blood, for it represented life. (Gen. 9:4)

6. The first two requests to keep away from idolatry and all forms of sexual immorality were to uphold the witness to the one true God and the high moral standards He requires.  They had come from a background where immorality was accepted and even encouraged in the name of religion.


V. 21

1. The meaning of this verse is that the law of Moses which  prohibited these things was read in the synagogues constantly.

2. "In every city" = where there were Jews.

3. "Preach him" = proclaim Moses by reading the law of Moses. 


       3. The Deputation To The Gentiles V. 22-35

V. 22

1. The apostles, elders, and "the whole church" accepted the words of wisdom from James and agreed it would be best to send men chosen from among themselves to go with Barnabas to Antioch to present the decision and the letter.

2. "Silas" = short for Silvanus. (I Thess. 1:1)

3. "Chief men" = leading men among the believers and recognized by the church as such.


V. 23

1. "They" = Silas and Judas Barsabas; who as scribes were used to write the letter that was to be sent by them; this indicates they were well educated and knew Greek very well.

2. "Letters" = in italics, thus not in the original.

3. The contents of this letter is stated in verses 23‑29.

4. "Which" = who.


V. 24

1. "Forasmuch" = since now.

2. "Have troubled" = disturbed; unsettled; agitated; thrown into confusion.

3. "With words" = with their message, implying a multitude of arguments.

4. "Subverting" = to pack up baggage in order to carry it away to another place; refers to their souls being torn down, upset, and unsettled; this word is a powerful picture of the havoc wrought by the Judaizers among the simple‑minded Greek Christians at Antioch.

5. "Gave no such commandment" = they had gone without authority from the church and the Holy Ghost; they were self‑constituted and self‑sent teachers and all such like usually produce disturbance and distress.


V. 25

1. "One Accord" = unanimously; with one mind and one purpose.

2. "Beloved" = dear; emphasizes that the apostles, elders, and all the believers counted Barnabas and Paul as dear friends, worthy of love.


V. 26

1. "Hazarded" = to surrender; yield up; means they handed over their souls for the sake of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; they had risked their lives for His name.

2. "For the name" = for the cause.


V. 27

1. "Tell" = announce.

2. "By mouth" = something said including the thought.

3. Judas and Silas were to personally confirm the contents of the letter and explain the decision to the churches to whom it was addressed.


V. 28

1. "To the Holy Ghost and to us" = definite claim that the church, in this action, had the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

2. "To lay" = to impose.

3. "Burden" = weight; figure of a load.

4. "Greater" = more.

5. "These necessary things" = the restrictions named did constitute some burden; morality itself is a restraint upon one's impulses; these necessary things were not a matter of salvation but fellowship.


V. 29

1. "Abstain from meats offered to idols" = when animals were sacrificed in heathen temples, part of the meat would be taken to the town market and sold; this meat was alright to eat but to do so would offend the Jewish brethren and in so doing would commit sin against Christ (I Cor. 8:4‑13); our liberty should not become a stumbling block to others. (I Cor. 6:12)

2. "Keep" = to watch thoroughly; to observe strictly.

3. "Ye shall do well" = "it shall be well with thee"; you shall prosper in fellowship with the Lord and Jewish believers.

4. "Fare ye well" = make yourselves strong.


V. 30

1. "Were dismissed" = set free, released and sent away.

2. "Multitude" = refers to the believers.

3. "Epistle" = letter.


V. 31

1. "Had read" = to know by reading; to perceive accurately.

2. "Rejoiced" = to be cheerful; to be joyful; they burst into jubilant joy  showing clearly that they did not consider what had been done as a weak compromise, but a glorious victory of Gentile liberty.

3. "Consolation" = encouragement or comfort that the letter gave them.

4. They were free from all that legalistic bondage.  In return for this freedom, they were glad to accept the provision for fellowship and the exhortations to high moral standards.


V. 32

1. "Prophets" = one who speaks for another; they spoke for the Lord by the  aid of the Holy Spirit.

2. "Exhorted" = to encourage and strengthen; root word of

"consolation" in  verse 31.

3. "Confirmed" = to strengthen and establish by the instruction (many words) they spoke.


V. 33

1. "Tarried there a space" = continued a time; they spent some time at Antioch; the length of time we do not know.

2. "Were let go in peace" = the brethren released Judas and Silas with a farewell blessing of peace and well being to return, not just to the apostles, but as the Greek shows, to the entire group of believers in Jerusalem.


V. 34

1. "Notwithstanding it pleased" = "but it seemed good" = this was no doubt prompted by the Spirit's leading.

2. "Abide" = to stay over; remain.


V. 35

1. "Also" = indicates Paul and Barnabas as well as Silas stayed at Antioch.

2. "Continued" = remained.

3. "Teaching" = to shape the will of the one taught by the communication of the knowledge.

4. "Preaching" = to announce good news.

5. "Many others also" = new teachers, preachers, and evangelists from the local assembly who had surrendered to the ministry.


       4. The Disputation Between Paul And Barnabas V. 36-41

V. 36

1. "Some days" = considerable time, even up to a year.

2. "Visit" = to inspect; examine closely; also has the connotation of caring and looking after.

3. "Our brethren = refers to those saved during their first missionary journey; all these churches were founded in the midst of all kinds of opposition and persecution.

4. Paul knew how important it was to follow up and disciple new believers.  Even in the midst of his own persecution and perils, he did not forget them.


V. 37

1. "Determined" = purposed to; was minded; willed; wished and stuck to it.

2. John Mark was his cousin and Barnabas encouraged him to go even though he had deserted them at Pamphylia on their first missionary journey.


V. 38

1. "Good" = worthy; fit; suitable.

2. "Departed" = to desert; withdraw from.

3. Mark had left them at an important time, just when they needed him for the task of spreading the gospel in new and more difficult areas.


V. 39

1. "Sharp contention" = one word in the Greek; means dispute so great that sharp feeling was between them to the point they felt temporary irritation, perhaps indignation; each was insistent in his position (the Greek construction brings this out).

2. "Departed asunder" = separated from each other; they did not let this hinder the work of the Lord and they came up with a peaceful settlement.

3. "Cyprus" = an island in the Mediterranean Sea where they went on the first missionary journey. (See Map 2)


V. 40

1. "Chose" = choosing for himself, a successor of Barnabas, not of Mark who had no place in Paul's plans at this time.

2. "Being recommended by the brethren" = being appointed by the church; it seems the church sided with Paul over Barnabas.

3. "Grace of God" = His favor and protection; this entire phrase indicates they prayed and ask God's blessing upon them and committed them to God's grace which is sufficient for the journey.

4. It is interesting to note that Barnabas is not mentioned again in Acts, but he no doubt did a good work in John Mark's life because of what Paul said in II Tim. 4:11.


V. 41

1. "Confirming" = to strengthen and establish by further teaching; this is not same ritual as some "so called" churches perform today.

2. Paul begins his second missionary journey with Silas as his helper as they go through Syria and on to Cilicia including Paul's home town of Tarsus. (See Map 2)


Chapter 16: Paul And Silas At Philippi


       1. New Helpers V. 1-5

V. 1

1. "Then came he" = Paul in company with Silas.

2. "Derbe and Lystra" = Derbe first and then on to Lystra; place Paul had preached on his first missionary journey. (See Map 2)

3. "Disciple" = a learner; denotes a follower of Christ, whether lost or saved; in this case it refers to Timotheus as being saved, probably when Paul first visited the city (Acts 14:8‑19, 21‑22); Paul referred to him in I Tim. 1:2 as his own "son in the faith."

4. "Timotheus" = Greek for Timothy; name means knowing God.

5. "A certain woman" = Eunice. (II Tim. 1:5)

6. "Jewess" = a woman belonging to Judah.

7. "Believed" = refers to Eunice being saved by trusting in Christ as her Lord and Saviour.

8. "Greek" = not a Jew; Timothy's father was probably a member of a prominent and wealthy family but apparently still unconverted.

9. Fortunately, the faith and training given Timothy by his mother and grandmother had more effect upon him than the unbelief of his father.  They had trained him in the Scriptures from earliest childhood. (II Tim 1:5; 3:14‑15)

10. Timothy was probably in his teenage years when he was saved because after some 16 years Paul advised him to "Let no man despise thy youth." (I Tim. 4:12)  A man of 30 years of age was considered young as far as the ministry was concerned.


V. 2

1. "Which" = who; refers to Timothy, not his father.

2. "Well reported" = bore witness; was esteemed highly as a young man of promise; evidently he had a spiritual ministry in both these cities which was a blessing to the assemblies there.




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V. 3

1. "Would" = desired; chose; Paul wanted to take Timothy with him for further training as well as to help in the spread of the gospel.

2. "Circumcised" = sign of being a Hebrew or Jew.

3. "Because of the Jews" = means on account of or for the sake of the unbelieving Jews; Paul had stoutly resisted circumcision in the case of Titus, a pure Greek (Gal. 2:3,5), because the whole principle of Gentile liberty was at stake; but Timothy was both Jew and Greek, so to remain uncircumcised would be a stumbling block to the Jews and he would not be allowed to preach in the Jewish synagogues; therefore, Paul removed this stumbling block from the ministry of Timothy; this is not compromising but a fulfillment of I Cor.  9:20‑23.

4. "Quarters" = spots; locations.

5. "Knew all" = "all knew" = all had absolute, positive knowledge of the facts.

6. "That his father was a Greek" = indicates that his father was no longer living but still the people in the area knew Timothy's father was Greek.


V. 4

1. "Delivered" = tense reveals they kept on delivering to them in city after city.

2. "Decrees" = refers to the regulations or conclusions of the Jerusalem conference (Acts 15:29) also approved by the Holy Ghost. (Acts 15:28)

3. "Keep" = to observe; to obey; the tense indicates that this was a charter of liberty for continued living, not a temporary compromise.

4. "Ordained" = decided (under the leadership of the Holy Ghost); the Greek construction emphasizes the permanence of the conclusions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem.


V. 5

1. "So" = a particle expressing consequence.

2. "Established" = strengthened; means to make firm and solid like the muscles that have been exercised.

3. "The faith" = the whole body of God's revealed truth.

4. "Increased" = to superabound; be in excess.

5. This growth implies that the believers put their faith into action by life and lip.  The blessing of God was on the work of Paul, Silas, and Timothy in the form of a continuous revival.


       2. New Opportunities V. 6-12

V. 6

1. "Had gone throughout" = "having passed through."

2. "Phrygia and Galatia" = Roman provinces in what is known today as Asia Minor. (See Map 2)

3. "Region" = a space of territory.

4. "Were forbidden" = "having been forbidden" = the Holy Ghost had already forbidden Paul to speak the Word in the province of Asia (known as Asia Minor today); even though a great work was later done in this region it was not God's time to preach the Word there.

5. "Asia" = is the area known as Turkey today, of which the capital city was Ephesus; the seven churches of Revelation were located in this area.


V. 7

1. "Were come to" = they came to the border of Mysia.

2. "Mysia" = a Roman province of Asia Minor along with the provinces of Phrygia and Lydia; their boundaries are not drawn in Map 2.

3. "Assayed" = to try whether a thing can be done; to attempt; endeavor.

4. "Bithynia" = Roman province bordered on the north by the Black Sea, on the Southeast by Galatia, and on the South by Mysia and Phrygia. (See Map 2)

5. "The Spirit" = the Holy Ghost of verse 6.

6. "Suffered" = to allow; permit; let; the Holy Ghost would not allow them to go into Bithynia; the door was closed; there was a work done here at a later time because I Peter 1:1‑2 refers to the elect in Bithynia; the present time was not God's time nor His will for Paul.

6. Sometime a person has to find out where he can't go before he knows where he can go.


V. 8

1. "Passing by" = "having bypassed" = they had to go through Mysia to get to Troas, so this means they were not given permission to preach the gospel in Mysia either.

2. "Came down" = descended to the seaport town of Troas. (See Map 2)


V. 9

1. "Vision" = something gazed at; a sight divinely granted in sleep; the Greek construction gives a vivid picture.

2. "A man of Macedonia" = a pagan responding to the light (truth) of conscience and creation that there is a God. (Rom. 1:19‑20)

3. "Macedonia" = a Roman province of Europe.

4. "Prayed" = to beg; to address.

5. "Come over" = to cross; cross the Aegean Sea into Macedonia. (See Map 2)

6. "Help" = to aid or relieve; the man's desire was that Paul would run to his cry because of the danger he was in and bring him aid, not physical but spiritual.

7. His cry was not selfish but for all the people of Macedonia (us).


V. 10

1. "Seen" = to know; to have absolute, positive knowledge of the facts.

2. "Immediately" = at once; there was no time to waste.

3. "We" = the language changes from they in verse 8, which indicate the human writer of this book, Luke, joins Paul, Silas, and Timothy on this second missionary journey.

4. "Endeavoured" = sought; desired.

5. "Assuredly gathering" = came to a conclusion; concluding.

6. "Preach the gospel" = one word in the Greek; means to announce the good news; to evangelize.


V. 11

1. "Loosing" = set sail.

2. "Come with a straight course" = a nautical term for sailing before the wind; they made a speedy trip because the Lord gave them a good wind.

3. "Samothracia" = a small island in the Aegean Sea about half way between Troas and Neapolis; they probably spent the night there.

