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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 20

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1 WHEN the disturbance was over, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out on his journey to Macedonia. 2He travelled through that region, constantly giving encouragement to the Christians, and finally reached Greece. 3When he had spent three months there and was on the point of embarking for Syria, a plot was laid against him by the Jews, so he decided to return by way of Macedonia. 4He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Beroea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and from Asia Tychicus and Trophimus. 5These went ahead and waited for us at Troas; 6we ourselves sailed from Philippi after the Passover season a 20:6 after … season: lit. after the days of Unleavened Bread. , and five days later rejoined them at Troas, where we spent a week.

7On the Saturday night, when we gathered for the breaking of bread, Paul, who was to leave next day, addressed the congregation and went on speaking until midnight. 8Now there were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were assembled, 9and a young man named Eutychus, who was sitting on the window-ledge, grew more and more drowsy as Paul went on talking, until, completely overcome by sleep, he fell from the third storey to the ground, and was picked up dead. 10Paul went down, threw himself upon him, and clasped him in his arms. ‘Do not distress yourselves,’ he said to them; ‘he is alive.’ 11He then went upstairs, broke bread and ate, and after much conversation, which lasted until dawn, he departed. 12And they took the boy home, greatly relieved that he was alive.

13We went on ahead to the ship and embarked for Assos, where we were to take Paul aboard; this was the arrangement he had made, since he was going to travel by road. 14When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and proceeded to Mitylene. 15We sailed from there and next day arrived off Chios. On the second day we made Samos, and the following day we reached Miletus. 16Paul had decided to bypass Ephesus and so avoid having to spend time in the province of Asia; he was eager to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, if that were possible. 17He did, however, send from Miletus to Ephesus and summon the elders of the church. 18When they joined him, he spoke to them as follows.

‘You know how, from the day that I first set foot in the province of Asia, I spent my whole time with you, 19serving the Lord in all humility amid the sorrows and trials that came upon me through the intrigues of the Jews. 20You know that I kept back nothing that was for your good: I delivered the message to you, and taught you, in public and in your homes; 21with Jews and Gentiles alike I insisted on repentance before God and faith in our Lord Jesus. 22Now, as you see, I am constrained by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I do not know what will befall me there, 23except that in city after city the Holy Spirit assures me that imprisonment and hardships await me. 24For myself, I set no store by life; all I want is to finish the race, and complete the task which the Lord Jesus assigned to me, that of bearing my testimony to the gospel of God's grace.

25‘One thing more: I have gone about among you proclaiming the kingdom, but now I know that none of you will ever see my face again. 26That being so, I here and now declare that no one's fate can be laid at my door; I have kept back nothing; 27I have disclosed to you the whole purpose of God. 28Keep guard over yourselves and over all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has given you charge, as shepherds of the church of the Lord, which he won for himself by his own blood b 20:28 of the Lord … blood: some witnesses read of God, which he won for himself by the blood of his Own. . 29I know that when I am gone, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30Even from your own number men will arise who will distort the truth in order to get the disciples to break away and follow them. 31So be on the alert; remember how with tears I never ceased to warn each one of you night and day for three years.

32‘And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which has power to build you up and give you your heritage among all those whom God has made his own. 33I have not wanted anyone's money or clothes for myself; 34you all know that these hands of mine earned enough for the needs of myself and my companions. 35All along I showed you that it is our duty to help the weak in this way, by hard work, and that we should keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, who himself said, “Happiness lies more in giving than in receiving.” ’

36As he finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed. 37There were loud cries of sorrow from them all, as they folded Paul in their arms and kissed him; 38what distressed them most was his saying that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.

Notes:

a 20:6 after … season: lit. after the days of Unleavened Bread.

b 20:28 of the Lord … blood: some witnesses read of God, which he won for himself by the blood of his Own.

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