Acts 20:7

7 On 1the first day of the week, when 2we were gathered together to 3break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.

Acts 20:7 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 20:7

And upon the first day of the week
Or Lord's day, ( Revelation 1:10 ) and which Justin Martyr calls Sunday; on which day, he says F9, all, both in city and country, met in one place for religious worship; and on this day, it appears from hence, and from other places, that the apostles and primitive churches did meet together for religious exercises; see ( John 20:19 John 20:26 ) ( 1 Corinthians 16:2 ) and so they did at Troas at this time, as follows:

when the disciples came together to break bread;
not to eat a common meal, or to make a feast, or grand entertainment for the apostle and his company, before they departed; but, as the Syriac version renders it, "to break the eucharist", by which the Lord's supper was called in the primitive times; or as the Arabic version, "to distribute the body of Christ", which is symbolically and emblematically held forth in the bread at the Lord's table. Now on the first day of the week, the disciples, or the members of the church at Troas, met together on this occasion, and the apostle, and those that were with him, assembled with them for the same purpose; the Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions read, "when we were come together"; Paul and his company, together with the church at Troas; for it is plain from hence that there was a church in this place, not only by disciples being here, but by the administration of the Lord's supper to them; and so there was in after ages. Who was the first pastor or bishop of this church, is not certain; perhaps Carpus, of whom mention is made in ( 2 Timothy 4:13 ) though he is said to be bishop of other places; (See Gill on 2 Timothy 4:13). In the "second" century, in the times of Ignatius, there were brethren at Troas, from whence he wrote his epistles to the churches at Smyrna, and Philadelphia, and who are saluted in them by the brethren at Troas F11: in the third century, several martyrs suffered here, as Andreas, Paulus, Nicomachus, and Dionysia a virgin: in the "fifth" century, Pionius, bishop of Troas, was present at Constantinople at the condemnation of Eutyches, and afterwards he was in the council at Chalcedon; and even in the "eighth" century mention is made of Eustathius, bishop of Troas, in the Nicene council F12.

Paul preached unto them;
to the disciples that were gathered together, either before, or after, or at the time of breaking of bread; for this ordinance was not administered without some instructions about the nature, use, and design of it.

Ready to depart on the morrow;
this seems to be mentioned as a reason for what follows,

continued his speech until midnight:
since he was about to take his leave of them, and not knowing when he should see them again, or whether ever any more, he delivered a long discourse to them; which not only shows that he was full of matter, but that his affection for these saints, and his desire of doing them good, were very great, by imparting as much spiritual light and knowledge as he could unto them; and also his great zeal for the glory of God, and the interest of Christ, though he was to set forth on a journey the next morning.


F9 Apolog. 2. p. 98.
F11 Ignatii Epist. p. 9. 46. Ed. Voss.
F12 Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 3. c. 3. p. 11. cent. 5. c. 10. p. 603. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 4.

Acts 20:7 In-Context

5 But these had gone on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas.
6 We sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas within five days; and there we stayed seven days.
7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.
8 There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together.
9 And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead.

Cross References 3

  • 1. 1 Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10
  • 2. Acts 16:10; Acts 20:5-15
  • 3. Acts 2:42; Acts 20:11

Footnotes 1

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