Acts 19:23-Acts 20:3 - A Riot In Ephesus
23 Now about that time a great commotion broke out concerning the Way. 24 By making silver shrines of Artemis, a silversmith named Demetrius provided a large income for skilled workers. 25 He called a meeting of these men and others who were engaged in similar trades and said, "Men, you well know that we get a good income from this business. 26 You also see and hear that, not only in Ephesus, but almost all over Asia, this man Paul has won over and taken away a large crowd by telling them that gods made by human hands are not gods at all. 27 There is a danger not only that our business will lose its reputation but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be brought into disrepute and that she will be robbed of her majesty that brought all Asia and the world to worship her."
28 When they heard this, they became furious and began to shout, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 29 The city was filled with confusion, and the people rushed into the theater together, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's fellow travelers from Macedonia. 30 Paul wanted to go into the crowd, but the disciples wouldn't let him. 31 Even some officials of the province of Asia who were his friends sent him a message urging him not to risk his life in the theater. 32 Meanwhile, some were shouting one thing and some another, since the crowd was confused, and most of them didn't know why they were meeting. 33 Some of the crowd concluded it was because of Alexander, since the Jews had pushed him to the front. So Alexander motioned for silence and tried to make a defense before the people. 34 But when they found out that he was a Jew, they all started to shout in unison for about two hours, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
35 When the city recorder had quieted the crowd, he said, "Men of Ephesus, who in the world doesn't know that this city of Ephesus is the keeper of the temple of the great Artemis and of the statue that fell down from heaven? 36 Since these things cannot be denied, you must be quiet and not do anything reckless. 37 For you have brought these men here, although they neither rob temples nor blaspheme our goddess. 38 So if Demetrius and his workers have a charge against anyone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They should accuse one another there. 39 But if you want anything else, it must be settled in the regular assembly, 40 because we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, and there is no good reason we can give to justify this commotion." 41 After saying this, he dismissed the assembly.
1 When the uproar was over, Paul sent for the disciples and encouraged them. Then he said goodbye to them and left to go to Macedonia. 2 He went through those regions and encouraged the people with everything he had to say. Then he went to Greece 3 and stayed there for three months. When he was about to sail for Syria, a plot was initiated against him by the Jews, so he decided to go back through Macedonia.