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Acts 19:28-41

Context

19:28 When 1  they heard 2  this they became enraged 3  and began to shout, 4  “Great is Artemis 5  of the Ephesians!” 19:29 The 6  city was filled with the uproar, 7  and the crowd 8  rushed to the theater 9  together, 10  dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, the Macedonians who were Paul’s traveling companions. 19:30 But when Paul wanted to enter the public assembly, 11  the disciples would not let him. 19:31 Even some of the provincial authorities 12  who were his friends sent 13  a message 14  to him, urging him not to venture 15  into the theater. 19:32 So then some were shouting one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had met together. 16  19:33 Some of the crowd concluded 17  it was about 18  Alexander because the Jews had pushed him to the front. 19  Alexander, gesturing 20  with his hand, was wanting to make a defense 21  before the public assembly. 22  19:34 But when they recognized 23  that he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison, 24  “Great is Artemis 25  of the Ephesians!” for about two hours. 26  19:35 After the city secretary 27  quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, what person 28  is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the keeper 29  of the temple of the great Artemis 30  and of her image that fell from heaven? 31  19:36 So because these facts 32  are indisputable, 33  you must keep quiet 34  and not do anything reckless. 35  19:37 For you have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers 36  nor blasphemers of our goddess. 37  19:38 If then Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint 38  against someone, the courts are open 39  and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges against one another there. 40  19:39 But if you want anything in addition, 41  it will have to be settled 42  in a legal assembly. 43  19:40 For 44  we are in danger of being charged with rioting 45  today, since there is no cause we can give to explain 46  this disorderly gathering.” 47  19:41 After 48  he had said 49  this, 50  he dismissed the assembly. 51 

1 tn Grk “And when.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

2 tn Grk “And hearing.” The participle ἀκούσαντες (akousante") has been taken temporally.

3 tn Grk “they became filled with rage” (an idiom). The reaction of the Ephesians here is like that of the Jews earlier, though Luke referred to “zeal” or “jealousy” in the former case (Acts 7:54).

4 tn Grk “and began shouting, saying.” The imperfect verb ἔκραζον (ekrazon) has been translated as an ingressive imperfect. The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in English and has not been translated.

5 sn Artemis was a Greek goddess worshiped particularly in Asia Minor, whose temple, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was located just outside the city of Ephesus.

6 tn Grk “And the.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

7 tn L&N 39.43 has “‘the uproar spread throughout the whole city’ (literally ‘the city was filled with uproar’) Ac 19:29.” BDAG 954 s.v. σύγχυσις has “confusion, tumult.”

8 tn Grk “they”; the referent (the crowd) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 sn To the theater. This location made the event a public spectacle. The Grand Theater in Ephesus (still standing today) stood facing down the main thoroughfare of the city toward the docks. It had a seating capacity of 25,000.

10 tn Grk “to the theater with one accord.”

11 tn Or “enter the crowd.” According to BDAG 223 s.v. δῆμος 2, “in a Hellenistic city, a convocation of citizens called together for the purpose of transacting official business, popular assemblyεἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὸν δ. go into the assembly 19:30.”

12 tn Grk “Asiarchs” (high-ranking officials of the province of Asia).

13 tn Grk “sending”; the participle πέμψαντες (pemyante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

14 tn The words “a message” are not in the Greek text but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

15 tn BDAG 242-43 s.v. δίδωμι 11 has “to cause (oneself) to go, go, venture somewhere (cp. our older ‘betake oneself’)…Ac 19:31.” The desire of these sympathetic authorities was surely to protect Paul’s life. The detail indicates how dangerous things had become.

16 tn Or “had assembled.”

17 tn Or “Some of the crowd gave instructions to.”

18 tn The words “it was about” are not in the Greek text but are implied; ᾿Αλέξανδρον (Alexandron) is taken to be an accusative of general reference.

19 tn BDAG 865 s.v. προβάλλω 1 has “to cause to come forward, put forwardτινά someone…push someone forward to speak in the theater…Ac 19:33.”

20 tn Or “motioning.”

21 sn The nature of Alexander’s defense is not clear. It appears he was going to explain, as a Jew, that the problem was not caused by Jews, but by those of “the Way.” However, he never got a chance to speak.

