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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 19)

19:1 {While Apollos was at Corinth} (\en tōi ton Apollō einai en
. Favourite idiom with Luke, \en\ with the locative of
the articular infinitive and the accusative of general reference
(Lu 1:8; 2:27, etc.). {Having passed through the upper country}
(\dielthonta ta anōterika merē\). Second aorist active participle
of \dierchomai\, accusative case agreeing with \Paulon\,
accusative of general reference with the infinitive \elthein\,
idiomatic construction with \egeneto\. The word for "upper"
(\anōterika\) is a late form for \anōtera\ (Lu 14:10) and
occurs in Hippocrates and Galen. It refers to the highlands (cf.
Xenophon's _Anabasis_)
and means that Paul did not travel the
usual Roman road west by Colossae and Laodicea in the Lycus
Valley, cities that he did not visit (Col 2:1). Instead he took
the more direct road through the Cayster Valley to Ephesus. Codex
Bezae says here that Paul wanted to go back to Jerusalem, but
that the Holy Spirit bade him to go into Asia where he had been
forbidden to go in the second tour (16:6). Whether the upper
"parts" (\merē\) here points to North Galatia is still a point of
dispute among scholars. So he came again to Ephesus as he had
promised to do (18:21). The province of Asia included the
western part of Asia Minor. The Romans took this country B.C.
130. Finally the name was extended to the whole continent. It was
a jewel in the Roman empire along with Africa and was a
senatorial province. It was full of great cities like Ephesus,
Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea (the
seven churches of Re 2;3)
, Colossae, Hierapolis, Apamea, to go
no further. Hellenism had full sway here. Ephesus was the capital
and chief city and was a richer and larger city than Corinth. It
was located at the entrance to the valley of the Maeander to the
east. Here was the power of Rome and the splendour of Greek
culture and the full tide of oriental superstition and magic. The
Temple of Artemis was one of the seven wonders of the world.
While in Ephesus some hold that Paul at this time wrote the
Epistle to the Galatians after his recent visit there, some that
he did it before his recent visit to Jerusalem. But it is still
possible that he wrote it from Corinth just before writing to
Rome, a point to discuss later. {Certain disciples} (\tinas
. Who were they? Apollos had already gone to Corinth.
They show no connection with Priscilla and Aquila. Luke calls
them "disciples" or "learners" (\mathētas\) because they were
evidently sincere though crude and ignorant. There is no reason
at all for connecting these uninformed disciples of the Baptist
with Apollos. They were floating followers of the Baptist who
drifted into Ephesus and whom Paul found. Some of John's
disciples clung to him till his death (Joh 3:22-25; Lu 7:19; Mt
. Some of them left Palestine without the further
knowledge of Jesus that came after his death and some did not
even know that, as turned out to be the case with the group in

19:2 {Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye believed?} (\ei
pneuma hagion elabete pisteusantes?\)
. This use of \Pi\ 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 \pisteusantes\ is
simultaneous with the second aorist active indicative \elabete\
and refers to the same event. {Nay, we did not so much as hear
whether the Holy Spirit was}
(\All' oude ei pneuma hagion estin
. The reply of these ignorant disciples is amazing.
They probably refer to the time of their baptism and mean that,
when baptized, they did not hear whether (\ei\ in indirect
the Holy Spirit was (\estin\ retained as in Joh
. Plain proof that they knew John's message poorly.

19:3 {Into what} (\eis ti\). More properly, {Unto what} or {on
what basis}
(Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 592). Clearly, Paul felt
they had received a poor baptism with no knowledge of the Holy
Spirit. {John's baptism} (\to Iōanou baptisma\). Last mention of
John the Baptist in the N.T. They had been dipped in other words,
but they had not grasped the significance of the ordinance.

19:4 {With the baptism of repentance} (\baptisma metanoias\).
Cognate accusative with \ebaptisen\ and the genitive \metanoias\
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. {That they should believe
on him that should come after him, that is on Jesus}
(\eis ton
erchomenon met' auton hina pisteusōsin, tout' estin eis ton
. Note the emphatic prolepsis of \eis ton erchomenon met'
auton\ before \hina pisteusōsin\ with which it is construed. This
is John's identical phrase, "the one coming after me" as seen in
Mr 1:7; Mt 3:11; Lu 3:16; Joh 1:15. It is not clear that these
"disciples" believed in a Messiah, least of all in Jesus. They
were wholly unprepared for the baptism of John. Paul does not
mean to say that John's baptism was inadequate, but he simply
explains what John really taught and so what his baptism

19:5 {The name of the Lord Jesus} (\to onoma ton kuriou Iēsou\).
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.

19:6 {When Paul had laid his hands upon them} (\epithentos autois
tou Paulou cheiras\)
. Genitive absolute of second aorist active
participle of \epitithēmi\. 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. {They spake with
(\elaloun glōssais\). Inchoative imperfect, began to
speak with tongues as in Jerusalem at Pentecost and as in
Caesarea before the baptism. {Prophesied} (\eprophēteuon\).
Inchoative imperfect again, began to prophesy. The speaking with
tongues and prophesying was external and indubitable proof that
the Holy Spirit had come on these twelve uninformed disciples now
fully won to the service of Jesus as Messiah. But this baptism in
water did not "convey" the Holy Spirit nor forgiveness of sins.
Paul was not a sacramentalist.

