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The Book of ACTS
THEME: Third missionary journey of Paul (Paul in Ephesus)
Paul's third missionary journey began in the previous chapter at verse 23 when he left Antioch. In this chapter he retraces part of his first and second missionary journeys. Then he comes to Ephesus, where he speaks daily in the school of Tyrannus for two years. Paul performs miracles which lead to the march against him led by Demetrius and his fellow silversmiths. The move is quieted by the town clerk who urges them to appeal to the law rather than resorting to violence.
Paul's Ministry In Ephesus (Acts 19:1-41)
Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, (KJV)
The upper coasts . . . the north parts, in which were Pontus, Bithynia, Phrygia and Galatia (Acts 18:23).
Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. (KJV)
He said unto them, have ye received the Holy Ghost . . . John's baptism was a sign of repentance from sin only, not a sign of new life in Christ. Like Apollos (Acts 18:24-26) these Ephesian believers needed more instruction on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They believed in Jesus as the Messiah, but they really did not understand the importance of His death and resurrection or the work of the Holy Spirit. Becoming a Christian involves turning from sin (repentance) and turning to Christ (faith). These "believers" were incomplete, like so many today.
And they said unto him, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost . . . this seems to be a strange answer, but we must remember,
- #1. These were disciples of John's doctrine, and that his preaching related particularly to the Messiah, and not to the Holy Ghost.
- #2. It seems that they had not heard that the Messiah had come, or had heard of Jesus of Nazareth.
- #3. They had no clear idea of the character and operations of the Holy Ghost. #4. But, they were in that state of mind, and they were willing to embrace the doctrine when it was proclaimed to them; thus showing that they were really under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
God may often produce important changes in the hearts and lives of sinners, even where they have no clear view of TRUE doctrines. In all such cases, however, as in this, there will be readiness of heart to embrace the truth where it is made known.
Paul had come through Ephesus on his return trip from his second missionary journey and had told them that he would come back to them if it was God's will. He had not stayed in Ephesus before and had had no ministry there. Now he returns to Ephesus, but he has been preceded there by that great preacher, Apollos. Apollos did not know anything about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ until Aquila and Priscilla had told him. All he had been preaching was the baptism of John (the Baptist), because that was all that he knew. The people who had heard him preach had been instructed only as far as the baptism of John and knew nothing of the Holy Spirit. They had not been taught about the Lord Jesus and did not know anything about Pentecost.
Acts 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. (KJV)
Paul realized that these people were baptized (in water), but were not saved (baptized by the Holy Ghost). Water baptism will NOT save you! http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_cults_baptismal_regeneration.htm
A person must trust Christ to be regenerated by the Spirit of God, and it is then that you are indwelt by the Spirit of God, and sealed by the Spirit of God, and are then baptized into the body of believers by the Spirit of God. This happens the moment you believe and trust Christ. Paul was aware that this had not happened to these people. Now Paul explains to them that they must trust the Lord Jesus to be saved. They respond to his message and many believe.
Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. (KJV)
John verily baptized . . . John did indeed baptize . . . With the baptism of repentance . . . John's baptism had a special relation to repentance, their professing that they did repent (turn away from) their sins (Mat.3:6).
Saying unto the people . . . the plan of Christ's coming was to turn the people from their sins, and to prepare them for the Coming of the Messiah. John therefore directed their attention mainly to Him that was to come (John 1:15,22-27).
That is, on Christ Jesus . . . these are the words of Paul, explaining what John taught. Paul taught them to believe in the Messiah, and that the Messiah WAS Jesus of Nazareth. Paul's argument is, that it was now necessary for them to profess publicly that Saviour to whom John the Baptist had borne such a precise testimony. Paul really says: "Jesus is the Messiah for whom John came to prepare the way; and as you have embraced John's doctrine, you must now publicly acknowledge that Redeemer by baptism in His Name." (Acts 2:38).
