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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Acts 19

 

 

Verse 1

While Apollos was at Corinth (εν τωι τον Απολλω ειναι εν Κοριντωιen tōi ton Apollō einai en Korinthōi). Favourite idiom with Luke, ενen with the locative of the articular infinitive and the accusative of general reference (Luke 1:8; Luke 2:27, etc.).

Having passed through the upper country (διελτοντα τα ανωτερικα μερηdielthonta ta anōterika merē). Second aorist active participle of διερχομαιdierchomai accusative case agreeing with ΠαυλονPaulon accusative of general reference with the infinitive ελτεινelthein idiomatic construction with εγενετοegeneto The word for “upper” (ανωτερικαanōterika) is a late form for ανωτεραanōtera (Luke 14:10) and occurs in Hippocrates and Galen. It refers to the highlands (cf. Xenophon‘s Anabasis) and means that Paul did not travel the usual Roman road west by Colossae and Laodicea in the Lycus Valley, cities that he did not visit (Colossians 2:1). Instead he took the more direct road through the Cayster Valley to Ephesus. Codex Bezae says here that Paul wanted to go back to Jerusalem, but that the Holy Spirit bade him to go into Asia where he had been forbidden to go in the second tour (Acts 16:6). Whether the upper “parts” (μερηmerē) here points to North Galatia is still a point of dispute among scholars. So he came again to Ephesus as he had promised to do (Acts 18:21). The province of Asia included the western part of Asia Minor. The Romans took this country b.c. 130. Finally the name was extended to the whole continent. It was a jewel in the Roman empire along with Africa and was a senatorial province. It was full of great cities like Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea (the seven churches of Rev. 2;3), Colossae, Hierapolis, Apamea, to go no further. Hellenism had full sway here. Ephesus was the capital and chief city and was a richer and larger city than Corinth. It was located at the entrance to the valley of the Maeander to the east. Here was the power of Rome and the splendour of Greek culture and the full tide of oriental superstition and magic. The Temple of Artemis was one of the seven wonders of the world. While in Ephesus some hold that Paul at this time wrote the Epistle to the Galatians after his recent visit there, some that he did it before his recent visit to Jerusalem. But it is still possible that he wrote it from Corinth just before writing to Rome, a point to discuss later.

Certain disciples (τινας ματηταςtinas mathētas). Who were they? Apollos had already gone to Corinth. They show no connection with Priscilla and Aquila. Luke calls them “disciples” or “learners” (ματηταςmathētas) because they were evidently sincere though crude and ignorant. There is no reason at all for connecting these uninformed disciples of the Baptist with Apollos. They were floating followers of the Baptist who drifted into Ephesus and whom Paul found. Some of John‘s disciples clung to him till his death (John 3:22-25; Luke 7:19; Matthew 14:12). Some of them left Palestine without the further knowledge of Jesus that came after his death and some did not even know that, as turned out to be the case with the group in Ephesus.


Verse 2

Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye believed? (ει πνευμα αγιον ελαβετε πιστευσαντεσei pneuma hagion elabete pisteusanteṡ). This use of ΠιPi in a direct question occurs in Acts 1:6, is not according to the old Greek idiom, but is common in the lxx and the N.T. as in Luke 13:23 which see (Robertson, Grammar, p. 916). Apparently Paul was suspicious of the looks or conduct of these professed disciples. The first aorist active participle πιστευσαντεςpisteusantes is simultaneous with the second aorist active indicative ελαβετεelabete and refers to the same event.

Nay, we did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit was (Αλλ ουδε ει πνευμα αγιον εστιν ηκουσαμενAll' oude ei pneuma hagion estin ēkousamen). The reply of these ignorant disciples is amazing. They probably refer to the time of their baptism and mean that, when baptized, they did not hear whether (ειei in indirect question) the Holy Spirit was (εστινestin retained as in John 7:39). Plain proof that they knew John‘s message poorly.


Verse 3

Into what (εις τιeis tōi). More properly,

Unto what or on what basis (Robertson, Grammar, p. 592). Clearly, Paul felt they had received a poor baptism with no knowledge of the Holy Spirit.

John‘s baptism (το Ιωανου βαπτισμαto Iōanou baptisma). Last mention of John the Baptist in the N.T. They had been dipped in other words, but they had not grasped the significance of the ordinance.


Verse 4

With the baptism of repentance (βαπτισμα μετανοιαςbaptisma metanoias). Cognate accusative with εβαπτισενebaptisen and the genitive μετανοιαςmetanoias describing the baptism as marked by (case of species or genus), not as conveying, repentance just as in Mark 1:4 and that was the work of the Holy Spirit. But John preached also the baptism of the Holy Spirit which the Messiah was to bring (Mark 1:7.; Matthew 3:11.; Luke 3:16). If they did not know of the Holy Spirit, they had missed the point of John‘s baptism.

That they should believe on him that should come after him, that is on Jesus (εις τον ερχομενον μετ αυτον ινα πιστευσωσιν τουτ εστιν εις τον Ιησουνeis ton erchomenon met' auton hina pisteus ōsinεις τον ερχομενον μετ αυτονtout' estin eis ton Iēsoun). Note the emphatic prolepsis of ινα πιστευσωσινeis ton erchomenon met' auton before hina pisteusōsin with which it is construed. This is John‘s identical phrase, “the one coming after me” as seen in Mark 1:7; Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16; John 1:15. It is not clear that these “disciples” believed in a Messiah, least of all in Jesus. They were wholly unprepared for the baptism of John. Paul does not mean to say that John‘s baptism was inadequate, but he simply explains what John really taught and so what his baptism signified.


Verse 5

The name of the Lord Jesus (το ονομα τον κυριου Ιησουto onoma ton kuriou Iēsou). Apollos was not rebaptized. The twelve apostles were not rebaptized. Jesus received no other baptism than that of John. The point here is simply that these twelve men were grossly ignorant of the meaning of John‘s baptism as regards repentance, the Messiahship of Jesus, the Holy Spirit. Hence Paul had them baptized, not so much again, as really baptized this time, in the name or on the authority of the Lord Jesus as he had himself commanded (Matthew 28:19) and as was the universal apostolic custom. Proper understanding of “Jesus” involved all the rest including the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Luke does not give a formula, but simply explains that now these men had a proper object of faith (Jesus) and were now really baptized.


Verse 6

When Paul had laid his hands upon them (επιτεντος αυτοις του Παυλου χειραςepithentos autois tou Paulou cheiras). Genitive absolute of second aorist active participle of επιτιτημιepitithēmi This act of laying on of the hands was done in Samaria by Peter and John (Acts 8:16) and in Damascus in the case of Paul (Acts 9:17) and was followed as here by the descent of the Holy Spirit in supernatural power.

