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While Apollos was at Corinth
(εν τω τον Απολλω εινα εν Κορινθω). Favourite idiom with Luke, εν with the locative of the articular infinitive and the accusative
of general reference (Lu 1:8; 2:27
Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye believed?
(ε πνευμα αγιον ελαβετε πιστευσαντεσ?). This use of Π in a direct question occurs in
1:6, is not according to the old Greek idiom, but is common in the LXX and the N.T. as in Lu 13:23
which see (Robertson, Grammar, p. 916). Apparently Paul was suspicious of the looks or conduct of these professed disciples. The first aorist active participle
πιστευσαντες is simultaneous with the second aorist active indicative ελαβετε and refers to the same event.
(εις τ). More properly,
With the baptism of repentance
(βαπτισμα μετανοιας). Cognate accusative with εβαπτισεν and the genitive μετανοιας describing the baptism as marked by (case
of species or genus), not as conveying, repentance just as in Mr 1:4
and that was the work of the Holy Spirit. But John preached also the baptism of the Holy Spirit which the Messiah was to bring
(Mr 1:7f.; Mt 3:11f.; Lu 3:16
). If they did not know of the Holy Spirit, they had missed the point of John's baptism.
37773777 The name of the Lord Jesus (το ονομα τον κυριου Ιησου). Apollos was not rebaptized. The twelve apostles were not rebaptized. Jesus received no other baptism than that of John. The point here is simply that these twelve men were grossly ignorant of the meaning of John's baptism as regards repentance, the Messiahship of Jesus, the Holy Spirit. Hence Paul had them baptized, not so much again, as really baptized this time, in the name or on the authority of the Lord Jesus as he had himself commanded (Mt 28:19 ) and as was the universal apostolic custom. Proper understanding of "Jesus" involved all the rest including the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Luke does not give a formula, but simply explains that now these men had a proper object of faith (Jesus) and were now really baptized.
When Paul had laid his hands upon them
(επιθεντος αυτοις του Παυλου χειρας). Genitive absolute of second aorist active participle of επιτιθημ. This act of laying
on of the hands was done in Samaria by Peter and John (8:16) and in Damascus in the case of Paul (9:17) and was followed as
here by the descent of the Holy Spirit in supernatural power.
(επαρρησιαζετο). Imperfect middle, kept on at it for three months. Cf. same word in
But when some were hardened
(ως δε τινες εσκληρυνοντο). Imperfect passive of σκληρυνω, causative like hiphil in Hebrew, to make hard (σκληρος) or rough or harsh (Mt 25:24
). In LXX and Hippocrates and Galen (in medical writings). In N.T. only here and Ro 9:18
and 4 times in Heb 3:8,13,15; 4:7,8
quoting and referring to Ps 95:8
about hardening the heart like a gristle. The inevitable reaction against Paul went on even in Ephesus though slowly.
For two years
(επ ετη δυο). Note επ with accusative for extent of time as in verse
8, επ μηνας τρεις and often. But in
20:31 Paul said to the Ephesian elders at Miletus that he laboured with them for the space of "three years." That may be a
general expression and there was probably a longer period after the "two years" in the school of Tyrannus besides the six
months in the synagogue. Paul may have preached thereafter in the house of Aquila and Priscilla for some months, the "for
a while" of verse
37823782 Special miracles (δυναμεις ου τας τυχουσας). "Powers not the ones that happen by chance," "not the ordinary ones," litotes for "the extraordinary." All "miracles" or "powers" (δυναμεις) are supernatural and out of the ordinary, but here God regularly wrought (εποιε), imperfect active) wonders beyond those familiar to the disciples and completely different from the deeds of the Jewish exorcists. This phrase is peculiar to Luke in the N.T. (also 28:2), but it occurs in the classical Greek and in the Koine as in III Macc. 3:7 and in papyri and inscriptions (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 255). In Samaria Philip wrought miracles to deliver the people from the influence of Simon Magus. Here in Ephesus exorcists and other magicians had built an enormous vogue of a false spiritualism and Paul faces unseen forces of evil. His tremendous success led some people to superstitious practices thinking that there was power in Paul's person.
