Acts 19:23-Acts 20:3 - A Riot In Ephesus

23 Just about that time a great disturbance arose about the Cause. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver models of the shrine of Artemis, and so gave a great deal of work to the artisans, 25 Got these men together, as well as the workmen engaged in similar occupations, and said: "Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this work, 26 And you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but in almost the whole of Roman Asia, this Paul has convinced and won over great numbers of people, by his assertion that those Gods which are made by hands are not Gods at all. 27 So that not only is this business of ours likely to fall into discredit, but there is the further danger that the Temple of the great Goddess Artemis will be thought nothing of, and that she herself will be deprived of her splendor--though all Roman Asia and the whole world worship her."

28 When they heard this, the men were greatly enraged, and began shouting--"Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 29 The commotion spread through the whole city, and the people rushed together into the amphitheater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, two Macedonians who were Paul's traveling companions. 30 Paul wished to go into the amphitheater and face the people, but the disciples would not let him, 31 While some of the chief religious officials of the province, who were friendly to him, sent repeated entreaties to him not to trust himself inside. 32 Meanwhile some were shouting one thing and some another, for the Assembly was all in confusion, most of those present not even knowing why they had met. 33 But some of the crowd prompted Alexander, whom the Jews had pushed to the front, and he waved his hand to show that he wanted to speak in their defense to the people. 34 However, when they recognized him as a Jew, one cry broke from them all, and they continued shouting for two hours--"Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"

35 When the Recorder had succeeded in quieting the crowd, he said: "Men of Ephesus, who is there, I ask you, who needs to be told that this city of Ephesus is the Warden of the Temple of the great Artemis, and of the statue which fell down from Zeus? 36 As these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and do nothing rash; 37 For you have brought these men here, though they are neither robbers of Temples nor blasphemers of our Goddess. 38 If, however, Demetrius and the artisans who are acting with him have a charge to make against any one, there are Court Days and there are Magistrates; let both parties take legal proceedings. 39 But if you want anything more, it will have to be settled in the regular Assembly. 40 For I tell you that we are in danger of being proceeded against for to-day's riot, there being nothing to account for it; and in that case we shall be at a loss to give any reason for this disorderly gathering." 41 With these words he dismissed the Assembly.

1 When the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and, with encouraging words, bade them goodbye, and started on his journey to Macedonia. 2 After going through those districts and speaking many encouraging words to the disciples, he went into Greece, where he stayed three months. 3 He was about to sail to Syria, when he learned that a plot had been laid against him by the Jews; so he decided to return by way of Macedonia.