They spake with tongues (ελαλουν γλωσσαιςelaloun glōssais). Inchoative imperfect, began to speak with tongues as in Jerusalem at Pentecost and as in Caesarea before the baptism.

Prophesied (επροπητευονeprophēteuon). Inchoative imperfect again, began to prophesy. The speaking with tongues and prophesying was external and indubitable proof that the Holy Spirit had come on these twelve uninformed disciples now fully won to the service of Jesus as Messiah. But this baptism in water did not “convey” the Holy Spirit nor forgiveness of sins. Paul was not a sacramentalist.


Verse 8

Spake boldly (επαρρησιαζετοeparrēsiazeto). Imperfect middle, kept on at it for three months. Cf. same word in Acts 18:26.

Persuading (πειτωνpeithōn). Present active conative participle of πειτωpeithō trying to persuade (Acts 28:23). Paul‘s idea of the Kingdom of God was the church of God which he (Jesus, God‘s Son) had purchased with his own blood (Acts 20:28, calling Christ God). Nowhere else had Paul apparently been able to speak so long in the synagogue without interruption unless it was so at Corinth. These Jews were already interested Acts 18:20).


Verse 9

But when some were hardened (ως δε τινες εσκληρυνοντοhōs de tines esklērunonto). Imperfect passive of σκληρυνωsklērunō causative like hiphil in Hebrew, to make hard (σκληροςsklēros) or rough or harsh (Matthew 25:24). In lxx and Hippocrates and Galen (in medical writings). In N.T. only here and Romans 9:18 and Romans 9:4 times in Hebrews 3:8, Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 3:15; Hebrews 4:7, Hebrews 4:8 quoting and referring to Psalm 95:8 about hardening the heart like a gristle. The inevitable reaction against Paul went on even in Ephesus though slowly.

Disobedient (επειτουνepeithoun). Imperfect again, showing the growing disbelief and disobedience (απειτηςapeithēs), both ideas as in Acts 14:2; Acts 17:5, first refusal to believe and then refusal to obey. Both σκληρυνωsklērunō and απειτεωapeitheō occur together, as here, in Ecclus. 30:12.

Speaking evil of the Way (κακολογουντες την οδονkakologountes tēn hodon). Late verb from κακολογοςkakologos (speaker of evil) for the old κακως λεγωkakōs legō Already in Mark 7:10; Mark 9:39; Matthew 15:4. Now these Jews are aggressive opponents of Paul and seek to injure his influence with the crowd. Note “the Way” as in Acts 9:2 for Christianity.

He departed from them (αποστας απ αυτωνapostas ap' autōn). Second aorist active participle of απιστημιaphistēmi made an “apostasy” (standing off, cleavage) as he did at Corinth (Acts 18:7, μεταβαςmetabas making a change).

Separated the disciples (απωρισεν τους ματηταςaphōrisen tous mathētas). First aorist active indicative of αποριζωaphorizō old verb to mark limits (horizon) as already in Acts 13:2. Paul himself was a spiritual Pharisee “separated” to Christ (Romans 1:1). The Jews regarded this withdrawal as apostasy, like separating the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:32). Paul now made a separate church as he had done at Thessalonica and Corinth.

In the school of Tyrannus (εν τηι σχοληι Τυραννουen tēi scholēi Turannou). ΣχοληScholē (our school) is an old word from σχεινschein (εχωechō) to hold on, leisure and then in later Greek (Plutarch, etc.) a place where there is leisure as here. Only this example in the N.T. This is the Greek notion of “school,” the Jewish being that of “yoke” as in Matthew 11:29. The name Tyrannus (our tyrant) is a common one. It is an inscription in the Columbarium of the Empress Livia as that of a physician in the court. Furneaux suggests the possibility that a relative of this physician was lecturing on medicine in Ephesus and so as a friend of Luke, the physician, would be glad to help Paul about a place to preach. It was probably a public building or lecture hall with this name whether hired by Paul or loaned to him. The pagan sophists often spoke in such halls. The Codex Bezae adds “from the fifth hour to the tenth” as the time allotted Paul for his work in this hall, which is quite possible, from just before midday till the close of the afternoon (from before the noon meal till two hours before sunset) each day. Here Paul had great freedom and a great hearing. As the church grows there will be other places of meeting as the church in the house of Aquila and Priscilla (1 Corinthians 16:19).


Verse 10

For two years (επι ετη δυοepi etē duo). Note επιepi with accusative for extent of time as in Acts 19:8, επι μηνας τρειςepi mēnas treis and often. But in Acts 20:31 Paul said to the Ephesian elders at Miletus that he laboured with them for the space of “three years.” That may be a general expression and there was probably a longer period after the “two years” in the school of Tyrannus besides the six months in the synagogue. Paul may have preached thereafter in the house of Aquila and Priscilla for some months, the “for a while” of Acts 19:22.

So that all they which dwelt in Asia heard (ωστε παντας τους κατοικουντας την Ασιαν ακουσαιhōste pantas tous katoikountas tēn Asian akousai). Actual result with ωστεhōste and the infinitive with accusative of general reference as is common (also Acts 19:11) in the Koiné{[28928]}š (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 999f.). Paul apparently remained in Ephesus, but the gospel spread all over the province even to the Lycus Valley including the rest of the seven churches of Revelation 1:11; 2; 3. Demetrius in Acts 19:26 will confirm the tremendous influence of Paul‘s ministry in Ephesus on Asia. Forty years after this Pliny in his famous letter to Trajan from Bithynia will say of Christianity: “For the contagion of this superstition has not only spread through cities, but also through villages and country places.” It was during these years in Ephesus that Paul was greatly disturbed over the troubles in the Corinthian Church. He apparently wrote a letter to them now lost to us (1 Corinthians 5:9), received messages from the household of Chloe, a letter from the church, special messengers, sent Timothy, then Titus, may have made a hurried trip himself, wrote our First Corinthians, was planning to go after the return of Titus to Troas where he was to meet him after Pentecost, when all of a sudden the uproar raised by Demetrius hurried Paul away sooner than he had planned. Meanwhile Apollos had returned from Corinth to Ephesus and refused to go back (1 Corinthians 16:12). Paul doubtless had helpers like Epaphras and Philemon who carried the message over the province of Asia, Tychicus, and Trophimus of Asia who were with him on the last visit to Jerusalem (Acts 19:22, Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4). Paul‘s message reached Greeks, not merely Hellenists and God-fearers, but some of the Greeks in the upper circles of life in Ephesus.


