Acts 20:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 20:19, NIV: "I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents."

Acts 20:19, ESV: "serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews;"

Acts 20:19, KJV: "Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:"

Acts 20:19, NASB: "serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews;"

Acts 20:19, NLT: "I have done the Lord's work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews."

Acts 20:19, CSB: "serving the Lord with all humility, with tears, and during the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews."

What does Acts 20:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Miletus is on the west coast of modern-day Turkey. There, Paul is speaking with the elders of Ephesus. He left Ephesus a few months before after spending three years planting the church and building up the new believers in a city filled with witchcraft and demons.

Paul's time in Ephesus is recorded in Acts 19, but Luke doesn't mention especially harsh treatment from the Jews. Paul preached in the synagogue for three months until "some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation" (Acts 19:9). The account merely says that Paul left the synagogue and started the church in the hall of Tyrannus (Acts 19:10). It was a Gentile silversmith who started a riot because of Paul's work (19:23–41).

So, we don't know what the Jews in Ephesus did to Paul, but we know just their rejection of his message would break his heart. While he lived in Ephesus, he wrote to the Romans, saying he would rather forfeit his own salvation than watch his kinsmen reject their Messiah (Romans 9:1–5).

Paul will have significant trouble with Jews from around Ephesus when he is in Jerusalem. They will see him in town with the Ephesian Trophimus and assume he takes the Gentile into the temple. The crowd will drag Paul from the temple and threaten to kill him—only being arrested by the Romans will save him (Acts 21:27–36). Paul will spend the next five years imprisoned.