John's baptism (Mat.3:11; John 1:15,27,30).
Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (KJV)
When they heard this . . . . when they heard what Paul had said about the nature of John's baptism . . . They were baptized in the Name of Jesus (Acts 2:38). There is NO other instance in the New Testament of any persons having been re-baptized, it has been questioned by some critics whether it was done here. it is evident that these persons were re-baptized by the direction of Paul. There is no command to repeat baptism, as in the case of the Lord's Supper; and the nature and design of the ordinance evidently supposes that it is to be performed but once. The disciples of John were re-baptized, not because baptism is designed to be repeated, but because they never had been baptized in the manner prescribed by the Lord Jesus.
The "baptism of John" was a "baptism of repentance." It was a preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, now the people turn to Christ and are saved. They did not get saved under Apollos because he did not even know about Christ when he preached to them. Some people interpret this Passage to mean that they had been saved, and then later when Paul came they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 19:6-7 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve. (KJV)
These men could now speak the Gospel in other languages, in tongues that could be understood. Ephesus was a city of the Roman Empire, and there were many languages spoken there, just as there had been in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. East and West met all along that coast. It was a great city of that day. These men were now able to give the good news of Christ to the entire city.
Notice there were twelve men. This was the beginning of the ministry at Ephesus. Paul had a great ministry in Corinth and an even greater ministry in Ephesus.
Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. (KJV)
Persuading the things . . . trying to persuade them of the Truth of what was affirmed respecting the kingdom of God. Disputing (Acts 18:19) and persuading the things concerning Jesus (Acts 28:23).
Acts 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. (KJV)
But when divers . . . . when some were hardened, and believed not . . . when their hearts were hardened, and they became violently opposed to the Gospel. This happens SO often in today's world! When the Truth makes no impression on people, it is usually applied to the heart, and often means opposition to the Gospel.
But spake evil of that way . . . of the Gospel, the way, the path, or manner in which God saves men. It is my humble opinion that the vast majority of people today do NOT consider eternity. IF they did, they certainly would NOT harden their hearts and speak evil of "this way" (Acts 9:2).
Separated the disciples . . . removed them from the influence and society of those who were seeking to draw them away from the faith. This is often the best way to prevent the evil influence of others.
Disputing daily . . . This does not always mean disputation or contention, but is often used in a sense of reasoning, or of public preaching. Paul taught publicly, or reasoned on the subject of Christ in this place.
In the school of one Tyrannus . . . who this Tyrannus was, is not known. He probably was a Jew, who might not be unfavorable to Christians. In his school, Paul instructed the people. Christians at that time had no churches, and they were obliged to assemble in any place where it might be convenient to conduct public worship.
Acts 19:10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. (KJV)
Paul had to leave the synagogue after 3 months because there was much opposition toward him. He then moved and spoke daily in the school of Tyrannus.
What was this school of Tyrannus? It was a school that was conducted for the Ephesians. They took a nap in the middle of the day, probably for two or three hours. Paul, it seems, rented the space and at that time, in the middle of the day, where he preached the Word of God for two years. As a result, the whole province of Asia heard the Word of God, both the Jews and the Greeks.
It seemed that from here, the church in Colosse came into being. Paul wrote to the Colossians as he did to the Romans, before he had visited them. Yet he was the founder of those churches because of the simple fact that from the school of Tyrannus the Gospel went in all directions. When the Corinthians wanted Paul to come over to them, he wrote to them, "For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit. But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries" (1 Cor. 16:7-9). For two years the Gospel went out loud and clear and everyone in the province of Asia had heard it. Most likely the seven churches of Asia Minor (Rev.1-3) came into existence through the preaching of Paul the apostle there at Ephesus. This may have been where he had his greatest ministry.
Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: (KJV)
There are different words used in the Greek which our Bible translates as "miracles." Here the word for "miracle" is dunamis from which we get our word dynamite. It means "an act of power." God brought about special powers by the hands of Paul. He used quite well the gifts of an apostle.