19:8 {Spake boldly} (\eparrēsiazeto\). Imperfect middle, kept on
at it for three months. Cf. same word in 18:26. {Persuading}
(\peithōn\). Present active conative participle of \peithō\,
trying to persuade (28:23). Paul's idea of the Kingdom of God
was the church of God which he (Jesus, God's Son) had purchased
with his own blood (Ac 20:28, calling Christ God). Nowhere else
had Paul apparently been able to speak so long in the synagogue
without interruption unless it was so at Corinth. These Jews were
already interested (18:30).

19:9 {But when some were hardened} (\hōs de tines esklērunonto\).
Imperfect passive of \sklērunō\, causative like _hiphil_ in
Hebrew, to make hard (\sklēros\) 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. {Disobedient} (\epeithoun\). Imperfect
again, showing the growing disbelief and disobedience
(\apeithēs\), both ideas as in 14:2; 17:5, first refusal to
believe and then refusal to obey. Both \sklērunō\ and \apeitheō\
occur together, as here, in Ecclus. 30:12. {Speaking evil of the
(\kakologountes tēn hodon\). Late verb from \kakologos\
(speaker of evil) for the old \kakōs legō\. Already in Mr 7:10;
9:39; Mt 15:4. Now these Jews are aggressive opponents of Paul
and seek to injure his influence with the crowd. Note "the Way"
as in 9:2 for Christianity. {He departed from them} (\apostas
ap' autōn\)
. Second aorist active participle of \aphistēmi\, made
an "apostasy" (standing off, cleavage) as he did at Corinth
(18:7, \metabas\, making a change). {Separated the disciples}
(\aphōrisen tous mathētas\). First aorist active indicative of
\aphorizō\, old verb to mark limits (horizon) as already in
13:2. Paul himself was a spiritual Pharisee "separated" to
Christ (Ro 1:1). The Jews regarded this withdrawal as apostasy,
like separating the sheep from the goats (Mt 25:32). Paul now
made a separate church as he had done at Thessalonica and
Corinth. {In the school of Tyrannus} (\en tēi scholēi Turannou\).
\Scholē\ (our school) is an old word from \schein\ (\echō\) to
hold on, leisure and then in later Greek (Plutarch, etc.) a place
where there is leisure as here. Only this example in the N.T.
This is the Greek notion of "school," the Jewish being that of
"yoke" as in Mt 11:29. The name Tyrannus (our tyrant) is a
common one. It is an inscription in the Columbarium of the
Empress Livia as that of a physician in the court. Furneaux
suggests the possibility that a relative of this physician was
lecturing on medicine in Ephesus and so as a friend of Luke, the
physician, would be glad to help Paul about a place to preach. It
was probably a public building or lecture hall with this name
whether hired by Paul or loaned to him. The pagan sophists often
spoke in such halls. The Codex Bezae adds "from the fifth hour to
the tenth" as the time allotted Paul for his work in this hall,
which is quite possible, from just before midday till the close
of the afternoon (from before the noon meal till two hours before
each day. Here Paul had great freedom and a great
hearing. As the church grows there will be other places of
meeting as the church in the house of Aquila and Priscilla (1Co

19:10 {For two years} (\epi etē duo\). Note \epi\ with accusative
for extent of time as in verse 8, \epi mēnas treis\ 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 22. {So that all they which dwelt in Asia heard} (\hōste
pantas tous katoikountas tēn Asian akousai\)
. Actual result with
\hōste\ and the infinitive with accusative of general reference
as is common (also verse 11) in the _Koinē_ (Robertson,
_Grammar_, pp. 999f.)
. Paul apparently remained in Ephesus, but
the gospel spread all over the province even to the Lycus Valley
including the rest of the seven churches of Re 1:11; 2; 3.
Demetrius in verse 26 will confirm the tremendous influence of
Paul's ministry in Ephesus on Asia. Forty years after this Pliny
in his famous letter to Trajan from Bithynia will say of
Christianity: "For the contagion of this superstition has not
only spread through cities, but also through villages and country
places." It was during these years in Ephesus that Paul was
greatly disturbed over the troubles in the Corinthian Church. He
apparently wrote a letter to them now lost to us (1Co 5:9),
received messages from the household of Chloe, a letter from the
church, special messengers, sent Timothy, then Titus, may have
made a hurried trip himself, wrote our First Corinthians, was
planning to go after the return of Titus to Troas where he was to
meet him after Pentecost, when all of a sudden the uproar raised
by Demetrius hurried Paul away sooner than he had planned.
Meanwhile Apollos had returned from Corinth to Ephesus and
refused to go back (1Co 16:12). Paul doubtless had helpers like
Epaphras and Philemon who carried the message over the province
of Asia, Tychicus, and Trophimus of Asia who were with him on the
last visit to Jerusalem (verses 22,29; 20:4). Paul's message
reached Greeks, not merely Hellenists and God-fearers, but some
of the Greeks in the upper circles of life in Ephesus.