Verse 11

Special miracles (δυναμεις ου τας τυχουσαςdunameis ou tas tuchousas). “Powers not the ones that happen by chance,” “not the ordinary ones,” litotes for “the extraordinary.” All “miracles” or “powers” (δυναμειςdunameis) are supernatural and out of the ordinary, but here God regularly wrought (εποιειepoiei), imperfect active) wonders beyond those familiar to the disciples and completely different from the deeds of the Jewish exorcists. This phrase is peculiar to Luke in the N.T. (also Acts 28:2), but it occurs in the classical Greek and in the Koiné{[28928]}š as in III Macc. Luke 3:7 and in papyri and inscriptions (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 255). In Samaria Philip wrought miracles to deliver the people from the influence of Simon Magus. Here in Ephesus exorcists and other magicians had built an enormous vogue of a false spiritualism and Paul faces unseen forces of evil. His tremendous success led some people to superstitious practices thinking that there was power in Paul‘s person.


Verse 12

Handkerchiefs (σουδαριαsoudaria). Latin word for συδορsudor (sweat). Used in Luke 19:20; John 11:44; John 20:7. In two papyri marriage-contracts this word occurs among the toilet articles in the dowry (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 223).

Aprons (σιμικιντιαsimikinthia). Latin word also, semicinctilum (σεμι χινγοsemiαπαλλαλσεταιcingo). Only here in the N.T. Linen aprons used by servants or artisans (Martial XIV. 153). Paul did manual work at Ephesus (Acts 20:34) and so wore these aprons.

Departed (ωστεapallalsethai). Present passive infinitive with hōste for actual result as in Acts 19:10. If one wonders how God could honour such superstitious faith, he should remember that there is no power in superstition or in magic, but in God. If God never honoured any faith save that entirely free from superstition, how about Christian people who are troubled over the number 13, over the moon, the rabbit‘s foot? The poor woman with an issue of blood touched the hem of Christ‘s garment and was healed (Luke 8:44-46) as others sought to do (Matthew 14:36). God condescends to meet us in our ignorance and weakness where he can reach us. Elisha had a notion that some of the power of Elijah resided in his mantle (2 Kings 2:13). Some even sought help from Peter‘s shadow (Acts 5:15).


Verse 13

Of the strolling Jews, exorcists (των περιερχομενων Ιουδαιων εχορκιστωνtōn perierchomenōn Ioudaiōn exorkistōn). These exorcists travelled around (περιperi) from place to place like modern Gypsy fortune-tellers. The Jews were especially addicted to such practices with spells of sorcery connected with the name of Solomon (Josephus, Ant. VIII. 2.5). See also Tobit 8:1-3. Jesus alludes to those in Palestine (Matthew 12:27; Luke 11:19). The exorcists were originally those who administered an oath (from εχορκιζωexorkizō to exact an oath), then to use an oath as a spell or charm. Only instance here in the N.T. These men regarded Paul as one of their own number just as Simon Magus treated Simon Peter. Only here these exorcists paid Paul the compliment of imitation instead of offering money as Magus did.

To name over (ονομαζειν επιonomazein epi). They heard what Paul said and treated his words as a magic charm or spell to drive the evil spirits out.

I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth (ορκιζω υμας τον Ιησουν ον Παυλος κηρυσσειHorkizō humas ton Iēsoun hon Paulos kērussei). Note two accusatives with the verb of swearing (cf. Mark 5:7) as a causative verb (Robertson, Grammar, p. 483). The papyri furnish numerous instances of ορκιζωhorkizō in such constructions (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 281). Note also the article with Jesus, “the Jesus,” as if to identify the magic word to the demons with the addition “whom Paul preaches.” They thought that success turned on the correct use of the magical formula. The Ephesian mysteries included Christianity, so they supposed.


Verse 14

Seven sons of Sceva (Σκευα επτα υιοιSkeuā hepta huioi). Who this Sceva was we do not know. If a high priest, he was highly connected in Jerusalem (cf. Acts 5:24). Some MSS. have ruler instead of priest. His name may be Latin in origin. ΣκευαSkeuā has Doric form of genitive. But that he had seven sons in this degraded business shows how Judaism had fared poorly in this superstitious city. Did they imagine there was special power in the number seven?


Verse 15

Jesus I know (τον Ιησουν γινωσκωton Iēsoun ginōskō). “The (whom you mention) Jesus I recognize (γινωσκωginōskō)” and “the (whom you mentioned) Paul I am acquainted with (τον Παυλον επισταμαιton Paulon epistamai).” Clear distinction between γινωσκωginōskō and επισταμαιepistamai

But who are ye? (υμεις δε τινες εστεhumeis de tines estė). But you, who are you? Emphatic prolepsis.


Verse 16

Leaped on them (επαλομενος επ αυτουςephalomenos ep' autous). Second aorist (ingressive) middle participle of επαλλομαιephallomai old verb to spring upon like a panther, here only in the N.T.

Mastered (κατακυριευσαςkatakurieusas). First aorist (effective) active participle of κατακυριευωkatakurieuō late verb from καταkata and κυριοςkurios to become lord or master of.

Both (αμποτερωνamphoterōn). Papyri examples exist where αμποτεροιamphoteroi means “all” or more than “two” (Robertson, Grammar, p. 745). So here αμποτεροιamphoteroi includes all seven. “Both” in old English was used for more than two.

So that (ωστεhōste). Another example (Acts 19:10, Acts 19:11) of ωστεhōste with the infinitive for result.

Naked (γυμνουςgumnous). Probably with torn garments,

Wounded (τετραυματισμενουςtetraumatisōmenous). Perfect passive participle of τραυματιζωtraumatizō old verb to wound, from τραυμαtrauma (a wound). In the N.T. only here and Luke 20:12.


Verse 17

Was magnified (εμεγαλυνετοemegaluneto). Imperfect passive. To make great. It was a notable victory over the powers of evil in Ephesus.


Verse 18

Came (ηρχοντοērchonto). Imperfect middle, kept coming, one after another. Even some of the believers were secretly under the spell of these false spiritualists just as some Christians today cherish private contacts with so-called occult powers through mediums, seances, of which they are ashamed.

Confessing (εχομολογουμενοιexomologoumenoi). It was time to make a clean breast of it all, to turn on the light, to unbosom their secret habits.

Declaring their deeds (αναγγελλοντες τας πραχεις αυτωνanaggellontes tas praxeis autōn). Judgment was beginning at the house of God. The dupes (professing believers, alas) of these jugglers or exorcists now had their eyes opened when they saw the utter defeat of the tricksters who had tried to use the name of Jesus without his power. The boomerang was tremendous. The black arts were now laid bare in their real character. Gentile converts had a struggle to shake off their corrupt environment.