4. "Neapolis" = sea port of Macedonia. (See Map 2)


V. 12

1. "Philippi" = leading (chief) city of that part (division) of Macedonia, 10 miles west of Neapolis.

2. "Colony" = a Roman colony for veterans with farms attached, a military outpost, and a miniature of Rome itself with all the privileges of Roman citizenship, such as freedom from scourging, freedom from arrest, except in extreme cases, and the right to appeal to the emperor; means they had the same rights as cities on Italian soil.

3. "Abiding" = remained; stayed.

4. "Certain days" = some days, not a few.


       3. New Christians V. 13-40

               1) A Religious Woman With An Opened Heart V. 13-15

V. 13

1. This city did not have a Jewish synagogue due probably to there being present less than 10 Jewish men which was necessary to have a synagogue or because the Roman influence was so strong, being a colony, that they were not allowed to build one.  But there were some Jews present because they had gathered for prayer on the Sabbath, at least the women did.  Therefore there may have been only Jewish women (no Jewish men) present in the city.

2. "Out of" = outside.

3. "River side" = bank of the little river Gangites which was one mile west of the town.

4. "Was wont" = was customary; the place they went was where according to custom was a place of prayer.

5. "Sat down and spake" = sitting was the Jewish attitude for public speaking; the Greek construction implies that each of the four (Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke) spoke in turn, with Paul as the chief speaker.

6. "Resorted thither" = to assemble together.


V. 14

1. "A seller of purple" = one word in the Greek meaning a female trader in purple cloth; this cloth was actually a deep shade of crimson red, very expensive, very profitable to the seller, and primarily worn by princes and the rich.

2. "Thyatira" = a city about 75 miles N NE of Ephesus, in the Roman province of Lydia in the country now known as Turkey. (See Map 2)

3. "Worshipped" = to reverence; Lydia was an unsaved seeker who possibly became interested in the things of God by attending the synagogue in Thyatira and continued to pray and seek God at Philippi.

4. "Opened" = to open up wide or completely like a folding door; only the Lord could do that; this truth contradicts modern day evangelism that teaches "just open your heart and let Jesus come in"; you cannot open your heart, only the Lord can. (Rev. 3:20 is speaking to a church and not to an individual concerning salvation.)

5. "Attended" = to hold the mind towards; apply oneself to.


V. 15

1. "Was baptized" = to make fully wet; she was baptized because she just got saved and to show forth to all what had happened to her.

2. "Her household" = it seems she was a widow as this refers to her employees and or servants; they, too, had just been saved by grace through faith and wanted to be obedient to the Lord's command of baptism.

3. "Besought" = to urge; to beg.

4. "Have judged me to be faithful" = to believe her to be a Christian or a believer.

5. "Abide" = to stay in her house while in Philippi.

6. "Constrained" = to compel by earnest request; evidently Paul at first declined the offer due to their being a party of four and he did not want to be a burden on her even though she was a woman of wealth.


               2) A Slave Girl With A Possessed Heart V. 16-18

V. 16

1. "It came to pass" = a phrase which means some time had passed; refers to another day other than the one just mentioned, when they were going to the place of prayer.

2. "Damsel" = a maid, a young woman; the word "certain" = is used to identify this incident as really happening, not just a made up story.

3. "Possessed" = having; implies she was controlled by this spirit. 4. "Spirit of divination" = spirit of ventriloquism; a demon spirit used her, in spite of herself, to speak and to practice soothsaying or fortune telling.

5. "Brought" = was bringing; tense refers to continuous action, a steady source of income.

6. "Master" = those who employed her; may refer to her being the slave of others.

7. "Gain" = work; business.

8. "Soothsaying" = to act a seer; pretending to foretell future events.


V. 17

1. "Followed" = to accompany closely.

2. "Cried" = to croak or scream; the tense reveals that she repeatedly shouted in a shrieking, high pitched voice the message recorded here.

3. "Servant" = slaves; one in a permanent relation of servitude to another, with his will altogether consumed in the will of another.

4. "Most high God" = a phrase attributed to the one true God, but also the language the pagans used for their gods, thus the people could have taken this to refer to one of their gods, such as Zeus or Jupiter.

5. "Shew" = to declare openly, plainly, and aloud.

6. "The way" = "a way" = the Greek has no definite article; many even today are willing to call the gospel "a way" of salvation, but they are not willing to concede that the gospel is "the way", that is, the only way.


V. 18

1. "Did" = tense indicates that she kept this up for many days.

2. "Being grieved" = to be troubled, displeased, offended, pained, annoyed, and indignant; Paul had enough of her witness because it was not the kind of witness that brings real glory to God, because it did not proclaim the whole truth; it was a hindrance instead of a help.

3. "Command" = to charge; to order; notice that Paul spoke to the demon spirit and not to the girl.

4. "In the name" = by the authority.

5. "The same hour" = immediately; the cure was instantaneous. 6. Truly there is power in the name of Jesus.


               3) A Man With A Hard Heart V. 19-40

V. 19

1. "Hope" = expectation.

2. "Gains" = business profits.

3. "Caught" = to seize; laid hold on.

4. "Drew" = to drag by force and violence; citizen's arrest.

5. "Marketplace" = the center of public life in Greek cities; the courts were often held in or near here.

6. "Rulers" = term referring to the city officials.


V. 20

1. "Magistrate" = military rulers of the Roman army since this was a colony.

2. "Jews" = descendants of Judah.

3. "Exceedingly trouble" = one word in the Greek; an emphatic word meaning to agitate and disturb wholly.


V. 21

1. "Teach" = to declare openly.

2. "Customs" = a usage prescribed by habit or law; refers to religious rites or forms of worship.

3. "Not lawful" = not right by our law.

4. "To receive" = to accept; to embrace with obedience.

5. "To observe" = to do; to practice.

6. "Being Romans" = having the privileges of Roman citizens.

7. Up until now the persecution had come against Paul from the Jews but now it comes directly from Gentiles.

8. These "masters" did not mention the real reason they were upset,  that of having their hope of profits from the slave girl taken away.  Greed for material gain makes men take advantage of others.


V. 22

1. "Multitude" = crowd.

2. "Rose up together" = to stand up together indicating they were against these Jews who were considered great trouble makers.

3. "Rent off" = to tear all around; Paul and Silas had their clothes ripped off them, probably entirely naked.

4. "Commanded" = ordered; tense indicates they repeatedly ordered them to be severely beaten; flogged.

5. "To beat" = to strike with rods; Paul told of this occurrence in II Cor. 11:25; this was a common Roman punishment but it was illegal to be inflicted upon a Roman citizen who had not undergone a legal trial; in all the confusion, no one paid any attention to anything but that these men were Jews; the Romans considered a Christian the same as a Jew.


V. 23

1. "Had laid" = to place upon.

2. "Stripes" = strokes of the rod describes as many (numerous) and said to be "above measure" in II Cor. 11:23; the Jew's law prohibited from inflicting more than 40 stripes; therefore, they usually inflicted only 39 (Deut. 25:2‑3; II Cor. 11:24) but there was no such law among the Romans.

3. "Them" = seems to apply only to Paul and Silas (verse 25) which may be due to them being the speakers while Timothy was just a student and Luke a physician.

4. "Cast" = to throw with force.

5. "Charging" = to order.

6. "Jailer" = not just a turnkey but one with rank; a typical calloused official (hard heart) with no sympathy for man and no interest for Christ.

7. "To keep" = to watch; to guard; perhaps as dangerous political prisoners.

8. "Safely" = securely.


V. 24

1. "Charge" = mandate; command.

2. "Thrust" = throw with force.

3. "Inner prison" = a dungeon with no light or air except what came through the door when opened.

4. "Made fast" = one word in the Greek; to render secure.

5. "Stocks" = a piece of timber with two holes for the feet and was constructed so the feet were forced wide apart, causing much pain and making it impossible for the apostles to move their legs; the inner prison was safe enough without this refinement of cruelty.

6. The inner prison was probably damp, cold, and insect infested,  circumstances almost unbearable, yet Paul and Silas had no complaint.   Someone years ago said, "Nothing the limbs feel in the stocks when the mind is in heaven."


V. 25

1. Instead of complaining they prayed and sang praises.

2. "Sang praises unto" = one word in the Greek; means to sing hymns to.

3. The Greek indicates they had been praying for some time, evidently praying through to victory for joy flooded their souls and they broke out singing hymns of praise to the Lord.

4. They saw that in spite of their discouraging and painful circumstances, God was still worthy to be praised. (I Thess. 5:18)

5. "Heard" = to listen intently to; also means to listen with pleasure; the other prisoners did not complain or shout out insults even though they were awakened or kept awake by Paul and Silas' praying and singing even at midnight.


V. 26

1. "Suddenly" = unawares; unexpectedly.

2. "Great" = intense; this earthquake was not strong enough to knock down the prison but intense enough to shake the foundation and walls so that the doors were opened and all the prisoner's bands were loosed.

3. "Bands" = shackles; probably loosed from the wall to which they were fastened.

4. This earthquake would be considered to be a natural phenomena but it was no accident.  God caused it.  He often uses natural phenomena in connection with His miracles to show His control and His timing.  The Lord is in control. (Col. 1:17)


V. 27

1. "Keeper" = jailer; the one in charge of keeping the prisoners safely. (verse 23)

2. "Open" = standing open.

3. "Would have" = intended.

4. "Killed" = to put to death by suicide.

5. "Supposing" = to think; he jumped to the conclusion that all the prisoners "had been fled" = had escaped; to get clean away. 6. He knew the penalty that he would suffer was that of death.  The Roman law held the jailer personally responsible for the lives of the prisoners and was subject to the death penalty if they escaped.  Such was the case with King Herod in Acts 12:19 when Peter escaped.

7. Rather than face the trial, the shame, and the disgraceful death that was sure to come, the jailer drew his sword, intending to commit suicide.


V. 28

1. Paul could see or he knew by the Holy Spirit what the jailer was about to do even though the jailer could not see into the darkness of the prison. (verse 29)

2. Paul's statement must have come as a shock to the jailer because he would certainly have expected no mercy from Paul and the other prisoners because of the beating they had taken.


V. 29

1. "Sprang in" = to rush in.

2. "Trembling" = terrified; trembling for fear; he was completely overcome by fear and awe because of what had happened.

3. "Fell down before' = to fall towards; indicates an act of worship.


V. 30

1. "Brought them out" = the concept indicates he brought them out of the prison and into his own house which was probably over the prison since the word "brought" in verse 34 means to lead up.

2. Tradition says this was after he secured the other prisoners who had been so awed by the prayers, songs, and the earthquake that none of them made an  attempt to escape.

3. "Sirs" = a respectful title.

4. "Must" = necessary.

5. "What must I do to be saved" = this question deals with more than the peril about the prisoners or earthquake; this might seem a strange question from a pagan Roman, but he knew the accusation against Paul and Silas and he had heard the words of the damsel possessed with as spirit of divination when she made the statement, repeatedly, of verse 17.


V. 31

1. "Believe" = to commit to ones trust; the action verb of the noun "faith" = saving faith.

2. Paul's answer was similar to Jesus' in John 6:28‑29.

3. The object of the jailer's faith had to be the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:12)

4. "Thy house" = referring to those of his household; his wife, children, and servants would not be saved because the jailer was, but the message to them was the same as to the jailer, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved"; his salvation would not guarantee theirs.


V. 32

1. "Spake the word" = preached the Word of God to them which was necessary for them to be saved. (Rom. 10:13‑15, 17; Acts 8:30‑31)

2. The jailer and his household needed to know who Jesus is and what it means to believe on Him.

3. Many today use verse 31 to support their message of "easy believism" by saying all you have to do is "just believe" and leave out verse 32 where Paul preached the word.

4. Many leave out repentance because of verse 31 and say Paul did not say he had to repent.  Remember Acts is history and many details are left out but the message Paul preached did not leave out the ingredients of repentance or any other ingredient for salvation for that matter. (Acts 20:20‑21; Luke 24:47; 13:3, 5)

5. "To all that were in his house" = all who were gathered together heard the message that was delivered in power and the Holy Ghost. (I Thess. 1:5)


V. 33

1. "Took" = to receive near; to accept or acknowledge one to be such as he professes to be; the jailer truly believed Paul and Silas to be God's messengers and did not deserve the stripes they had received.

2. "The same hour of the night" = the hour that they got saved, which was after Paul delivered his message which may have taken three or four hours; it was not at midnight.

3. "Washed" = word means to bathe the whole person; this word reveals what was necessary to remove the dried blood left by the stripes inflicted by the rods of the Romans.

4. "Stripes" = wounds.

5. "Baptized" = to make fully wet; immersed; probably done in a pool in the courtyard of the house as archeology reveals such pools were not uncommon in the larger Roman style homes of those days.

6. "All his" = all his household that were saved; scriptural baptism is "believer's baptism."

7. "Straightway" = immediately; refers to his being baptized immediately after washing their stripes; this order within itself proves that baptism is not what saves for if it saved, Paul would have baptized him before he allowed the jailer to wash his stripes.


V. 34

1. "Brought" = to lead up; this word seems to indicate that his house was above the prison.

2. "Set meat" = set before them a table loaded with food; they probably had no food all day.

3. "Rejoiced" = to show ones joy by leaping and skipping; denotes excessive or ecstatic joy and delight.

4. "Believing" = having believed; the Greek construction reveals permanent belief.

