Author: Ron Graham

Book of Acts

Acts 19:21-41
—Verse by verse

This page is a verse by verse study of Acts 19:21-41. These verses describe Paul’s troubles in Ephesus with the followers of the goddess Diana, also known as Artemis.

The goddess, Diana of the Ephesians

1 Paul Looks Toward Leaving Ephesus

Verses 21-22

¶ "Now when these events were over, Paul determined in spirit to go to Jerusalem once he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia. He said, “After I have been to Jerusalem, I must also see Rome.” He sent into Macedonia two of those who served him, Timothy and Erastus, yet he himself still remained awhile in Asia." (Acts 19:21-22).

2 Asian Artisans Cause Untimely Riot

Verses 23-27

¶ "Around that time there arose an uproar concerning the Way, and it wasn't small. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought a lot of business to the craftsmen. He got these artisans together, with the workmen of like occupation, and said, “Gentlemen, you know that our prosperity relies on this business. However, you see and hear, that not at Ephesus alone, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that handcrafted gods are false gods. Not only is there danger that this trade of ours will come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be despised; and her majesty destroyed, whom all Asia and the whole world worships.”" (Acts 19:23-27).

Verses 28-31

¶ "Those who heard this were filled with anger, and cried out, saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” Soon the whole city was filled with confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater. The crowd had seized Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, who were among Paul’s travelling companions. When Paul wanted to enter in to the people, the disciples wouldn't allow him. Furthermore, some of the Asiarchs who were his friends, sent a message to him, begging him not to venture into the theater." (Acts 19:28-31).

Verses 32-34

¶ "The assembly was in confusion. Some of the mob cried one thing, and some another. Most of them didn't know why they had come together. They brought Alexander out of the crowd, the Jews putting him forward. Alexander beckoned with his hand, and would have made a defense to the people. But when they perceived that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” They kept this up for about two hours" (Acts 19:32-34).

3 Town Clerk of Ephesus Quashes Riot

Verses 35-41

¶ "When the town clerk had quieted the multitude, he said, “You men of Ephesus, what man is there who doesn't know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great goddess Artemis, and of the image which fell down from Zeus? Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rash. For you have brought these men here, who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess. If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a matter against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them press charges against one another. But if you seek anything beyond this, it will be settled in the regular assembly. For indeed we are in danger of being accused concerning this day’s riot, there being no just cause. We wouldn't be able to give an account regarding this commotion.” When he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly." (Acts 19:35-41).