Verse 19

Not a few of them that practised curious arts (ικανοι των τα περιεργα πραχαντωνhikanoi tōn ta perierga praxantōn). Considerable number of the performers or exorcists themselves who knew that they were humbugs were led to renounce their evil practices. The word περιεργαperierga (curious) is an old word (περι εργαperiκατεκαιον ενωπιον παντωνerga) originally a piddler about trifles, a busybody (1 Timothy 5:13), then impertinent and magical things as here. Only two examples in the N.T. It is a technical term for magic as the papyri and inscriptions show. Deissmann (Bible Studies, p. 323) thinks that these books here burned were just like the Magic Papyri now recovered from Egypt.

Burned them in the sight of all (κατακαιωkatekaion enōpion pantōn). Imperfect active of καταkatakaiō It probably took a good while to do it, burned them completely (up, we say; down, the Greeks say, perfective use of Επεσια Γραμματαkata). These Magical Papyri or slips of parchment with symbols or magical sentences written on them called συνενεγκαντεςEphesia Grammata (Ephesian Letters). These Ephesian Letters were worn as amulets or charms.

They brought them together (συνπερωsunenegkantes). Second aorist active participle of συνεπσηπισανsunpherō What a glorious conflagration it would be if in every city all the salacious, blasphemous, degrading books, pamphlets, magazines, and papers could be piled together and burned.

They counted (συνπσηπιζωsunepsēphisan). First aorist active indicative of Συνκαταπσηπιζωsunpsēphizō to reckon together. In lxx (Jeremiah 29:49). Only here in N.T. αργυριου μυριαδας πεντεSunkatapsēphizō in Acts 1:26.

Fifty thousand pieces of silver (μυριαδαςarguriou muriadas pente). Five ten thousand (muriadas) pieces of silver. Ephesus was largely Greek and probably the silver pieces were Greek drachmae or the Latin denarius, probably about ten thousand dollars or two thousand English pounds.


Verse 20

Mightily (κατα κρατοςkata kratos). According to strength. Only here in N.T., common military term in Thucydides. Such proof of a change counted.

Grew and prevailed (ηυχανεν και ισχυενēuxanen kai ischuen). Imperfect actives, kept growing and gaining strength. It was a day of triumph for Christ in Ephesus, this city of vast wealth and superstition. Ephesus for centuries will be one of the centres of Christian power. Timothy will come here and John the Apostle and Polycarp and Irenaeus.


Verse 21

Purposed in the spirit (ετετο εν τωι πνευματιetheto en tōi pneumati). Second aorist middle indicative for mental action and “spirit” expressed also. A new stage in Paul‘s career begins here, a new division of the Acts.

Passed through (διελτωνdielthōn). Word (διερχομαιdierchomai) used ten times in Acts (cf. Acts 19:1) of missionary journeys (Ramsay).

Macedonia and Achaia (την Μακεδονιαν και Αχαιανtēn Makedonian kai Achaian). This was the way that he actually went, but originally he had planned to go to Achaia (Corinth) and then to Macedonia, as he says in 2 Corinthians 1:15., but he had now changed that purpose, perhaps because of the bad news from Corinth. Already when he wrote I Corinthians he proposed to go first to Macedonia (1 Corinthians 16:5-7). He even hoped to spend the winter in Corinth “if the Lord permit” and to remain in Ephesus till Pentecost, neither of which things he did.

I must also see Rome (δει με και ωμην ιδεινdei me kai Rōmēn idein). This section of Acts begins with Rome in the horizon of Paul‘s plans and the book closes with Paul in Rome (Rackham). Here he feels the necessity of going as in Romans 1:15 he feels himself “debtor” to all including “those in Rome” (Romans 1:16). Paul had long desired to go to Rome (Romans 1:10), but had been frequently hindered (Romans 1:13), but he has definitely set his face to go to Rome and on to Spain (Romans 15:23-29). Paley calls sharp attention to this parallel between Acts 19:21 and Romans 1:10-15; Romans 15:23-29. Rome had a fascination for Paul as the home of Aquila and Priscilla and numerous other friends (Romans 16), but chiefly as the capital of the Roman Empire and a necessary goal in Paul‘s ambition to win it to Jesus Christ. His great work in Asia had stirred afresh in him the desire to do his part for Rome. He wrote to Rome from Corinth not long after this and in Jerusalem Jesus in vision will confirm the necessity (δειdei) that Paul see Rome (Acts 23:11).


Verse 22

Timothy and Erastus (Τιμοτεον και ΕραστονTimotheon kai Eraston). Paul had sent Timothy to Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:17) and had requested kindly treatment of this young minister in his difficult task of placating the divided church (1 Corinthians 16:10-11) that he might return to Paul as he evidently had before Paul leaves Ephesus. He then despatched Titus to Corinth to finish what Timothy had not quite succeeded in doing with instructions to meet him in Troas. Now Timothy and Erastus (cf. Romans 16:23; 2 Timothy 4:20) go on to Macedonia to prepare the way for Paul who will come on later.

He himself stayed in Asia for a while (αυτος επεσχεν χρονον εις την Ασιανautos epeschen chronon eis tēn Asian). Literally, He himself had additional time in Asia. Second aorist active indicative of επεχωepechō old and common idiom, only here in the N.T. in this sense and the verb only in Luke and Paul. The reason for Paul‘s delay is given by him in 1 Corinthians 16:8., the great door wide open in Ephesus. Here again Luke and Paul supplement each other. Pentecost came towards the end of May and May was the month of the festival of Artemis (Diana) when great multitudes would come to Ephesus. But he did not remain till Pentecost as both Luke and Paul make plain.


Verse 23

No small stir (ταραχος ουκ ολιγοςtarachos ouk oligos). Same phrase in Acts 12:18 and nowhere else in the N.T. Litotes.

Concerning the Way (περι της οδουperi tēs hodou). See this phrase for Christianity in Acts 9:2; Acts 19:9; Acts 24:22 which see, like the “Jesus Way” of the Indians. There had already been opposition and “stir” before this stage (cf. Acts 19:11-20). The fight with wild beasts in 1 Corinthians 15:32 (whatever it was) was before that Epistle was written and so before this new uproar. Paul as a Roman citizen could not be thrown to wild beasts, but he so pictured the violent opponents of Christ in Ephesus.


