When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And had broken bread, and eaten.—Better, broken the bread and tasted. In the early usage of the Lord’s Supper the bread was not made, as in the Latin Church, in the form of circular wafers, nor cut up into small cubes, as in most Reformed Churches. The loaf, probably a long roll, was placed before the celebrant, and each piece was broken off as it was given to the communicant. Stress is laid on this practice in 1Corinthians 10:16, and indeed in the very term of “breaking of bread” as a synonym for the Lord’s Supper. (See Note on Acts 2:46.) Whether the next act of “eating” refers to the actual communion (we are obliged to use technical terms for the sake of definiteness), or to a repast, or Agapè, we have no adequate data for deciding. The use of the same verb, however, in “tasting of the heavenly gift,” in Hebrews 6:4, suggests the former, and it is probable that the portion of bread and wine thus taken, in the primitive celebration, would be enough to constitute a real refreshment, and to enable the Apostle to continue his discourse.
Even till break of day.—The whole service must have lasted some seven or eight hours, sunrise at this time of the year, shortly after the Passover, being between 5 and 6 A.M. The inconvenience of such a protracted service led, as has been stated (see Note on Acts 20:7), to the transfer of the Lord’s Supper from the evening of Saturday to the early morning of Sunday, a position which, with some moderate variations, it has retained ever since, till the introduction in recent times of the yet more primitive practice of an evening celebration.Acts 20:8.
and talked a long while, even till break of day—How lifelike this record of dear Christian fellowship, as free and gladsome as it was solemn! (See Ec 9:7).Had broken bread; either in the eucharist, as in Acts 20:7, or in taking his ordinary refection and breakfast.
Talked a long while, even till break of day; this was of long continuance, and speaks the patience and zeal of Christians in those times, and will rise up in judgment against a careless and negligent generation.
He departed; going that part of his journey on foot, as the rest of his company did go by sea, as Acts 20:13.
and had broken bread and eaten; administered the Lord's supper, and also eat for his bodily refreshment:
and talked a long while: about the ordinance and the doctrines of the Gospel, and spiritual experience, and such like divine things:
even till break of day; not knowing when to leave off:
so he departed; without taking any rest; though before he departed, what follows was done; it was at this time he left his cloak, books, and parchments here, 2 Timothy 4:13.When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 20:11-12. On account of the discoursings the intended partaking of the Agapae (Acts 20:7) had not yet taken place. But by the fall of the young man these discoursings were broken off; and now, after Paul had returned to the room, he commences, as the father of a family among those assembled, the so long deferred meal—he breaks the bread, and eats, and discourses at table (comp. Chrysostom) until break of day, whereupon he thus (οὕτως, after all that is mentioned in ἀναβὰς … αὐγῆς; see Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 262 [E. T. 306]) leaves the place of meeting. After his departure, they (“qui remanserant apud adolescentem,” Erasmus) brought the lad alive (into the room), and they (those assembled) were by this greatly (οὐ μετρίως, often so with Plutarch, also in Isocrates and others) comforted over their separation from the apostle, who had left behind such a σημεῖον of his miraculous power.
κλάσας τὸν (see the critical remarks) ἄρτον stands in definite reference to κλάσαι ἄρτ., Acts 20:7, and therefore the article is put. Piscator, Grotius, Kuinoel, and others erroneously hold that a breakfast is meant, which Paul partook of to strengthen him for his journey, and that therefore γευσάμ. is subjoined. But the Agape was, in fact, a real meal, and therefore γευσάμ. denotes nothing else than that Paul had begun to partake of it. It is only added to bring more prominently forward this partaking as having at length taken place.
ὁμιλήσας, as in Luke 24:14; more familiar than διαλεγ., Acts 20:9. Comp. Acts 10:24.
ἤγαγον] they brought him, so that he came into the midst of them; but only now, so that thus subsequently to his revival, Acts 20:10, he must have gradually recovered, in order to be able to return into the room.
τὸν παῖδα] he must consequently have been still very young.