(σουδαρια). Latin word for συδορ (sweat). Used in Lu 19:20; Joh 11:44; 20:7
. In two papyri marriage-contracts this word occurs among the toilet articles in the dowry (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 223).
Of the strolling Jews, exorcists
(των περιερχομενων Ιουδαιων εξορκιστων). These exorcists travelled around (περ) from place to place like modern Gypsy fortune-tellers.
The Jews were especially addicted to such practices with spells of sorcery connected with the name of Solomon (Josephus, Ant. VIII. 2.5). See also Tobit 8:1-3. Jesus alludes to those in Palestine (Mt 12:27; Lu 11:19
). The exorcists were originally those who administered an oath (from εξορκιζω, to exact an oath), then to use an oath as
a spell or charm. Only instance here in the N.T. These men regarded Paul as one of their own number just as Simon Magus treated
Simon Peter. Only here these exorcists paid Paul the compliment of imitation instead of offering money as Magus did.
37853785 Seven sons of Sceva (Σκευα επτα υιο). Who this Sceva was we do not know. If a high priest, he was highly connected in Jerusalem (cf. 5:24). Some MSS. have ruler instead of priest. His name may be Latin in origin. Σκευα has Doric form of genitive. But that he had seven sons in this degraded business shows how Judaism had fared poorly in this superstitious city. Did they imagine there was special power in the number seven?
Jesus I know
(τον Ιησουν γινωσκω). "The (whom you mention) Jesus I recognize (γινωσκω)" and "the (whom you mentioned) Paul I am acquainted
with (τον Παυλον επισταμα)." Clear distinction between γινωσκω and επισταμα.
Leaped on them
(εφαλομενος επ' αυτους). Second aorist (ingressive) middle participle of εφαλλομα, old verb to spring upon like a panther,
here only in the N.T.
(ηρχοντο). Imperfect middle, kept coming, one after another. Even some of the believers were secretly under the spell of
these false spiritualists just as some Christians today cherish private contacts with so-called occult powers through mediums,
seances, of which they are ashamed.
Not a few of them that practised curious arts
(ικανο των τα περιεργα πραξαντων). Considerable number of the performers or exorcists themselves who knew that they were
humbugs were led to renounce their evil practices. The word περιεργα (curious) is an old word (περι, εργα) originally a piddler
about trifles, a busybody (1Ti 5:13
), then impertinent and magical things as here. Only two examples in the N.T. It is a technical term for magic as the papyri
and inscriptions show. Deissmann (Bible Studies, p. 323) thinks that these books here burned were just like the Magic Papyri now recovered from Egypt.
(κατα κρατος). According to strength. Only here in N.T., common military term in Thucydides. Such proof of a change counted.
Purposed in the spirit
(εθετο εν τω πνευματ). Second aorist middle indicative for mental action and "spirit" expressed also. A new stage in Paul's
career begins here, a new division of the Acts.
Timothy and Erastus
(Τιμοθεον κα Εραστον). Paul had sent Timothy to Corinth (1Co 4:17
) and had requested kindly treatment of this young minister in his difficult task of placating the divided church (1Co 16:10-11
) that he might return to Paul as he evidently had before Paul leaves Ephesus. He then despatched Titus to Corinth to finish
what Timothy had not quite succeeded in doing with instructions to meet him in Troas. Now Timothy and Erastus (cf. Ro 16:23; 2Ti 4:20
) go on to Macedonia to prepare the way for Paul who will come on later.
No small stir
(ταραχος ουκ ολιγος). Same phrase in
12:18 and nowhere else in the N.T. Litotes.
