Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Acts 19

Verse 1

while . . . was. Literally in (Greek. en) the being Apollos.

at = in. Greek. en. App-104.

Corinth. All the notices of Apollos are connected with Corinth, except Titus 3:13, when he was apparently in Crete, or expected to pass through it.

upper. Greek. anoterikos. Only here.

coasts = parts, i.e. the highland district, at the back 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. It was about August September, A.D. 54.

certain. Greek. tis. App-123.

Verse 2

Have ye received. Literally If (App-118. a) ye received.

the Holy Ghost. Greek. pneuma hagion. No art. App-101.

since ye believed = having believed. App-150. There is no note of time, or sequence, any more than in Ephesians 1:13, "after. "See note there.

We have, &c. Literally But not even (Greek. oude) heard we if (App-118. a) holy spirit is (given). John taught the coming of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11), and Paul that no one could believe without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore the twelve men could not have questioned the existence of the Holy Spirit, and Paul would have rebuked them if they had. The reference must have been to the promised gifts.

Verse 3

unto them. The texts omit.

Unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

baptized. App-115.

baptism. App-115.

Verse 4

verily = indeed.

baptized. App-115.

repentance. Greek. metanoia. App-111.

unto = to.

people. Greek. laos. See note on Acts 2:47.

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

believe. App-150.

after. Gr. meta. App-104.

Christ Jesus. App-98. The texts omit "Christ".

Verse 5

in = into. Greek. eis. App-104.

the name. See note on Acts 2:38. This verse continues Paul"s statement of John"s action. See the Structure.

Jesus. App-98.

Verse 6

the Holy Ghost. Both arts. App-101.

on. Greek. epi. App-104.

spake. Greek. laleo. App-121.

prophesied. See App-189.

Verse 7

men. Greek. aner. App-123.

Verse 8

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

synagogue. App-120.

spake boldly. Greek. parrhesiazomai. See note on Acts 9:27.

for the space of = for. Greek. epi. App-104.

three months. Sept. to Dec. A.D. 54.

disputing = reasoning. Greek. dialegomai. See Acts 17:2.

persuading. Greek. peitho. App-150.

concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

kingdom of God. App-114.

Verse 9

divers = some. Greek. tines. App-124.

hardened. Greek. skleruno. Romans 9:18. Hebrews 3:8, Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 3:15; Hebrews 4:7.

believed not = were unbelieving. Greek. apeitheo. Compare Acts 14:2; Acts 17:5.

but spake evil = speaking evil. Greek. kakologeo. Here, Matthew 15:4. Mark 7:10; Mark 9:39.

that way = the way. See note on Acts 9:2.

multitude. Greek. plethos. See note on Acts 2:6.

departed = having withdrawn. Greek. aphistemi.

separated. Greek. aphorizo. Compare Acts 13:2.

school. Greek. schole. Literally leisure, then lecture or discussion, then place for such. Only here.

one. The texts omit.

Tyrannus. Evidently a -well-known teacher. He may have been a Rabbi, who had become a convert. "In towns where there were many Jews, both in Judea and elsewhere, they had a synagogue and a divinity school. "(Dr. John Lightfoot, Works, iii. 236.)

Verse 10

by the space of = for. Greek. epi. App-104.

they which dwelt = the dwellers. Greek. katoikeo. See note on Acts 2:5.

word. Greek. logos. App-121.

Jesus. The texts omit.

Greeks. Greek. Hellen. Contrast 2 Timothy 1:15 with this Acts 19:10.

Verse 11

God. App-98.

wrought = was doing.

special. Literally no (Greek. ou. App-105) chance, i.e. no ordinary. Greek. tunchano = to happen.

miracles. Greek. dunamis. See App-176.

by = through. Greek. dia. App-104. Acts 19:1. Paul was only the instrument, God the worker.

Verse 12

body = skin. Greek. chros. Only here. Medical writers used chros instead of soma for body.

brought. Greek. epiphero. Only here, Acts 25:18. Romans 3:5. Philippians 1:1, Philippians 1:16. Jude 1:9. The texts read apophero, carry.

unto = upon. Greek. epi. App-104.

sick. See John 11:3, John 11:4.

handkerchiefs. Greek. soudarion. See note on John 11:44.

aprons. Greek. simikinthion. Only here. The Latin semicinctium means girding half-way round. These would be the linen aprons used in the craft of tent-making.

diseases. Greek. nosos. See note on Matthew 4:23, Matthew 4:24.

departed. Greek. apallasso. Only here, Luke 12:58 (deliver). Hebrews 2:15 (deliver).

evil = wicked. Gr. poneros. App-128.

spirits. App-101.

of them. The texts omit.

