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The Great Theatre of Ephesus
The Great Theatre of Ephesus

The Big Riot Against Paul at the Theatre of Ephesus

At that particular time there arose no little disturbance concerning The Way. 24 For a certain man named De·me´tri·us, a silversmith, by making silver shrines of Ar´te·mis furnished the craftsmen no little gain; 25 and he gathered them and those who worked at such things and said: “Men, YOU well know that from this business we have our prosperity. 26 Also, YOU behold and hear how not only in Eph´e·sus but in nearly all the [district of] Asia this Paul has persuaded a considerable crowd and turned them to another opinion, saying that the ones that are made by hands are not gods. 27 Moreover, the danger exists not only that this occupation of ours will come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Ar´te·mis will be esteemed as nothing and even her magnificence which the whole [district of] Asia and the inhabited earth worships is about to be brought down to nothing.” 28 Hearing this and becoming full of anger, the men began crying out, saying: “Great is Ar´te·mis of the E·phe´sians!”

29 So the city became filled with confusion, and with one accord they rushed into the theatre, taking forcibly along with them Ga´ius and Ar·is·tar´chus, Mac·e·do´ni·ans, traveling companions of Paul. 30 For his part, Paul was willing to go inside to the people, but the disciples would not permit him. 31 Even some of the commissioners of festivals and games, who were friendly to him, sent to him and began pleading for him not to risk himself in the theatre. 32The fact is, some were crying out one thing and others another; for the assembly was in confusion, and the majority of them did not know the reason why they had come together. 33 So together they brought Alexander out of the crowd, the Jews thrusting him up front; and Alexander motioned with his hand and was wanting to make his defense to the people. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, one cry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours: “Great is Ar´te·mis of the E·phe´sians!”

35 When, finally, the city recorder had quieted the crowd, he said: “Men of Eph´e·sus, who really is there of mankind that does not know that the city of the E·phe´sians is the temple keeper of the great Ar´te·mis and of the image that fell from heaven? 36Therefore since these things are indisputable, it is becoming for YOU to keep calm and not act rashly. 37 For YOU have brought these men who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38 Therefore if De·me´tri·us and the craftsmen with him do have a case against someone, court days are held and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges against one another. 39 If, though, YOU are searching for anything beyond that, it must be decided in a regular assembly. 40 For we are really in danger of being charged with sedition over today’s affair, no single cause existing that will permit us to render a reason for this disorderly mob.” 41 And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.

(Acts 19:23-41 from the New Translation of the Holy Scriptures)

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