19:11 {Special miracles} (\dunameis ou tas tuchousas\). "Powers
not the ones that happen by chance," "not the ordinary ones,"
litotes for "the extraordinary." All "miracles" or "powers"
(\dunameis\) are supernatural and out of the ordinary, but here
God regularly wrought (\epoiei\), 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 _Koinē_ 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

19:12 {Handkerchiefs} (\soudaria\). Latin word for \sudor\
(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). {Aprons}
(\simikinthia\). Latin word also, _semicinctilum_ (\semi,
. Only here in the N.T. Linen aprons used by servants or
artisans (Martial XIV. 153). Paul did manual work at Ephesus
(20:34) and so wore these aprons. {Departed} (\apallalsethai\).
Present passive infinitive with \hōste\ for actual result as in
verse 10. If one wonders how God could honour such
superstitious faith, he should remember that there is no power in
superstition or in magic, but in God. If God never honoured any
faith save that entirely free from superstition, how about
Christian people who are troubled over the number 13, over the
moon, the rabbit's foot? The poor woman with an issue of blood
touched the hem of Christ's garment and was healed (Lu 8:44-46)
as others sought to do (Mt 14:36). God condescends to meet us
in our ignorance and weakness where he can reach us. Elisha had a
notion that some of the power of Elijah resided in his mantle
(2Ki 2:13). Some even sought help from Peter's shadow (Ac

19:13 {Of the strolling Jews, exorcists} (\tōn perierchomenōn
Ioudaiōn exorkistōn\)
. These exorcists travelled around (\peri\)
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 \exorkizō\, 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. {To name over} (\onomazein epi\). They heard what Paul said
and treated his words as a magic charm or spell to drive the evil
spirits out. {I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth}
(\Horkizō humas ton Iēsoun hon Paulos kērussei\). Note two
accusatives with the verb of swearing (cf. Mr 5:7) as a
causative verb (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 483). The papyri furnish
numerous instances of \horkizō\ in such constructions (Deissmann,
_Bible Studies_, p. 281)
. Note also the article with Jesus, "the
Jesus," as if to identify the magic word to the demons with the
addition "whom Paul preaches." They thought that success turned
on the correct use of the magical formula. The Ephesian mysteries
included Christianity, so they supposed.

19:14 {Seven sons of Sceva} (\Skeuā hepta huioi\). 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. \Skeuā\ 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?

19:15 {Jesus I know} (\ton Iēsoun ginōskō\). "The (whom you
Jesus I recognize (\ginōskō\)" and "the (whom you
Paul I am acquainted with (\ton Paulon epistamai\)."
Clear distinction between \ginōskō\ and \epistamai\. {But who are
(\humeis de tines este?\). But you, who are you? Emphatic

19:16 {Leaped on them} (\ephalomenos ep' autous\). Second aorist
(ingressive) middle participle of \ephallomai\, old verb to
spring upon like a panther, here only in the N.T. {Mastered}
(\katakurieusas\). First aorist (effective) active participle of
\katakurieuō\, late verb from \kata\ and \kurios\, to become lord
or master of. {Both} (\amphoterōn\). Papyri examples exist where
\amphoteroi\ means "all" or more than "two" (Robertson,
_Grammar_, p. 745)
. So here \amphoteroi\ includes all seven.
"Both" in old English was used for more than two. {So that}
(\hōste\). Another example (verses 10,11) of \hōste\ with the
infinitive for result. {Naked} (\gumnous\). Probably with torn
garments, {Wounded} (\tetraumatismenous\). Perfect passive
participle of \traumatizō\, old verb to wound, from \trauma\ (a
. In the N.T. only here and Lu 20:12.

19:17 {Was magnified} (\emegaluneto\). Imperfect passive. To make
great. It was a notable victory over the powers of evil in

19:18 {Came} (\ērchonto\). 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. {Confessing}
(\exomologoumenoi\). It was time to make a clean breast of it
all, to turn on the light, to unbosom their secret habits.
{Declaring their deeds} (\anaggellontes tas praxeis autōn\).
Judgment was beginning at the house of God. The dupes (professing
believers, alas)
of these jugglers or exorcists now had their
eyes opened when they saw the utter defeat of the tricksters who
had tried to use the name of Jesus without his power. The
boomerang was tremendous. The black arts were now laid bare in
their real character. Gentile converts had a struggle to shake
off their corrupt environment.