22 tn Or “before the crowd.” According to BDAG 223 s.v. δῆμος 2, “in a Hellenistic city, a convocation of citizens called together for the purpose of transacting official business, popular assemblyἀπολογεῖσθαι τῷ δ. make a defense before the assembly vs. 33.”

23 tn Grk “But recognizing.” The participle ἐπιγνόντες (epignonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

24 tn Grk “[they shouted] with one voice from all of them” (an idiom).

25 sn Artemis was a Greek goddess worshiped particularly in Asia Minor, whose temple, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was located just outside the city of Ephesus, 1.25 mi (2 km) northeast of the Grand Theater. Dimensions were 418 ft by 239 ft (125 m by 72 m) for the platform; the temple proper was 377 ft by 180 ft (113 m by 54 m). The roof was supported by 117 columns, each 60 ft (18 m) high by 6 ft (1.8 m) in diameter. The Emperor Justinian of Byzantium later took these columns for use in construction of the Hagia Sophia, where they still exist (in modern day Istanbul).

26 sn They all shouted…for about two hours. The extent of the tumult shows the racial and social tensions of a cosmopolitan city like Ephesus, indicating what the Christians in such locations had to face.

27 tn Or “clerk.” The “scribe” (γραμματεύς, grammateu") was the keeper of the city’s records.

28 tn This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo").

29 tn See BDAG 670 s.v. νεωκόρος. The city is described as the “warden” or “guardian” of the goddess and her temple.

30 sn Artemis was a Greek goddess worshiped particularly in Asia Minor, whose temple, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was located just outside the city of Ephesus.

31 tn Or “from the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).

sn The expression fell from heaven adds a note of apologetic about the heavenly origin of the goddess. The city’s identity and well-being was wrapped up with this connection, in their view. Many interpreters view her image that fell from heaven as a stone meteorite regarded as a sacred object.

32 tn Grk “these things.”

33 tn The genitive absolute construction with the participle ὄντων (ontwn) has been translated as a causal adverbial participle. On the term translated “indisputable” see BDAG 68-69 s.v. ἀναντίρρητος which has “not to be contradicted, undeniable.”

34 tn Grk “it is necessary that you be quiet.”

35 tn L&N 88.98 has “pertaining to impetuous and reckless behavior – ‘reckless, impetuous.’…‘so then, you must calm down and not do anything reckless’ Ac 19:36.” The city secretary was asking that order be restored.

36 tn Or perhaps, “desecrators of temples.”

37 sn Nor blasphemers of our goddess. There was no formal crime with which Paul could be charged. He had the right to his religion as long as he did not act physically against the temple. Since no overt act had taken place, the official wanted the community to maintain the status quo on these religious matters. The remarks suggest Paul was innocent of any civil crime.

38 tn BDAG 600 s.v. λόγος 1.a.ε has “ἔχειν πρός τινα λόγον have a complaint against someone19:38.”

39 tn L&N 56.1 has ‘if Demetrius and his workers have an accusation against someone, the courts are open’ Ac 19:38.”

40 tn The word “there” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The official’s request is that the legal system be respected.

41 tn Or “anything more than this.”

42 tn Or “resolved.”

43 tn Or “in a legal meeting of the citizens.” L&N 30.81 has “ἐν τῇ ἐννόμῳ ἐκκλησίᾳ ἐπιλυθήσεται ‘it will have to be settled in a legal meeting of the citizens’ Ac 19:39.” This meeting took place three times a year.

44 tn Grk “For indeed.” The ascensive force of καί (kai) would be awkward to translate here.

45 tn The term translated “rioting” refers to a revolt or uprising (BDAG 940 s.v. στάσις 2, 3). This would threaten Roman rule and invite Roman intervention.

46 tn Or “to account for.” Grk “since there is no cause concerning which we can give account concerning this disorderly gathering.” The complexity of the Greek relative clause (“which”) and the multiple prepositions (“concerning”) have been simplified in the translation consistent with contemporary English style.

47 tn Or “commotion.” BDAG 979 s.v. συστροφή 1 gives the meaning “a tumultuous gathering of people, disorderly/seditious gathering or commotionAc 19:40.”

48 tn Grk “And after.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

49 tn Grk “And saying.” The participle εἰπών (eipwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

50 tn Grk “these things.”

51 sn Verse 41 in the English text is included as part of verse 40 in the standard critical editions of the Greek NT.



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