A Fond Farewell

Rowan Hilsden | Nov 22, 2020

Scripture: Acts 19:21-21:17

The Riot in Ephesus

21 After these events, Paul resolved by the Spirit[a] to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem. “After I’ve been there,” he said, “It is necessary for me to see Rome as well.”(A) 22 After sending to Macedonia two of those who assisted him, Timothy and Erastus,(B) he himself stayed in Asia for a while.(C)

23 About that time there was a major disturbance about the Way.(D) 24 For a person named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, provided a great deal of business for the craftsmen. 25 When he had assembled them, as well as the workers engaged in this type of business, he said, “Men, you know that our prosperity is derived from this business. 26 You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this man Paul has persuaded and misled a considerable number of people by saying that gods made by hand are not gods.(E) 27 Not only do we run a risk that our business may be discredited, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be despised and her magnificence come to the verge of ruin—the very one all of Asia and the world worship.”

28 When they had heard this, they were filled with rage and began to cry out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 So the city was filled with confusion, and they rushed all together into the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius(F) and Aristarchus,(G) Macedonians who were Paul’s traveling companions. 30 Although Paul wanted to go in before the people, the disciples did not let him. 31 Even some of the provincial officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent word to him, pleading with him not to venture[b] into the amphitheater. 32 Some were shouting one thing and some another,(H) because the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. 33 Some Jews in the crowd gave instructions to Alexander[c] after they pushed him to the front. Motioning with his hand, Alexander wanted to make his defense to the people.(I) 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

35 When the city clerk had calmed the crowd down, he said, “People of Ephesus! What person is there who doesn’t know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple guardian of the great[d] Artemis, and of the image that fell from heaven? 36 Therefore, since these things are undeniable, you must keep calm and not do anything rash. 37 For you have brought these men here who are not temple robbers or blasphemers of our[e] goddess. 38 So if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a case against anyone, the courts are in session, and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another.(J) 39 But if you seek anything further, it must be decided in a legal assembly. 40 In fact, we run a risk of being charged with rioting(K) for what happened today, since there is no justification that we can give as a reason for this disturbance.” 41 After saying this, he dismissed the assembly.

Paul in Macedonia

20 After the uproar was over, Paul sent for the disciples, encouraged them, and after saying farewell, departed to go to Macedonia.(L) And when he had passed through those areas and offered them many words of encouragement, he came to Greece and stayed three months. The Jews plotted against him when he was about to set sail for Syria, and so he decided to go back through Macedonia.(M) He was accompanied[f] by Sopater son of Pyrrhus[g] from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy,(N) and Tychicus(O) and Trophimus(P) from the province of Asia. These men went on ahead and waited for us in Troas,(Q) but we sailed away from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread.(R) In five days we reached them at Troas, where we spent seven days.

Eutychus Revived at Troas

On the first day of the week, we[h] assembled to break bread.(S) Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were assembled, and a young man named Eutychus was sitting on a window sill and sank into a deep sleep as Paul kept on talking. When he was overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down, bent over him, embraced him, and said, “Don’t be alarmed, because he’s alive.”(T) 11 After going upstairs, breaking the bread, and eating, Paul talked a long time until dawn. Then he left. 12 They brought the boy home alive and were greatly comforted.

From Troas to Miletus

13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul on board, because these were his instructions, since he himself was going by land. 14 When he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went on to Mitylene. 15 Sailing from there, the next day we arrived off Chios. The following day we crossed over to Samos, and[i] the day after, we came to Miletus.(U) 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, because he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible, for the day of Pentecost.(V)

Farewell Address to the Ephesian Elders

17 Now from Miletus, he sent to Ephesus and summoned the elders of the church. 18 When they came to him, he said to them, “You know, from the first day I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time,(W) 19 serving the Lord with all humility, with tears, and during the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews.(X) 20 You know that I did not avoid proclaiming to you anything that was profitable or from teaching you publicly and from house to house. 21 I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God(Y) and faith in our Lord Jesus.(Z)

22 “And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, compelled by the Spirit,[j] not knowing what I will encounter there,(AA) 23 except that in every town the Holy Spirit warns me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me.(AB) 24 But I consider my life of no value to myself; my purpose is to finish my course[k] and the ministry(AC) I received from the Lord Jesus,(AD) to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.

25 “And now I know that none of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will ever see me again. 26 Therefore I declare to you this day that I am innocent[l] of the blood of all of you,(AE) 27 because I did not avoid declaring to you the whole plan of God.(AF) 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock(AG) of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers,(AH) to shepherd the church of God,[m] which he purchased with his own blood.(AI) 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Men will rise up even from your own number and distort the truth to lure the disciples into following them.(AJ) 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I never stopped warning each one of you with tears.(AK)

32 “And now[n] I commit you to God and to the word of his grace,(AL) which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance(AM) among all who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.(AN) 34 You yourselves know that I worked with my own hands to support myself and those who are with me.(AO) 35 In every way I’ve shown you that it is necessary to help the weak by laboring like this and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, because he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

36 After he said this, he knelt down and prayed with all of them.(AP) 37 There were many tears shed by everyone. They embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 grieving most of all over his statement that they would never see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.(AQ)

Warnings on the Journey to Jerusalem

21 After(AR) we tore ourselves away from them, we set sail straight for Cos, the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. Finding a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we boarded and set sail. After we sighted Cyprus, passing to the south of it,[o] we sailed on to Syria and arrived at Tyre, since the ship was to unload its cargo there. We sought out the disciples and stayed there seven days. Through the Spirit they told Paul not to go to Jerusalem.(AS) When our time had come to an end, we left to continue our journey, while all of them, with their wives and children, accompanied us out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach to pray, we said farewell to one another and boarded the ship, and they returned home.

When we completed our voyage[p] from Tyre, we reached Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed with them for a day.(AT) The next day we left and came to Caesarea, where we entered the house of Philip(AU) the evangelist,(AV) who was one of the Seven, and stayed with him. This man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.(AW)

10 After we had been there for several days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 He came to us, took Paul’s belt, tied his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him over to the Gentiles.’”(AX) 12 When we heard this, both we and the local people pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”(AY)

14 Since he would not be persuaded, we said no more except, “The Lord’s will be done.”(AZ)

Conflict over the Gentile Mission

15 After this we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us and brought us to Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we were to stay.(BA)

17 When we reached Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters welcomed us warmly.(BB)


  1. 19:21 Or in his spirit
  2. 19:31 Lit not to give himself
  3. 19:33 Or thought it was about Alexander
  4. 19:35 Other mss add goddess
  5. 19:37 Other mss read your
  6. 20:4 Other mss add to Asia
  7. 20:4 Other mss omit son of Pyrrhus
  8. 20:7 Other mss read the disciples
  9. 20:15 Other mss add after staying at Trogyllium
  10. 20:22 Or in my spirit
  11. 20:24 Other mss add with joy
  12. 20:26 Lit clean
  13. 20:28 Some mss read church of the Lord; other mss read church of the Lord and God
  14. 20:32 Other mss add brothers and sisters
  15. 21:3 Lit leaving it on the left
  16. 21:7 Or As we continued our voyage

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