19:19 {Not a few of them that practised curious arts} (\hikanoi
tōn ta perierga praxantōn\)
. Considerable number of the
performers or exorcists themselves who knew that they were
humbugs were led to renounce their evil practices. The word
\perierga\ (curious) is an old word (\peri, erga\) 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.
{Burned them in the sight of all} (\katekaion enōpion pantōn\).
Imperfect active of \katakaiō\. It probably took a good while to
do it, burned them completely (up, we say; down, the Greeks say,
perfective use of \kata\)
. These Magical Papyri or slips of
parchment with symbols or magical sentences written on them
called \Ephesia Grammata\ (Ephesian Letters). These Ephesian
Letters were worn as amulets or charms. {They brought them
(\sunenegkantes\). Second aorist active participle of
\sunpherō\. What a glorious conflagration it would be if in every
city all the salacious, blasphemous, degrading books, pamphlets,
magazines, and papers could be piled together and burned. {They
(\sunepsēphisan\). First aorist active indicative of
\sunpsēphizō\, to reckon together. In LXX (Jer 29:49). Only
here in N.T. \Sunkatapsēphizō\ in 1:26. {Fifty thousand pieces
of silver}
(\arguriou muriadas pente\). Five ten thousand
(\muriadas\) pieces of silver. Ephesus was largely Greek and
probably the silver pieces were Greek drachmae or the Latin
denarius, probably about ten thousand dollars or two thousand
English pounds.

19:20 {Mightily} (\kata kratos\). According to strength. Only
here in N.T., common military term in Thucydides. Such proof of a
change counted. {Grew and prevailed} (\ēuxanen kai ischuen\).
Imperfect actives, kept growing and gaining strength. It was a
day of triumph for Christ in Ephesus, this city of vast wealth
and superstition. Ephesus for centuries will be one of the
centres of Christian power. Timothy will come here and John the
Apostle and Polycarp and Irenaeus.

19:21 {Purposed in the spirit} (\etheto en tōi pneumati\). 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. {Passed through} (\dielthōn\). Word (\dierchomai\) used
ten times in Acts (cf. 19:1) of missionary journeys (Ramsay).
{Macedonia and Achaia} (\tēn Makedonian kai Achaian\). This was
the way that he actually went, but originally he had planned to
go to Achaia (Corinth) and then to Macedonia, as he says in 2Co
1:15f., but he had now changed that purpose, perhaps because of
the bad news from Corinth. Already when he wrote I Corinthians he
proposed to go first to Macedonia (1Co 16:5-7). He even hoped
to spend the winter in Corinth "if the Lord permit" and to remain
in Ephesus till Pentecost, neither of which things he did. {I
must also see Rome}
(\dei me kai Rōmēn idein\). This section of
Acts begins with Rome in the horizon of Paul's plans and the book
closes with Paul in Rome (Rackham). Here he feels the necessity
of going as in Ro 1:15 he feels himself "debtor" to all
including "those in Rome" (Ro 1:16). Paul had long desired to
go to Rome (Rom 1:10), but had been frequently hindered (Ro
, but he has definitely set his face to go to Rome and on
to Spain (Ro 15:23-29). Paley calls sharp attention to this
parallel between Ac 19:21 and Ro 1:10-15; 15:23-29. Rome had
a fascination for Paul as the home of Aquila and Priscilla and
numerous other friends (Ro 16), but chiefly as the capital of
the Roman Empire and a necessary goal in Paul's ambition to win
it to Jesus Christ. His great work in Asia had stirred afresh in
him the desire to do his part for Rome. He wrote to Rome from
Corinth not long after this and in Jerusalem Jesus in vision will
confirm the necessity (\dei\) that Paul see Rome (Acts 23:11).

19:22 {Timothy and Erastus} (\Timotheon kai Eraston\). 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. {He
himself stayed in Asia for a while}
(\autos epeschen chronon eis
tēn Asian\)
. Literally, He himself had additional time in Asia.
Second aorist active indicative of \epechō\, old and common
idiom, only here in the N.T. in this sense and the verb only in
Luke and Paul. The reason for Paul's delay is given by him in
1Co 16:8f., the great door wide open in Ephesus. Here again
Luke and Paul supplement each other. Pentecost came towards the
end of May and May was the month of the festival of Artemis
(Diana) when great multitudes would come to Ephesus. But he did
not remain till Pentecost as both Luke and Paul make plain.

19:23 {No small stir} (\tarachos ouk oligos\). Same phrase in
12:18 and nowhere else in the N.T. Litotes. {Concerning the
(\peri tēs hodou\). See this phrase for Christianity in
9:2; 19:9; 24:22 which see, like the "Jesus Way" of the
Indians. There had already been opposition and "stir" before this
stage (cf. 19:11-20). The fight with wild beasts in 1Co 15:32
(whatever it was) was before that Epistle was written and so
before this new uproar. Paul as a Roman citizen could not be
thrown to wild beasts, but he so pictured the violent opponents
of Christ in Ephesus.

19:24 {Demetrius, a silversmith} (\Dēmētrios argurokopos\). 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 \neopoios Artemidos\ a temple warden of Artemis
(Diana). Zoeckler suggests that Luke misunderstood this word
\neopoios\ and translated it into \argurokopos\, a beater
(\koptō\, to beat) of silver (\arguros\, silver), "which made
silver shrines of Artemis" (\poiōn naous\ (\argurous\)
. 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 \neopoios\ with the Demetrius \argurokopos\ who made little
silver temples of Artemis, though B does not have the word
\argurous\. 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. {Brought no little business} (\pareicheto ouk oligēn
. Imperfect middle, continued to bring (furnish,
. The middle accents the part that Demetrius played as
the leader of the guild of silversmiths, work for himself and for
them. {Unto the craftsmen} (\tais technitais\). The artisans from
\technē\ (craft, art). Trade guilds were common in the ancient
world. Demetrius had probably organized this guild and provided
the capital for the enterprise.