Verse 13

vagabond = roving. Greek. perierchomai. Only here, Acts 28:13. 1 Timothy 5:13. Hebrews 11:37. Compare Genesis 4:14.

exorcists. Greek. exorkistes. Only here. The verb exorkizo, to adjure, only in Matthew 26:63.

took upon them = took in hand. Greek. epicheireo. See note on Acts 9:29.

call . . . the name = name.

over. Greek. epi. App-104. To get control over a demon, it was necessary to know its name (compare Mark 5:9) or to invoke the name of a superior power or spirit. Josephus (Antiquities 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 Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris, gives spells in which the names of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of Jesus, God of the Hebrews, are used.

We. The texts read "I".

adjure. Greek. orkizo. This is the formula for casting out a demon in the above-named Papyrus, where exorkizo also is found.

preacheth. Greek. kerusso. App-121.

Verse 14

sons. Greek. huios. App-108.

chief of the priests = a chief priest. Greek. archiereus. This word is only used in the Gospels, Acts, and Hebrews. It is used of the High Priest and priestly members of the Sanhedrin. Compare Matthew 26:3. Every town with a synagogue had a Sanhedrin of twenty-three members, if there were 120 Jews in the place; of three members, if there were fewer. Sceva was a member of the Sanhedrin at Ephesus.

which did so = doing this.

Verse 15

answered and said. App-122.

know. Greek. ginosko. App-132.

know. Greek. epistamai. App-132. In the English there is the Figure of speech Epistrophe., App-6, but not in the Greek

Verse 16

man. Greek. anthropos. App-123.

leaped. Greek. ephallomai. Only here.

overcame = having over powered. Greek. katakcurieuo. Here, Matthew 20:25. Mark 10:42. 1 Peter 5:3.

them. The texts read "them both". So it would seem only two of them were acting.

and prevailed. Literally were strong. Greek. ischuo. See note on Acts 15:10.

wounded. Greek. traumatizo. Only here and Luke 20:12.

Verse 17

was = became.

known. Greek. gnostoa. See note on Acts 1:19.

magnified. Greek. megaluno. See note on Acts 5:13.

Verse 18

confessed. Compare Matthew 3:6.

shewed = declared. See note on Acts 15:4.

deeds = practices. Greek. praxis. Elsewhere, Matthew 16:27 (works). Luke 23:51. Romans 8:13; Romans 12:4 (office). Colossians 3:9.

Verse 19

used = practised. Greek. prasso.

curious arts. Greek. periergos. Only here and 1 Timothy 5:13. The word means "going beyond that which is legitimate". The kindred verb only in 2 Thessalonians 3:11.

arts = things.

brought . . . together = having collected.

books. These were either books on 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 (Acts 19:13) contains about 3,000 lines.

and burned them = burnt them up.

before = in the presence of.

counted. Greek. sumpsephizo. Only here.

Verse 20

mightily = according to strength (Greek. Kratos. App-172.)

grew. Greek. auxano. Compare Acts 6:7; Acts 12:24.

God. The texts read "the Lord".

prevailed. Same word as in. Acts 19:16. This verse is an example of the Figure of speech Epicrisis. App-6.

Verse 21

After = As soon as.

ended = fulfilled or accomplished. Greek. pleroo. Frequently used of the O.T. prophecies. Also of any plan being carried out. Compare Matthew 3:15. Mark 1:15. Luke 7:1. John 7:8. The reference is not to the affairs at Ephesus only, but to the things recorded in Acts 13:4 - Acts 19:20. Here ends Paul"s proclamation of the kingdom, and a further development of God"s purpose begins. See the Structure on p. 1575 and App-181.

purposed. Literally placed. Greek. tithemi. Occurs more than ninety times. Translated "lay", more than forty times. Compare Acts 5:2. Luke 1:66; Luke 9:44; Luke 21:14.

the spirit = his spirit. App-101. The meaning is that he was firmly resolved. Figure of speech Idioma. App-6.

also see, &c. = see Rome also.

see. Greek. eidon. App-133.