5. "With all his house" = there were no infants baptized; this means the whole household (family and servants) heard the Word of God, believed in the Lord Jesus, made confession, were baptized, rejoiced, and it occurred in this order.


V. 35

1. "Serjeants" = officers; rod bearers; not sergeants in the modern sense.

2. "Let those men go" = the magistrates change of mind may have been due to the earthquake which shook the town as well as the prison, thus causing them to think that maybe they had done wrong in punishing Paul and Silas without sufficient evidence and a trial.


V. 36

1. The jailer, happy about the decision of the magistrates, passed on the message to Paul and Silas.

2. "Let go" = to free fully.

3. "Go in peace" = continue your journey without any more problems from the Roman magistrates; it seemed to be a simple matter to the jailer.


V. 37

1. It was not that simple to Paul.  He refused to sneak away like a beaten criminal so he took advantage of his Roman citizenship. (I Cor. 9:19-23)

2. "Openly" = public.

3. "Uncondemned" = without legal trial, which was against the Roman law to do so; Paul and Silas were not given a chance to make a defense; even slaves in Roman law had a right to be heard.

4. "Privily" = secretly; they had beaten them publicly and Paul said let them come and lead us out publicly.  The reason for this was so the city of Philippi would know the charges were false.

5. "Verily" = truly.

6. "Fetch out" = to lead forth; this would be a bitter pill to the proud magistrates but Paul was not about to let this matter be swept under the rug; he had in mind the welfare and growth of the new assembly of believers, for they would be hindered if they did not know the truth in this matter.


V. 38

1. "Feared" = they were frightened and alarmed; frightened for their own lives when they saw what they had done to Romans citizens.

2. They knew they were in the wrong and that they should not have yielded to the mob without giving Paul and Silas their day in court.  They also knew what could happen to them if Paul made a complaint with the government in Rome.


V. 39

1. "Besought" = begged; the word implies that they begged them not to bring charges against them.

2. "Brought them out" = to lead forth; refers to the prison for Paul and Silas had voluntarily left the jailer's house and gone back into the prison so there would be no reason to question the jailer, who had been commanded to keep them locked up securely.

3. "Desired" = to ask; implies to beg; they kept on begging them to leave town for fear of further trouble.


V. 40

1. The four missionaries were guests of Lydia (verse 15) and probably the church (the brethren), not just Timothy and Luke but others converted besides those in the house of the jailer, met in her house and had been praying for Paul and Silas.

2. "Comforted" = to encourage and strengthen by consolation.


Chapter 17: Paul At Thessalonica, Berea, &  Athens


       1. Thessalonica: Opposing The Word V. 1-9

V. 1.

1. "They" = refers to Paul, Silas, and Timothy; Luke the human instrument who wrote Acts stays behind at Philippi to give further encouragement and teaching to the assembly there; the word brethren in Acts 16:40 refers to men and women, thus several had been saved and being new converts they needed someone to instruct them.

2. "Passed through" = to travel through; they did not preach in Amphipolis and Apollonia but went to Thessalonica. (See Map 2)

3. This city having only one, "a" synagogue for the Jews reveals that the Jews were not very many.

4. This city was a strategic center for the spread of the gospel as Paul later shows in I Thess. 1:8.


V. 2

1. "Manner" = usage prescribed by habit; custom; Paul's habit was to go to the Jewish synagogue to use the Jews and the God fearers as a springboard for his work among the Gentiles.

2. "Three sabbath days" = refers to three sabbath's as being the length of time Paul had a free hand in the synagogue but his stay in the city was much longer during which time he ministered to the Gentiles who made up the majority in the church there; it is possible he ministered daily in the synagogue during these three weeks.

3. "Reasoned" = to converse; discourse with one; argue; discuss; Paul appealed to the Scriptures as the text and basis of his ideas, not economics, politics, philosophy, or to the teaching of his former professor, Gamaliel.


V. 3

1. "Opening" = to explain, expound, or unfold; to open thoroughly that which is concealed or obscure; refers to the Scriptures.

2. "Alleging" = to place alongside; laying down the proposition; maintaining it must be so.

3. "Christ" = the Messiah; the Jews believed in a Messiah, but their ideas about Him were vague; they did not understand that He come to deliver through suffering and resurrection, thus they needed the Scriptures opened to them.

4. "Must needs" = it is necessary.

5. "Have suffered" = refers to Christ's death on the cross; the cross was not only a necessity but also the resurrection.

6. "This Jesus" = Jesus of Nazareth who died on the cross and has risen again is the Messiah (Christ).  He is the only one who could possibly be the Messiah because He is the only one who met every qualification of OT prophecies.

7. "Preach" = proclaim: it is clear that Paul presented the proofs from the Word in a logical, connected, and reasonable way.


V. 4

1. "Some of them" = refers to the Jews.

2. "Believed" = exercised saving faith; believed with the heart; got saved.

3. "Consorted" = to throw in lot with; means they attached themselves with Paul and Silas and became disciples of Christ, thus leaving the Rabbis.

4. "Devout Greeks" = religious Gentiles; those who worshipped God; these had renounced the worship of idols and attended the worship of the synagogue; these responded in a greater number than the Jews probably because they were less under the control of the jealous Rabbis.

5. "Chief women" = leading women of the city; may have been Gentiles or Jewish wives of Gentiles.

6. "Not a few" = refers to the fact that there were more than a small number saved.

7. When we read this, we sometimes forget that Acts is history.  Luke summarized the effect of the gospel message during Paul's stay at Thessalonica which may have been for six months.


V. 5

1. "Believed not" = were not convinced by Paul's message that Jesus was the Christ; to remain in unbelief.

2. "Moved with envy" = one word in the Greek; to be heated or to boil with hatred and anger; compares to being filled with jealousy; when God moves, you can expect opposition from the devil.

3. "Took unto them" = got others to join with them in their cause. 4. "Lewd" = evil; vile; wicked.

5. "Fellows" = men.

6. "Of the baser sort" = low life market loungers; good for nothing.

7. "Gathered a company" = got a crowd together telling them their duties and paying them in advance.

8. "Set on an uproar" = to be in tumult; to throw into confusion. 9. "Assaulted" = taking a stand against; rushing at; this was done because Jason was Paul and Silas's host.

10. "Sought" = desired; they were getting ready to have a lynching party.


V. 6

1. "Drew" = to drag by force; the word is a vivid picture; they were literally dragging these brethren.

2. "Rulers" = the town officers.

3. "Crying" = shouting in a tumultuous way; yelling as if the house was on fire.

4. "Turned upside down" = a vigorous and graphic term; means to excite; to disturb; to stir up; unsettle.

5. "World" = the inhabited earth; refers to the Roman Empire.

6. "Come hither also" = news may have come to Thessalonica of the expulsion of the Jews from Rome by Claudius. (Acts 18:2)


V. 7

1. "Received" = to admit under one's roof; this is Jason's crime. 2. "These all" = Jason, the brethren of verse 6, Paul and Silas, and all Christians everywhere.

3. "Contrary" = opposite; against.

4. "Decrees" = laws.

5. "Caesar" = a title of the Roman Emperor.

6. "Another" = another of a different kind.

7. This was a charge of treason and was a sure way to get a conviction.


V. 8

1. "Troubled" = to stir or agitate.

2. Part of the problem of the rulers of the city was that they had not observed any evidence of political activity.


V. 9

1. "Taken security" = to receive the sufficient; refers to making bond, usually money for the fulfillment of the judgment; could possibly refer to their providing bail as a guarantee that Paul and Silas would leave the city and not come back lest there be further disturbance.

2. "Let them go" = the charge was serious but the evidence was slim; therefore, the rulers did not take the charge too seriously.

       2. Berea: Receiving The Word V. 10-14

V. 10

1. Paul and Silas' lives were in real danger (as far as man is concerned).  They were in hiding and the brethren wasted no time in getting them out of the city.

2. "Sent away" = some of the brethren probably went with them. 3. "Berea" = Beroea, a city about 50 miles WSW of Thessalonica on the road to Greece. (See Map 2)

4. "Went into the synagogue" = Paul's usual custom; he did not let the experience with the unbelieving Jews in Thessalonica discourage him.

5. There were enough Jews (10 men required) to have a synagogue here.


V. 11

1. "Noble" = denotes a quality of mind and heart; refers to their high‑minded, open, generous spirit; they did not let prejudice close their minds to the truth.

2. "Received" = to welcome.

3. "Readiness of mind" = one word in the Greek; means eagerness, rushing forward.

4. "Searched" = to sift up and down; make careful and exact research as in a legal process.

5. "Scriptures" = refers to OT because the NT had not yet been written; Jesus had tried to get the Pharisees to do this in John 5:39‑40.

6. "Daily" = they compared what Paul preached daily with the scripture.

7. This is a good habit (noble).  They were not trying to trap the preacher but just wanted to know what was truth.


V. 12

1. "Therefore" = result of their sifting the scripture was that they "believed" = got saved; exercised saving faith.

2. "Honourable" = influential; respectable; refers to women of influence and connected with families of rank; these women were "Greeks" = Gentiles.

3. "Not a few" = more than a few; many; these were men both Jew and Gentile.

4. In searching the scriptures, it seems they were reminded of God's promise that all the families of the earth would be blessed, which the Gentiles welcomed and the Jews were not upset with or jealous of.


V. 13

1. Since the Jews at Berea had caused no trouble, Satan was determined to find some way to oppose the work of God.

2. "Preached" = to proclaim openly.

3. "Also" = likewise in that place; just as they charged Paul and Silas in Thessalonica, they did the same in Berea.

4. "Stirred up" = denotes to agitate or excite, as the waves of the sea are agitated by the wind; a very graphic word.


V. 14

1. The brethren sent Paul away because he was the object of the Thessalonian Jew's wrath and bitterness.

2. "As it were" = may indicate a diversion; Paul may have traveled to Athens by land while leading the angered Jews to believe he was going by sea; may also mean he went to a seaport and caught a ship to Athens.

3. "Abode" = remained; stayed; Silas and Timothy stayed behind in order that they might further instruct, train, and encourage the whole assembly of believers.


       3. Athens: Mocking The Word V. 15-34

V. 15

1. "Conducted" = to bring to a certain place; to make sure of his safe arrival.

2. "Athens" = a celebrated city of Greece, 200 miles SE of Berea. (See Map 2)

3. "Receiving commandment" = the brethren who conducted Paul were given a message to carry back to Berea when they made their return journey home; Paul saw very quickly that he needed extra human help at Athens.

4. "With all speed" = as quickly as possible.


V. 16

1. "Waited" = implies looking out for; expecting; Silas and Timothy no doubt came to Athens even though it is not recorded here; it seems that Paul then sent Silas to Philippi and Timothy to Thessalonica; (I Thess. 3:1‑2,6)  Both Timothy and Silas came from Macedonia to Corinth. (Acts 18:5)

2. "Was stirred" = to sharpen; to stimulate; to irritate; implies that Paul was angered with righteous indignation at the idolatry present in this city.

3. "A city wholly given to idolatry" = a city full of idols; history says that Athens had over 30,000 public statues of different gods besides countless private ones in the homes; one ancient writer said it was easier to find a god (idol) than a man in Athens.

4. Paul did not view these statues as a work of art (many today think of them as a work of art) but as being idols (false gods) worshipped in an image.


V. 17

1. "Disputed" = to converse; discuss; reason; he did so as never before because he was stirred like never before due to the city being full of idolatry.

2. "Devout" = to worship; to revere; refers to those worshipping God after the manner of the Jews.

3. "Market" = market‑place; the forum or public place where assemblies and trials are held, where citizens resort, and commodities are exposed for sale; this was a place where the philosophers frequently engaged in public discussion.

4. Paul reasoned first in the synagogue and then daily in the marketplace.


V. 18

1. "Philosophers" = one given to the pursuit of wisdom or learning (worldly wisdom).

2. "Epicureans" = those belonging to the sect of Epicures, the philosopher; they taught that nature is the supreme teacher and provides sensations, feelings, and anticipations for the testing of truth; they also taught that the gods were incapable of wrath, indifferent to human weakness, and did not intervene or participate in human affairs, thus denying the possibility of miracles, prophecy, and divine providence; they made sensual pleasures the goal of life thus having the "Eat and drink for tomorrow we die" attitude.

3. "Stoicks" = another sect of philosophers who were materialistic and almost fatalistic in their thinking; a sect built on pride and personal independence with nature as their god; they believed that all nature was gradually moving toward a great climax.

4. Both sects were eager for argument being rivals and both were extremes in philosophy but both agreed to join together to oppose Paul and the message he preached.

5. "Encountered" = to dispute with one; to encounter in a hostile sense.

6. "Babbler" = gossiper; chatterer; empty talker; a term used as slang for parasites who gather information from a variety of sources and try to market it as their own system of knowledge; it is contemptuous tone of supreme ridicule.

7. "Setter forth" = announcer; proclaimer.

8. "Strange" = foreign.

9. "Gods" = deity; they sneered at the gospel as a foreign religion contrary to all they believed.

10. "Jesus and the resurrection" = they understood him to refer to the name of two new gods; they took the word translated "resurrection" to be a name.


V. 19

1. "Took" = to lay hold of, but without violence.

2. "Bought" = to lead by laying hold of and in this way to bring to the point of destination.

