Y c 1-. Paul's arrival at Ephesus. d -1. Certain men. Their character. Disciples. e 2. Spiritual gifts. Their ignorance of them. f 3. What they had received. John's baptism. g 4,5. What Paul said. Paul's description of John's action. g 6-. What Paul did. Luke's description. Paul's action. f -6-. What they now received. e -6. Spiritual gifts. Their use of them. d 7. The men. Their number. About twelve. c 8-12. Paul's continuance at Ephesus.
August - September, 54 A.D.
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was (Lit. in the being Apollos) in Corinth (all the notices of Apollos are connected with Corinth, except Tit.3:13, when he was apparently in Crete, or expected to pass through it), Paul having passed through the upper parts (i.e. the highland district, at the back end of the Western Taurus range. Paul's route was probably through Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, the Phrygian lake district, and the Lydian part of the Province of Asia (Minor). It was about Aug. - Sept., 54 A.D.) came to Ephesus:
and finding certain disciples,
2 He said to them, “Have you all received (lit. If you all received) the holy spirit (pneuman hagion. No art. Is never used of the Giver [the Holy Spirit], but only and always of His gifts. See v.6) having believed?” (there is no note of time, or sequence, any more than Eph.1:13, "after". See note there) And they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Spirit.” (lit. But not even heard we if holy spirit is given. John taught the coming of the Holy Spirit [Matt.3:11], and Paul that no one could believe without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore the 12 men could not have questioned the existence of the Holy Spirit, and Paul would have rebuked them if they had. The reference must be to the promised gifts. Have you received the gifts of the Holy Spirit?)
3 And he said to them, “Unto what (the texts omit) then were you all baptized?” And they said, “Unto John's baptism.”
4 Then said Paul, “John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people, in order that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus (the Anointed One Yahshua. This is the converse of "Jesus Christ", and denotes the now exalted One, Who once humbled Himself. The texts omit "Christ").
5 When they heard [this], they were baptized into the name (see 2:36. This verse continues Paul's statement of John's action. Completion and presence of the Holy Spirit) of the Lord Jesus (Yahshua).”
6 And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them,
the Holy Spirit (both art. Denoting the Giver, as distinct from His gifts. See v.2) came on them;
and they spoke with tongues (same as Pentecost, not jibber jabber. See 2:6. Teaching from the Book of Joel), and prophesied (a prophet was one who spoke for God, and this applies to those of the N.T. as well as the Old. It did not necessarily mean that he foretold the future, though sometimes that was done, as in the case of Agabus [11:28; 21:10]. Prophecy was one of the gifts of the Spirit, and its chief design was to comfort, exhort [15:32], and testify from the Scriptures for the edification of believers).
7 And all the men were about twelve.
Sept. to Dec. 54 A.D.
8 And he went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God (Gr. Theos. Heb. Elohim).
9 But when some were hardened, and were unbelieving, speaking evil of the way (= the faith of the believers. See 9:2) before the multitude, he having withdrawn from them, and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school (lit., leisure, then lecture or discussion, then place for such) of one Tyrannus (evidently, a well known teacher. He may have been a rabbi, who had become a convert. "In town where there were many Jews, both in Judea and elsewhere, they had a synagogue and a divinity school." [Dr. John Lightfoot, Works, iii.236]).
10 And this continued for two years (carries on even to this day. The 7 churches in Rev. founded); so that all the dwellers in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus (The texts omit), both Jews (see 18:1,12) and Greeks (Gr. Hellen. Contrast 2 Tim.1:15 with this v.10).
11 And God (see v.8) was doing special (lit., no chance, i.e. no ordinary. Gr. tunchano = to happen) miracles (= powers, Gr. dunamis) through the hands of Paul (Paul was only the instrument, God the Worker. Never set your eyes on man):
12 So that from his skin were brought upon the sick handkerchiefs or aprons (these would be the linen aprons used in the craft of tent-making), and the diseases departed from them, and the wicked spirits went out of them (the texts omit. Obedience to God heals. See James 5:14).
Q B¹ 13-16. Exorcists. B² 17-20. Results.
B¹ h¹ 13-. Exorcists. General. i¹ -13. Adjuration. h² 14. Exorcists. Special. i² 15. Spirit's answer. h³ 16. Exorcists. Discomfiture.
13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews (Gr. perierchomai = roving = Kenites = sons of Cain. NOT of our brother Judah. See Gen.4:14), exorcists (Gr. exorkistes), took in hand to name over (to get control over a demon, it was necessary to know its name [cp. Mark 5:9] or to invoke the name of a superior power or spirit. Josephus [Ant.VIII.ii.5] relates how an exorcist, named Eleazar, when expelling a demon in the presence of Vespasian, invoked the name of Solomon. The great magical Papyrus of the third century, in the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris, gives spells in which the names of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and of Jesus, God of the Hebrews, are used) them which had evil spirits named of the Lord Jesus, saying, “We (the texts read "I") adjure (Gr. orkizo. This is the formula for casting out a demon in the above-named Papyrus, where exorkzõ also is found) you by Jesus whom Paul preaches (Gr. kerussõ = to proclaim [as a herald], from kerux, a herald; without reference to the matter proclaimed; and without including the idea of teaching. they show a weakness in faith here by not commanding the spirits to depart in Yahshua's name).