Verse 22

sent. Greek. apostello. App-174. Compare 1 Corinthians 4:17.

ministered. Greek. diakoneo. App-190.

Erastus. Compare Romans 16:23. 2 Timothy 4:20.

stayed. Literally held on. Greek. epecho. See note on Acts 3:5.

for a season = a time.

Verse 23

the same time = at (Greek. kata. App-104.) that season.

stir. See note on Acts 12:18.

about = concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

Verse 24

named = by name.

silversmith. Greek. argurokopos. Literally silver-beater. Only here.

shrines. Greek. naos. See note on Matthew 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 centre.

for = of.

Diana. Greek. Artemis. Not the chaste huntress of popular mythology, but an Oriental deity who personified the bountifulness of nature. An alabaster statue in the museum of 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 Nineveh and its Remains, gives reasons for identifying her with Semiramis, the Queen of Babylon, from whom all the licentiousness in ancient worship proceeded.

gain. Greek. ergasia. See note on Acts 16:16.

craftsmen. Greek. technites. Only here, Acts 19:38. Hebrews 11:10. Revelation 18:22. Compare Acts 18:3.

Verse 25

called together = gathered together. See note on Acts 12:12.

with = and.

workmen. Greek. ergates. A general term.

of like occupation. Literally concerning (Greek. peri. App-104.) such things. The shrines were made in terra-cotta, marble, &c, as well as silver. Demetrius was a guild-master of the silversmiths" guild, or trade union, and perhaps the other workmen had their own guilds.

Sirs. Greek. aner. App-123. See note on Acts 7:26.

by = out of. Greek. ek. App-104.

craft. Same as "gain", Acts 19:24.

wealth. Greek. euporia. Only here. Compare "ability", Acts 11:29.

Verse 26

Moreover = And.

see = behold. Greek. theoreo. App-133.

almost. See Acts 13:44.

turned away. Greek. methistemi. See note on Acts 13:22.

much people = a great crowd (Greek. ochlos).

gods. App-98.

with = by. Greek. dia. App-104. Acts 19:1.

Verse 27

this our craft. Literally this share for us, i.e. our line of trade.

is in danger. Greek. kinduneuo. Only here, Acts 19:40. Luke 8:23. 1 Corinthians 15:30.

to be set at nought. Literally to come into (Greek. eis) rejection (Greek. apelegmos). Only here.

also. Read after Diana.

temple. Greek. hieron. See Matthew 23:16. The ruins of this temple, one of the wonders of the ancient world, and of the amphitheatre (Acts 19:20), still remain.

goddess. Greek. thea, fem, of theos. Only here, verses: Acts 19:19, Acts 19:35, Acts 19:37.

despised = reckoned for (Greek. eis) nothing (Greek. ouden).

magnificence. Greek. megaleiotes. Only here, Luke 9:43. 2 Peter 1:16.

destroyed. Greek. katliaireo; literally taken down. Compare Acts 13:19, Acts 13:29. Luke 1:52. 2 Corinthians 10:5.

world. Greek. oikoumene. App-129.

worshippeth. Greek. sebomai. App-137.

Verse 28

And when, &c = Moreover having heard and become full of wrath, they.

cried out = were crying out.

Verse 29

whole. Omit.

confusion. Greek. sunchusis. Literally pouring together. Only here. Compare Acts 19:32.

caught = seized. Greek. sunarpazo. See note on Acts 6:12.

Gaius. If a Macedonian, not the same as in Acts 20:4, nor the one in Romans 16:23. 1 Corinthians 1:14. He may have lived in Corinth.

Aristarchus. See Acts 20:4; Acts 27:2. Colossians 4:10. Philemon 1:24.

men of Macedonia = Macedonians.

companions in travel = fellow travellers. Greek. sunekdemos. Only here and 2 Corinthians 8:19. Compare 2 Corinthians 5:6.

rushed. Greek. hormao. Only here, Acts 7:57, and of the swine in Matthew 8:32. Mark 5:13. Luke 8:33. In the Greek these two statements are transposed. See Revised Version.

with one accord. See note on Acts 1:14.

theatre. Greek. theatron. Only here, Acts 19:31. 1 Corinthians 4:9. Compare App-133.