Ephesus was a great religious center, possibly more so than Athens or any other place. The great temple of Diana was there, and the worship connected with it was satanic to the very core. In order to meet that kind of opposition and come out on top, God granted some special powers to Paul.
Acts 19:12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. (KJV)
So that from his body . . . these handkerchiefs which had been applied to Paul's body, were those which he had used to wipe away sweat, or those he had touched. A similar incident was the case of the woman who was healed by touching the hem of the Saviour's garment (Mat.9:20-22).
Unto the sick . . . it seems that the sick were some distance away, and were unable to go where Paul was.
Why was this was done like this? Possibly because:
- #1. The working of miracles in that region would greatly contribute to the spread of the Gospel.
- #2. We are not to suppose that there was any worth or sufficiency in the handkerchiefs or aprons or in the mere fact that they had touched the body of Paul, any more than there was in the hem of the Saviour's garment which the woman touched, or in the clay which He made use of to open the eyes of the blind man (John 8:6). It was the power of God!
- #3. The fact, that the miracles were done in this manner by garments which had touched his body, was a mere sign, or an evidence to the persons concerned, that it was done by the divinely given power of Paul, as the fact that the Saviour put his fingers into the ears of a deaf man, and spit and touched his tongue (Mark 7:33), was evidence to those who saw it, that the power of healing came from him. Carrying these aprons to the sick was a sign, or evidence to all concerned, that miraculous power was given to Paul by Almighty God.
Handkerchiefs . . . properly means a piece of linen with which sweat was wiped from the face. Or aprons . . . means literally, a half-girdle, a piece of cloth which was girded round the waist to preserve the clothes of those who were engaged in any kind of work. And the diseases departed . . . The sick were healed.
And the evil spirits. Matthew 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. (KJV) . . . It is evident that this power of working miracles contributed greatly to Paul's success among the people.
As far as I know, this is the only incident like this that ever took place . . . including the day in which we live. To me, it is almost to the point of blasphemy for ANYONE to send out a nice clean handkerchief and claim there is a power in it. Paul's handkerchief was an old sweat cloth that God used to rebuke the heathen, pagan religions of that day. Diseases were healed and evil spirits went out of them when they picked up these dirty, sweaty cloths.
Acts 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. (KJV)
When these "exorcists" saw what Paul did, they tried to duplicate it. As you shall see, it did NOT work!
Acts 19:14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. (KJV)
And there were seven sons of one Sceva a Jew . . . It is doubtful that Sceva was high priest among the Jews, as it is totally improbable that his sons would be wandering exorcists. But it could mean that he was a Jewish chief priest; a priest of distinction, and that he held the office of a ruler. The word chief priest, in the New Testament, usually refers to men of the sacerdotal order, who were also rulers in the sanhedrin. Sceva is a Greek name, but nothing more is known of him.
Which did so . . . commanded the devils in the Name of Jesus, to come out; at least they did reach one evil spirit, as follows.
Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? (KJV)
Jesus I know . . . His power to cast out devils I know. Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (KJV)
Paul I know . . . Paul had power to cast out devils (Acts 19:12).
But who are ye? . . . The evil spirit says: "You do NOT belong to Jesus or Paul; and you have no right or authority to attempt to work miracles in the Name of either of them."
Acts 19:16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (KJV)
The attempt of these sons of Sceva to TRY to duplicate the miracles of Paul did NOT work. It backfired to their humiliation and hurt, and was a great embarrassment for them.
Acts 19:17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. (KJV)
What an effect that this had. It caused the Name of the Lord Jesus to be spread through that entire pagan city. Ephesus was a great city, and it was shaken by this.
The miracles that Paul and the other apostles did were NOT the type of thing that you hear about today. The miracles of Paul shook Ephesus to its very foundation. The Name of the Lord Jesus was magnified through them.