14 And there were seven sons of [one] Sceva, a Jew (= left-handed, another clue he was a Kenite [=son of Cain] and not of or brother Judah), [and] a chief priest (Gr. archiereus. This word is only used in the Gospels, Acts, and Hebrews. It is used of the high priest and priestly members of the Sanhedrian. Cp. Matt.26:3. Every town with a synagogue had a Sanhedrin of 23 members, if there were 120 Jews in the place; of 3 members, if there were fewer. Sceva was a member of the Sanhedrin at Ephesus), doing this.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said (Gr. apokrinomai = to give forth a decision for oneself; hence to answer), "Jesus I know (Gr. ginõskõ, = to know by experience, or effort; to acquire knowledge,become acquainted with; hence, to come or get to know, learn, percieve), and Paul I know (Gr. epistamai = to obtain, and thus have a knowledge of anything by proximity to it, or as the result of prolonged attention; in contrast with the process of getting to know it, or with a mere casual, dilettante acquaintance with it); but who are you?” (here we have a soldier [Sceva] on the battle line with no armor as far as against the supernatural)
16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and having overpowered them (the text read "them both". So it would seem only two of them were acting), and prevailed (lit., were strong) against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (they were ripped off, messed up, and sold out)
B² k 17. The Lord's Name magnified. l 18. Believers confessing. l 19. Magic arts renounced. k 20. The Word of God growing.
17 And this became known (Gr. gnostos. See 1:19) to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus (Jesus) was magnified (Gr. megaluno. See 5:13. God took advantage of the evil spirits to convert. All evil works turns over to good eventually, or gets destroyed in the end works).
18 And many that having believed came, and confessed (cp. Matt.3:6), and declared their practices.
19 Many of them also which practiced curious things (Gr. periergos. The word means "going beyond that which is legitimate) having collected their books (these were either books of magic, or strips of parchment or papyrus, with charms written on them. Many of these have been discovered. The great magical Papyrus referred to above [v.13] contains about 3,000 lines), and burnt them up before all [men]: and they counted the price of them, and found [it] fifty thousand [pieces] of silver (about $5-10,000. How much is spent today on this magical garbage!!!).
20 So according to strength grew the Word of God (the texts read "the Lord") and prevailed. (God was working special miracles so you would know how to [in His name], and what believing will do for you!)
F C¹ 19:21-21:40. Final ministry and last Missionary Journey. C² 22:1-28:29. Apprehension and Imprisonment.
C¹ D 19:21-41. Disturbance at Ephesus. E 20:1-6. Departure for Macedonia. F 20:7-12. Troas. G 20:13-16. Voyage to Miletus. G 20:17-38. At Miletus. F 21:1-15-. Journey to Cæsarea. E 21:-15-26. Return to Jerusalem. D 21:27-40. Disturbance at Jerusalem.
D m 21-25-. Assembly summoned. n -25-27. Speech of Demetrius. o 28. Outcry. H p 29-. Confusion. q -29. Gaius and Aristarchus seized. I 30-. Paul's purpose. I -30,31. Paul restrained. H p 32. Confusion. q 33. Alexander put forward. o 34. Outcry. n 35-40. Town clerk's speech. m 41. Assembly dismissed.
21 As soon as these things were fulfilled (or accomplished. Gr. pleroo. Frequently used of the O.T. prophecies. Also of any plan being carried out. Cp. Matt.3:15. Mark 1:15. Luke 7:1. John 7:8. The reference in not to the affairs at Ephesus only, but to the things recorded in 13:4-19:20. Here ends Paul's proclamation of the kingdom, and a further development of God's purpose begins. See intro to the Book of Acts), Paul purposed (lit. placed) in his spirit (the meaning is that he was firmly resolved), when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must see Rome also.”
22 So he sent into Macedonia (cp. 1 Cor.4:17) two of them that ministered to him, Timotheus (= dear to God) and Erastus (= beloved. Cp. Rom.16:23. 2 Tim.4:20); but he himself stayed (lit. held on. See 3:5) in Asia for a time.