Verse 24

Demetrius, a silversmith (Δημητριος αργυροκοποςDēmētrios argurokopos). The name is common enough and may or may not be the man mentioned in 3 Jo Acts 1:12 who was also from the neighbourhood of Ephesus. There is on an inscription at Ephesus near the close of the century a Demetrius called νεοποιος Αρτεμιδοςneopoios Artemidos a temple warden of Artemis (Diana). Zoeckler suggests that Luke misunderstood this word νεοποιοςneopoios and translated it into αργυροκοποςargurokopos a beater (κοπτωkoptō to beat) of silver (αργυροςarguros silver), “which made silver shrines of Artemis” (ποιων ναουςpoiōn naous (αργυρουςargurous) ΑρτεμιδοςArtemidos). It is true that no silver shrines of the temple have been found in Ephesus, but only numerous terra-cotta ones. Ramsay suggests that the silver ones would naturally be melted down. The date is too late anyhow to identify the Demetrius who was νεοποιοςneopoios with the Demetrius αργυροκοποςargurokopos who made little silver temples of Artemis, though B does not have the word αργυρουςargurous The poor votaries would buy the terra-cotta ones, the rich the silver shrines (Ramsay, Paul the Traveller, p. 278). These small models of the temple with the statue of Artemis inside would be set up in the houses or even worn as amulets. It is a pity that the Revised Version renders Artemis here. Diana as the Ephesian Artemis is quite distinct from the Greek Artemis, the sister of Apollo, the Diana of the Romans. This temple, built in the 6th century b.c., was burnt by Herostratus Oct. 13 b.c. 356, the night when Alexander the Great was born. It was restored and was considered one of the seven wonders of the world. Artemis was worshipped as the goddess of fertility, like the Lydian Cybele, a figure with many breasts. The great festival in May would offer Demetrius a golden opportunity for the sale of the shrines.

Brought no little business (παρειχετο ουκ ολιγην εργασιανpareicheto ouk oligēn ergasian). Imperfect middle, continued to bring (furnish, provide). The middle accents the part that Demetrius played as the leader of the guild of silversmiths, work for himself and for them.

Unto the craftsmen (ταις τεχνιταιςtais technitais). The artisans from τεχνηtechnē (craft, art). Trade guilds were common in the ancient world. Demetrius had probably organized this guild and provided the capital for the enterprise.


Verse 25

Whom he gathered together (ους συνατροισαςhous sunathroisas). First aorist active participle of συνατροιζωsunathroizō old verb to assemble together (ατροοςathroos a crowd), in the N.T. only here and Acts 12:12.

With the workmen of like occupation (και τους περι τα τοιαυτα εργαταςkai tous peri ta toiauta ergatas). “And the workmen concerning such things,” apparently those who made the marble and terra-cotta shrines who would also be affected in the same way. It was a gathering of the associated trades, not for a strike, for employer and employees met together, but in protest against the preaching of Paul.

We have our wealth (η ευπορια ημιν εστινhē euporia hēmin estin). The wealth is to us (dative of possession). This old word for wealth occurs here alone in the N.T. It is from ευeu and ποροςporos easy to pass through, easy to accomplish, to be well off, wealthy, welfare, weal, well-being, rich. Demetrius appeals to this knowledge and self-interest of the artisans as the basis for their zeal for Artemis, piety for revenue.


Verse 26

At Ephesus (ΕπεσουEphesou). Genitive of place as also with ΑσιαςAsias (Asia). Cf. Robertson, Grammar, pp. 494f.

This Paul (ο Παυλος ουτοςho Paulos houtos). Contemptuous use of ουτοςhoutos

Hath turned away (μετεστησενmetestēsen). Changed, transposed. First aorist active indicative, did change. Tribute to Paul‘s powers as a preacher borne out by Luke‘s record in Acts 19:10. There may be an element of exaggeration on the part of Demetrius to incite the workmen to action, for the worship of Artemis was their wealth. Paul had cut the nerve of their business. There had long been a Jewish colony in Ephesus, but their protest against idolatry was as nothing compared with Paul‘s preaching (Furneaux).

Which are made with hands (οι δια χειρων γινομενοιhoi dia cheirōn ginomenoi). Note the present tense, made from time to time. No doubt Paul had put the point sharply as in Athens (Acts 17:29). Isaiah (Isaiah 44:9-17) had pictured graphically the absurdity of worshipping stocks and stones, flatly forbidden by the Old Testament (Exodus 20:4; Psalm 135:15-18). The people identified their gods with the images of them and Demetrius reflects that point of view. He was jealous of the brand of gods turned out by his factory. The artisans would stand by him on this point. It was a reflection on their work.


Verse 27

This our trade (τουτο το μεροςtouto to meros). Part, share, task, job, trade.

Come into disrepute (εις απελεγμον ελτεινeis apelegmon elthein). Not in the old writers, but in lxx and Koiné. Literally, reputation, exposure, censure, rejection after examination, and so disrepute. Their business of making gods would lose caste as the liquor trade (still called the trade in England) has done in our day. They felt this keenly and so Demetrius names it first. They felt it in their pockets.

Of the great goddess Artemis (της μεγαλης τεας Αρτεμιδοςtēs megalēs theas Artemidos). She was generally known as the Great (η Μεγαληhē Megalē). An inscription found at Ephesus calls her “the greatest god” (η μεγιστη τεοςhē megistē theos). The priests were eunuchs and there were virgin priestesses and a lower order of slaves known as temple-sweepers (νεωκοροιneōkoroi Acts 19:35). They had wild orgiastic exercises that were disgraceful with their Corybantic processions and revelries.

Be made of no account (εις ουτεν λογιστηναιeis outhen logisthēnai). Be reckoned as nothing, first aorist passive infinitive of λογιζομαιlogizomai and ειςeis

Should even be deposed of her magnificence (μελλειν τε και καταιρεισται της μεγαλειοτητος αυτηςmellein te kai kathaireisthai tēs megaleiotētos autēs). Note the present infinitive after μελλεινmellein ablative case (so best MSS.) after καταιρεωkathaireō to take down, to depose, to deprive of. The word μεγαλειοτηςmegaleiotēs occurs also in Luke 9:43 (the majesty of God) and in 2 Peter 1:16 of the transfiguration of Christ. It is already in the lxx and Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, p. 363) thinks that the word runs parallel with terms used in the emperor-cult.

All Asia and the world ολη ̔ἠ Ασια και ̔ἠ οικουμενηholē ‛hē' Asia kai ‛hē' oikoumenā See note on Acts 11:28 for same use of οικουμενηoikoumenā An exaggeration, to be sure, but Pausanias says that no deity was more widely worshipped. Temples of Artemis have been found in Spain and Gaul. Multitudo errantium non efficit veritatem (Bengel). Even today heathenism has more followers than Christianity. To think that all this splendour was being set at naught by one man and a despised Jew at that!


Verse 28

They were filled with wrath (γενομενοι πλερεις τυμουgenomenoi plereis thumou). Having become full of wrath.