3. "Areopagus" = a rocky height in the city of Athens by which we know as Mars' Hill; the place where the judges convened; the supreme court of Athens; Paul was brought there not for a trial as a criminal but simply for examination concerning his new teaching, to find if it was legal or not.

4. "May we know" = "Can we come to know?" = we desire to know.

5. "New" = unheard of; of different character.

6. "Doctrine" = teaching.


V. 20

1. "Strange" = not merely foreign or different, but surprising, shocking, startling, and bewildering.

2. "Would" = wish, desire.

3. "Know" = to understand; to have an absolute positive knowledge of the facts.


V. 21

1. This verse is a parenthesis added to explain why the court wanted to know about Paul's new doctrine.

2. "Athenians" = the natives of Athens.

3. "Strangers" = resident aliens; those from other countries who came to live in Athens.

4. "Spent their time" = to give ones time for; they spent their time telling and hearing something new.

5. "New" = the Greek construction means newer; something newer or fresher; the very latest; the new soon become stale and they needed something newer.


V. 22

1. "Stood in the midst" = not of the hill but of the Council or Court of the Areopagus.

2. Paul began in a wise and positive way, following Jesus as his example, by taking the people where they were and trying to lead them into spiritual truth.

3. "Perceive" = behold; to find out by observing.

4. "To superstitious" = very religious, in the sense of being very respectful to their gods; this word in our English translation sounds as if he was intending to insult them but the Greek construction is not a statement they would react against but might have even considered it a compliment.


V. 23

1. "Devotions" = an object of worship; whatever is religiously honored.

2. "Altar" = a monument of stone, reared to commemorate a certain event and dedicated to the unknown God; the Athenians had erected this altar because they wanted to be sure they did not slight or overlook some god.

3. "Ignorantly" = want of knowledge; implies willful ignorance; Rom. 1:18‑32 shows that the Gentiles are guilty because they once knew God, but turned from Him, refused to give Him glory and thanks, and became full of empty and unreal imaginings so that their foolish hearts were darkened through moral defeat; the implication is that they took God off the throne, put self on the throne, and soon were worshipping gods of their own making, gods they thought they could manipulate to do their will.

4. "Worship" = reverence; did so by rearing an altar to Him; Paul did not mean that their worship was acceptable to God for He seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and truth, not in ignorance and empty forms. (John 4:23‑24)

5. "Declare" = proclaim publicly; they had accused him of being a "setter forth" (verse 18) and now he declares (sets forth) the God, both old and new, old in that they already worshipped Him (ignorantly in a form), new in that Paul knows who He is.

6. By this statement he removed any notion of his violation of Roman law or suspicion of heresy and claims their endorsement of his new gospel by having this inscribed altar.  He now has their attention and proceeds to describe this God left out of their list as the one true and Supreme God.  He does this by presenting four great truths about God:

       A. He is the Creator. V. 24‑25

       B. He is the Governor. V. 26‑29

       C. He is the Saviour. V. 30

       D. He is the Judge. V. 31


V. 24

1. "God" = "The God" = not a god for this and a god for that like the 30,000 gods of the Athenians, but the one God who made the world.

2. "World" = refers to the orderly arrangement of the whole universe; the sum total of the created order and everything in it. (Gen. 1:1)

3. "All things therein" = refers to all matter and even all details being created by this one God; the Epicureans believed that all matter was eternal, but Paul says only God is eternal and He created (made) all matter.

4. "Seeing that" = being.

5. "Lord" = owner and ruler; absolute possessor of both heaven and earth.

6. "Dwelleth" = to house permanently; it is highly absurd to suppose that He who is present in heaven and in earth at the same time and who rules over all, should be confined to a temple of an earthly structure or dependent on man for anything.

7. When Paul preached to the Jews he went right to the prophecies and promises of the OT but when dealing with Gentiles, who did not know or believe the Bible, he dealt with the basic truth that there is one God who created all things. The Athenians had to understand first that He is the Creator before they could understand how He could be the Redeemer.


V. 25

1. "Worshipped" = to serve; to do service.

2. "Needed" = to require additionally; this is strange doctrine to these people because they thought that the gods needed their offerings to feed and nourish them.

3. "Giveth" = to supply; to be the source of something; God is the true source of and giver of all life, breath and all things.  How could He need any care?


V. 26

1. "Made of one blood" = refers to the fact that all the families of men are descended from one origin or one blood line, Adam, no matter how different their complexion, features, or language.  God is creator of all.

2. "Nations" = race.

3. "For to dwell" = to cultivate, till, and inhabit the earth which was God's original command. (Gen. 1:28)

4. "Hath determined" = to fix or mark out a boundary.

5. "Before appointed" = having arranged before.

6. "Times" = refers not to the season which are also fixed but to the times when each country should be settled, and the rise, the prosperity, and the fall of each nation (Psa. 75:6‑7);  nothing happens by chance.

7. "Habitation" = residence; He also adapts them to the climate where He has placed them.


V. 27

1. "Seek" = to desire; to wish for; not turn away from Him as the nations had done; the design of placing man on earth and giving them their habitation was that they might come to a knowledge of His existence and character.

2. "Haply" = perhaps; implies that it was possible to find God even though there may be difficulty.

3. "Feel" = to touch; to verify by contact; grope for; this pictures the blind groping of a darkened heathen mind after God to find Him. (II Cor. 4:3‑4)

4. "Find" = to obtain for one's self.

5. "Though he be not far from every one of us" = it is possible to find Him, even these Gentiles who were without revelation; they need not despair because He is near. (Psa. 19:1‑4; Heb. 11:6)


V. 28

1. "In him" = refers to God as the one and only one who not only created us but continues to sustain us.

2. "Move" = means we derive strength to move from him; an expression denoting constant and absolute dependence; we owe to Him the ability to perform the slightest motion.

3. "Have our being" = "are" = exist; denotes our continued existence is owed to Him.

4. "As certain also" = "as some" = Paul quotes the sentiment found in several Greek poets; this quote does not mean the Greek poets were inspired but rather that his statement agreed with divine truth, even though it may have been made in reference to Zeus or some other idol god.

5. "Offspring" = kin.


V. 29

1. "The offspring of God" = being created in the image and after the likeness of God.

2. "Ought not to think" = are not under personal obligation; this is a logical conclusion derived from the previous statements made. 3. "Godhead" = divine; refers to the divine Trinity.

4. "Like" = similar; all these things were used in making images or statues of gods.

5. "Graven" = sculptured; graven work.

6. "Art" = trade skill.

7. "Device" = thinking; consideration.


V. 30

1. "Times" = space of time; refers to time between the flood and Christ when men were ignorant of the true God, and when they worshipped idols; also refers to the times before full knowledge of God came in Jesus Christ.

2. "Ignorance" = not to know through lack of revelation and understanding; with all their wisdom and culture they failed to find God.

3. "Winked at" = overlooked; did not come forth to punish; this does not mean that God approved of their sin but that He was longsuffering and forbearing (Rom. 2:4; Act 14:16); goodness not judgment leads to salvation.

4. "But now" = all is changed now that Christ has come with the full knowledge of God.

5. "Commandeth" = to transmit a message.

6. "Men" = one of the human race; mankind; includes women as well as men.

7. "Every where" = universally; without regard to sex, race, or social, political, or economic standing.

8. "Repent" = to change one's mind due to sorrow over their sin which is accompanied by a true change of heart which brings about a change of attitude and direction of one's life; this command is still in effect today. (Luke 24:47)


V. 31

1. "Because" = gives the reason to repent, judgment day is coming.

2. "Appointed" = to place; set; that day is set.

3. "Judge" = to set in judgment on; all must be judged, and if they are not penitent and pardoned they must be condemned.

4. "World" = mankind, both Jew and Gentile.

5. "In righteousness" = according to the principles of strict justice.

6. "Ordained" = appointed.

7. "By that man" = Jesus Christ, who God has revealed and designated as Judge. (John 5:22,27)

8. "Assurance" = denotes a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God; this assurance comes from the fact that God hath raised up Jesus Christ from the dead.

9. "From" = out from among.

10. Paul knew this to be a fact because he himself had seen the Risen Christ. (I Cor. 15:8)  He has come to the heart of his message and could now shed light on their misunderstanding of "Jesus and the Resurrection" of  verse 18.


V. 32

1. "The resurrection of the dead" = "a resurrection of dead" = there are no articles in the Greek; the Greeks had no conception of resurrection of the body; therefore, when Paul spoke of this, many did not want to hear any more.

2. "Mocked" = properly means to throw out the lip; to make fun of; to ridicule; to scorn.

3. "Again" = further.

4. "This matter" = the facts concerning the one true God and the one who He chose to be judge.

5. They were unconvinced but had better manners than those who mocked.


V. 33

1. It seems that this group was just courteous and wanted to bring the discussion to a close; therefore, Paul departed from the presence of the council.

2. He was free to go, no further questions, no effort to arrest him, and no further ridicule.  He walked out and never returned to Athens as far as scripture records.  How sad for the majority of the people there.


V. 34

1. "Howbeit" = show contrast between the majority and the few who responded.

2. "Men" = word for men only.

3. "Clave" = to stick like glue; implies they embraced Christianity, described further by saying they "believed" = got saved.

4. "Dionysius" = history says he was a judge of the Court of Areopagus thus called "the Areopagite"; also says that he became the bishop of the church at Athens and died a martyr; he was no doubt a high ranking member to be called "the" Areopagite; Paul said not many of this class are called. (I  Cor. 1:26‑29)

5. "Damaris" = said to be a prominent woman of Athens; not much is known about her nor why she is mentioned by name while "others" got saved as well.  The sessions of the Council of Areopagus were open to the public thus this woman got to hear the message and was saved.


Chapter 18: Paul At Corinth


       1. Paul Finds New Friends V. 1-3

V. 1

1. Paul's leaving of Athens was not of his doing but the Holy Spirit's leading.

2. "Corinth" = a city of Greece; capitol of Achaia; located 35 or 40 miles west of Athens (See Map 2; a very prosperous yet sinful city and also a Roman colony.

3. It was here that Paul wrote the first epistle to the Thessalonians. (I Thess. 3:6; Acts 18:5)


V. 2

1. "Found" = not by chance but by the providence of God.

2. "Jew" = Jew by birth but converted to Christianity.

3. "Pontus" = a Roman province north of Galatia on the coast of the Black Sea. (See Map 2)

4. "Lately" = recently.

5. "Italy" = country where Rome was the capital.

6. "Priscilla" = a Roman lady of the upper classes of society.

7. "Claudius" = the Roman emperor at this time; his command for all Jews to depart Rome did not include all of Italy, but Aquila may have thought it not safe to remain in Italy or he might not have been able to find a job being a Jew; therefore, they relocated in Corinth.

8. Even though Claudius' command had caused them to have to move, they had no bitterness in their hearts.


V. 3

1. "Craft" = trade; occupation; it was customary for Jewish fathers to teach their sons a trade, even if the sons were going to be Rabbis; one Jewish Rabbi said, "He that teacheth not his son a trade, doth the same as if he taught him to be a thief."

2. "Abode" = means to stay or live with them.

3. "Wrought" = to work; refers to working as a tentmaker.

4. "Tentmaker" = manufacturer of tents probably made from goat's hair; it was an honourable occupation and Paul was not ashamed to be employed in it while he preached the gospel at Corinth.

5. Paul supported himself while at Corinth but later stated he was wrong to do so because he should have been supported by the saints there. (II Cor. 12:13; I Cor. 9:7‑14)


       2. Paul Founds A New Church V. 4-17

V. 4

1. "Reasoned" = to converse; discourse with one; argue; discuss.

2. "Persuaded" = to convince; to cause to believe in a thing.

3. It was Paul's custom to go into the synagogue first when entering a new city if a synagogue existed.

4. "Greeks" = those Gentiles who feared God, had turned their backs on idolatry and wanted to know more of God.


V. 5

1. Silas came from Philippi and Timotheus (Timothy) from Thessalonica where they had been sent for by Paul from Athens.  They brought gifts from the cities in Macedonia which set Paul free from tent‑making for a while so that he began to devote himself with fresh consecration to preaching. (I Thess. 3:6; Phil. 4:15; II Cor. 11:9)

2. Paul was now assisted by Silas and Timothy. (II Cor. 1:19)  It was shortly after their arrival that Paul wrote I Thessalonians for they brought good news.

3. "Pressed" = compelled; constrained; the Greek indicated he felt a greater pressure than the pressure of making a living, greater than the desire for this world's pleasures and luxuries = that of preaching the Word.

4. "Spirit" = the quickened inner being of Paul.

5. "Testified" = to give a first hand detailed account earnestly and repeatedly; he testified that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, the Messiah, God's anointed Prophet, Priest, and King.


V. 6

1. "Opposed themselves" = setting themselves in opposition; word means to range in battle array face to face against; the unbelievers ceased their indifference as Paul increased his intensity of preaching and lined up against God's man and God's Word.

2. "Blasphemed" = to rail at; speak evil of; use abusive and vile language against Paul to gain support and organize the opposition.

3. "Shook" = to shake violently.

4. "Raiment" = garment; outer robe; this is a vivid and dramatic picture fulfilling what Jesus said in Mat. 10:14; a sign he was rejecting their blasphemy; there are too many people who are hungry for the truth to waste time on those who prove themselves to be uncorrectable rebels.