Acts 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. (KJV)
Their deeds . . . the evil way they lived, meaning the magical arts which had been used, but also means iniquity in general. If you make a profession of religion, you must be willing to confess your sins and turn away from them (repent). Rom.10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (KJV) Pro.28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (KJV)
Acts 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. (KJV)
Curious arts . . . meaning magic and and sleight of hand (witchcraft), that were practiced so extensively in eastern countries, and very well known in Ephesus.
Brought their books. . . books which explained the voodoo and occult magic. And burned them before all men . . . their arts and offences had been public, and they now wanted to undo the evil, as much as lay in their power, so the books were burned publicly.
And they counted . . . the price was estimated at 50,000 pieces of silver, or $25,000. This probably was done by those who had listened carefully to Paul and had accepted Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. The exact value does NOT really matter. It was a large sum; and it is recorded to show that Christianity had power to induce men to forsake the occult and magic. We need that today! The Harry Potter craze is just one example of the satanic evils going on in today's modern world!
Acts 19:20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. (KJV)
So mightily . . . so powerfully. The Word of God had tremendous power in this wicked city. This power made them willing, not only to cease to practice the evils, but they gave up all hopes of future gains, and destroyed their property.
On this, may I say:
- #1. Christ has power to break the hold of sinners on unjust and dishonest means of living.
- #2. That those who have been engaged in an un-Christian and dishonorable practice, will abandon it when they become TRUE Christians.
- #3. That their hatred of their former way of life (whatever it was) will be, and must be confessed as publicly as was the offence.
- #4. That the evil practice (witchcraft, homosexuality, or whatever) will be abandoned. The only question you need ask yourself is: What is right? not, What will it cost me? A truly converted person must have a good conscience.
- #5. The conduct of those who had practiced witchcraft shows us what should be done by those who have been engaged in ANY evil avenue of life.
Acts 19:21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome. (KJV)
After these things were ended . . . meaning the experiences which Luke has recorded here. It apparently was Paul's intention to go to Rome on this missionary journey. The interesting thing is that he did go to Rome, but not the way he had planned to go.
Acts 19:22 So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season. (KJV)
This is when Paul wrote to the Corinthians. It seems that Timothy and Erastus delivered the letter.
Although the letter was addressed to the Corinthians, the letter would reach the people in Macedonia, which would include Philippi and Thessalonica, and also the churches in Achaia, which would include Athens and Corinth. It was in this letter that Paul wrote that a great and effectual door was open for him in Ephesus but that there were many adversaries. We can see now that the adversaries were satanic. Eph. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (KJV) Ephesus was a center of pagan religion and of Satan worship. The Satan worship we see today is not something new.
Acts 19:23 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. (KJV)
Christianity had no name for the churches at that time. There were no denominations. Christianity was simply called "that way." It was a new way! The WAY was the Lord Jesus Christ . . . John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)
Acts 19:24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; (KJV)
These shrines were either: #1. Portraits of the temple of Diana, in which was graven, or by any other art represented, that famous structure, which was afterwards burnt by Erostratus: or: #2. they were medals in which their idol Diana was designed according to her image, spoken of in Acts 19:35. They are called here, temples or shrines because they resembled and represented that shrine or temple.
These people were very superstitious and carried home to their houses and friends these "shrines" not only to show they had made the pilgrimage, but to bring about more devotions towards this idol.
The temple of Diana was a great pagan temple, and it was the center of business. It was the bank of that day. It was also the center hub of sin. Gross immorality took place around it. That temple was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the largest Greek temple that was ever built. It was beautiful and it was adorned with beautiful works of art, BUT the image of Diana or Artemis was awful. It was not the graceful Greek image of Diana, but was the crude, many-breasted, oriental Diana. They were selling those silver images, and it was big business. Paul's ministry was interfering with this.