Cried out (εκραζονekrazon). Inchoative imperfect, began to cry out and kept it up continuously. Reiteration was characteristic of the orgiastic exercises. The Codex Bezae adds after τυμουthumou (wrath): Δραμοντες εις την αμποδονDramontes eis tān amphodon (running into the street), which they certainly did after the speech of Demetrius.

Great is Artemis of the Ephesians (Μεγαλη η Αρτεμις ΕπεσιωνMegalā hā Artemis Ephesiōn). D (Codex Bezae) omits ηhā (the) and makes it read: “Great Artemis of the Ephesians.” This was the usual cry of the votaries in their orgies as the inscriptions show, an ejaculatory outcry or prayer instead of an argument as the other MSS. have it. That is vivid and natural (Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, pp. 135ff.). Yet on this occasion the artisans were making an argumentative protest and plea against Paul. An inscription at Dionysopolis has “Great is Apollo.”


Verse 29

With the confusion (της συγχυσεωςtēs sugchuseōs). Genitive case after επληστηeplāsthā An old word, but in the N.T. only here, from verb συγχεωsugcheō to pour together like a flood (only in Acts in the N.T.). Vivid description of the inevitable riot that followed “the appearance of such a body in the crowded agora of an excitable city” (Rackham) “vociferating the city‘s watch-word.”

They rushed (ωρμησανhōrmēsan). Ingressive aorist active indicative of ορμαωhormaō old verb for impetuous dashing, a case of mob psychology (mob mind), with one accord (ομοτυμαδονhomothumadon as in Acts 1:14, etc.).

Into the theatre (εις το τεατρονeis to theatron). A place for seeing (τεαομαιtheaomai) spectacles, originally for dramatic representation (Thucydides, Herodotus), then for the spectators, then for the spectacle or show (1 Corinthians 4:9). The theatre (amphitheatre) at Ephesus can still be traced in the ruins (Wood, Ephesus) and shows that it was of enormous size capable of seating fifty-six thousand persons (some estimate it only 24, 500). It was the place for large public gatherings of any sort out of doors like our football and baseball parks. In particular, gladiatorial shows were held in these theatres.

Having seized Gaius and Aristarchus men of Macedonia (συναρπασαντες Γαιον και Αρισταρχον Μακεδοναςsunarpasantes Gaion kai Aristarchon Makedonas). See note on Acts 6:12 for this same verb. They wanted some victims for this “gladiatorial” show. These two men were “Paul‘s companions in travel” (συνεκδημους Παυλουsunekdāmous Paulou), together (συνsun) with Paul in being abroad, away from home or people (εκδημουςek̇dāmous late word, in the N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 8:19). How the mob got hold of Gaius (Acts 20:4) and Aristarchus (Acts 20:4; Acts 27:2; Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24) we do not know whether by accidental recognition or by search after failure to get Paul. In Romans 16:4 Paul speaks of Priscilla and Aquila as those “who for my life laid down their own necks.” Paul lived with them in Ephesus as in Corinth. It is possible that Demetrius led the mob to their house and that they refused to allow Paul to go or to be seized at the risk of their own lives. Paul himself may have been desperately ill at this time as we know was the case once during his stay in Ephesus when he felt the answer of death in himself (2 Corinthians 1:9) and when God rescued him. That may mean that, ill as he was, Paul wanted to go and face the mob in the theatre, knowing that it meant certain death.


Verse 30

And when Paul was minded to enter in unto the people (Παυλου δε βουλομενου εισελτειν εις τον δημονPaulou de boulomenou eiselthein eis ton dāmon). Genitive absolute. Plainly Paul wanted to face the howling mob, whether it was the occasion pictured in 2 Corinthians 1:9 or not. “St. Paul was not the man to leave his comrades in the lurch” (Knowling).

Suffered him not (ουκ ειων αυτονouk eiōn auton). Imperfect of εαωeaō common verb to allow, what Gildersleeve called the negative imperfect (Robertson, Grammar, p. 885), denoting resistance to pressure. The more Paul insisted on going the more the disciples refused to agree to it and they won.


Verse 31

Certain also of the chief officers of Asia (τινες δε και των Ασιαρχωνtines de kai tōn Asiarchōn). These “Asiarchs” were ten officers elected by cities in the province who celebrated at their own cost public games and festivals (Page). Each province had such a group of men chosen, as we now know from inscriptions, to supervise the funds connected with the worship of the emperor, to preside at games and festivals even when the temple services were to gods like Artemis. Only rich men could act, but the position was eagerly sought.

Being his friends (οντες αυτωι πιλοιontes autōi philoi). Evidently the Asiarchs had a high opinion of Paul and were unwilling for him to expose his life to a wild mob during the festival of Artemis. They were at least tolerant toward Paul and his preaching. “It was an Asiarch who at Smyrna resisted the cry of the populace to throw Polycarp to the lions” (Furneaux).

Besought him (παρεκαλουν αυτονparekaloun auton). Imperfect active, showing that the messengers sent had to insist over Paul‘s protest. “

Not to adventure himself” (μη δουναι εαυτονmā dounai heauton). It was a hazard, a rash adventure “to give himself” (second aorist active infinitive of διδωμιdidōmi). Just this sense of “adventure” with the idiom occurs only here in the N.T., though in Polybius V., 14, 9. But the phrase itself Paul uses of Jesus who gave himself for our sins (Galatians 1:4; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14). It is not the first time that friends had rescued Paul from peril (Acts 9:25, Acts 9:30; Acts 17:10, Acts 17:14). The theatre was no place for Paul. It meant certain death.


Verse 32

Some therefore cried one thing and some another (αλλοι μεν ουν αλλο τι εκραζονalloi men oun allo tōi ekrazon). This classical use of αλλος αλλοallos allo (Robertson, Grammar, p. 747) appears also in Acts 2:12; Acts 21:34. Literally, “others cried another thing.” The imperfect shows the repetition (kept on crying) and confusion which is also distinctly stated.

For the assembly was in confusion (ην γαρ η εκκλησια συνκεχυμενηān gar hā ekklāsia sunkechumenā). The reason for the previous statement. Periphrastic past perfect passive of συγχεω συγχυνω ̔υννὠsugcheōσυγχυσεωςsugchunō unnō to pour together, to commingle as in Acts 19:29 (εκκλησια εκ καλεωsugchuseōs). It was not an “assembly” (συνεληλυτεισανekklāsiaσυνερχομαιekkaleō to call out), but a wholly irregular, disorganized mob in a state (perfect tense) of confusion. There was “a lawful assembly” (Acts 19:39), but this mob was not one. Luke shows his contempt for this mob (Furneaux).

Had come together (sunelālutheisan). Past perfect active of sunerchomai It was an assembly only in one sense. For some reason Demetrius who was responsible for the mob preferred now to keep in the background, though he was known to be the ring-leader of the gathering (Acts 19:38). It was just a mob that shouted because others did.