5. "Your blood be upon your own heads" = not a curse but a solemn disclaimer of responsibility; the guilt of their destruction was their own.

6. "Clean" = refers to cleanness from blood guiltiness; the Jews understood that Paul was referring to the responsibility God put on Ezekiel to warn the people (Ezk. 3:16-21); Paul had been faithful in giving them warning: therefore, he was clean.

7. "Henceforth" = from now on; the main part of Paul's ministry from this point on was to the Gentiles.


V. 7

1. "Worshipped" = to revere; Justus (a Roman citizen; thought to be Gaius of I Cor. 1:14) was a God fearer and probably had become a convert to Christianity.

2. "Joined hard" = right next to; having joint boundaries.


V. 8

1. "Chief ruler" = director of the synagogue services; Paul personally baptized him. (I Cor. 1:14)

2. "Baptized" = to make fully wet.

3. The sequence is hearing first, then believing (repentance is necessary to believe), and then baptism.

4. The Greek construction reveals this sequence was repeated over and over thus there was continual revival in Corinth.

5. "All his house" = each individual had to hear, receive understanding, and personally believe.


V. 9

1. "Vision" = something gazed at; the idea is something to pass in review before the mind.  The Lord delivered His message to Paul by this method.

2. "Hold not thy peace" = don't be dumb or calm, but speak up for the Lord.

3. Paul knew what Jewish hatred could do for he had been a part of it before he got saved.  No doubt he had seen signs of a tumult gathering and he wondered whether he had better move on or become silent while in Corinth, but the Lord's message settled that issue.


V. 10

1. "No man" = not even one.

2. "Set on" = attack.

3. "Hurt" = to injure; this is very emphatic; God promised they would not hurt him but He did not promise there would be no opposition; they did oppose him but they did not hurt him.

4. Paul knew the voice of the Lord as do all His children (John 10:27) and he could face the rabbis without fear because of the promise of God's presence and protection.  The reason for these promises was the potential in Corinth.  The Lord had much (many) people in the city who would be saved if  Paul remained steadfast where the Lord wanted him.


V. 11

1. "Continued" = settled.

2. "Teaching" = to shape the will of the one taught by the communication of knowledge.

3. Paul was not accustomed to remain long in a place but he stayed 18 months due to the necessity of placing a church, saved out of wicked background, on a firm foundation.


V. 12

1. "Gallio" = second in command; he was governor of Achaia under the authority of the Emperor of Rome.

2. "Made insurrection" = rose up against Paul with hostile intent; these unbelieving Jews apparently thought they could take advantage of the new governor's lack of knowledge of the situation.

3. "Brought" = to lead gently and without violence; God's promise of "no hurt" is still in effect.

4. "Judgment seat" = a raised place mounted by steps used as the official seat of a judge; resembles a throne and translated such in Acts 12:21.


V. 13

1. "Persuadeth" = to incite; to solicit; to stir up by persuasion, a thing Paul had a right to do. (II Cor. 5:11)

2. "Worship" = revere; adore.

3. "Contrary" = opposite in nature.

4. "Law" = implies Roman law; these Jews implied that Paul had violated the regulations of the Romans on that subject but their accusation did not show it nor did they produce any evidence.


V. 14

1. Paul did not have to defend himself, and Gallio was not the inexperienced man the unbelieving Jews took him to be.

2. "Matter of wrong" = a wrong done.

3. "Wicked" = hurtful; evil.

4. "Lewdness" = crime; act of a criminal.

5. "Bear" = to put up with; have patience with; endure.

6. Gallio is saying, "I would bear with you according to reason if this man had done an injustice or committed a crime."  The Greek construction indicates that the Jews had no case against Paul in a Roman court.


V. 15

1. "Question" = debate.

2. The debate seemed to be over words not deeds or facts, over names as to whether Jesus was the Christ, and over the Jew's law or law according to the Jews.  What they had said concerned the Jewish law and not Roman law.

3. "Look to it" = take care of the matter yourself.

4. "I will be no" = I am not minded; I am not willing; I do not wish; this is an absolute refusal to allow a religious question to be brought before a Roman civil court.


V. 16

1. "Drave" = to dismiss in an authoritative manner.

2. The Jews were stunned by this sudden blow and wanted to linger to argue the case further but they had to go.


V. 17

1. "Took" = to seize.

2. "Sosthenes" = the new ruler of the synagogue who replaced Crispus. (verse  8)

3. "Beat" = to beat with the fist or whatever was at hand; the Greeks of the marketplace used the opportunity to express their feelings against these troublemakers and show their approval of the verdict of Gallio.

4. "Before the judgment seat" = as they were leaving the court.

5. "Cared for none of those things" = to be of no interest to him; indicates Gallio looked the other way as Sosthenes was beaten.

6. This must have had a deep effect on Sosthenes because he eventually got saved and became a preacher of the gospel. (I Cor. 1:1)  Romans 8:28 is true.


       3. Paul Finishes His Second Journey V. 18-22

V. 18

1. "Tarried" = to stay further.

2. "A good while" = may have been days or even months and is probably in addition to the year and six months of verse 11.

3. "Took leave" = to separate oneself; to bid farewell.

4. "Sailed thence into Syria" = set sail for Syria; Paul was headed back to Antioch to report to the church which sent him out as a missionary. (See Map  2)

5. Priscilla and Aquila are mentioned as his companions though others may have been in the group.

6. "Shorn" = refers to cutting short the hair of the head.

7. "Cenchrea" = the eastern port of Corinth; a church was established in that place. (Rom. 16:1)

8. "Vow" = a solemn promise made to God respecting anything; the Greek construction shows the continuance of the vow up until this time in Cenchrea; it is not clear what sort of a vow Paul had taken nor why he took it; it may have been a form of the Nazarite vow (Num. 6:2‑6) which generally lasted eight days, sometimes a month, sometimes a definite period of time fixed by themselves; even though that was under law, Paul as a Jew kept up his observance of the ceremonial law so as not to be a stumbling block to the Jews, not a compromise but a curtesy, but he did not impose it on the Gentiles. (I Cor. 9:19‑22)


V. 19

1. "Came" = came down, as usual in speaking of coming to land.

2. "Ephesus" = the capital of the Roman province of Asia, now known as Asia Minor (See Map 2); Paul had been forbidden to preach here on his way through in Acts 16:6; Ephesus was chiefly famous for the Temple of Diana, counted as one of the seven wonders of the world.

3. "Left them there" = refers to Priscilla and Aquila; Luke mentions the departure by way of anticipation before Paul actually went away. (verse 21)

4. "He himself" = reveals that Paul went alone into the synagogue.

5. "Reasoned" = to converse; discourse with one; argue; discuss; Paul no doubt as usual appealed to the OT scriptures as the text and basis of his ideas. (Acts 17:2)


V. 20

1. "Desired" = to ask; to make a request.

2. "Tarry" = to stay.

3. "Consented" = to express approval by a nod, negated by "not", thus may mean he shook his head "no", that he could not stay longer.


V. 21

1. "Bade farewell" = said his goodbyes.

2. "Must" = it is necessary.

3. "By all means" = surely; certainly.

4. "Keep" = observe.

5. "This feast" = we are not told which feast this was but it is believed to be the Passover; Paul's reason for observing the feast may have been twofold: 1) so as not to be a stumbling block to Jews, therefore being able to be a witness to them;  2) to meet and fellowship with the many Christian converts who would be there.

6. "If God will" = God willing; this should always be the Christian attitude, for no one knows what tomorrow will bring; (James 4:15); Paul did return to Ephesus and remained three years. (Acts 20:31)


V. 22

1. "Caesarea" = seaport closest to Jerusalem.

2. "Gone up" = refers to the higher elevation of Jerusalem 65 miles SE of Caesarea. (See Map 2)

3. "Saluted" = greeted; paid his respects to them.

4. "Church" = the Jerusalem assembly.

5. "Antioch" = of Syria; down in the sense of elevation. (See Map 2)


       4. Paul Further Supports The Churches V. 23

V. 23

1. Paul reported to the church at Antioch, spent some time there (how long we know not for sure; may have been 3 months), and began his third missionary journey.

2. "Galatia and Phrygia" = regions where Paul had established churches on his first and second missionary journeys. (See Map 3)

3. "In order" = one after another, though the names of the cities are not given.

4. "Strengthening" = to support further; establishing them by exhortation, counsel and further teaching.



Acts Map 3 Volume 3
















5. Apollos Enters The Picture V. 24-28

V. 24

1. "Jew" = belonging to Judah.

2. "Apollos" = means pertaining to Apollo, a Greek god.

3. "Alexandria" = the second largest city of the Roman Empire located on the north coast of Egypt west of the mouth of the Nile River; an important seaport and the Empire's greatest cultural and educational center and world famous for its library.

4. "Eloquent" = learned; skilled in speech; refers to Apollos as being a man of words and ideas.

5. "Mighty" = powerful; capable; refers to Apollos being well instructed and capable of using the Scripture (OT Scripture).


V. 25

1. "Was instructed" = to teach orally by word of mouth; refers to Apollos being instructed, in some degree, in the knowledge of the Christian religion (the way of the Lord).

2. "Fervent" = boiling; refers to his being zealous.

3. "In the spirit" = refers to his spirit.

4. "Diligently" = accurately; carefully; he taught accurately what he knew and understood pertaining to the Messiah but he did not have a complete understanding of the baptism of the Spirit because he knew only of the baptism of John.


V. 26

1. "Speak boldly" = to be frank in utterance; Apollos was excited about what he did know about Jesus so he began to speak boldly and freely in the synagogue, pouring out his heart as he endeavored to show from the Scripture that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ.

2. "Took" = to take to oneself; refers to their taking him to their home and to their heart as a companion.

3. "Expounded" = explained; notice they did not say anything publicly in the synagogue to embarrass him but took him aside privately to give further explanation.

4. "More perfectly" = more accurately; more precisely; just what they said the Bible does not say.


V. 27

1. "Was disposed" = to have a purpose; wanted; to will deliberately; desired.

2. "Exhorting" = to encourage.

3. "Receive" = to take fully; to welcome; to approve; the fact that the brethren (Aquila, Priscilla, and many others in the group Paul left behind {verse 19}) wrote a letter of recommendations to the brethren of Achaia proves that Apollos responded to the instruction of Aquila and Priscilla thus having a teachable spirit (meekness).

4. "Through grace" = in the Greek this phrase can be a clarifying phrase connected to either of the verbs helped or believed; which means Apollos was of great assistance through or because of the grace of God that was manifested in his life and preaching or that he was a great help to those who had already believed through grace; both are true because it is all of grace.


V. 28

1. "Mightily" = forcibly; in a well strong manner.

2. "Convinced" = to argue down to a finish; the Greek construction does not mean the rabbis were saved but that they were effectually silenced as Apollos proved from OT Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, God's promised prophet, priest, and king; as a result the faith of the believers was strengthened.


Chapter 19: Paul's Ministry In Ephesus

       1. Paul And Twelve Ignorant Disciples V. 1-7

V. 1

1. Apollos was at Corinth in Achaia where he desired to go in Acts 18:27. (See Map 3)

2. "Upper coasts" = upper parts; refers to the elevated regions of Asia Minor through which Paul passed on his way to Ephesus which was located in a lower elevation.

3. "Disciples" = a learner; denotes a follower of Christ; these were converts of Apollos who had known only the baptism of John.


V. 2

1. Paul discerned something was missing in their spiritual life, thus the question here.

2. "Since" = when.

3. They had not heard the complete truth because Apollos did not have all the truth.  This leads us to two conclusions.

       A. A man must believe the right message before he can be saved.

       B. A person can lead others only where he has been himself.

4. These men were not saved because they had not received the Holy Ghost (Spirit). (Rom. 8:9)

5. Their answer is plain proof that they did not understand John's message because he spoke of the coming baptism of the Holy Ghost. (Mat. 3:11)


V. 3

1. "Unto what" = into what; on what basis; refers to what faith or doctrine they were baptized unto.

2. "Unto John's baptism" = they had been dipped but they had not grasped the significance of the ordinance.


V. 4

1. "Verily" = truly; indeed.

2. "Baptism of repentance" = baptism as an expression of repentance; a baptism that symbolized a repentance which had already taken place; John refused to baptize those who had not repented. (Mat. 3:8)

3. The baptism of John was accompanied with the message that they who were baptized should believe (put in trust with; to commit to one's trust) on Jesus as the Christ (the Messiah).

4. Paul is not saying that John's baptism was inadequate but he simply explains what John really taught and what his baptism signified.  He preached the Word and gave the sense so that they could understand. (Neh. 8:8)


V. 5

1. "Heard" = to hear with the ear of the mind; to understand.

2. "In the name of the Lord Jesus" = on the authority of the Lord Jesus as He Himself had commanded in Mat. 28:19; because Jesus is the revealer of the Father (John 17:6) and the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit (Mat. 3:11), the baptism "in Jesus' name" should not be understood or interpreted as being opposed to baptism in the name of the Trinity and in no way cancels the baptismal formula given by the Lord Himself in Mat. 28:19.

3. These were baptized, not so much again, but really baptized this time because they had the Lord Jesus as their object of faith.  They just got saved.


V. 6

1. "Laid his hands upon them" = an act of identification; Paul identifies with these as brethren in Christ.

