Paul as a type of Christ, esp with the events surrounding his
death and resurrection: (1) Journey to Jerusalem: Jesus: Luke 9-19. Paul: Acts
19-21; (2) Suffering and four trials: Jesus: Luke 20-23. Paul: Acts 21-26; (3)
Death: Jesus: Luke 23. Paul: Acts 27 (shipwreck); (4) Resurrection: Jesus: Luke
24. Paul: Acts 28 (escape from the depths).
Act 19: "This chapter introduces the activity of Apollos, a
man of great ability, who supported the work of the apostle Paul. His influence
was enriched by the knowledge of the Truth. In Ephesus, the apostle came in
conflict with many of different trades: vagabonds, exorcists and shrine makers.
He was challenged by Demetrius and the envious union of the great goddess Diana,
with the great god 'Self' whose worship still exists, though Diana is long
extinct. The Truth calls men and women of courage and devotion, who are prepared
to stand up for the things of Yahweh, and remain faithful to the exalted
calling, whatever the costs" (GEM).
THAT THERE IS A HOLY SPIRIT: Or, 'that the Holy Spirit
has been given.'
Alternatively, since the Holy Spirit was a prominent part of
John Baptist's preaching (Luk 3:16), these particular men -- in distinction to
others -- were seriously deficient, thus explaining their need for
SOME JEWS... TRIED TO INVOKE THE NAME OF THE LORD
JESUS: "Contemporary pseudo-exorcists made a great show in repetition of
impressive religious names, and especially in the (invented) names of angels"
DEMON-POSSESSED: The actual Greek word "demon" is not
in this text at all. KJV reads: "Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists,
took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord
JESUS I KNOW, AND I KNOW PAUL: Why? Because Paul had
been preaching there for the past 2 years (Act 19:10), about Jesus (Act 19:13).
It is not unreasonable that even a mentally ill man, or a schizophrenic, might
have heard a considerable amount about the gospel.
BUT WHO ARE YOU?: That is, 'you are not behaving like
Paul... so why are you invoking his name?'
JUMPED ON THEM: "The both of them" (RV); ie, 2 of the
THEY WERE ALL SEIZED WITH FEAR: They see that those who
take Jesus' name in vain will be punished!
BROUGHT THEIR SCROLLS TOGETHER AND BURNED THEM
PUBLICLY: Were these disciples graduating from an imperfect to a more
perfect faith? Or new converts renouncing their old ways? Or both?
"The Word of God has power in this wicked city, and the power
must have been mighty, which would make them willing to destroy their property.
"From this instructive passage we may learn that:
True religion has the power to break the hold of
unjust and dishonest means of living over
Those who have been engaged in an
un-Christian and dishonorable practice will abandon it when they become
Their abhorrence of their former
course ought to be expressed as publicly as was the
The evil practice will be abandoned at
any sacrifice, however great. The question is 'what is right?' Not 'what will it
"If what they did when they were converted was right -- and
who can doubt it? -- it sets forth a great principle on which new converts
should act" (Barnes).
FIFTY THOUSAND DRACHMAS: At a day's wages per drachma
(as per the NIV margin), the total value could be several million dollars in
THE WORD OF THE LORD SPREAD WIDELY: Suggestion: did
this give rise to a new industry -- the copying of mss of OT and letters, to
replace the old industry that had been lost?
ERASTUS: "A name used three times in the NT of a friend
or friends of Paul. The Erastus of Rom 16:23 was a chamberlain or treasurer of
the city of Corinth who sent his greetings to the Christians at Rome. He appears
to be the same as mentioned much later in 2Ti 4:20 as remaining in Corinth. It
is hard to say if the Erastus sent by Paul from Ephesus into Macedonia is the
same man (Acts 19:22). He is mentioned as one who specifically ministered to
Paul, and may have followed him from Corinth to Ephesus in order to help him
there. A Latin inscription carved into a stone paving block near the theater at
Corinth states that for receiving the position of 'aedile' (treasurer) Erastus
laid this pavement at his own expense. Scholars generally agree that he is
Erastus of Rom 16:23" (WyE).
Vv 23-41: Since Paul remained in Ephesus until Pentecost (1Co
16:8), this riot probably occurred in May, the month given over to the festivals
and debauchery of the worship of Diana (SB 14:22-24).
