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Bible Commentaries

Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Acts 19

Verse 1

The upper coasts ; Phrygia and Galatia, which lay east at a distance from the sea on higher ground than Ephesus.

Verse 2

Received the Holy Ghost ; his miraculous powers.

Not so much as heard ; that the Holy Spirit had been given, in his special manifestations, as at the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:17-18 .

Verse 6

The Holy Ghost came on them ; with his miraculous power, as he had done on other disciples.

Verse 9

Divers were hardened ; by resisting and rejecting the truth.

That way ; the way of salvation which Paul preached.

The school ; the room or place where Tyrannus taught. When the preaching of the gospel only hardens men, and leads them more bitterly to oppose the truth, it is sometimes best for ministers to leave them, and go where there is a greater prospect of success. The rejection of the gospel by some is thus made the occasion of salvation to others.

Verse 10

Asia ; Ionia, or proconsular Asia, of which Ephesus was the capital.

Verse 13

Vagabond ; wandering about from city to city in the exercise of their juggling arts.

Exorcists ; those who pretended, by repeating the name of God, and performing certain ceremonies, to heal diseases and expel evil spirits.

We adjure you ; charge you, by an oath in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preacheth, to come out.

Verse 15

Jesus I know , and Paul ; their power to expel us we acknowledge, but not yours.

Verse 17

Magnified ; he was increasingly honored. The efforts of wicked men to exalt themselves result in their deeper abasement; and attempts to dishonor Christ are overruled for the promotion of his glory, and the advancement of his cause.

Verse 18

Confessed ; their former wicked deeds.

Verse 19

Curious arts ; cunning, adroit practices of jugglery and deception.

Books ; those which taught the way to practise these arts. When men are truly converted to God and obey his will, they will forsake their former wicked practices, however popular or gainful; and all that property which cannot be made useful to mankind they will destroy.

Verse 21

Macedonia and Achaia ; provinces in Greece which he had before visited. Chapter Acts 16:10 ; Acts 17:15 ; Acts 18:12 .

Verse 22

Erastus ; he had been chamberlain, or treasurer of Corinth. Romans 16:23 .

Asia ; verse Acts 19:10 .

Verse 23

That way ; the way of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Verse 24

Shrines for Diana ; Diana was a celebrated heathen goddess, to whom a splendid temple was erected at Ephesus. The shrines were small silver temples, in imitation of that of Diana, which were bought by multitudes, and kept as precious memorials.

Craftsmen ; the silversmiths who made these shrines.

Verse 25

Craft ; trade.

Verse 26

Turned away much people ; turned many from the worship of idols. The gospel, in proportion as it prevails, will render profitless all those trades and employments which demoralize and injure mankind. It will also render the conviction universal, that men have no right to prosecute or encourage any business which is not beneficial to their fellow-men.

Verse 31

Theatre ; which was customarily used as a place for the public assembling of the citizens.

Verse 33

Putting him forward ; for the purpose of giving him opportunity to address the assembly.

Verse 34

Cried out ; to prevent Alexander from being heard. When, by the prevalence of truth and love, wicked men are prevented from making money by wrong-doing, they are often filled with wrath; they sometimes excite a tumult, and by senseless clamor try to drown the voice of reason, and to sweep away all that hinders them by the whirlwind of passion.

Verse 35

Town - clerk ; a city magistrate, who presided in the senate, recorded the laws, and read in public what was to be communicated to the people.

Appeased the people ; quieted them, so that he could be heard.

The image ; the image of Diana which was kept in the temple, and which they said was given by Jupiter the chief of the gods.

Verse 36

Cannot be spoken against ; cannot be denied; must be admitted as true.

Verse 37

Churches ; temples.

Verse 38

A matter ; just cause of complaint.

Deptuies ; proconsuls, who presided over the administration of justice.

Implead one another ; argue their cases in court. Sometimes men of standing and influence are found with rabble in a riot. Not unfrequently designing individuals, who live on the vices of the people, and whose pecuniary interests are affected by the increase of light, are the instigators of lawless outbreaks against liberty and life; such ought, for the safety of the public, to be visited with exemplary punishment.

Verse 39

Other matters ; things which concern not individuals merely, but the public.

Lawful assembly ; one not got up by tumult, but regularly called.

Verse 40

Called in question for this day’s uproar ; accused to the Roman government and punished. Riotous assemblies were forbidden by Roman law, and the penalty for instigating them was death. The Ephesians therefore, especially Demetrius and his associates, were in no small danger; and when they came to consider, they were very willing to disperse, as is often the case with rioters under an efficient government.

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Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Acts 19". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/acts-19.html. American Tract Society. 1851.