- Acts 19:31-35
- Acts 19:31 (KJB)
- And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him,
desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.
- Paul had even made friends with some of the Asiarchs which were those
who were connected with Roman worship in the Province of Asia, had sent word
to him that he should not offer himself in the amphitheater. It would
probably have been the death of Paul plus the Roman army would have to
descend on the amphitheater and break up the mob. The Asiarchs were chosen
from the most wealthiest and influential families, which they served for a
period of one year and then re-elected. These people had management
positions for the use of the amphitheater which was used for games and
religious rites. The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California was patterned
after the amphitheaters of ancient Greece.
- Acts 19:32 (KJB)
- Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was
confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.
- Here is typical example of a mob mentality. Some people were yelling one
thing and others something else. This made for them being a confused crowd.
Even though they were now in the amphitheater, confusion had reigned to the
point that the majority of the people didn’t even know why they were there.
There was no focal point to this gathering because it was just a fragmented
meeting orchestrated by a very few but it does not take very long before a
crowd will form.
- Acts 19:33 (KJB)
- And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him
forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his
defence unto the people.
- The name, Alexander, was a very common Greek name. This Alexander was a
Hellenistic Jew whom the Jews had taken out of the crowd and wanted him to
speak to the crowd that the Jews have no association with Christianity and
therefore, were not responsible for what the Christians were doing. These
Jews are showing an amazing denial of their own Scriptures which expressly
forbids idolatry and in their own history, the nations which their ancestors
fought were fraught with idols like Moloch or Ashtarte. It seems like
Alexander had motioned to the crowd to let him speak but it looks like he
did not have the opportunity.
- Acts 19:34 (KJB)
- But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space
of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
- Alexander had tried to speak to the crowd but when they saw he was a
Jew, they drowned him out by yelling for two hours that Great is Diana of
the Ephesians. To the Greeks, the Jews were considered just another
religion. The crowd had probably thought that the Jews were complicit with
the Christians in this matter and they did not want to hear from either of
these “religions.” Now the crowd had begun to cheer in unison making it
impossible for anyone to be able to address this crowd.
- Acts 19:35 (KJB)
- And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men
of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the
Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image
which fell down from Jupiter?
- After the two hours of shouting, the town clerk, which was probably the
secretary of the city was able to calm the crowd down. It is amazing that
after 2 hours of screaming these people had any voice left in them. The town
clerk would have been a citizen of Ephesus but he would have also been
liaison with the Roman Government. He would have been the one responsible
for keeping order in the town. Despite all the yelling this crowd did, the
greatness of Diana had started to wane because of the preaching which was
being done in the city. He then proceeds to speak about how Diana came to be
among them. He claims the image fell from Jupiter which was the chief god of
the Romans and the god of lightning and thunder. Some earlier Greek writers
have stated that their gods fell from heaven. It is believed that a meteor
had fallen from the sky and that the image of Diana was placed upon that
meteor as a pedestal. This may be the meaning of why they believed the image
fell from Jupiter. However, the meteor may have fallen from heaven, but the
image on top of that meteor was fashioned by a man.