23 And at that season there arose no small stir (see 12:18) concerning that way (i.e. Christ's way).
24 For a certain [man] by name Demetrius (= belonging to Ceres), a silversmith (Gr. arguro-kopos. Lit. silver-beater), which made silver shrines (Gr. naos. See Matt.23:16. Here a shrine meant an image of the goddess and part of the famous temple. These might be large enough to make ornaments for rooms or small enough to be carried as charms. On the reverse of a coin of Ephesus in the British Museum is a facade of the temple with a figure of Artemis in the center. This was big business at the time. Religious art pieces) of Diana (Gr. Artemis. Not the chaste huntress of popular mythology, but an Oriental deity who personified the bountifulness of nature. An alabastar statue in the museum at Naples represents her with a castellated crown, and many breasts, with various emblematic figures indicating that she is the universal mother of all creation. Layard, in "Nenevah and its Remains", gives reason for identifying her with Semiramis, the Queen of Babylon, from whom all licentiousness in ancient worship proceeded), brought no small gain to the craftsmen (Cp. 18:3);
25 Whom he gathered together (see 12:12) and the workmen of like occupation (lit. concerning such things. The shrines were made in terra-cotta, marble, &c.,as well as silver. Demetrius was a guild-master of the silversmith's guild, or trade union, and perhaps the other workmen had their own guild), and said,
“Sirs, you all know that out of this craft (same as "gain", v.24) we have our wealth (cp. "ability", 11:29. They were the richest in the area. Wealth of the nation).
26 And you all behold and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great crowd, saying that they be no gods, which are made by hands:
27 So that not only this our craft (lit. this share for us, i.e. our line of trade) is in danger to be set at naught (lit. to come into rejection); but that the temple of the great goddess Diana (see Matt.23:16. The ruins of this temple, one of the wonders of the ancient world, and of the amphitheater [v.29], still remain) also should be reckoned for nothing, and her magnificence should be destroyed (lit. taken down), whom all Asia and the world worships.” (That's how big the trade was)
28 Moreover having heard and become full of wrath, they were crying out, saying, “Great [is] Diana of the Ephesians.” (they loved her)
29 And the city was filled with confusion (confusion in mass = Babylon. Cp. v.32 Typical even to this day. Babylon = confusion. The confusion is such that nobody will know what to do):
and having seized Gaius (= lord. If a Macedonian, not the same as 20:4, nor the one in Rom.16:23. 1 Cor.1:14. He may have live in Corinth) and Aristarchus (= the best ruler. See 20:4; 27:2. Col.4:10. Philem.24), Macedonians, Paul's fellow travelers (cp. 2 Cor. 5:6), they rushed with one accord (cp. 1:14) into the theater (or an arena. Great gathering place. An ancient wonder).
30 And when Paul was wishing to have entered in to the people,
the disciples suffered him not.
31 And certain of the Asiarchs (These were persons chosen for their wealth and position to preside over the public festivals and games, and defray the expenses. About this time a decree was passed that the month Artemisius, named after the goddess, should be wholly devoted to festivals in her honor. This decree is extant, and opens with words that sound like an echo of v.35), which were his friends, sent to him, exhorting [him] that he would not adventure (lit. give) himself into the theater.
32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly (Gr. ekklesia) was confounded; and the more part knew not on account of what they were come together.
33 And they put forward Alexander out of the multitude (= helper of men - brave. Perhaps the same as in 1 Tim.1:20. 2 Tim.4:14), the Jews putting him forward (No son of Judah tolerant of idol worshipers). And Alexander beckoned with the hand (see 12:17), and purposed to make his defense to the people.
34 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.” (= Queen of Babylon. Cp. with king of Babylon in Rev.)
35 And when the recorder had quieted the people, he said, “Men, Ephesians (cp. 1:1), what man (texts read, "who of men") is there that knows not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipers (Gr. neokoros. Lit. temple-sweeper) of the great goddess Diana (the texts read, "great Diana"), and of the [image] which fell down from Jupiter? (Gr. Diopetes. Lit. the fallen from Zeus. The lower part of the image in the shrine was a block of wood which was said to have fallen from the sky. FICTION! He saw the Romans nearby were getting restless. The Romans believed Caesar was god. He came in with flattery, then common sense, ten fear of Romans. Romans had little time for religion)
36 Seeing then that these things are indisputable, it is needful that you all should be calm (or appeased, as in v.35), and to do nothing rash (or headstrong).
37 For you all have brought to this place these men, which are neither plunderers of temples, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess (He is in effect saying, "no one is questioning your queen". The texts read "our god").
38 If indeed then Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a charge against any man (lit. word. Gr. logos), the courts are being held, and there are proconsuls (see 13:7. Asia was a pro-consular province, but there was only one proconsul. The town-clerk was probably speaking generally): let them charge one another (or accuse. He knew who started the ruckus).
39 But if you all seek diligently any thing concerning other matters, it shall be resolved in a lawful assembly. (let the city council take care of it)
40 For we are in danger to be called in question concerning this day's uproar (Gr. stasis, insurrection), there being no cause concerning which we may give an account of this concourse.” (He wouldn't know what to say)
41 And having said these things, he dissolved the assembly. (Paul was freed by one of his own)