EUTYCHUS (yū'tĭ-kŭs, Gr. Eutychos, fortunate). A young man of Troas mentioned in Acts.20.9 who, while listening to Paul preach, was overcome with sleep and fell out of the third story window to his death. Paul then went down and restored him to life.
EUTYCHUS ū’ tə kəs
). A young man at Troas who fell from a third story window-seat during Paul’s prolonged nocturnal speech (Acts 20:7-12
). For a parallel occurrence, see Expr. Pap. III. 475.
Eutychus was a common slave name. He may have been a slave who had worked hard all day. He had taken a seat in the open window. Overcome by irresistible drowsiness in the hot, over-crowded room, he fell asleep and fell through the opening from the “third story.” He “was taken up dead” (v. 9). As an eyewitness of the event Luke had satisfied himself of the fact. Having embraced him, Paul quieted the tumult with the assuring words, “his life is in him” (v. 10). The presence of the lad alive at dawn greatly comforted the group (v. 12).
Efforts have been made to break the natural meaning of a restoration from the dead. That Eutychus only appeared to be dead is contrary to Luke’s precise statement (v. 9). Paul’s act of embracing the body is not the act of one investigating a case of apparent death; it clearly recalls the action of Elijah (1 Kings 17:21) and Elisha (2 Kings 4:34). To stamp the story as an unhistorical anecdote which Luke mistook for an actual miracle in his account is contrary to Luke’s known accuracy.
W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller (189614), 290, 291; R. O. H. Lenski, Interpretation of the Acts of the Apostles (1934), 819-828; F. F. Bruce, Commentary on the Book of the Acts (1954), 407-409; M. Dibelius, Studies in the Acts of the Apostles, Eng. tr. (1956), 17-19; C. S. C. Williams, The Acts of the Apostles (1957), 230, 231.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
The story of Eutychus occurs in the "we" section of Acts, and is therefore related by an eyewitness of the incidents (Ac 20:7-12). On the first day of the week the Christians of Troas had met for an evening service in an upper chamber, and were joined by Paul and his company. As he was to leave in the morning, Paul "prolonged his speech until midnight." A youth named Eutychus, who was sitting at the open window, became borne down with sleep owing to the lateness of the hour, and ultimately fell through the opening from the third story. He "was taken up dead." This direct statement is evaded by De Wette and Olshausen, who translate "for dead." Meyer says this expresses the judgment of those who took him up. However, Luke, the physician, is giving his verdict, and he plainly believes that a miracle was wrought by Paul in restoring a corpse to life. The intention of Luke in relating this incident is to relate a miracle. Paul went down and embraced the youth while comforting the lamenting crowd, "Make ye no ado; for his life is in him." The interrupted meeting was resumed, the bread was broken, and the conversation continued till break of day. "And they brought the lad alive, and were not a little comforted."