Acts 19:25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. (KJV)
Whom he called together . . . that is, all the other craftsmen. With the workmen of like occupation . . . who were employed by him, and the rest of the masters in the the business.
And said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth . . . the workmen not only had a comfortable and sufficient livelihood, but the masters of the trade grew rich, such was the demand they had they for their goods. Their craft was very profitable to them.
Gain and getting or keeping a livelihood are great temptations, and it is this that helps keep up the superstition and false worship that abound in the world today.
Acts 19:26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: (KJV)
Demetrius appeals to their senses of seeing and hearing; they saw what was done in their own city, and they had heard how things were elsewhere; they might believe what they saw with their eyes, and they had reason to depend upon the report which was brought to their ears. He tells them what was Paul's doctrine; but he conceals the reasons of his doctrine; for there can be nothing more evident to wise man, than that there is but ONE God who made all things. Psalm 115:3-4 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. (KJV) Jer. 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. (KJV)
Demetrius speaks very contemptibly, as if Paul were a worthless tramp, who had the art of persuading and deluding people; he prevailed upon them to believe in Christ whom he preached, and turned away much people from the worshipping of idols, to the living God. Saying, that they be no gods which are made with hands . . . such as was their Diana, and the images of her, which these workmen made.
Demetrius says that if Paul's doctrine prevailed, as it had much already, their trade would be worth nothing, and their livelihood be lost.
I just have one thing more to say here: what about all the statues and images that are found today in churches and homes? Is this not wrong? I think this is WRONG!!! THAT is idolatry! God says it is wrong in the Ten Commandments! Catholics do NOT think so though!
Exodus 20:3-5 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (KJV) . . . I BELIEVE GOD! What about you?
Acts 19:27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. (KJV)
Demetrius told the silversmiths that not only was their craft in danger, and that they would be without work; but that it will be a reproach unto them to have had such a job. And on top of that, the temple of the great goddess Diana would be despised; this is made an aggravation to the loss of their all, and that religion should suffer too.
So, there was a great uproar of all the silversmiths led by Demetrius, because all this was centered around their bread and butter. They made those little images (idols) and sold them, and they were doing very well. Multitudes would come to the temple of Diana in Ephesus because it was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. These silversmiths were getting rich selling these images.
The worship of Diana had spread throughout all Asia. Ephesus was a center of commerce and a center of religion and a center of worship. It was a place where East and West met, and the worst in both cultures came to Ephesus.
This temple is said to have been burnt down the same day that Alexander was born, and that it was 220 years in rebuilding.
Acts 19:28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. (KJV)
The silversmiths were full of wrath! They went around the city shouting, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians."
Acts 19:29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre. (KJV)
Filled with confusion . . . tumults and noise; all conditions of men, high and low, immorally being met in such uproars.
Gaius . . . one born at Derbe, but living at Thessalonica (Acts 20:4). Aristarchus . . . (Acts 27:2; Col.4:10).
The theatre . . . a structure built for public uses: #1. Their sports or plays in any public solemnity were beheld. #2. Their speeches or orations in their common assemblies were heard. #3. Where they punished also their criminals; it being accommodated with several steps or seats higher than one another, and of vast extent for these purposes.
They wanted to get these Christians condemned and executed for their supposed sacrilege and blasphemy.
Acts 19:30 And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. (KJV)
Would have entered in unto the people . . . Paul probably would have addressed them, and defended his own cause. Paul would have been mobbed, and would have been killed. He already had one experience like that over in the Galatian country when he was stoned in Lystra (Acts 14:19).
Acts 19:31 And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre. (KJV)
This is a mob action taking place. "The chief of Asia" was political or religious officials, called Asiarchs, who advised Paul against trying to talk to the mob. They told him it would be foolish and would not do any good for him to get in the middle of the mob.