Demetrius, a silversmith
(Δημητριος αργυροκοπος). The name is common enough and may or may not be the man mentioned in 3Jo 1:12
who was also from the neighbourhood of Ephesus. There is on an inscription at Ephesus near the close of the century a Demetrius
called νεοποιος Αρτεμιδος a temple warden of Artemis (Diana). Zoeckler suggests that Luke misunderstood this word νεοποιος
and translated it into αργυροκοπος, a beater (κοπτω, to beat) of silver (αργυρος, silver), "which made silver shrines of Artemis"
(ποιων ναους (αργυρους) Αρτεμιδος). It is true that no silver shrines of the temple have been found in Ephesus, but only numerous
terra-cotta ones. Ramsay suggests that the silver ones would naturally be melted down. The date is too late anyhow to identify
the Demetrius who was νεοποιος with the Demetrius αργυροκοπος who made little silver temples of Artemis, though B does not
have the word αργυρους. The poor votaries would buy the terra-cotta ones, the rich the silver shrines (Ramsay, Paul the Traveller, p. 278). These small models of the temple with the statue of Artemis inside would be set up in the houses or even worn as
amulets. It is a pity that the Revised Version renders Artemis here. Diana as the Ephesian Artemis is quite distinct from
the Greek Artemis, the sister of Apollo, the Diana of the Romans. This temple, built in the 6th century B.C., was burnt by
Herostratus Oct. 13 B.C. 356, the night when Alexander the Great was born. It was restored and was considered one of the seven
wonders of the world. Artemis was worshipped as the goddess of fertility, like the Lydian Cybele, a figure with many breasts.
The great festival in May would offer Demetrius a golden opportunity for the sale of the shrines.
Whom he gathered together
(ους συναθροισας). First aorist active participle of συναθροιζω, old verb to assemble together (αθροος, a crowd), in the
N.T. only here and Ac 12:12
(Εφεσου). Genitive of place as also with Ασιας (Asia). Cf. Robertson, Grammar, pp. 494f.
This our trade
(τουτο το μερος). Part, share, task, job, trade.
They were filled with wrath
(γενομενο πλερεις θυμου). Having become full of wrath.
With the confusion
(της συγχυσεως). Genitive case after επλησθη. An old word, but in the N.T. only here, from verb συγχεω, to pour together
like a flood (only in Acts in the N.T.). Vivid description of the inevitable riot that followed "the appearance of such a
body in the crowded agora of an excitable city" (Rackham) "vociferating the city's watch-word."
And when Paul was minded to enter in unto the people
(Παυλου δε βουλομενου εισελθειν εις τον δημον). Genitive absolute. Plainly Paul wanted to face the howling mob, whether it
was the occasion pictured in 2Co 1:9
or not. "St. Paul was not the man to leave his comrades in the lurch" (Knowling).
Certain also of the chief officers of Asia
(τινες δε κα των Ασιαρχων). These "Asiarchs" were ten officers elected by cities in the province who celebrated at their
own cost public games and festivals (Page). Each province had such a group of men chosen, as we now know from inscriptions,
to supervise the funds connected with the worship of the emperor, to preside at games and festivals even when the temple services
were to gods like Artemis. Only rich men could act, but the position was eagerly sought.
Some therefore cried one thing and some another
(αλλο μεν ουν αλλο τ εκραζον). This classical use of αλλος αλλο (Robertson, Grammar, p. 747) appears also in 2:12; 21:34
. Literally, "others cried another thing." The imperfect shows the repetition (kept on crying) and confusion which is also
And they brought Alexander out of the crowd
(εκ δε του οχλου συνεβιβασαν Αλεξανδρον). The correct text (Aleph A B) has this verb συνεβιβασαν (from συνβιβαζω, to put
together) instead of προεβιβασαν (from προβιβαζω, to put forward). It is a graphic word, causal of βαινω, to go, and occurs
in Ac 16:10; Col 2:19; Eph 4:16
. Evidently some of the Jews grew afraid that the mob would turn on the Jews as well as on the Christians. Paul was a Jew
and so was Aristarchus, one of the prisoners. The Jews were as strongly opposed to idolatry as were the Christians.