Verse 33

And they brought Alexander out of the crowd (εκ δε του οχλου συνεβιβασαν Αλεχανδρονek de tou ochlou sunebibasan Alexandron). The correct text (Aleph A B) has this verb συνεβιβασανsunebibasan (from συνβιβαζωsunbibazō to put together) instead of προεβιβασανproebibasan (from προβιβαζωprobibazō to put forward). It is a graphic word, causal of βαινωbainō to go, and occurs in Acts 16:10; Colossians 2:19; Ephesians 4:16. Evidently some of the Jews grew afraid that the mob would turn on the Jews as well as on the Christians. Paul was a Jew and so was Aristarchus, one of the prisoners. The Jews were as strongly opposed to idolatry as were the Christians.

The Jews putting him forward (προβαλοντων αυτον των Ιουδαιωνprobalontōn auton tōn Ioudaiōn). Genitive absolute of the second aorist active participle of προβαλλωproballō old verb to push forward as leaves in the spring (Luke 21:30). In the N.T. only in these two passages. Alexandria had already disgraceful scenes of Jew-baiting and there was real peril now in Ephesus with this wild mob. So Alexander was pushed forward as the champion to defend the Jews to the excited mob. He may be the same Alexander the coppersmith who did Paul much evil (2 Timothy 4:14), against whom Paul will warn Timothy then in Ephesus. “The Jews were likely to deal in the copper and silver required for the shrines, so he may have had some trade connexion with the craftsmen which would give him influence” (Furneaux).

Beckoned with the hand (κατασεισας την χειραkataseisas tān cheira). Old verb κατασειωkataseiō to shake down, here the hand, rapidly waving the hand up and down to get a hearing. In the N.T. elsewhere only in Acts 12:17; Acts 13:16; Acts 21:40 where “with the hand” (τηι χειριtāi cheiri instrumental case) is used instead of την χειραtān cheira (the accusative).

Would have made a defence unto the people (ητελεν απολογεισται τωι δημωιāthelen apologeisthai tōi dēmōi). Imperfect active, wanted to make a defence, tried to, started to, but apparently never got out a word. ΑπολογεισταιApologeisthai (present middle infinitive, direct middle, to defend oneself), regular word for formal apology, but in N.T. only by Luke and Paul (twice in Gospel, six times in Acts, and in Romans 2:15; 2 Corinthians 12:19).


Verse 34

When they perceived (επιγνοντεςepignontes). Recognizing, coming to know fully and clearly (επιepi̇), second aorist (ingressive) active participle of επιγινωσκωepiginōskō The masculine plural is left as nominative absolute or πενδενςpendens without a verb. The rioters saw at once that Alexander was (εστινestin present tense retained in indirect assertion) a Jew by his features.

An with one voice cried out (πωνη εγενετο μια εκ παντων κραζοντωνpōhnē egeneto mia ek pantōn krazontōn). Anacoluthon or construction according to sense. Literally, “one voice arose from all crying.” ΚραζοντωνKrazontōn agrees in case (ablative) with παντωνpantōn but Aleph A have κραζοντεςkrazontes This loose construction is not uncommon (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 436f.). Now at last the crowd became unanimous (one voice) at the sight of a hated Jew about to defend their attacks on the worship of Artemis. The unanimity lasted “about the space of two hours” (οσει επι ωρας δυοhosei epi hōras duo), “as if for two hours.” Their creed centred in this prolonged yell: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians” with which the disturbance started (Acts 19:28).


Verse 35

The town-clerk (ο γραμματευςho grammateus). Ephesus was a free city and elected its own officers and the recorder or secretary was the chief magistrate of the city, though the proconsul of the province of Asia resided there. This officer is not a mere secretary of another officer or like the copyists and students of the law among the Jews, but the most influential person in Ephesus who drafted decrees with the aid of the στρατηγοιstratāgoi had charge of the city‘s money, was the power in control of the assembly, and communicated directly with the proconsul. Inscriptions at Ephesus give frequently this very title for their chief officer and the papyri have it also. The precise function varied in different cities. His name appeared on the coin at Ephesus issued in his year of office.

Had quieted the multitude (καταστειλας τον οχλονkatasteilas ton ochlon). First aorist active participle of καταστελλωkatastellō to send down, arrange dress (Euripides), lower (Plutarch), restrain (papyrus example), only twice in the N.T. (here and Acts 19:36, be quiet), but in lxx and Josephus. He evidently took the rostrum and his very presence as the city‘s chief officer had a quieting effect on the billowy turmoil and a semblance of order came. He waited, however, till the hubbub had nearly exhausted itself (two hours) and did not speak till there was a chance to be heard.

Saith (πησινphāsin). Historical present for vividness.

How that. Merely participle ουσανousan and accusative πολινpolin in indirect discourse, no conjunction at all (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1040ff.), common idiom after γινωσκωginōskō to know.

Temple-keeper (νεωκορονneōkoron). Old word from νεωςneōs (ναοσ̓naos' temple, and κορεωkoreō to sweep. Warden, verger, cleaner of the temple, a sacristan. So in Xenophon and Plato. Inscriptions so describe Ephesus as νεωκορον της Αρτεμιδοςneōkoron tēs Artemidos as Luke has it here and also applied to the imperial cultus which finally had several such temples in Ephesus. Other cities claimed the same honour of being νεωκοροςneōkoros but it was the peculiar boast of Ephesus because of the great temple of Artemis. A coin of a.d. 65 describes Ephesus as νεωκοροςneōkoros There are papyri examples of the term applied to individuals, one to Priene as νεωκοροςneōkoros of the temple in Ephesus (Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary).

And of the image which fell down from Jupiter (και του διοπετουςkai tou diopetous). Supply αγαλμαagalma (image), “the from heaven-fallen image.” From Zeus (ΔιοςDios) and πετωpetō (πιπτω πιπετωpiptōδιοπετουςpipetō), to fall. Zeus (Jupiter) was considered lord of the sky or heaven and that is the idea in diopetous here. The legend about a statue fallen from heaven occurs concerning the statue of Artemis at Tauris, Minerva at Athens, etc. Thus the recorder soothed the vanity (Rackham) of the crowd by appeal to the world-wide fame of Ephesus as sacristan of Artemis and of her heaven-fallen image.


Verse 36

Cannot be gainsaid (αναντιρητων ουν οντωνanantirātn oun ontōn). Genitive absolute with ουνoun (therefore). Undeniable (αν αντι ρητοςanαναντιρητωςantiδεον εστινrātos), verbal adjective. Occasionally in late Greek (Polybius, etc.), only here in N.T., but adverb δειanantirētōs in Acts 10:29. These legends were accepted as true and appeased the mob.

