Acts 19:23-20:1

Oct 27, 2019 // By:Dave // No Comment

23 About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way.

24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen;

25 these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business.

26 “You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all.

27 “Not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship will even be dethroned from her magnificence.”

28 When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

29 The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia.

30 And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him.

31 Also some of the Asiarchs who were friends of his sent to him and repeatedly urged him not to venture into the theater.

32 So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together.

33 Some of the crowd concluded it was Alexander, since the Jews had put him forward; and having motioned with his hand, Alexander was intending to make a defense to the assembly.

34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

35 After quieting the crowd, the town clerk *said, “Men of Ephesus, what man is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the image which fell down from heaven?

36 “So, since these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash.

37 “For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess.

38 “So then, if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against any man, the courts are in session and proconsuls are available; let them bring charges against one another.

39 “But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly.

40 “For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today’s events, since there is no real cause for it, and in this connection we will be unable to account for this disorderly gathering.”

41 After saying this he dismissed the assembly.

Acts 20:1 After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia.

 

let’s dive in

23 About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way.

remember, we are in Ephesus. host city of temple of Artemis

tumblr_paxvkkdsBI1sjjdtyo1_1280.jpg

the temple of artemis is known as the third of seven wonders of the world built in the 3rd century BC.

Plan-du-temple-d-Artemis-V.jpg

345 feet x 180 feet (football field is 360 x 165 feet

(built on a platform 420 by 240 feet)

The 100 columns measured exactly 17.65 meters, 60 feet tall

This temple grew so wealthy that it became the main financial institution of Asia, receiving deposits and making loans. 

Clearly, Artemis and the god of money were tied closely together in Ephesus.

all this built around the worship of a statue they say fell from the heavens

a statue of artemis (goddess of the chastity, hunting, wild animals, forests, childbirth, and fertility) not to mention protector of the city itself

and we think we have a hard time at work having to wear more than one hat ?!  LOL

want to see the statue ?

tumblr_mn3lwvABGr1qcrxw5o1_1280.jpg

  • ebony head, hands and feet
  • ivory body
  • necklace of what appears to be grapes
  • sarcophagus style body (egyptian influence)
  • turret crown like that worn by the Phrygian royalty
  • various animals such as lions, deer, horses, bees at her feet
  • there is some conjecture regarding the cluster at her chest
    • some say breasts (which matches the nurturer theme of artemis
    • some say testicals (since castrated priests were part of the temple function)

24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen;

25 these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business.

26 “You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all.

is it any wonder Paul says that “gods made my human hands are no gods at all ??!!

27 “Not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship will even be dethroned from her magnificence.” 

(with the implied threat that their city would no longer enjoy her protection)

I have to wonder what his primary motive was,

  1. the reputation of artemis
  2. their profits

my guess is the profits, but he needed to “spiritualize” it so it sounded more noble.

either way, Paul was now interfering with whichever god they worshiped (artemis or money)

they made little silver souvenir shrines of artemis (see verse 24 )and sold them (largely to tourists visiting)

idolatry  was quite profitable in Ephesus

the enemy usually tries to make idolatry attractive to people

(bait needs to be enticing to a fish to trick it into getting hooked)

Eccl. 5:10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. 

1Tim. 6:6 aBut godliness actually is a means of bgreat gain when accompanied by ccontentment.

1Tim. 6:7 For awe have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.

1Tim. 6:8 If we ahave food and covering, with these we shall be content.

1Tim. 6:9 aBut those who want to get rich fall into temptation and ba snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.

1Tim. 6:10 For athe love of money is a root of all 1sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have bwandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Exodus 20:3  You shall have no other gods before me 

some scholars have put forth the idea that the israelites where polythiestic and that this command simply means “put me first, then you can give them some attention as well.  

Does this make sense ?

but when we look at verses 4-5 we see God clearly telling the israelites to not worship them at all because He says “I AM the LORD your GOD. a jealous god who will cause generations to follow to suffer the consequences of iniquity (and the only contextual definition of the iniquity is the previously mentioned instruction to worship him alone)

Col. 3:5aTherefore 1consider bthe members of your earthly body as dead to 2cimmorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which 3amounts to idolatry.

is it possible for us to commit idolatry in this present age ?  How ?

 

Is not putting anything above God a form of idolatry ?

When we disobey God, is this not idolatry (since we are putting ourselves above God) ?

Here is what’s left of the temple today

800px-Templo-Artemisa-Efeso-2017.jpeg

28 ¶ When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

29 The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia.

30 And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him.

31 Also some of the Asiarchs who were friends of his sent to him and repeatedly urged him not to venture into the theater.

32 So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together.

33 Some of the crowd concluded it was Alexander, since the Jews had put him forward; and having motioned with his hand, Alexander was intending to make a defense to the assembly.

34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

35 After quieting the crowd, the town clerk *said, “Men of Ephesus, what man is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the image which fell down from heaven?

36 “So, since these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash.

37 “For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess.

38 “So then, if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against any man, the courts are in session and proconsuls are available; let them bring charges against one another.

39 “But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly.

40 “For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today’s events, since there is no real cause for it, and in this connection we will be unable to account for this disorderly gathering.”

41 After saying this he dismissed the assembly.

Acts 20:1 ¶ After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia.

 

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