THE TEMPLE OF THE GREAT GODDESS ARTEMIS: Diana is the
Latin name for the virgin goddess hunting, also identified with the moon and
Hecate, and patroness of childbirth. Her Gr name was Artemis. This twin sister
of the sun-god Apollo, chaste goddess of nature and protectress of wild animals,
especially of their young, was also regarded as the patroness of hunters. Armed
with a bow and arrow and accompanied by a bounding stag, this goddess of the
moon was a mighty huntress. To her the Spartans sacrificed a goat before each
battle. Young girls regarded her as the guardian of their maiden years. But in
Asia Minor during Roman times she was identified with the Phrygian
mother-goddess Cybele, a sensuous nature goddess... Diana of the Ephesians (Acts
19:24-37), as known from many statues of her image and as depicted on coins, had
her thorax covered with three or four rows of pendant breasts, or possibly
ostrich eggs, either of which were symbolic of fertility. The front of her
garment was trimmed with sequences of lions, goats, and other sacrificial
animals. Down the sides of her garment were alternate rows of nymphs, seashells,
sphinxes, bees and roses. Her mural crown was decorated with signs of the Zodiac
denoting the seasons, unlike the simple tiara symbolizing the crescent moon
which was characteristic of the Gr virgin huntress Artemis.
"Originally the Artemis worshiped at Ephesus was not a Gr
divinity but was Asiatic. Ultimately the various goddesses of love in Syria and
Asia Minor all owed their origin to the earlier Babylonian and Assyrian Ishtar
through the link of the Phoenician Astarte. She impersonated the reproductive
powers of man and animals and all other life. She assisted at childbirth.
Associated thus with the various fertility cults she became the patroness of
ceremonial prostitution, which was part of her worship at Ephesus.
"The great temple of Diana at Ephesus, called the Artemision
and considered as one of the seven wonders of the Hellenistic world, was the
scene of an annual festival in her honor during the month of Artemisios (in the
spring). The religious ceremonies included athletic, dramatic and musical
contests. Ephesus was proud of her position as 'temple-keeper' of Diana (Acts
19:35), a boast which has been found on inscriptions excavated there. The temple
treasury acted as a bank in which deposits were made by cities, kings and
private persons. Here the Ionians came with their wives and children, bringing
costly offerings and presents to the priests. Her worship was characterized by
sensuous orgies. Great throngs attended. Multitudes of female temple slaves or
'priestesses' who came as virgins were here dedicated to service in the temple
which may have included ritual or cultic prostitution.
"The silversmiths of Ephesus carried on a lucrative business
by the forging and sale of images of this goddess (Acts 19:23f). Hence it was
inevitable that Paul's message of Christianity should arouse their indignation
because it jeopardized their trade" (WyE).
Facts about the temple: 425 feet by 220 feet. 127 white marble
columns, 62 feet tall. Capacity 57,000.
GAIUS AND ARISTARCHUS: Paul must have been
THEATER: A site now excavated. Capable of holding
25,000 to 50,000.
OFFICIALS OF THE PROVINCE: "Asiarches": persons of
wealth and position who presided over the games. They would have recognized and
implemented Rome's current policy of recognition and toleration toward all
religions that did not disturb the state (SB 14:25).
THE ASSEMBLY WAS IN CONFUSION...: A weakness of human
nature: most people can be so easily misled.
ALEXANDER: Poss the same as "Alexander the coppersmith"
(2Ti 4:14; cp 1Ti 1:20). He would have accused Paul and the Christians, but was
not allowed to speak because the crowd recognized him as a Jew.
// 1Ki 18:26.
CITY CLERK: "Recorder". On 66 other occasions,
WHICH FELL FROM HEAVEN: The translation of a single
Greek word meaning literally "from the sky", and probably ref to a meterorite in
which the worshipers of Artemis thought they detected a likeness of the goddess
and which they worshiped in the temple.
ROBBED TEMPLES: AV has "robbers of churches" (Acts
19:37) is the Greek "hierosulos" -- "hiero" being lit "temple". This is the only
occasion in the KJV that "church" is not the translation of the Greek
WE ARE IN DANGER OF BEING CHARGED...: 'It might even be
that these Christians will want to take YOU to court!'