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Acts 19:13-19

Context
19:13 But some itinerant 1  Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name 2  of the Lord Jesus over those who were possessed by 3  evil spirits, saying, “I sternly warn 4  you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 19:14 (Now seven sons of a man named 5  Sceva, a Jewish high priest, were doing this.) 6  19:15 But the evil spirit replied to them, 7  “I know about Jesus 8  and I am acquainted with 9  Paul, but who are you?” 10  19:16 Then the man who was possessed by 11  the evil spirit jumped on 12  them and beat them all into submission. 13  He prevailed 14  against them so that they fled from that house naked and wounded. 19:17 This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, 15  both Jews and Greeks; fear came over 16  them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised. 17  19:18 Many of those who had believed came forward, 18  confessing and making their deeds known. 19  19:19 Large numbers 20  of those who had practiced magic 21  collected their books 22  and burned them up in the presence of everyone. 23  When 24  the value of the books was added up, it was found to total fifty thousand silver coins. 25 

1 tn Grk “some Jewish exorcists who traveled about.” The adjectival participle περιερχομένων (periercomenwn) has been translated as “itinerant.”

2 tn Grk “to name the name.”

3 tn Grk “who had.” Here ἔχω (ecw) is used of demon possession, a common usage according to BDAG 421 s.v. ἔχω 7.a.α.

4 sn The expression I sternly warn you means “I charge you as under oath.”

5 tn Grk “a certain Sceva.”

6 sn Within the sequence of the narrative, this amounts to a parenthetical note by the author.

7 tn Grk “answered and said to them.” The expression, redundant in English, has been simplified to “replied.”

8 tn Grk “Jesus I know about.” Here ᾿Ιησοῦν (Ihsoun) is in emphatic position in Greek, but placing the object first is not normal in contemporary English style.

9 tn BDAG 380 s.v. ἐπίσταμαι 2 has “know, be acquainted with τινάτὸν Παῦλον Ac 19:15.” Here the translation “be acquainted with” was used to differentiate from the previous phrase which has γινώσκω (ginwskw).

10 sn But who are you? This account shows how the power of Paul was so distinct that parallel claims to access that power were denied. In fact, such manipulation, by those who did not know Jesus, was judged (v. 16). The indirect way in which the exorcists made the appeal shows their distance from Jesus.

11 tn Grk “in whom the evil spirit was.”

12 tn Grk “the man in whom the evil spirit was, jumping on them.” The participle ἐφαλόμενος (efalomeno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. L&N 15.239 has “ἐφαλόμενος ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐπ᾿ αὐτούς ‘the man jumped on them’ Ac 19:16.”

13 tn Grk “and beating them all into submission.” The participle κατακυριεύσας (katakurieusa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. According to W. Foerster, TDNT 3:1098, the word means “the exercise of dominion against someone, i.e., to one’s own advantage.” These exorcists were shown to be powerless in comparison to Jesus who was working through Paul.

14 tn BDAG 484 s.v. ἰσχύω 3 has “win out, prevailκατά τινος over, against someone Ac 19:16.”

15 map For location see JP1 D2; JP2 D2; JP3 D2; JP4 D2.

16 tn Grk “fell on.” BDAG 377 s.v. ἐπιπίπτω 2 has “φόβος ἐ. ἐπί τινα fear came upon someoneAc 19:17.”

17 tn Or “exalted.”

18 tn Grk “came”; the word “forward” is supplied in the translation to clarify the meaning and to conform to the contemporary English idiom.

19 tn Or “confessing and disclosing their deeds.” BDAG 59 s.v. ἀναγγέλλω 2 has “W. ἐξομολογεῖσθαι: . τὰς πράξεις αὐτο'ν make their deeds known Ac 19:18.”

sn Making their deeds known. Ephesus was a major pagan religious center with much syncretistic “magical” practice. Coming to Jesus changed the lives and attitudes of these believers, creating a social impact.

20 tn BDAG 472 s.v. ἱκανός 4.a has “many, quite a few” for ἱκανοί (Jikanoi) in this verse.

21 tn On this term see BDAG 800 s.v. περίεργος 2.

22 tn Or “scrolls.”

23 tn Or “burned them up publicly.” L&N 14.66 has “‘they brought their books together and burned them up in the presence of everyone’ Ac 19:19.”

24 tn Grk “and when.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.

25 tn Or “fifty thousand silver drachmas” (about $10,000 US dollars). BDAG 128 s.v. ἀργύριον 2.c states, “ἀργυρίου μυριάδας πέντε 50,000 (Attic silver) drachmas Ac 19:19.” Another way to express the value would be in sheep: One drachma could buy one sheep. So this many drachmas could purchase a huge flock of sheep. A drachma also equals a denarius, or a day’s wage for the average worker. So this amount would be equal to 50,000 work days or in excess of 8,300 weeks of labor (the weeks are calculated at six working days because of the Jewish cultural context). The impact of Christianity on the Ephesian economy was considerable (note in regard to this the concerns expressed in 19:26-27).



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