19:25 {Whom he gathered together} (\hous sunathroisas\). First
aorist active participle of \sunathroizō\, old verb to assemble
together (\athroos\, a crowd), in the N.T. only here and Ac
12:12. {With the workmen of like occupation} (\kai tous peri ta
toiauta ergatas\)
. "And the workmen concerning such things,"
apparently those who made the marble and terra-cotta shrines who
would also be affected in the same way. It was a gathering of the
associated trades, not for a strike, for employer and employees
met together, but in protest against the preaching of Paul. {We
have our wealth}
(\hē euporia hēmin estin\). The wealth is to us
(dative of possession). This old word for wealth occurs here
alone in the N.T. It is from \eu\ and \poros\, easy to pass
through, easy to accomplish, to be well off, wealthy, welfare,
weal, well-being, rich. Demetrius appeals to this knowledge and
self-interest of the artisans as the basis for their zeal for
Artemis, piety for revenue.

19:26 {At Ephesus} (\Ephesou\). Genitive of place as also with
\Asias\ (Asia). Cf. Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 494f. {This Paul}
(\ho Paulos houtos\). Contemptuous use of \houtos\. {Hath turned
(\metestēsen\). Changed, transposed. First aorist active
indicative, did change. Tribute to Paul's powers as a preacher
borne out by Luke's record in 19:10. There may be an element of
exaggeration on the part of Demetrius to incite the workmen to
action, for the worship of Artemis was their wealth. Paul had cut
the nerve of their business. There had long been a Jewish colony
in Ephesus, but their protest against idolatry was as nothing
compared with Paul's preaching (Furneaux). {Which are made with
(\hoi dia cheirōn ginomenoi\). Note the present tense,
made from time to time. No doubt Paul had put the point sharply
as in Athens (Ac 17:29). Isaiah (Isa 44:9-17) had pictured
graphically the absurdity of worshipping stocks and stones,
flatly forbidden by the Old Testament (Ex 20:4; Ps 135:15-18).
The people identified their gods with the images of them and
Demetrius reflects that point of view. He was jealous of the
brand of gods turned out by his factory. The artisans would stand
by him on this point. It was a reflection on their work.

19:27 {This our trade} (\touto to meros\). Part, share, task,
job, trade. {Come into disrepute} (\eis apelegmon elthein\). Not
in the old writers, but in LXX and _Koinē_. Literally,
reputation, exposure, censure, rejection after examination, and
so disrepute. Their business of making gods would lose caste as
the liquor trade (still called the trade in England) has done in
our day. They felt this keenly and so Demetrius names it first.
They felt it in their pockets. {Of the great goddess Artemis}
(\tēs megalēs theas Artemidos\). She was generally known as the
Great (\hē Megalē\). An inscription found at Ephesus calls her
"the greatest god" (\hē megistē theos\). The priests were eunuchs
and there were virgin priestesses and a lower order of slaves
known as temple-sweepers (\neōkoroi\, verse 35). They had wild
orgiastic exercises that were disgraceful with their Corybantic
processions and revelries. {Be made of no account} (\eis outhen
. Be reckoned as nothing, first aorist passive
infinitive of \logizomai\ and \eis\. {Should even be deposed of
her magnificence}
(\mellein te kai kathaireisthai tēs
megaleiotētos autēs\)
. Note the present infinitive after
\mellein\, ablative case (so best MSS.) after \kathaireō\, to
take down, to depose, to deprive of. The word \megaleiotēs\
occurs also in Lu 9:43 (the majesty of God) and in 2Pe 1:16
of the transfiguration of Christ. It is already in the LXX and
Deissmann (_Light from the Ancient East_, p. 363) thinks that the
word runs parallel with terms used in the emperor-cult. {All Asia
and the world}
\holē (hē) Asia kai (hē) oikoumenē\. See 11:28
for same use of \oikoumenē\. An exaggeration, to be sure, but
Pausanias says that no deity was more widely worshipped. Temples
of Artemis have been found in Spain and Gaul. _Multitudo
errantium non efficit veritatem_ (Bengel). Even today heathenism
has more followers than Christianity. To think that all this
splendour was being set at naught by one man and a despised Jew
at that!