When they perceived
(επιγνοντες). Recognizing, coming to know fully and clearly (επι-), second aorist (ingressive) active participle of επιγινωσκω.
The masculine plural is left as nominative absolute or πενδενς without a verb. The rioters saw at once that Alexander was
(εστιν, present tense retained in indirect assertion) a Jew by his features.
(ο γραμματευς). Ephesus was a free city and elected its own officers and the recorder or secretary was the chief magistrate
of the city, though the proconsul of the province of Asia resided there. This officer is not a mere secretary of another officer
or like the copyists and students of the law among the Jews, but the most influential person in Ephesus who drafted decrees
with the aid of the στρατηγο, had charge of the city's money, was the power in control of the assembly, and communicated directly
with the proconsul. Inscriptions at Ephesus give frequently this very title for their chief officer and the papyri have it
also. The precise function varied in different cities. His name appeared on the coin at Ephesus issued in his year of office.
Cannot be gainsaid
(αναντιρητων ουν οντων). Genitive absolute with ουν (therefore). Undeniable (αν, αντι, ρητος), verbal adjective. Occasionally
in late Greek (Polybius, etc.), only here in N.T., but adverb αναντιρητως in Ac 10:29
. These legends were accepted as true and appeased the mob.
Neither robbers of temples
(ουτε ιεροσυλους). Common word in Greek writers from ιερον, temple, and συλαω, to rob, be guilty of sacrilege. The word is
found also on inscriptions in Ephesus. The Jews were sometimes guilty of this crime (Ro 2:22
), since the heathen temples often had vast treasures like banks. The ancients felt as strongly about temple-robbing as westerners
used to feel about a horse-thief.
Have a matter against any one
(εχουσιν προς τινα λογον). For this use of εχω λογον with προς see Mt 5:32; Col 3:13
. The town-clerk names Demetrius and the craftsmen (τεχνιτα) as the parties responsible for the riot.
38103810 Anything about other matters (τ περαιτερω). Most MSS. here have τ περ ετερων, but B b Vulgate read τ περαιτερω as in Plato's Φαεδο. Several papyri examples of it also. It is comparative περαιτερος of περα, beyond. Note also επ in επιζητειτε. Charges of illegal conduct (Page) should be settled in the regular legal way. But, if you wish to go further and pass resolutions about the matter exciting you, "it shall be settled in the regular assembly" (εν τω εννομω εκκλησια). "In the lawful assembly," not by a mob like this. Wood (Ephesus) quotes an inscription there with this very phrase "at every lawful assembly" (κατα πασαν εννομον εκκλησιαν). The Roman officials alone could give the sanction for calling such a lawful or regular assembly. The verb επιλυω is an old one, but in the N.T. only here and Mr 4:34 (which see) where Jesus privately opened or disclosed the parables to the disciples. The papyri give examples of the verb in financial transactions as well as of the metaphorical sense. The solution will come in the lawful assembly, not in a riot like this. See also 2Pe 1:20 where the substantive επιλυσις occurs for disclosure or revelation (prophecy).
For indeed we are in danger to be accused concerning this day's riot
(κα γαρ κινδυνευομεν εγκαλεισθα στασεως περ της σημερον). The text is uncertain. The text of Westcott and Hort means "to
be accused of insurrection concerning today's assembly." The peril was real. Κινδυνευομεν, from κινδυνος, danger, peril. Old
verb, but in the N.T. only here and Lu 8:23; 1Co 15:30
38123812 Dismissed the assembly (απελυσεν την εκκλησιαν). The town-clerk thus gave a semblance of law and order to the mob by formally dismissing them, this much to protect them against the charge to which they were liable. This vivid, graphic picture given by Luke has all the earmarks of historical accuracy. Paul does not describe the incidents in his letters, was not in the theatre in fact, but Luke evidently obtained the details from one who was there. Aristarchus, we know, was with Luke in Caesarea and in Rome and could have supplied all the data necessary. Certainly both Gaius and Aristarchus were lively witnesses of these events since their own lives were involved.
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