ζῶντα] Opposed to νεκρός, Acts 20:9, and for the joyful confirmation of the words of the apostle, Acts 20:10.Acts 20:11. κλάσας ἄρτον: if we read τὸν ἄρ., see critical note, “the bread,” so R.V., i.e., of the Eucharist; so Syriac. The words evidently refer back to Acts 20:7, see Blass, Gram., p. 148.—γευσ.: often taken to refer not to the Eucharist, but to the partaking of the Agape or common meal which followed. If so, it certainly appears as if St. Paul had soon taken steps to prevent the scandals which occurred in Corinth from the Holy Communion being celebrated during or after a common meal, 1 Corinthians 9:23, since here the Eucharist precedes, Luckock, Footprints of the Apostles as traced by St. Luke, ii., 199. Wendt, who still identifies the breaking of the bread with the Agape (so Holtzmann, Weiss), protests against the view of Kuinoel and others that reference is here made to a breakfast which St. Paul took for his coming journey. Dean Plumptre refers to the use of γεύομαι in Hebrews 6:4 as suggesting that here too reference is made to the participation of the Eucharist; but, on the other hand, in Acts 10:10 (see Blass, in loco) the word is used of eating an ordinary meal, and Wendt refers it to the enjoyment of the Agape (cf. also Knabenbauer, in loco). Weiss urges that the meaning of simply “tasting” is to be adopted here, and that τε shows that Paul only “tasted” the meal, i.e., the Agape, and hurried on with his interrupted discourse, whilst Lewin would take γευσ. absolutely here, and refer it to a separate ordinary meal; although he maintains that the previous formula κλάσ. τὸν ἄρτον must refer to the Eucharist. In LXX the verb is frequent, but there is no case in which it means definitely more than to taste, although in some cases it might imply eating a meal, e.g., Genesis 25:30; for its former sense see, e.g., Jonah 3:7. In modern Greek γευματίζω = to dine, so γεῦμα = dinner.—ἐφʼ ἱκανόν τε ὁμιλ.: on St. Luke’s use of ἱκανός with temporal significance see above on p. 215, cf. with this expression 2Ma 8:25. ὁμιλ.: only in Luke in N.T., cf. Luke 24:14-15, Acts 24:26; here, “talked with them,” R.V., as of a familiar meeting, elsewhere “communed,” R.V.; so in classical Greek, and in Josephus, and also in modern Greek (Kennedy); in LXX, Daniel 1:19 : ὡμίλησεν αὐτοῖς ὁ β., “the king communed with them”. In the passage before us the alternative rendering “when he had stayed in their company” is given by Grimm-Thayer, sub v.—ἄχρις αὐγῆς, cf. Polyaen., iv., 18, κατὰ τὴν πρώτην αὐγὴν τῆς ἡμέρας (Wetstein); only here in N.T., found in Isaiah 59:9, 2Ma 12:9, but not in same sense as here.—οὕτως, cf. Acts 20:7, after a participle, as often in classical Greek, Simcox, Language of the N. T., p. 175, see also Acts 27:17, and Viteau, Le Grec du N. T., p. 190 (1893).11. When he therefore was come up again] Better (with Rev. Ver.), “And when he was gone up.” The Apostle’s calmness, as well as his words, was not without effect on the congregation. He returns to the upper room, and the unfinished act of worship is completed.
and had broken bread] The best texts give “the bread,” i.e. the bread of the Eucharistic service.
and eaten] i.e. partaken of the more substantial meal of the “Agapæ,” which in the early church followed after the Communion.
and talked a long while] The verb implies the talking of persons one with another, the talk of friendly intercourse, as distinguished from the previous discourse on more solemn subjects of the spread of Christ’s kingdom and the part each of them might take in helping it on. So the Rev. Ver. well, “and had talked with them a long while.”Acts 20:11. Κλάσας ἄρτον, having broken bread) This breaking of bread was the particular act of Paul, when about to set out on his journey, and was distinct from that which had occurred the day before, Acts 20:7.—ὁμιλήσας, having spoken with them) in more familiar discourse, after the more solemn address, of which Acts 20:9 treats.—οὕτως, so) No taking of rest intervening.Verse 11. - And when he was gone up for when he therefore was come up again, A.V.; the bread for bread, A.V. and T.R.; had talked with them for talked, A.V. Had broken the bread; i.e. the bread already prepared, and spoken of in ver. 7 (where see note), but which had not yet been broken in consequence of Paul's long discourse. And eaten. Γενσάμενος does not seem to mean "having eaten of the bread broken," for the word is never used of the sacramental eating of bread. That word is always φάγειν (1 Corinthians 11:20, 24) or ἐσθίειν (1 Corinthians 11:26, 27, 28, 29). But γευσάμενος seems rather to be taken absolutely, as in Acts 10:10, "having eaten," meant "having partaken" of the meal, the agape, which followed the Eucharist. Talked with them (ὁμιλήσας). Of familiar converse (Luke 24:14, 15; Acts 24:26). Compare the use of ὁμιλία in 1 Corinthians 15:33; from whence, of course, comes the word" homily." Ver. 12. - Lad for young man, A.V.
From the court to the chamber above.
Rather, communed. It denotes a more familiar and confidential intercourse than discoursed, in Acts 20:7.
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