2. "Came on them" = refers to a manifestation of supernatural power; they received the Holy Ghost (Spirit) the moment they trusted the Lord Jesus as their Lord. (Rom. 8:9)

3. "Tongues" = languages, not unknown.

4. "Prophesied" = to speak for another; they simply gave testimony as to what the Lord had done in a language which was understood by those present.

5. Neither the baptism in water nor the laying on of hands "convey" the Holy Spirit nor forgiveness of sins.


V. 7

1. "About twelve" = Luke was not concerned with numbers; there could have been eleven, twelve, or thirteen present on this occasion.

2. The exact number is not important but their experience is.


       2. Paul At The School Of Tyrannus V. 8-12

V. 8

1. "Spake boldly" = to speak freely, fearlessly, and openly; this he did for three months, longer than he was able to do anywhere else; Paul was fulfilling his promise that he would return and speak to them further in Acts 18:21.

2. "Disputing" = reasoning; to converse; discourse with one; argue; discuss; Paul used the OT Scriptures as the text and basis of his ideas.

3. "Persuading" = to convince; to influence by persuasion; the Greek construction indicates that Paul was trying to persuade them, some of whom he did and others he could not.

4. "Kingdom" = rule; authority; the things concerning the kingdom of God parallels the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24‑25)


V. 9

1. "Divers" = some; a number; but not the majority.

2. "Were hardened" = to render stubborn; to become obstinate; unyielding.

3. "Believed not" = disobedient; unpersuaded.

4. "That way" = refers to Christianity as in Acts 9:2; the one and only way of salvation; the manner in which God saves men.

5. "Departed" = to withdraw from; to go away.

6. "Separated" = to set off by boundary; refers to the removal of the disciples (the ones who had set themselves apart to follow Jesus and learn more of Him) from the influence and society of those who were seeking to draw them away from the faith.

7. "Disputing" = same as verse 8.

8. "School" = schoolroom; lecture hall.

9. "Tyrannus" = not much is known about him; probably a Jew who was employed as a teacher; he allowed Paul to meet with the believers in the room he occupied for teaching; as a result, Paul was able to teach and preach daily instead of only once a week on the Sabbath day.


V. 10

1. Paul continued in this same location which resulted in the whole Roman province of Asia being evangelized as both Jew and Gentiles came from all directions to hear the Word of God.

2. Since Ephesus was a great center, people came from all over the province, some were converted, taught by Paul, went back to their home cities, and were used by the Lord to start new churches.


V. 11

1. "Wrought" = worked; performed.

2. "Miracles" = powers; manifestations of divine power; deeds which showed God's power.

3. "Special" = extraordinary; not the common.

4. All miracles are supernatural and out of ordinary but here God regularly performed miracles beyond those familiar to the disciples and completely different from the deeds of the Jewish exorcists.

5. "By the hands of Paul" = Paul was the human instrument God used to reveal Himself through; the Greek construction implies mighty miracles were an everyday occurrence in Paul's ministry here.


V. 12

1. "Handkerchiefs" = sweat cloths he used to wipe away perspiration while he was working. (Acts 20:34)

2. "Body" = skin.

3. "Aprons" = a piece of cloth which was girded round the waist to preserve the clothes of those who were engaged in any kind of work.

4. It seems that the people took these items from Paul's workplace without his permission but he did not seem to mind.  He knew there was nothing magic about these items and that he was not causing the miracles anyway.  God was and Paul was only a channel God was using.

5. "Evil spirits" = demons.

6. The use and sale of "prayer cloths and handkerchiefs" today is  unscriptural.


       3. Paul And Seven Jewish Pretenders V. 13-20

V. 13

1. "Vagabond" = to go about; refers to strollers or wanders.

2. "Exorcists" = one that binds by an oath or spell; these exorcists travelled around from place to place like modern gypsy fortune tellers claiming to be able to cast out evil spirits or demons by magical formulas, for a fee of course.

3. "Took upon them" = means they took it upon themselves to use the name of Jesus to cast out demons; the Bible does not imply that they had success; they were imitating Paul who had success.

4. "Adjure" = to command under the solemnness of an oath.

5. "Preacheth" = to herald; proclaim.

6. These exorcists did not realize that Paul, in using the name of Jesus was recognizing Jesus for who He is.  He did not minister the gift of healing just for the sake of building a reputation for himself.  He was preaching the gospel, the true Word of God and the Lord was confirming the Word with signs following (Mark 16:20), therefore the Word, not the signs had the important place.


V. 14

1. "Sceva" = a Greek name, but nothing more is known of him than what is recorded here.

2. "Chief of the priests" = not high priest, but he was a Jewish priest; a priest of distinction and held the office of a ruler.


V. 15

1. The evil spirit's answer was to the command given in verse 13.

2. First "know" = to have knowledge; recognize; every demon of hell knows who Jesus is (Mark 5:7); this demon recognized that these sons of Sceva only knew Jesus as a name of someone whom Paul was preaching; they did not know Jesus for themselves.

3. Second "know" = to know of; to understand who he is.

4. "Who are ye" = emphatic; the meaning is, "You belong neither to Jesus nor Paul, and you have no right or authority to attempt to work miracles in the name of either."

5. Note: the man who had the demon was no longer in control of his senses but the demon who possessed him had taken charge and was able to use the man's speech organs to answer these sons of Sceva.  We have no authority to command demons as some are teaching today. (Jude 9)


V. 16

1. The demon also used the man's body to overpower the seven sons of Sceva.

2. "Leaped" = to spring on like a panther.

3. "Overcame" = to lord against; mastered.

4. "Prevailed" = to have strength to overcome; the Greek implies this occurred to all seven.

5. "Naked" = stripped of their outer garments; without sufficient clothing.

6. "Wounded" = the Greek indicates the wounds were severe enough to affect them for a while.


V. 17

1. "Known" = well known; refers to the incident concerning the seven sons of Sceva.

2. "Greeks" = Gentiles.

3. "Fear" = an awe inspired by the supernatural.

4. "Fell" = seized.

5. "Was magnified" = to make great; acquired increasing honour; the people saw a great contrast between the sons of Sceva and the apostle Paul.


V. 18

1. "Came" = tense reveals that they kept coming, one after another.

2. "Confessed" = to agree fully; the word implies from the heart, freely or publicly; openly; a necessary part of salvation. (Rom. 10:9-10)

3. "Shewed" = to announce; to declare.

4. "Deeds" = actions; their evil course of life; evidence of repentance.

5. These Gentiles had a struggle with their past life and the evil environment they lived in but they had victory.


V. 19

1. "Many" = not a few.

2. "Used" = practiced.

3. "Curious arts" = refers to the acts of magic and slight of hand.

4. "Books" = books that explained the arts and contained magical formulas; pieces of parchment.

5. "Before all" = in the sight or presence of; publicly; their practice of these arts had been public, therefore they sought to undo the evil they had done as much as they could by publicly burning these books.

6. "Counted" = to add up; the price was estimated at 50,000 pieces of silver; no specific coin is mentioned but those in Ephesus knew what coin they were speaking of; this was probably done by the people who watched in astonishment and amazement at the folly (to the thinking of the ones who did the counting) of destroying their own property.

7. Real evidence of salvation is confessing and forsaking as Pro. 28:13 brings out.


V. 20

1. "Grew" = increasing; tense indicates a continuous action.

2. "Mightily" = refers to divine might and power.

3. "Prevailed" = to have force; to be strong; tense indicates a continuous action.

4. Ephesus had been a stronghold of Satan but the Word of God (gospel) penetrated his stronghold and Ephesus became a center of Christian power for years to come.  Polycarp, one of the martyrs listed in "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" was pastor of the Church at Ephesus.


       4. Paul And The Silversmiths V. 21-41

V. 21

1. "Ended" = fulfilled; indicates that Paul had carried out the ministry he came to accomplish and his presence was no longer necessary.

2. "Purposed in the spirit" = determined in his mind.

3. "Passed through Macedonia and Achaia" = to visit the churches there and take up a collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem (Rom. 15:25‑26)

4. "To go to Jerusalem" = to carry the contribution of the Gentile churches to the poor and oppressed Christians in Judea.

5. "Must" = it is necessary; indicates a divine necessity laid upon him; Paul had a great desire to preach the gospel in Rome (Rom. 1:10; 15); he did go to Rome, but as a prisoner instead of being free.


V. 22

1. "Ministered" = wait upon; to serve another.

2. "Timotheus" = Timothy; he was a proper person to send to prepare the churches, as he had been there before with Paul when they were established.

3. "Erastus" = chamberlain (treasurer of the city) of Corinth (Rom. 16:23); Paul's convert at Corinth who followed him to wait upon him; since he had had dealing with money, he was a proper person to be sent with Timothy for the purpose of making the collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem.

4. "In Asia" = Ephesus.

5. "A season" = a space of time, how long we do not know; he waited for a convenient opportunity to follow them when they had fully prepared the churches for the collection.


V. 23

1. "Arose" = come into existence.

2. "Stir" = disturbance; tumult; described as "no small" which means it was large in size; this could have been the incident Paul spoke of in I Cor. 15:32 when he portrays his opponents as wild beasts.

3. "About that way" = concerning the way; phrase for Christianity. (Acts 9:2)


V. 24

1. "Diana" = a celebrated goddess of the heathen, and one of the twelve superior deities, represented with a great number of breasts to denote her as being the fountain of blessing and the fertility goddess of Ephesus; her temple was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

2. "Silversmith" = a beater of silver; one who works with silver and in this case made shrines out of silver.

3. "Shrines" = temple; the word properly means a case, small chest or box in which sacred things are deposited; in context, denotes small portable temples, or edifices, made of silver, so as to represent the temple of Diana, and probably containing a silver image of the goddess.

4. "Demetrius" = there is historical evidence that he may have been the head of a guild (union) of silversmiths connected with the temple and its priesthood; most heathen temples in those days carried on large business enterprises.

5. "Gain" = profit; describes as "no small" = not small; great; the great number of people that came to Ephesus to worship the goddess and purchased these shrines made the silversmiths much profit.

6. "Craftsmen" = laborers; refers to the silversmiths.


V. 25

1. "Like occupation" = refers not just to silversmiths but to all who made shrines or artifacts used in worship of Diana; this was a gathering of associated trades, not for a strike, but in protest against the preaching of Paul.

2. "Sirs" = men.

3. "Craft" = business; occupation.

4. "Wealth" = income; it does not mean they were rich in abundance (lucrative‑‑yes), but they depended on the sales of their crafts for their living.

5. Demetrius appealed to their self interest.  Since they got stirred up the way they did proves that their chief concern was not the worship or honor of the goddess, but their own prosperity.  Their attachment to the goddess was simply to make it a means of gain for themselves.  Many of the religious TV personalities have the same motive.


V. 26

1. These words of Demetrius, a heathen, are a testimony to the power and effectiveness of the gospel Paul preached. (Rom. 1:16)

2. "Almost throughout all Asia" = Asia Minor; there may have been an element of exaggeration to incite the workman to action.

3. "This Paul" = use of the word used here reveals Demetrius' contempt for Paul; he despised and disrespected him.

4. "Persuaded" = convinced.

5. "Turned away" = changed; many had turned away from their idols to serve the true and living God.

6. "Gods made with hands" = idols; images; people identified their gods with the images of them; the tense reveals that these gods were made from time to time.


V. 27

1. "To be set at nought" = to become worthless.

2. "Despised" = counted; the Greek word is connected with "nothing"; thus Demetrius is saying that the temple of the great (wonderful in his estimation) goddess Diana, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world would come to a time when it would be thought on as of no value (this became a reality in A.D. 262 when the temple of Diana burned and was never rebuilt).

3. "Magnificence" = majesty and glory; refers to the splendor of her temple and her worship.

4. "Be destroyed" = diminished and finally come to nought.

5. Demetrius again makes an exaggerated claim.  No doubt many visitors did come from other parts of the Roman Empire and while in Ephesus visited the temple and joined in the worship of the goddess, but there is little historical evidence that she was worshipped elsewhere.  Demetrius was trying to save his income by stirring up a mob.


V. 28

1. "Full of wrath" = greatly enraged due to the prospect of losing their gains.

2. "Cried out" = speaks of a loud cry, expressing deep emotion; tense reveals they began to cry out and kept it up continuously.

3. "Great" = wonderful; noble, of high rank; this term was often applied by the Greeks to Diana.


V. 29

1. "Filled" = wholly take possession of; the silversmiths kept up their shouting until their chant filled the whole city with confusion and disturbance.

2. "Confusion" = tumult; disorder; vivid description of the inevitable riot that followed.

3. "Having caught" = to seize by force; how the mob got hold of these two we do not know‑‑whether by accidental recognition or by search after failure to get Paul.

4. Paul may have been desperately ill at this time as was the case once during his stay in Ephesus. (II Cor. 1:8‑9)

5. "Gaius" = a man of Macedonia originally from Derbe (Acts 20:4); lived at Corinth and had kindly entertained Paul at his house (Rom. 16:23); also helped Paul while in Corinth. (I Cor. 1:14)

6. "Aristarchus" = a Macedonian of Thessalonica and accompa-nied Paul on the ship to Rome as a fellow prisoner. (Acts 27:2; Col. 4:10)

7. "Rushed" = moving with great force and violence.

8. "One accord" = one mind and one purpose.

