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20 In this way the word of the Lord[a] continued to grow in power[b] and to prevail.[c]

A Riot in Ephesus

21 Now after all these things had taken place,[d] Paul resolved[e] to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia[f] and Achaia.[g] He said,[h] “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”[i] 22 So after sending[j] two of his assistants,[k] Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia,[l] he himself stayed on for a while in the province of Asia.[m]

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  1. Acts 19:20 sn The word of the Lord is a technical expression in OT literature, often referring to a divine prophetic utterance (e.g., Gen 15:1, Isa 1:10, Jonah 1:1). In the NT it occurs 15 times: 3 times as ῥῆμα τοῦ κυρίου (rhēma tou kuriou; Luke 22:61, Acts 11:16, 1 Pet 1:25) and 12 times as λόγος τοῦ κυρίου (logos tou kuriou; here and in Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 16:32; 19:10; 1 Thess 1:8; 4:15; 2 Thess 3:1). As in the OT, this phrase focuses on the prophetic nature and divine origin of what has been said.
  2. Acts 19:20 tn The imperfect verb ηὔξανεν (ēuxanen) has been translated as a progressive imperfect, as has the following verb ἴσχυεν (ischuen).
  3. Acts 19:20 sn The word of the Lord…to prevail. Luke portrays the impact of Christianity in terms of the Lord’s transforming power in the lives of individuals.
  4. Acts 19:21 tn Grk “all these things had been fulfilled.”
  5. Acts 19:21 tn Grk “Paul purposed in [his] spirit” (an idiom). According to BDAG 1003 s.v. τίθημι 1.b.ε the entire idiom means “to resolve” (or “decide”): “ἔθετο ὁ Παῦλος ἐν τῷ πνεύματι w. inf. foll. Paul resolved 19:21.”
  6. Acts 19:21 sn Macedonia was the Roman province of Macedonia in Greece.
  7. Acts 19:21 sn Achaia was the Roman province of Achaia located across the Aegean Sea from Ephesus. Its principal city was Corinth.
  8. Acts 19:21 tn Grk “Achaia, saying.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence and the awkwardness in English of having two participial clauses following one another (“passing through…saying”), the participle εἰπών (eipōn) has been translated as a finite verb and a new sentence begun here in the translation.
  9. Acts 19:21 sn This is the first time Paul mentions Rome. He realized the message of Christianity could impact that society even at its heights.
  10. Acts 19:22 tn The aorist participle ἀποστείλας (aposteilas) has been taken temporally reflecting action antecedent to that of the main verb (ἐπέσχεν, epeschen).
  11. Acts 19:22 tn Grk “two of those who ministered to him.”
  12. Acts 19:22 sn Macedonia was the Roman province of Macedonia in Greece.
  13. Acts 19:22 tn Grk “Asia”; in the NT this always refers to the Roman province of Asia. The Roman province of Asia made up about one-third of modern Asia Minor and was on the western side of it. Asia lay to the west of the region of Phrygia and Galatia. The words “the province of” are supplied to indicate to the modern reader that this does not refer to the continent of Asia.