19:28 {They were filled with wrath} (\genomenoi plereis thumou\).
Having become full of wrath. {Cried out} (\ekrazon\). Inchoative
imperfect, began to cry out and kept it up continuously.
Reiteration was characteristic of the orgiastic exercises. The
Codex Bezae adds after \thumou\ (wrath): \Dramontes eis tēn
amphodon\ (running into the street), which they certainly did
after the speech of Demetrius. {Great is Artemis of the
(\Megalē hē Artemis Ephesiōn\). D (Codex Bezae) omits
\hē\ (the) and makes it read: "Great Artemis of the Ephesians."
This was the usual cry of the votaries in their orgies as the
inscriptions show, an ejaculatory outcry or prayer instead of an
argument as the other MSS. have it. That is vivid and natural
(Ramsay, _Church in the Roman Empire_, pp. 135ff.). Yet on this
occasion the artisans were making an argumentative protest and
plea against Paul. An inscription at Dionysopolis has "Great is

19:29 {With the confusion} (\tēs sugchuseōs\). Genitive case
after \eplēsthē\. An old word, but in the N.T. only here, from
verb \sugcheō\, 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."
{They rushed} (\hōrmēsan\). Ingressive aorist active indicative
of \hormaō\, old verb for impetuous dashing, a case of mob
psychology (mob mind), with one accord (\homothumadon\ as in Ac
1:14, etc.)
. {Into the theatre} (\eis to theatron\). A place for
seeing (\theaomai\) spectacles, originally for dramatic
representation (Thucydides, Herodotus), then for the spectators,
then for the spectacle or show (1Co 4:9). The theatre
(amphitheatre) at Ephesus can still be traced in the ruins (Wood,
and shows that it was of enormous size capable of
seating fifty-six thousand persons (some estimate it only
. It was the place for large public gatherings of any sort
out of doors like our football and baseball parks. In particular,
gladiatorial shows were held in these theatres. {Having seized
Gaius and Aristarchus men of Macedonia}
(\sunarpasantes Gaion kai
Aristarchon Makedonas\)
. See 6:12 for this same verb. They
wanted some victims for this "gladiatorial" show. These two men
were "Paul's companions in travel" (\sunekdēmous Paulou\),
together (\sun\) with Paul in being abroad, away from home or
people (\ek-dēmous\, late word, in the N.T. only here and 2Co
. How the mob got hold of Gaius (Ac 20:4) and Aristarchus
(20:4; 27:2; Col 4:10; Phm 1:24) we do not know whether by
accidental recognition or by search after failure to get Paul. In
Ro 16:4 Paul speaks of Priscilla and Aquila as those "who for
my life laid down their own necks." Paul lived with them in
Ephesus as in Corinth. It is possible that Demetrius led the mob
to their house and that they refused to allow Paul to go or to be
seized at the risk of their own lives. Paul himself may have been
desperately ill at this time as we know was the case once during
his stay in Ephesus when he felt the answer of death in himself
(2Co 1:9) and when God rescued him. That may mean that, ill as
he was, Paul wanted to go and face the mob in the theatre,
knowing that it meant certain death.

19:30 {And when Paul was minded to enter in unto the people}
(\Paulou de boulomenou eiselthein eis ton dēmon\). 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). {Suffered
him not}
(\ouk eiōn auton\). Imperfect of \eaō\, common verb to
allow, what Gildersleeve called the negative imperfect
(Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 885), denoting resistance to pressure.
The more Paul insisted on going the more the disciples refused to
agree to it and they won.

19:31 {Certain also of the chief officers of Asia} (\tines de kai
tōn Asiarchōn\)
. 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. {Being his friends} (\ontes autōi philoi\). Evidently the
Asiarchs had a high opinion of Paul and were unwilling for him to
expose his life to a wild mob during the festival of Artemis.
They were at least tolerant toward Paul and his preaching. "It
was an Asiarch who at Smyrna resisted the cry of the populace to
throw Polycarp to the lions" (Furneaux). {Besought him}
(\parekaloun auton\). Imperfect active, showing that the
messengers sent had to insist over Paul's protest. "{Not to
adventure himself}
" (\mē dounai heauton\). It was a hazard, a
rash adventure "to give himself" (second aorist active infinitive
of \didōmi\)
. Just this sense of "adventure" with the idiom
occurs only here in the N.T., though in Polybius V., 14, 9. But
the phrase itself Paul uses of Jesus who gave himself for our
sins (Ga 1:4; 1Ti 2:6; Tit 2:14). It is not the first time that
friends had rescued Paul from peril (Ac 9:25,30; 17:10,14). The
theatre was no place for Paul. It meant certain death.

19:32 {Some therefore cried one thing and some another} (\alloi
men oun allo ti ekrazon\)
. This classical use of \allos allo\
(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
distinctly stated. {For the assembly was in confusion} (\ēn gar
hē ekklēsia sunkechumenē\)
. The reason for the previous
statement. Periphrastic past perfect passive of \sugcheō,
sugchunō (-unnō)\, to pour together, to commingle as in verse
29 (\sugchuseōs\). It was not an "assembly" (\ekklēsia, ek,
kaleō\, to call out)
, but a wholly irregular, disorganized mob in
a state (perfect tense) of confusion. There was "a lawful
assembly" (verse 39), but this mob was not one. Luke shows his
contempt for this mob (Furneaux). {Had come together}
(\sunelēlutheisan\). Past perfect active of \sunerchomai\. It was
an assembly only in one sense. For some reason Demetrius who was
responsible for the mob preferred now to keep in the background,
though he was known to be the ring-leader of the gathering (verse
. It was just a mob that shouted because others did.