9. "Theatre" = "theater" = a place for large public gatherings of any sort outside; a Greek‑style amphitheater, stadium, or arena open to the sky with room to seat 25,000 people.


V. 30

1. "Would have entered in" = intended to go in.

2. "Disciples" = followers of Christ and companions of Paul; those accompanying Paul on this missionary journey was considerably larger than on his earlier travels.

3. "Suffered him not" = would not permit him to enter the theatre; they were concerned for his safety; the Greek construction implies that the more Paul insisted on going the more the disciples refused to agree to it.


V. 31

1. "Chief of Asia" = ten officers elected by the city who presided over sacred things and public games; by the wording it appears that more than one was his friend.

2. "Friends" = means they had a high opinion of Paul and were unwilling for him to expose his life to a wild mob; the wording does not indicate that they were saved but they were at least tolerant toward Paul and his preaching.

3. "Sent" = to send a dispatch or a message by someone chosen for the purpose.

4. "Desiring" = urging; begging; beseeching.

5. "Would not adventure" = would not risk his life in the tumult and under the excited feelings of the multitude.


V. 32

1. "Confused" = to throw into disorder; some were crying one thing and some another; the majority (more) part of the assembly did not have any idea why (wherefore) they had come together.

2. "Assembly" = ekklesia; same word for church; means that which is called out; this was not an assembly but an irregular disorganized mob in a state of confusion; it really was an unlawful gathering. (verse 39)


V. 33

1. "Drew" = to force forward; to bring to the front; the Jews did this; they were as strongly opposed to idolatry as the Christians.

2. "Alexander" = a Hellenistic Jew (a Jew who adapted to the Greek culture where he lived and even took on a Greek name; Alexander is Greek); not much else is known about him; some believe he was a coppersmith (II Tim. 4:14) and being a fellow metal worker, he would be known by the silversmiths who had started this riot and hopefully might be able to influence them.

3. "Beckoned" = gesture for quiet and order; rapidly waving the hand up and down to get a hearing.

4. "Would" = desired; wanted.

5. "Made his defence" = not just for himself but for the Jews because they were thinking that the riot could turn into mob violence and turn on them because Paul was a Jew (Christianity was looked upon by the Greeks as a sect of the Jews); the Jews were very anxious to let the mob know the Jews were completely innocent and had done nothing to stir up this riot.


V. 34

1. "Knew" = recognized; coming to know fully and clearly; this they did by his features.

2. "With one voice" = united in one continued shout and loud outcry.

3. "Cried out" = this they did at first to silence Alexander, but the shouting continued for about two hours to show their attachment to Diana.


V. 35

1. "Townclerk" = the secretary of the city; not a mere secretary of another officer, but the most influential person in Ephesus who drafted decrees, had charge of the city's money, and was the power in control of the assembly.

2. "Appeased" = subdued; quieted; restrained the people (multitude) so as to be able to address them.

3. "Men" = word for men only; it seems that only men had gathered.

4. "Man" = word for mankind without respect of sex; human being.

5. "Knoweth" = to know by experience.

6. "Worshipper" = temple keeper; the city was in charge of the temple and the image; it was regarded as an office of honor and dignity to have charge of the temples of the gods and to keep them in order.

7. "Fell down from Jupiter" = one word in the Greek; Jupiter (Zeus) was considered lord of the sky or heaven and tradition said that the image was sent down from heaven; it is probable that the image was so ancient that the maker of it was unknown, and a story was fabricated that it fell from heaven (image may have been placed upon a fallen meteor); it was in the interest of the priest to keep up this legend.


V. 36

1. "Cannot be spoken against" = indisputable; undeniable; these legends were accepted as true and in the townclerk's estimation, they were undeniable.

2. "Ought" = it is necessary.

3. "Quiet" = appeased; restrained.

4. "Rashly" = reckless; impulsive; in thoughtless haste.


V. 37

1. "Robbers of churches" = one word in the Greek; means temple robbery; used of those who took the gold vessels, the funds, or sacred books from a temple; does not apply to churches because there were none others in existence, in Ephesus, except the one started by Paul.

2. "Blasphemers" = to speak harshly, reproachfully, or abusively. 3. These men (Gaius and Aristarchus; may also refer to Paul) had so conducted themselves that no charge could be placed against them either in act (temple robbery) or word (blasphemy).  Paul used tact to avoid illegalities.


V. 38

1. "Have a matter against" = have a complaint of injury; if injustice has been done to them by anyone.

2. "Law is open" = court was in session at this very time.

3. "Deputies" = governor appointed by the Roman Senate for provinces, under their jurisdiction; the plural is a general phrase but there was only one present at a time; the cause might be brought before them with the certainty that it would be heard and decided.

4. "Implead" = to bring a charge against.

5. The townclerk makes a definite appeal to the mob for orderly legal procedure as opposed the mob violence.


V. 39

1. "Enquire" = desire; wish; seek.

2. "Any thing concerning other matters" = refers to going further and passing regulations about the situation at hand; charges of illegal conduct should be settled in the regular legal way.

3. "Determined" = to solve further.

4. "Lawful" = duly constituted.

5. "Assembly"  = that which is called out; the Roman officials alone could give the sanction for calling such a lawful assembly.

6. The implication is that the assembly gathered here was an unlawful gathering.


V. 40

1. "Danger" = to be put in jeopardy or peril; refers to the city being in jeopardy of having a charge of sedition, rebellion, or revolution brought against it by the Roman government.

2. "Called in question" = to bring a charge against; there was a Roman law that made it a capital offense for anyone to be engaged in promoting a riot.

3. "Uproar" = uprising; referring to the unlawful gathering.

4. "Cause" = reason or crime; they would not be able to give a reason (account) for this concourse.

5. "Concourse" = a disorderly riot.


V. 41

1. The townclerk gave the aspect of law and order to the mob and finally dismissed them.

2. He did this to protect the city against the charge to which they were liable.


Chapter 20: Paul On His Way To Jerusalem


       1. Paul And The Local Churches V. 1-12

V. 1

1. "Embraced" = to enfold in the arms; to draw to oneself in an embrace in farewell giving them parting expressions of kindness.

2. "Departed" = to Macedonia as he had planned in Acts 19:21. (See Map 3.)


V. 2

1. "Gone over those parts" = the parts of the province of Macedonia.

2. "Much exhortation" = instructed and encouraged them with much talk; Acts being history does not give all the details as to where Paul went and what he said but we can learn more about the time spent in Macedonia on this trip by studying his epistles; II Corinthians was probably written while in Macedonia on this trip.

3. "Into Greece" = province of Achaia and the city of Corinth. (See Map 3).


V. 3.

1. "Abode" = stayed; it is believed that Paul wrote the epistle of Romans and may have written Galatians during these three months.

2. "Laid wait" = plot; a plan against someone.

3. "As he was about to sail" = it seems from this, that the plan of the Jews was to attack the ship in which he was about to sail, or to have him arrested on board ship.

4. "Syria" = north of Palestine (Israel) on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. (See Map 3)

5. "Purposed" = resolved; determined; he resolved to avoid the snare which they had laid for him by returning to Syria through Macedonia, no doubt travelling on foot.


V. 4

1. "Accompanied" = to attend in company with; it was the usual custom for some of the disciples to go with the apostles in their journeys.

2. These seven men may have been representatives of the churches who gave an offering for the poor saints in Jerusalem, therefore they went along to see how the offering was used and reported back to their home church.

3. Three were from Macedonia: Sopater of Berea; Aristarchus and Secundus of Thessalonica.

4. Two from Galatia: Gaius of Derbe; Timotheus of Lystra.

5. Two from Asia: Tychicus and Trophimus.


V. 5.

1. "Going before" = these seven men sailed to Troas before Paul; from what port they sailed, we do not know.

2. "Tarried" = waited.

3. "Us" = indicates that Luke, the human instrument who wrote Acts, joined Paul at Philippi of Macedonia.


V. 6

1. "Sailed away" = to depart by ship.

2. "Days of unleavened bread" = the Jews feast of seven days following the Passover, during which time they ate unleavened bread.

3. It took five days to cross the Aegean Sea probably due to contrary winds since they had made the trip from Troas to Philippi before in two days. (Acts 16:11‑12)

4. "Abode" = remained.


V. 7

1. "First day of the week" = Sunday; the Lord's day.

2. "Came together" = as the custom was begun immediately after Christ's resurrection (John 20:19) and commanded for all saints to do so. (I Cor. 16:2; Heb. 10:25)

3. "To break bread" = seems to have application to a fellowship meal with observance of the Lord's Supper afterwards.

4. "Preached" = to say thoroughly.

5. "Ready" = intended.

6. "Morrow" = the following day.

7. "Continued" = to prolong; the reason for the long discourse (speech) may have been due to the fact Paul was going to leave them, probably to see them no more.


V. 8

1.  "There were many lights" = refers to lamps filled with olive oil and a wick inserted; we do not know for certain why this is mentioned, but they could be to designate a place of public worship; the Jews and Gentiles were accustomed to having many lights burning in a place of public worship.

2.  "Upper chamber" = a room reached by an outside stairway and would probably hold 200 or 300 people.


V. 9

1. "Window" = a small opening in the wall covered with a lattice (wood not glass) when closed but open here because of the heat from the lamps and the crowd.

2. "Eutychus" = a common slave name which meant "fortunate."

3. "Young man" = word describes a youth up to forty years of age.

4. "Fallen" = overcome; the Greek describes the gradual process of going into a deep sleep, possibly due to the heat, the crowd, the smell and smoke of the lamps, the late hour, and the long message; same word as "sunk."

5. "Third loft" = third story.

6. "Was taken up dead" = not merely injured or dying but the Greek brings out clearly that the man was dead and beyond natural help; Luke the physician agrees that he was dead.


V. 10

1. "Went down" = descended the stairs to the ground outside.

2. "Fell on him" = threw himself upon the young man, throwing his arms around him (embracing) in a tight embrace no doubt praying as he did so; this was an act of tenderness and compassion revealing a strong desire to restore him to life. (I Kings 17:21; II Kings 4:33‑35)

3. "Trouble not yourselves" = make no ado; stop making those noisy lamentations which was so traditional when one died, especially among the Jews.

4. "Life" = physical life; refers to his soul returning to his body; restored to life.


V. 11

1. Paul then went back to the upper chamber, ate an ordinary meal (broken bread), and began his message where he had left off before this incident had occurred.

2. "Talked" = to converse with; the meeting seems to be more informal after the midnight incident than it was before; he continued "till break of day" = first ray of light.

3. "Departed" = Luke sums up the results and simply says that Paul departed.


V. 12

1. "Young man" = boy; the wording of this verse and verse 9 indicates the boy may have been in his teens.

2. "Alive" = living in contrast to death, thus proof the boy was dead.

3. "Comforted" = consoled; encouraged; described as "not a little" = not moderately; a great deal.

4. This pictures the joyful scene of the boy being raised to life again as his friends bought him while they were saying farewell to Paul as he was leaving Troas.


       2. Paul And The Local Pastors V. 13-38

V. 13

1. "Went before" = to go before; precede; Luke along with the others precede Paul in going to Assos because Paul intended to walk (minding himself to go afoot).

2. "Assos" = a city of Asia about 20 miles SE of Troas. (See Map 3)

3. "Appointed" = arranged; planned; gave orders.

4. Paul wanted to be alone as he walked these 20 miles (about half the distance the ship had to travel) so he could settle what the will of the Lord was concerning going to Jerusalem.


V. 14

1. "Took him in" = refers to Paul boarding the ship.

2. "Mitylene" = capital of Lesbos an island in the Aegean Sea about 30 miles south of Assos, an easy day's sailing. (See Map 3)


V. 15

1. "Over against" = means to come right down in front of, face to face with.

2. "Chios and Samos" = islands West of Ephesus in the Aegean Sea. (See Map 3)

3. "Arrived" = to throw alongside; touched; the ship did not stay the night at Samos but stayed (tarried) at "Trogyllium" = a city on the coast of Asia not shown on Map 3; they remained there until morning because it would have been very difficult to make their way through the strait (a narrow restricted place) in the darkness.

4. "Miletus" = a city on the seacoast of the Roman province of Asia about 36 miles south of Ephesus. (See Map 3)


V. 16

1. "Had determined" = decided; Paul either controlled the ship due to it being chartered or the captain was willing to oblige him; the ship could have been chartered to carry goods to the poor saints in Jerusalem.

2. "Sail by Ephesus" = means to pass Ephesus without going to it.

3. "Hasted" = to hurry.

4. "If it were possible" = the Greek indicates it was a remote possibility.

5. Paul had settled in his heart that he should go to Jerusalem, and he was in a hurry to get there by the "day of Pentecost" = a Jewish feast, 50 days after the feast of First Fruits (the first day of the week after Passover).


V. 17

1. "Sent" = to send a person with a message; Ephesus was a day's journey from Miletus, thus it would take two days before the Elders could get to where Paul was (one day for the person to carry the message and one day for the Elders to make the trip).

2. "Called" = summoned; means to call from one place to another.

3. "Elders" = title of a pastor and refers to the person; the plural is used because the early churches had a plurality of pastors.


               1) Paul's past ministry V. 18-21

V. 18

1. "Know" = to put the mind upon; means they were well acquainted with Paul's behavior at Ephesus.

2. "First day" = refers to the first time he set foot in Ephesus in Acts 18:19 which had been approximately four years before.