Verse 30

would = was wishing. Greek. boulomai. App-102.

people. Greek. demos. See Acts 12:22.

Verse 31

chief of Asia = Asiarchs. Greek. Asiarches. 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 honour. This decree is extant, and opens with words that sound like an echo of Acts 19:35.

sent. Greek. pempo. App-174.

desiring = exhorting. Greek. parakaleo. App-134.

adventure. Literally give. Figure of speech Idioma. App-6.

Verse 32

assembly. Greek. ekklesica App-186.

confused = confounded. Greek. sunchuno. See note on Acts 2:6.

knew. Greek. oida. App-132.

wherefore = on account of what.

Verse 33

drew = put forward. Greek. probibazo. Only here and Matthew 14:8, which see. The texts read sumbibazo. See Acts 9:22.

Alexander. Perhaps the same as in 1 Timothy 1:20. 2 Timothy 4:14.

multitude. Same as "people" Acts 19:26.

putting . . . forward. Greek. proballo. Only here and Luke 21:30

beckoned. See note on Acts 12:17.

would have made = purposed (Greek. thelo. App-102.) to make his defence (Greek. apologeomai, to speak in defence. Occurs here, Acts 24:10; Acts 25:8; Acts 26:1, Acts 26:2, Acts 26:24. Luke 12:11; Luke 21:14. Romans 2:15. 2 Corinthians 12:19. Compare Acts 22:1).

Verse 34

knew. Greek. epiginosko. App-132.

all with one voice . . . out. Literally one voice came from (Greek. ek) all crying out.

about, &c. = as it were for (Greek. epi) two hours. Figure of speech Battologia. App-6.

Verse 35

townelerk = recorder. Greek. grammateus. In all its other sixty-six occurances translated scribe.

appeased = quieted. Greek. katastello. Only here and Acts 19:36.

Ye, &c. = Men, Ephesians. Compare Acts 1:11.

what man. The texts read, "who of men. "

knoweth. Greek. ginosko. App-132.

worshipper. Greek. neokoros. Literally temple-sweeper. Only here. This very word occurs on coins of Ephesus.

great goddess Diana. The texts read "great Diana".

the image, &c. Greek. Diopetes. Only here. Literally 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.

Verse 36

cannot be spoken against = are indisputable. Greek. anantirrhetos. Only here. The adverb in Acts 10:29.

ye ought to = it is needful that ye should.

be. Greek. huparcho. See note on Luke 9:48.

quiet = calmed or appeased, as in Acts 19:33.

nothing. Greek. medeis.

rashly = rash, or headstrong. Greek. propetes. Only here and 2 Timothy 3:4 (heady).

Verse 37

robbers of churches = plunderers of temples. Greek. hierosulos. Only here.

your goddess. The texts read "our god". App-98.

Verse 38

Wherefore if = If (App-118. a) indeed then.

matter = charge. Literally

word. Greek. logos. App-121. Figure of speech Idioma. App-6.

against. Greek. pros. App-104.

any man. Greek. tis. App-123.

law is open = courts (Greek. agoraios. See note on Acts 17:5) are being held.

deputies = proconsuls. Greek. anthupatos. See note on Acts 13:7. Asia was a proconsular province, but there was only one proconsul. The townclerk was probably speaking generally.

implead = charge, or accuse. Greek. enkaleo. Only here, Acts 19:40; Acts 23:28, Acts 23:29; Acts 26:2, Acts 26:7. Romans 8:33.

Verse 39

enquire = seek diligently. Same word as in Acts 12:19; Acts 13:7.

other. Greek. heteros. App-124.

determined = resolved. Greek. epiluo. Only here and Mark 4:34 (expounded).

lawful. Greek. ennomos, under laws. Only here and 1 Corinthians 9:21.

Verse 40

called in question. Same as "implead" (Acts 19:38).

for = concerning, as in Acts 19:8.

uproar. Greek. stasis, insurrection.

cause. Greek. aition. Only here and Luke 23:4, Luke 23:14, Luke 23:22.

whereby =. concerning (GR. peri, as in Acts 19:8) which.

account. Greek. logos. App-121.

concourse. Greek. sustrophe. Only here and Acts 23:12.

Verse 41

when, &c. = having said these things.

dismissed = dissolved. Greek. apoluo. App-174.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Acts 19". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/acts-19.html. 1909-1922.