Acts 20:13-38

Nov 17, 2019 // By:Dave // No Comment

13 But we, going ahead to the ship, set sail for Assos, intending from there to take Paul on board; for so he had arranged it, intending himself to go by land.

20 miles on foot, 30 miles by boat  I would think he wants to walk, think with God alone.

14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene.

15 Sailing from there, we arrived the following day opposite Chios; and the next day we crossed over to Samos; and the day following we came to Miletus.

16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 19:21 tells us that he purposed in the Spirit to return to Jerusalem

He has already missed the Passover, Pentecost takes place 50 days afterwards.

We also know that he is trying to get money, collected from the gentile churches, back to jerusalem as well.

Acts 24:17 Paul makes mention of the offering.

17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.

Meet me along the way so I can save some time (perhaps “you guys are younger and can travel faster”)

18 And when they had come to him, he said to them, “You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time,

19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews;

Paul declares himself humble here  “with all humility”.

is calling oneself humble a contradiction ? (demonstrating lack of humility)

5425   [5012]   ταπεινοφροσύνης, tapeinophrosunēs, n.  [5424 + 5856].

5424   [5011]   ταπεινός, tapeinos, a.  [root of: 5425, 5426, 5427, 5428]. to lower or be lower

5856   [5424]   φρονέω, phroneō, v.  [5856]. to think, regard, hold an opinion; to set one’s mind on; to have a (certain) attitude

I would like to note that greek scholars indicate that while the root word appears in classical greek writings ( ταπεινός, tapeinos ), this new compound greek word does not, and appears to be “coined” for christian use and context along side the original use.

these two words combined basically mean “thinking of yourself as lower”

(lower than something or some one else since lower is a comparative application)

ταπεινοφροσύνη (tapeinophrosune) — 8 Occurrences

Acts 20:19 N-GFS

serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews

Ephesians 4:2 N-GFS

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love

Philippians 2:3 N-DFS

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves

Colossians 2:18 N-DFS

Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind

Colossians 2:23 N-DFS

These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence

Colossians 3:12 N-AFS

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience

1 Peter 3:8 Adj-NMP

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit

1 Peter 5:5 N-AFS

You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE

ταπεινός (tapeinos) appears 11 times

Matt. 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and alearn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and bYOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

Luke 1:48  “For aHe has had regard for the humble state of His 1bondslave; 

For behold, from this time on all generations will count me bblessed.

Luke 1:52  “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, 

And has aexalted those who were humble.

Phil. 3:21 who will atransform 1the body of our humble state into bconformity with 2the cbody of His glory, dby the exertion of the power that He has even to esubject all things to Himself.

Phil. 4:12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going ahungry, both of having abundance and bsuffering need.

James 1:9 ¶ aBut the 1brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position;

James 4:6 But aHe gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “bGOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

James 4:10 aHumble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

1Pet. 3:8 ¶ 1To sum up, aall of you be harmonious, sympathetic, bbrotherly, ckindhearted, and dhumble in spirit;

1Pet. 5:5 aYou younger men, likewise, bbe subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with chumility toward one another, for dGOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.

1Pet. 5:6 ¶ Therefore ahumble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

in 1 Pet 5:5 we have both words being used in same sentence.

1Pet. 5:5 aYou younger men, likewise, bbe subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves [γκομβόομαι, egkomboomai]with chumility [ταπεινοφροσύνη] toward one another, for dGOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE [ταπεινός].

cloth yourselves 1599   [1463]   γκομβόομαι, egkomboomai, v.  [1877]. is a rare word that refers to a slave putting on an apron before serving. So Christians are to imitate their Lord, who girded himself and served (as in John 13:4-17). 

here is a simple word study from roberts word pictures

the root word is the same but the mood is different which changes the declension or end of the word.

first word is first aorist middle imperative (subject of verb is acting upon itself)

second word is first aorist passive imperative(subject of verb

Gird yourselves with humility ( tēn tapeinophrosunēn egkombōsasthe). First aorist middle imperative of egkomboomai, late and rare verb (in Apollodorus, fourth cent. B.C.), here only in N.T., from en and kombos (knot, like the knot of a girdle). Egkombōma was the white scarf or apron of slaves. It is quite probable that Peter here is thinking of what Jesus did (John 13:4ff.) when he girded himself with a towel and taught the disciples, Peter in particular (John 13:9ff.), the lesson of humility (John 13:15). Peter had at last learned the lesson (John 21:15-19).

aorist = implies seeing the action as a whole (birds eye view)

middle = subject of verb commits the action upon himself

imperative = command from speaker/writer to the listener/reader

one of the best examples of aorist tense is in Matt 3:17

“This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased (εὐδόκησα)”. 

The aorist is not saying that God “was” pleased with Jesus (perhaps implying he was no longer pleased — that would be heresy), but that the sum total of his life, perhaps culminating in his humble submission to a sinner’s baptist, was pleasing to the Father.

εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ

Well, well, done, good and faithful servant! Matt 25:21

back to humility…

ταπεινοφροσύνη (tapeinophrosunēn)

have an ongoing mindset of a lifestyle of lowering yourself to serve others.

Humble yourselves therefore ( tapeinōthēte oun). First aorist passive imperative of tapeinoō, old verb, for which see Matthew 18:4. Peter is here in the role of a preacher of humility. “Be humbled.”

Phil. 2:5 aHave this attitude [φρονέω, phroneō] 1in yourselves which was also in bChrist Jesus,

Phil. 2:6 who, although He aexisted in the bform of God, cdid not regard equality with God a thing to be 1grasped,

Phil. 2:7 but 1aemptied Himself, taking the form of a bbond-servant, and cbeing made in the likeness of men.

Phil. 2:8 Being found in appearance as a man, aHe humbled [ταπεινός] Himself by becoming bobedient to the point of death, even cdeath 1on a cross.

James 4:6) that states God’s provision of grace to the submissive and God’s opposition to the proud. The verbs are present tenses, with something of the timeless character of a proverb, and stress that these actions are God’s constant activity.

20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house,

21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

22 “And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there,

23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.

He knows that persecution is waiting for him there.

24 “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

25 “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face.

what last words would you have to say to people you love if you knew you would not see them again ?

26 “Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.

27 “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.

watchmen reference in verse 26  from Ezek 33 (his innocence of other’s blood (their judgement for lack of repentance) is based upon his declaration in verse 27.

lets see what Paul’s last words are to the elders of the Church of Ephesus…

28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

29 “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;

30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

31 “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.

32 “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

33 “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes.

34 “You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me.

35 “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

36 When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

37 And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him,

38 grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.

clothe yourselves with the apron of servanthood representing an attitude of humility toward one another

γκομβόομαι ταπεινοφροσύνη

egkomboomai tapeinophrosune


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