Acts 19:32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. (KJV)
Some therefore cried one thing, and some another . . . not in the church at Ephesus among the disciples, and friends of the apostle, as if they were divided in their sentiments about his going into the theatre, some being for it, and others against it . . . this was the people that were gathered together in the theatre, and they were not in agreement about the reason of this tumult. There was no form or order. The assembly was confused . . . an excellent description of this tumult. No one can give an account of the reason, end, or plan of their assembling together.
Acts 19:33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people. (KJV)
Alexander was most likely a convert who was with Paul, maybe the same as in 1Tim. 1:20; 2Tim. 4:14.
They drew Alexander out of the multitude . . . where he could not be seen and heard. He beckoned with the hand . . . to gain silence, as in Acts 12:17.
Acts 19:34 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. (KJV)
This was a typical mob. Many of them didn't even know why they were gathered together. But, notice that they do not give freedom of speech to anyone else. They would NOT permit Alexander to speak because #1. he was a Jew, and #2. all they had on their minds was their goddess: "Great is Diana of the Ephesians."
Acts 19:35 And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter? (KJV)
The townclerk had appeased the people. . . or secretary, who registered their acts, and intervened in all their meetings, he quieted the people down. .
The city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana . . . each country and city had their special "gods," which they worshipped, as Ephesus did this goddess Diana. These Ephesians took it to be their great glory, that they belonged to Diana.
Diana, the image which fell down from Jupiter . . . the people there believed that Diana had been sent down from heaven.
Acts 19:36 Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly. (KJV)
Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against . . . he did cunningly try to evade their clamor, and quiet their rage, by telling them that neither Paul, nor any other Christian or Jew, had any quarrel with their goddess or worship. For they simply were against ALL images that were made with hands . . . BUT theirs (Diana) was NOT such a one, because she being fallen down from heaven. He had to be a pagan; and his plan was only to quiet the people.
Acts 19:37 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. (KJV)
Neither robbers of churches . . . for they had not entered into their temple.
Nor yet blasphemers of your goddess . . . Paul had barely preached this truth amongst them, not upbraiding them for their idolatry; just as Michael, the archangel, brought no railing accusation against the devil, when he contended with him (Jude 1:9).
Acts 19:38 Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another. (KJV)
He tells them that if the silversmiths want to make a legal charge, the court is open.
Acts 19:39 But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. (KJV)
Other matters . . . than what belongs to the craft and business of Demetrius, and the artificers, relating to the government of the city, or maintaining the established religion, which ought not in such a confused manner to be treated of, but in an assembly called by lawful authority, which the Romans did usually call, at least, three times every month. It shall be determined in a lawful assembly . . . that is, called together according to law, and who have a right to hear, try, and judge causes, which such a confused lawless assembly as this in the theatre had not.
Acts 19:40 For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. (KJV)
For we are in danger of being called in question . . . he wisely reminds them of their danger; for being under the power of the Romans, it was no less than the loss of their liberties to assist any faction or rebellion. To make a riotous meeting together was capital, unless it were upon the sudden invasion of an enemy, or to but out some raging fire. The confusion caused by the mob could not be justified he said.
Acts 19:41 And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly. (KJV)
He told them that if they had some issue to bring up, they all should sit down and have an orderly meeting. In other words, they were to "sit down and shut up," for they were really in danger of being accused of rioting.
He dismissed the crowd. When he called their attention to what they were actually doing, the crowd broke up and the people went home. Paul's ministry in Ephesus is over now. He leaves Ephesus and goes back to Macedonia.
Book of Acts
Ch.1 . . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5 . . Ch.6 . . Ch.7 . . Ch.8 . . Ch.9 . . Ch.10 . . Ch.11 . . Ch.12 . . Ch.13 . . Ch.14 . . Ch.15 . . Ch.16 . . Ch.17 . . Ch.18 . . Ch.19 . . Ch.20 . . Ch.21 . . Ch.22 . . Ch.23 . . Ch.24 . . Ch.25 . . Ch.26 . . Ch.27 . . Ch.28