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Acts 19:26-35

Context
19:26 And you see and hear that this Paul has persuaded 1  and turned away 2  a large crowd, 3  not only in Ephesus 4  but in practically all of the province of Asia, 5  by saying 6  that gods made by hands are not gods at all. 7  19:27 There is danger not only that this business of ours will come into disrepute, 8  but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis 9  will be regarded as nothing, 10  and she whom all the province of Asia 11  and the world worship will suffer the loss of her greatness.” 12 

19:28 When 13  they heard 14  this they became enraged 15  and began to shout, 16  “Great is Artemis 17  of the Ephesians!” 19:29 The 18  city was filled with the uproar, 19  and the crowd 20  rushed to the theater 21  together, 22  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, 23  the disciples would not let him. 19:31 Even some of the provincial authorities 24  who were his friends sent 25  a message 26  to him, urging him not to venture 27  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. 28  19:33 Some of the crowd concluded 29  it was about 30  Alexander because the Jews had pushed him to the front. 31  Alexander, gesturing 32  with his hand, was wanting to make a defense 33  before the public assembly. 34  19:34 But when they recognized 35  that he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison, 36  “Great is Artemis 37  of the Ephesians!” for about two hours. 38  19:35 After the city secretary 39  quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, what person 40  is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the keeper 41  of the temple of the great Artemis 42  and of her image that fell from heaven? 43 

1 tn Grk “persuading.” The participle πείσας (peisa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

2 tn Or “misled.”

3 tn BDAG 472 s.v. ἱκανός 3.a has “of pers. ὄχλος a large crowdAc 11:24, 26; 19:26.”

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

5 tn Grk “Asia”; see the note on this word in v. 22.

6 tn The participle λέγων (legwn) has been regarded as indicating instrumentality.

7 tn The words “at all” are not in the Greek text but are implied.

sn Gods made by hands are not gods at all. Paul preached against paganism’s idolatry. Here is a one-line summary of a speech like that in Acts 17:22-31.

8 tn Or “come under public criticism.” BDAG 101 s.v. ἀπελεγμός has “come into disrepute Ac 19:27.”

9 sn Artemis was the name of 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.

10 tn BDAG 597 s.v. λογίζομαι 1.b has “εἰς οὐθὲν λογισθῆναι be looked upon as nothingAc 19:27.”

11 tn Grk “Asia”; see the note on this word in v. 22.

12 tn Or “her magnificence.” BDAG 488 s.v. καθαιρέω 2.b has “καθαιρεῖσθαι τῆς μεγαλειότητος αὐτῆς suffer the loss of her magnificence Ac 19:27”; L&N 13.38 has “‘and to have her greatness done away with’ Ac 19:27.”

sn Suffer the loss of her greatness. It is important to appreciate that money alone was not the issue, even for the pagan Ephesians. The issue was ultimately the dishonor of their goddess to whom they were devoted in worship. The battle was a “cosmic” one between deities.

13 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.

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

15 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).

16 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.

17 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.

18 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.

19 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.”

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

21 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.

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

23 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.”

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

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

26 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.

27 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.

28 tn Or “had assembled.”

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

30 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.

31 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.”

32 tn Or “motioning.”

33 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.

34 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.”

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

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

37 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).

38 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.

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

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

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

42 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.

43 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.



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