Ye ought (κατεσταλμενουςdeon estin). It is necessary. Periphrastic present indicative instead of καταστελλωdei like 1 Peter 1:6; 1 Timothy 5:13.

Be quiet (προπετεςkatestalmenous). Perfect passive participle of προkatastellō (see Acts 19:35).

Rash (πετωpropetes). Old adjective from pro and petō to fall forward, headlong, precipitate. In the N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 3:4, though common in the Koiné. Better look before you leap.


Verse 37

Neither robbers of temples (ουτε ιεροσυλουςoute hierosulous). Common word in Greek writers from ιερονhieron temple, and συλαωsulaō to rob, be guilty of sacrilege. The word is found also on inscriptions in Ephesus. The Jews were sometimes guilty of this crime (Romans 2:22), since the heathen temples often had vast treasures like banks. The ancients felt as strongly about temple-robbing as westerners used to feel about a horse-thief.

Nor blasphemers of our goddess (ουτε βλασπημουντας την τεον ημωνoute blasphāmountas tān theon hēmōn). Nor those who blasphemed our goddess. That is to say, these men (Gaius and Aristarchus) as Christians had so conducted themselves (Colossians 4:5) that no charge could be placed against them either in act (temple-robbery) or word (blasphemy). They had done a rash thing since these men are innocent. Paul had used tact in Ephesus as in Athens in avoiding illegalities.


Verse 38

Have a matter against any one (εχουσιν προς τινα λογονechousin pros tina logon). For this use of εχω λογονechō logon with προςpros See note on Matthew 5:32; and note on Colossians 3:13. The town-clerk names Demetrius and the craftsmen (τεχνιταιtechnitai) as the parties responsible for the riot.

The courts are open (αγοραιοι αγονταιagoraioi agontai). Supply ημεραιhāmerai (days), court days are kept, or συνοδοιsunodoi court-meetings are now going on, Vulgate conventus forenses aguntur. Old adjective from αγοραagora (forum) marketplace where trials were held. Cf. Acts 17:4. There were regular court days whether they were in session then or not.

And there are proconsuls (και αντυπατοι εισινkai anthupatoi eisin). Asia was a senatorial province and so had proconsuls (general phrase) though only one at a time, “a rhetorical plural” (Lightfoot). Page quotes from an inscription of the age of Trajan on an aqueduct at Ephesus in which some of Luke‘s very words occur (νεωκοροσ αντυπατοσ γραμματευσ δημοςneōkorosεγκαλειτωσαν αλληλοιςanthupatosεγκαλεωgrammateusεν καλεωdāmos).

Let them accuse one another (egkaleitōsan allēlois). Present active imperative of egkaleō (enkaleō), old verb to call in one‘s case, to bring a charge against, with the dative. Luke uses the verb six times in Acts for judicial proceedings (Acts 19:38, Acts 19:40; Acts 23:28, Acts 23:29; Acts 26:2, Acts 26:7). The town-clerk makes a definite appeal to the mob for orderly legal procedure as opposed to mob violence in a matter where money and religious prejudice unite, a striking rebuke to so-called lynch-law proceedings in lands today where Christianity is supposed to prevail.


Verse 39

Anything about other matters (τι περαιτερωtōi peraiterō). Most MSS. here have τι περι ετερωνtōi peri heterōn but B b Vulgate read τι περαιτερωtōi peraiterō as in Plato‘s ΠαεδοPhaedo Several papyri examples of it also. It is comparative περαιτεροςperaiteros of περαpera beyond. Note also επιepi in επιζητειτεepizāteite Charges of illegal conduct (Page) should be settled in the regular legal way. But, if you wish to go further and pass resolutions about the matter exciting you, “it shall be settled in the regular assembly” (εν τωι εννομωι εκκλησιαιen tōi ennomōi ekklēsiāi). “In the lawful assembly,” not by a mob like this. Wood (Ephesus) quotes an inscription there with this very phrase “at every lawful assembly” (κατα πασαν εννομον εκκλησιανkata pāsan ennomon ekklāsian). The Roman officials alone could give the sanction for calling such a lawful or regular assembly. The verb επιλυωepiluō is an old one, but in the N.T. only here and Mark 4:34 (which see) where Jesus privately opened or disclosed the parables to the disciples. The papyri give examples of the verb in financial transactions as well as of the metaphorical sense. The solution will come in the lawful assembly, not in a riot like this. See also 2 Peter 1:20 where the substantive επιλυσιςepilusis occurs for disclosure or revelation (prophecy).


Verse 40

For indeed we are in danger to be accused concerning this day‘s riot (και γαρ κινδυνευομεν εγκαλεισται στασεως περι της σημερονkai gar kinduneuomen egkaleisthai staseōs peri tēs sāmeron). The text is uncertain. The text of Westcott and Hort means “to be accused of insurrection concerning today‘s assembly.” The peril was real. ΚινδυνευομενKinduneuomen from κινδυνοςkindunos danger, peril. Old verb, but in the N.T. only here and Luke 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:30.

There being no cause for it (μηδενος αιτιου υπαρχοντοςmādenos aitiou huparchontos). Genitive absolute with αιτιοςaitios common adjective (cf. αιτιαaitia cause) though in N.T. only here and Hebrews 5:9; Luke 23:4, Luke 23:14, Luke 23:22.

And as touching it (περι ουperi hou). “Concerning which.” But what? No clear antecedent, only the general idea.

Give an account of this concourse (αποδουναι λογον περι της συστροπης ταυτηςapodounai logon peri tēs sustrophēs tautēs). Rationem reddere. They will have to explain matters to the proconsul. ΣυστροπηSustrophē (from συνsun together, στρεπωstrephō to turn) is a late word for a conspiracy (Acts 23:12) and a disorderly riot as here (Polybius). In Acts 28:12 συστρεπωsustrephō is used of gathering up a bundle of sticks and of men combining in Matthew 17:22. Seneca says that there was nothing on which the Romans looked with such jealousy as a tumultuous meeting.


Verse 41

Dismissed the assembly (απελυσεν την εκκλησιανapelusen tēn ekklēsian). The town-clerk thus gave a semblance of law and order to the mob by formally dismissing them, this much to protect them against the charge to which they were liable. This vivid, graphic picture given by Luke has all the earmarks of historical accuracy. Paul does not describe the incidents in his letters, was not in the theatre in fact, but Luke evidently obtained the details from one who was there. Aristarchus, we know, was with Luke in Caesarea and in Rome and could have supplied all the data necessary. Certainly both Gaius and Aristarchus were lively witnesses of these events since their own lives were involved.

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Acts 19:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/acts-19.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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