Acts 19:26-30
Acts 19:26 (KJB)
Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
Paul’s ministry had been so effective that Demetrius accuses Paul of turning people away from the idolatry they had been partaking of and worshipping the true and living God. Demetrius was trying to paint Paul as a traveling trouble maker. In ancient times, gods were created according to what the people could afford. A rich man might have a gold plated god in his home whereby a poor person might have one made out of a tree or a stone. Demetrius was trying to convince the other idol makers that the idols they made had truly represented their gods, especially Diana of the Ephesians. Demetrius was so blinded by his money making god business, he should have asked himself the question, “did he ever see any of those gods as living beings or only as statues?”
Acts 19:27 (KJB)
So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.
Despised - Disfavor, disrepute, or discredit
Now Demetrius was using a comparative psychology to persuade the other idol makers. His trick was not only to convince the others that their businesses were in jeopardy, but now he aligns their craft with the lie that Diana is now in trouble because of Paul. They were afraid, based on what they heard about people abandoning the false gods and the occult, and even burning their books, that they would be totally out of business and if Diana is proven to be a false god, it would also bring problems for Ephesus and people might want their money back for those idols. Many people began to forsake the Diana cult and turn to Christ. He then makes a very false statement that all Asia and the world worships Diana. This was not true but he probably based this notion on people who visited Ephesus from different parts of the world and visited the temple. There is no evidence that Diana was worshipped or was a central goddess anywhere but in Ephesus. This is mob mentality, whereby a mob would believe on a whim what one would never believe if they were alone and had time to ponder such a statement.
Acts 19:28 (KJB)
And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
Wrath - Great anger or fury
Cried out - Screamed or bellowed
Now Demetrius has the mob fuming as they have accepted what he told them without the least bit of thinking it over. The mob was now seething and started to scream about Diana being great. This was because the entire economy of Ephesus was centered around Diana and the temple. They temple was also a museum where many silversmiths worked and for them to remain in business, it was necessary for them to continue to proclaim that Diana was Great. She could not have any challenges to her religion or else that would start to diminish the profits, little by little until she was out of business, along with her god makers.
Acts 19:29 (KJB)
And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
Confusion - Tumult or disturbance
They continued to yell and cause verbal havoc until they had the whole city in confusion. It seemed the majority of the city had turned out and it had turned into one big mob scene. There was a Greek styled amphitheater in Ephesus which is still there today. Here is a link to a picture of the amphitheater which gives a good picture of the immensity as to what happened next.
Not knowing what they were doing, since confusion was reigning over the city, they had taken Gaius and Aristarchus and took them into the amphitheater. Seeing the size of this place gives us a good indication of the immensity of the crowd which Demetrius had stirred up. The amphitheater could hold a total of 25,000 people. It is one of the most perfectly designed amphitheaters and people can hear what is being said on the stage from anywhere.
Acts 19:30 (KJB)
And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.
Paul wanted to go in with the tumultuous crowd and make a defense before that crowd. The other disciples had restrained him because they were concerned for his safety. If Paul would have been given an opportunity to speak, he literally would have spoken to about 25,000 people which would have been about 10% of the population of the city. That would have been sufficient to really put a dent in the worship of Diana, so Demetrius and his cohorts did not realize how close they really did come to losing their businesses.