3. "After what manner" = refers to how he lived and acted described in verses 19‑21.

4. "At all seasons" = at all times, not just on Sunday.


V. 19

1. "Serving" = to be in the position of a servant and act accordingly.

2. "Lord" = supreme in authority; He is Lord at salvation not later on in time.

3. "Humility of mind" = a deep sense of one's littleness; the people knew this was a strong contrast to the boastfulness of the false teachers who were trying to draw a following after themselves.

4. "Many tears" = weeping because the opposition of the Jews hindered his ministry from reaching the lost.

5. "Temptations" = trials arising from the opposition of the Jews.

6. "Befell" = to happen; occur.

7. "Lying in wait" = a plan against someone; plot.


V. 20

1. "Kept back" = to withhold; to cower or shrink from; conceal.

2. "Nothing" = not even one thing.

3. "Profitable" = advantageous, helpful, beneficial, or useful for their good.

4. "Shewed" = to announce in detail; declared.

5. "Taught" = to shape the will of the one taught by the communication of knowledge.

6. "Publickly" = in public assembly.

7. "From house to house" = privately; his visits were not merely social calls nor chit‑chat sessions but teaching true doctrine.

8.  Paul does not try to impress the people with beautiful oratory.


V. 21

1. "Testifying" = to bear witness; to give a first‑hand detailed account of the necessity of repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ for one to be saved.

2. "Repentance" = a change of mind, attitude, heart, and direction; this will only come when God grants it (works it by godly sorrow). (John 3:27; II Cor. 7:10)

3. "Toward" = word implies motion into or towards; indicates the point reached or entered, of place, time, and purpose.

4. "Faith" = belief; trust; confidence.

5. Paul always preached these two ingredients of salvation wherever he went.  Repentance and faith are connected and both are necessary for one to be saved.

6. He did nothing in secret, therefore all men knew his message and his methods.


               2) Paul's present burden V. 22-24

V. 22

1. "Bound" = to put under obligation; to have a strong sense of duty.

2. "The spirit" = refers to his own spirit, the quickened inner being; there is serious doubt whether Paul was really in the divine will of God in going to Jerusalem (Acts 21:4), but a strong sense of duty moved him to go; this sense of duty may have been because of:

       A. His love for his fellow Jews. (Rom. 9:1‑3; 10:1)

       B. His desire to see the damaged repaired which he had caused while he made havoc of the church while lost, thus making many widow, orphans, and beggars.  Now he had a chance to relieve the suffering and hardships of the poor saints by bringing them the offering he had collected.

3. "Befall" = to meet with; occur; Paul knew that there would be calamities or trials of some kind but he did not know of what kind they would be nor whether the result would be life or death.


V. 23

1. "Save that" = except that; this is all Paul knew concerning what was to befall him.

2. "Witnesseth" = fully testifies; the Holy Ghost had done this in every city (place after place) where he had been by the trials and afflictions he had already faced.

3. "Saying" = to speak; the Holy Ghost spoke plainly to Paul concerning what he would face in Jerusalem.

4. "Bonds" = chains; shackles; bound as a prisoner.

5. "Afflictions" = pressures; tribulation; trouble.

6. "Abide" = remain; await; indicates that Paul must expect to suffer bonds and afflictions; this was stated clearly to Paul and was no doubt one of the things that he had to consider when he got saved. (Acts 9:15‑16)


V. 24

1. "None" = not one.

2. "Move me" = alarm me or keep me from my purpose.

3. "Count" = hold; consider.

4. "Dear" = valuable; Paul considers not his life as being so valuable to retain while failing to do his duty. (Rom. 8:18; Phil. 1:21)

5. "Finish" = complete.

6. "Course" = race; life is represented as a course or race to be run; Paul did finish his course. (II Tim. 4:6‑7)

7. "Joy" = cheerfulness; gladness of heart; Paul looked to Jesus as his example. (Heb. 12:2)

8. "Ministry" = duties of the office of apostle; "finish" applies to this also.

9. "Have received of the Lord Jesus" = refers to the ministry or office of apostle as having been bestowed upon him by the Lord Jesus, a fact Paul never had doubt about even though men did. (Rom. 11:13; Gal. 1:1; I Cor. 15:8; Acts 1:21‑22)

10. "To testify" = to testify fully; to bear witness.

11. "Gospel" = good tidings.

12. "Grace" = unearned and unmerited favor of God giving his own son to die for our sins, be buried, and raised again. (I Cor. 15:1‑4)

13. Paul had a secret:

A. He had seen the "light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (II Cor. 4:6)

B. He felt in his body "the excellency of the power of God."  (II Cor. 4:7)

C. He had received the "earnest" or first installment of what the Spirit will make fully real for every believer when the Lord Jesus comes again. (Eph. 1:13-14)

D. Therefore, he was willing "to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." (II Cor. 5:8)

E. He had hope of his own resurrection due to the fact of the resurrection of Jesus, thus all fear of death was gone. (II Cor. 4:14‑16; I Cor. 15:20, 51, 54)


               3) Paul's warning of future danger V. 25-35

V. 25

1. "Know" = have an absolute, positive knowledge of the facts; Paul uses this word expressing his personal conviction and fears that they would not see his face (presence again); the pastoral epistles indicate Paul did come to Ephesus again (I Tim. 1:3); Paul had reason enough for his fears even though it turned out different from what he thought.

2. "Ye all" = refers to all of the Ephesians not just the elders who were the ones Paul was speaking to.

3. "Preaching" = to herald forth; proclaim.

4. "Kingdom" = rule; reign; refers to the rule of God manifested in and through Jesus Christ by God's grace.

5. Paul showed that the gospel of the grace of God (verse 24) is the same as the preaching of the Kingdom of God, and therefore is the same as the gospel of the Kingdom.


V. 26

1. "Wherefore" = in view of the past, referring to Paul's ministry and labours among the Ephesians.

2. "Take you to record" = one word in the Greek; means to bring forward or witness; to declare solemnly.

3. "Pure" = clean; unstained with the guilt; will not be charged with the guilt of your condemnation; Paul is not claiming absolute perfection, but he had a clear conscience concerning the Ephesians.

4. "Blood" = used often in the sense of death, or bloodshed, thus the guilt or crime of putting one to death; refers to those to whom Paul had been faithful to preach and teach that if they should die the second death and be lost forever, the fault would be their own, not his.


V. 27

1. "For" = gives the reason for what was said in the previous verse.

2. "Shunned" = to withhold; conceal; used with "not" thus meaning Paul did not hold back any truth from them.

3. "To declare" = to announce in detail; to declare freely and openly.

4. "Counsel" = advice; purpose; denotes the divine decree laying at the basis of the history of redemption; Paul said in Acts 20:20 he kept back nothing that was profitable; he didn't say he didn't keep back anything from them; even Jesus held back some things from the disciples (John 16:12); Paul delivered the advice and purpose of God for that congregation on that specific day.


V. 28

1. "Take heed" = to hold the mind towards; attend to; be on your guard against the dangers which beset you, and seek to discharge your duty faithfully.

2. "Unto yourselves" = to your own opinions and manner of life; this is the first duty of every elder for without this all his preaching will be in vain; actions speak louder than words.

3. "All the flock" = refers to the local church where the elders minister; all refers to the rich and poor, the bond and free, and the old and young.

4. "Hath made" = to place; appoint; even though they had been appointed by the church, Paul states the fact it was in reality done by the Holy Ghost, because He had called and qualified them for the work.

5. "Overseers" = bishops; denotes those who are appointed to oversee or inspect the local church.

6. "To feed" = to tend as a shepherd; refers to the care which a shepherd exercises over his flock, that of protecting, guiding, guarding, instructing, governing, and folding of the flock as well as leading it to nourishment.

7. "Church" = called out ones; refers to the local church, the saved people, not a building, who belong to God, because He purchased it with His own blood.

8. "Purchased" = to preserve for one's self.

9. "His own blood" = with the sacrifice of His own life; refers to the life and blood of Jesus Christ who was God. (Gen. 22:8; Rom. 3:25)


V. 29

1. "Know" = to have an absolute, positive knowledge; he knew by what he had seen in other places.

2. "My departing" = not his death but his leaving them at this time.

3. "Wolves" = picture of the enemies and adversaries of the flock; described as "grievous" = heavy; strong; mighty; dangerous; difficult to handle; so strong that the feeble flock would not be able to resist them; refers to false, hypocritical, and dangerous teachers.

4. "Enter in among you" = come in from the outside; Jesus warned of such in Mat. 7:15.

5. "Not sparing the flock" = seeking to destroy the church.


V. 30

1. Paul also warns of danger from within.

2. "Of your own selves" = from among your own selves; those who profess to be Christians.

3. "Men" = word for men only.

4. "Arise" = stand up; be manifested.

5. "Perverse" = to distort; turn aside; twist; refers to twisting the truth, the Scriptures.

6. "To draw away" = to separate; to drag forth.

7. "After them" = refers to their real purpose, that of building up themselves instead of the assembly.

8. Paul's long stay at Ephesus enabled him to judge clearly the conditions present in Ephesus.


V. 31

1. "Therefore" = in view of the dangers they faced:

       A. Themselves. V. 28

       B. False teachers without. V. 29

       C. False teachers within. V. 30

2. "Watch" = to keep awake; refers to spiritual alertness; be on your guard, observe the approach of danger and set yourselves against it.

3. "Remember" = call to mind; recall his advice and warning in reference to these dangers; it seems that Paul had mentioned these dangers many times before.

4. "Three years" = the total length of Paul's stay at Ephesus.

5. "Ceased not" = did not stop; continued.

6. "To warn" = to place before the mind; to admonish; Paul had set before each individual the danger they faced and their duty; he did so continually (night and day) with a heart of love and compassion evidenced by tears. (Psa. 126:5-6)

7. "Forewarned is to be forearmed."


V. 32

1. "Brethren" = from the same womb; all saved come forth from the womb of God.

2. "Commend" = to deposit with one; to entrust; to commit; means to place them in His hands and under His protection.

3. "The Word of his grace" = His gracious Word; His merciful promise; the instrumentality through preaching and the Holy Ghost used by God.

4. "Is able" = to have power. (Heb. 4:12)

5. "To build up" = to establish; make firm, or permanent; word is applied to a house which is reared and completed by slow degrees, and by toil; refers to instruction and establishment in doctrine.

6. "Inheritance" = heirship; to make you heirs; to make you joint partakers with the saints of the blessings that has been reserved for the children of God.

7. "Among all them which are sanctified" = with all who are holy; with all the saints. (Rom. 8:17; II Tim. 4:6‑8)


V. 33

1. "Coveted" = to set the heart upon; Paul did not desire to obtain their property. (II Cor. 12:14)

2. "Silver or gold" = refers to money or wealth; one of the slanders against Paul was that he was raising the collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem for himself.

3. "Apparel" = raiment; clothing; Paul includes this because oriental wealth consisted largely in fine apparel.


V. 34

1. "Know" = to know by experience; they knew that the church in Ephesus had not supported Paul while he was there; instead he had labored with his own hands by making tents to earn enough to supply his needs.

2. "Ministered" = to render service.

3. "Necessities" = food, clothing, and shelter.

4. "To them that were with me" = Paul's tent making supplied the necessities for Paul's companions as well as himself.


V. 35

1. "Have shewed" = to exhibit under the eyes; gave you an example; to give an object lesson, by deed as well as by word.

2. "All things" = for three years Paul set an example, illustrating the design, nature, and duties of the office of the bishop; he did this by preaching, proper manner of life, self‑denial, and toil.

3. "Labouring" = to feel fatigue; to labor with wearisome effort.

4. "Ought" = it is necessary.

5. "To support" = to help; to aid.

6. "Weak" = to be feeble; sick; refers to those who are unable to labor; Paul also said in II Thess. 3:10 that if any would not work (refers to those who were able) they should not eat.

7. "Remember" = to call to mind; recollect.

8. "The words of the Lord Jesus" = these words are not recorded in the gospels, but John 21:25 states that all His words are not recorded; therefore, Paul received these words either by word of mouth or direct revelation.

9. "Blessed" = supremely blest, spiritually prosperous.


               4) Paul's final blessing V. 36-38

V. 36

1. "Kneeled down" = indicates reverence and humility; the usual attitude of devotion represented in the Scriptures.

2. "With them all" = the elders also kneeled and they prayed together.

3. The early church knew how to seek God fervently and pour out their hearts to Him in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.


V. 37

1. "Wept sore" = wept much; indicates there was considerable weeping of all present.

2. "Fell on" = to embrace or seize; a token of tender affection.

3. "Kissed him" = to kiss earnestly; a strong word to show how strong their love and concern for Paul was; the tense indicates a repeated action, probably one after the other embracing him; they probably kissed Paul on both cheeks, because this type of a kiss was a common greeting and farewell in all of Bible times.


V. 38

1. "Sorrowing" = to grieve; word means to cause intense pain, to torment; these elders were filled with much pain and sorrow most of all because Paul said they would see his face (presence) no more.

2. "Accompanied" = to go along with; they escorted Paul to the ship and no doubt waited on the shore to see the ship depart and to have a last glimpse of their beloved apostle.



New Hope Baptist Church
1661 Griggstown Road
Calvert City, KY 42029
Church -270-527-3864
Pastor - 270-559-7135
The Persuader