26 June. Acts 19:23-20:1

26 June. Demetrius, a silversmith, causes a riot in Ephesus

"During that time, there was some serious trouble in Ephesus about the Way of Jesus [as Christianity was then called]. A man named Demetrius, who worked with silver, made little silver models that looked like the temple of the goddess Artemis [or Diana]."

"Those who did this work made much money. Demetrius had a meeting with them and some others who did the same kind of work. He told them, 'Men, you know we make a lot of money from our business. But look at what this man Paul is doing. He has convinced and turned away many people in Ephesus and in almost all of Asia [Minor]. He says that gods made by human hands are not real.'"

"'There is a danger that our business will lose it's good name, but there is also another danger: people will begin to think that the temple of the great goddess Artemis is not important. Her greatness will be destroyed, but Artemis is the goddess that everyone in Asia [Minor] and the whole world worships.'"

"When the others heard this, they became very angry and shouted, 'Artemis, the goddess of Ephesus is great!' The whole city became confused. The people grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, who were from Macedonia and were travelling with Paul, and ran to the theatre."

"Paul wanted to go in and talk to the crowd, but the followers did not let him... The meeting was completely confused; most of them did not know why they had come together. The Jews put a man named Alexander in front of the people... But when they saw that Alexander was a Jew, they all shouted the same thing for two hours, 'Great is Artemis of Ephesus.'"

"Then the city clerk made the crowd be quiet... You brought these men here, but they have not said anything evil about our goddess... I say this because some [Roman] people might see this trouble today and say that we are rioting. We could not explain this [to the Roman authorities], because there is no real reason for this meeting."

"After the city clerk said these things, he told the people to go home. when the trouble stopped, Paul sent for the followers to come to him. After he had encouraged them and said goodbye, he left and went to the country of Macedonia [northern Greece]."

          (Acts 19:23 - 20:1)

 

 

Paul decided to visit Macedonia and Achaia (northern and southern Greece) in the autumn of 56AD, to collect offerings for the impoverished believers in Judaea, before visiting Jerusalem in 57AD and then going on to Rome. So he sent Timothy and Erastus on ahead to Macedonia (see Acts 19:21-22).

Meanwhile in Ephesus, Paul fell foul of Demetrius – a silversmith who made silver images of the pagan fertility goddess Artemis (called ‘Diana’ by the Romans), and made models of her temple, for visitors to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.

Demetrius, suffering a loss in trade, stirred up a riot, and Paul’s companions Gaius and Aristarchus were dragged into the theatre. Even Alexander – a local Jewish spokesman – was drowned out by the crowds chanting “Great is Artemis of Ephesus!” (Acts 19:34).

Eventually, a town official quietened the mob and insisted that any charges must be made through the magistrate’s court. He warned that the Romans would have no sympathy with the town's citizens if they sent in their soldiers to quell the riot.

After this dangerous confrontation, Paul left immediately for Troas, and sailed on to Macedonia where Timothy and Erastus were waiting for him (see 2 Corinthians 2:12-13).

The photo shows the Roman theatre and the Arcadian Way in Ephesus.

You can discover more @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/the-silversmiths-riot-in…/


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