19:33 {And they brought Alexander out of the crowd} (\ek de tou
ochlou sunebibasan Alexandron\)
. The correct text (Aleph A B) has
this verb \sunebibasan\ (from \sunbibazō\, to put together)
instead of \proebibasan\ (from \probibazō\, to put forward). It
is a graphic word, causal of \bainō\, 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. {The Jews putting him forward} (\probalontōn
auton tōn Ioudaiōn\)
. Genitive absolute of the second aorist
active participle of \proballō\, old verb to push forward as
leaves in the spring (Lu 21:30). In the N.T. only in these two
passages. Alexandria had already disgraceful scenes of
Jew-baiting and there was real peril now in Ephesus with this
wild mob. So Alexander was pushed forward as the champion to
defend the Jews to the excited mob. He may be the same Alexander
the coppersmith who did Paul much evil (2Ti 4:14), against whom
Paul will warn Timothy then in Ephesus. "The Jews were likely to
deal in the copper and silver required for the shrines, so he may
have had some trade connexion with the craftsmen which would give
him influence" (Furneaux). {Beckoned with the hand} (\kataseisas
tēn cheira\)
. Old verb \kataseiō\, to shake down, here the hand,
rapidly waving the hand up and down to get a hearing. In the N.T.
elsewhere only in Ac 12:17; 13:16; 21:40 where "with the hand"
(\tēi cheiri\, instrumental case) is used instead of \tēn cheira\
(the accusative). {Would have made a defence unto the people}
(\ēthelen apologeisthai tōi dēmōi\). Imperfect active, wanted to
make a defence, tried to, started to, but apparently never got
out a word. \Apologeisthai\ (present middle infinitive, direct
middle, to defend oneself)
, regular word for formal apology, but
in N.T. only by Luke and Paul (twice in Gospel, six times in
Acts, and in Ro 2:15; 2Co 12:19)

19:34 {When they perceived} (\epignontes\). Recognizing, coming
to know fully and clearly (\epi-\), second aorist (ingressive)
active participle of \epiginōskō\. The masculine plural is left
as nominative absolute or \pendens\ without a verb. The rioters
saw at once that Alexander was (\estin\, present tense retained
in indirect assertion)
a Jew by his features. {An with one voice
cried out}
(\phōnē egeneto mia ek pantōn krazontōn\). Anacoluthon
or construction according to sense. Literally, "one voice arose
from all crying." \Krazontōn\ agrees in case (ablative) with
\pantōn\, but Aleph A have \krazontes\. This loose construction
is not uncommon (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 436f.). Now at last
the crowd became unanimous (one voice) at the sight of a hated
Jew about to defend their attacks on the worship of Artemis. The
unanimity lasted "about the space of two hours" (\hosei epi hōras
, "as if for two hours." Their creed centred in this
prolonged yell: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians" with which
the disturbance started (verse 28).

19:35 {The town-clerk} (\ho grammateus\). 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 \stratēgoi\, 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. {Had quieted the multitude}
(\katasteilas ton ochlon\). First aorist active participle of
\katastellō\, to send down, arrange dress (Euripides), lower
(Plutarch), restrain (papyrus example), only twice in the N.T.
(here and verse 36, be quiet), but in LXX and Josephus. He
evidently took the rostrum and his very presence as the city's
chief officer had a quieting effect on the billowy turmoil and a
semblance of order came. He waited, however, till the hubbub had
nearly exhausted itself (two hours) and did not speak till there
was a chance to be heard. {Saith} (\phēsin\). Historical present
for vividness. {How that}. Merely participle \ousan\ and
accusative \polin\ in indirect discourse, no conjunction at all
(Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 1040ff.), common idiom after
\ginōskō\, to know. {Temple-keeper} (\neōkoron\). Old word from
\neōs\ (\naos)\, temple, and \koreō\, to sweep. Warden, verger,
cleaner of the temple, a sacristan. So in Xenophon and Plato.
Inscriptions so describe Ephesus as \neōkoron tēs Artemidos\ as
Luke has it here and also applied to the imperial _cultus_ which
finally had several such temples in Ephesus. Other cities claimed
the same honour of being \neōkoros\, but it was the peculiar
boast of Ephesus because of the great temple of Artemis. A coin
of A.D. 65 describes Ephesus as \neōkoros\. There are papyri
examples of the term applied to individuals, one to Priene as
\neōkoros\ of the temple in Ephesus (Moulton and Milligan,
. {And of the image which fell down from Jupiter}
(\kai tou diopetous\). Supply \agalma\ (image), "the from
heaven-fallen image." From Zeus (\Dios\) and \petō\ (\piptō,
, to fall. Zeus (Jupiter) was considered lord of the sky
or heaven and that is the idea in \diopetous\ here. The legend
about a statue fallen from heaven occurs concerning the statue of
Artemis at Tauris, Minerva at Athens, etc. Thus the recorder
soothed the vanity (Rackham) of the crowd by appeal to the
world-wide fame of Ephesus as sacristan of Artemis and of her
heaven-fallen image.

