Acts 20:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 20:10, NIV: "Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. 'Don't be alarmed,' he said. 'He's alive!'"

Acts 20:10, ESV: "But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.”"

Acts 20:10, KJV: "And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him."

Acts 20:10, NASB: "But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, 'Do not be troubled, for he is still alive.'"

Acts 20:10, NLT: "Paul went down, bent over him, and took him into his arms. 'Don't worry,' he said, 'he's alive!'"

Acts 20:10, CSB: "But Paul went down, bent over him, embraced him, and said, "Don't be alarmed, because he's alive.""

What does Acts 20:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul and his team are trying to reach Jerusalem by Pentecost (Acts 20:16). Many of those with him are probably accompanying donations from their church to the struggling believers in Jerusalem (Acts 20:4; Romans 15:26). Because of a series of misadventures, instead of sailing directly from Corinth to Caesarea Maritima, the team is skirting the coast of the Aegean Sea. They have reached Troas, a major port in modern-day Turkey, and Paul spends a week visiting with the church there.
On the first day of the week, the church gathers in the upper room of a home. Although a third-story room would typically be more open and better able to catch cross breezes than lower floors, this room is filled with people and oil lamps. Around midnight, a young man falls asleep and then tumbles out the window. By the time Paul reaches him, he's dead.

Paul's words bring to mind the story of Jesus and Jairus's daughter. Jairus left his mortally ill girl and rushed to Jesus, begging Him to come as she was "at the point of death." By the time they reached her, some in the house told them she had died. Jesus responded, "The child is not dead but sleeping." Jesus then went into her room and brought her back to life (Mark 5:23–24, 35–43).

Jairus's daughter and Eutychus stand in comparison with the resurrection of Lazarus. In his case, Jesus stayed away long enough that tradition would affirm Lazarus was good and truly dead. In fact, when Jesus told the mourners to remove the stone from the tomb entrance, Martha warned about the smell. Even so, Jesus raised him (John 11:1–44).

The wording of these verses allows for much debate. For example, there is disagreement on what Paul means by "his life is in him." Is Eutychus truly dead? Is he "just" brain dead? Genesis 9:4 says that life is in the blood. Luke, as a physician would know if Eutychus has a pulse; possibly the fall causes Eutychus's heart to stop beating. The Holy Spirit lets Paul know that Eutychus will live. Whether God heals him supernaturally, or whether all the jostling acts like chest compressions, we don't know.

It is easy to get bogged down in the details of a Bible story and miss the point. Paul is going to Jerusalem where Jews from Asia—the province that includes Troas—will incite the Jewish leadership and the Roman guards to arrest him (Acts 21:27–36). He will spend two years under house arrest in Caesarea Maritima, endure a dangerous sea voyage, and then spend two more years imprisoned in Rome (Acts 28:30). More than likely, while Paul is detained, the church in Troas will remember the night that Paul's long hours of teaching and discussion were interrupted by him bringing a man back to life, and they will trust in Christ all the more.