19:36 {Cannot be gainsaid} (\anantirētōn oun ontōn\). Genitive
absolute with \oun\ (therefore). Undeniable (\an, anti, rētos\),
verbal adjective. Occasionally in late Greek (Polybius, etc.),
only here in N.T., but adverb \anantirētōs\ in Ac 10:29. These
legends were accepted as true and appeased the mob. {Ye ought}
(\deon estin\). It is necessary. Periphrastic present indicative
instead of \dei\ like 1Pe 1:6; 1Ti 5:13f. {Be quiet}
(\katestalmenous\). Perfect passive participle of \katastellō\
(see verse 35). {Rash} (\propetes\). Old adjective from \pro\
and \petō\, to fall forward, headlong, precipitate. In the N.T.
only here and 2Ti 3:4, though common in the _Koinē_. Better
look before you leap.

19:37 {Neither robbers of temples} (\oute hierosulous\). Common
word in Greek writers from \hieron\, temple, and \sulaō\, to rob,
be guilty of sacrilege. The word is found also on inscriptions in
Ephesus. The Jews were sometimes guilty of this crime (Ro
, 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. {Nor blasphemers of
our goddess}
(\oute blasphēmountas tēn theon hēmōn\). Nor those
who blasphemed our goddess. That is to say, these men (Gaius and
as Christians had so conducted themselves (Col
that no charge could be placed against them either in act
(temple-robbery) or word (blasphemy). They had done a rash thing
since these men are innocent. Paul had used tact in Ephesus as in
Athens in avoiding illegalities.

19:38 {Have a matter against any one} (\echousin pros tina
. For this use of \echō logon\ with \pros\ see Mt 5:32;
Col 3:13. The town-clerk names Demetrius and the craftsmen
(\technitai\) as the parties responsible for the riot. {The
courts are open}
(\agoraioi agontai\). Supply \hēmerai\ (days),
court days are kept, or \sunodoi\, court-meetings are now going
on, Vulgate _conventus forenses aguntur_. Old adjective from
\agora\ (forum) marketplace where trials were held. Cf. Ac
17:4. There were regular court days whether they were in session
then or not. {And there are proconsuls} (\kai anthupatoi eisin\).
Asia was a senatorial province and so had proconsuls (general
though only one at a time, "a rhetorical plural"
(Lightfoot). Page quotes from an inscription of the age of Trajan
on an aqueduct at Ephesus in which some of Luke's very words
occur (\neōkoros, anthupatos, grammateus, dēmos\). {Let them
accuse one another}
(\egkaleitōsan allēlois\). Present active
imperative of \egkaleō\ (\en, kaleō\), old verb to call in one's
case, to bring a charge against, with the dative. Luke uses the
verb six times in Acts for judicial proceedings (19:38,40;
23:28,29; 26:2,7)
. The town-clerk makes a definite appeal to the
mob for orderly legal procedure as opposed to mob violence in a
matter where money and religious prejudice unite, a striking
rebuke to so-called lynch-law proceedings in lands today where
Christianity is supposed to prevail.

19:39 {Anything about other matters} (\ti peraiterō\). Most MSS.
here have \ti peri heterōn\, but B b Vulgate read \ti peraiterō\
as in Plato's \Phaedo\. Several papyri examples of it also. It is
comparative \peraiteros\ of \pera\, beyond. Note also \epi\ in
\epizēteite\. 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" (\en tōi ennomōi ekklēsiāi\). "In the
lawful assembly," not by a mob like this. Wood (_Ephesus_) quotes
an inscription there with this very phrase "at every lawful
assembly" (\kata pāsan ennomon ekklēsian\). The Roman officials
alone could give the sanction for calling such a lawful or
regular assembly. The verb \epiluō\ 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 \epilusis\ occurs for disclosure or revelation

19:40 {For indeed we are in danger to be accused concerning this
day's riot}
(\kai gar kinduneuomen egkaleisthai staseōs peri tēs
. The text is uncertain. The text of Westcott and Hort
means "to be accused of insurrection concerning today's
assembly." The peril was real. \Kinduneuomen\, from \kindunos\,
danger, peril. Old verb, but in the N.T. only here and Lu 8:23;
1Co 15:30. {There being no cause for it} (\mēdenos aitiou
. Genitive absolute with \aitios\, common adjective
(cf. \aitia\, cause) though in N.T. only here and Heb 5:9; Lu
23:4,14,22. {And as touching it} (\peri hou\). "Concerning
which." But what? No clear antecedent, only the general idea.
{Give an account of this concourse} (\apodounai logon peri tēs
sustrophēs tautēs\)
. _Rationem reddere_. They will have to
explain matters to the proconsul. \Sustrophē\ (from \sun\,
together, \strephō\, to turn)
is a late word for a conspiracy
(Ac 23:12) and a disorderly riot as here (Polybius). In Ac
28:12 \sustrephō\ is used of gathering up a bundle of sticks and
of men combining in Mt 17:22. Seneca says that there was
nothing on which the Romans looked with such jealousy as a
tumultuous meeting.

19:41 {Dismissed the assembly} (\apelusen tēn ekklēsian\). 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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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 19)