Acts 19:21-41

Bad troubles happen in Ephesus.

21 After these things happened, Paul decided to travel through Macedonia and Greece. From there, he decided to travel to Jerusalem. He said, ‘After I have been there, I must also go to Rome.’ 22 At that time, Timothy and Erastus were helping Paul with his work. Paul sent them to Macedonia while he stayed longer in Asia region.

23 Soon after that, there was bad trouble in Ephesus. Some people began to speak strongly against the Way of the Lord Jesus. 24 In Ephesus there was a man called Demetrius. He used silver to make beautiful things. He made small things that looked like the house of their god. She was called Artemis. He paid a lot of money to people who did this work for him. 25 So he told all his workers to meet with him. He also asked other workers to come, who did the same kind of work. He said to all these men, ‘Men, you know that our work has caused us to become rich. 26 Also, you can see what this man Paul is doing. You have heard his message. Many people here in Ephesus, and in nearly all the places in Asia region, believe what he says. Paul teaches people this: “Anything that men have made is not really a god.” 27 If people continue to believe Paul's message, it will be very bad for us. People will say bad things against our work. The house of our god Artemis will not be important any more. People will even think that Artemis herself is not a great god. As it is now, people in all of Asia region and everywhere else worship her. We do not want that to change.’

28 When the workers heard Demetrius, they became very angry. They all shouted, ‘Our god Artemis of Ephesus is very great!’ 29 More and more people through the whole city began to shout. There was trouble everywhere. Gaius and Aristarchus had been travelling with Paul. They had come with him from Macedonia. Some people from the crowd took hold of these two men. They pulled them quickly to the open meeting place in the middle of the city.

19:29In this place, the Roman people met together to watch many different things.

30 Paul himself wanted to go there. He wanted to speak to the crowd. But the other believers would not let him do that. 31 Some Roman officers in that region were Paul's friends. They also sent a message to him. They said to him, ‘Please, do not go to the meeting place.’

32 The crowd of people in the meeting place continued to shout loudly. Some people were shouting one thing and other people were shouting something different. Not many of the people even knew why they had all met together. 33 There was a Jewish man called Alexander in the crowd. The Jews pushed him to the front of the crowd. He raised his hands towards the people, so that they would be quiet. He wanted to explain to them that he and his Jewish friends had not caused the trouble. 34 But the crowd knew that Alexander was a Jew. So they continued to shout the same words for about two hours. All together they shouted, ‘Our god Artemis of Ephesus is very great!’

35 After two hours, an important officer of the city caused the crowd to be quiet. He said, ‘People of Ephesus! Everybody knows about our god Artemis who has her great house here in Ephesus. People come here to worship her. Her special stone that fell from the sky is also here in Ephesus. We take care of all her things. Everybody knows that! 36 Nobody can say that this is not true. So be careful! Do not quickly do anything that is silly. 37 You have brought Gaius and Aristarchus here to the city officers' meeting place. But what bad thing have they done? They have not robbed the house of Artemis. They have not said bad things against her. 38 Perhaps Demetrius and his workers think that someone has done a wrong thing. If they think that, they should let a judge decide. There are officers for the government who will do this. If someone has done a wrong thing, people should tell a judge.

39 So, if you want to argue about these problems any more, do it properly. Go to the place where the judges meet. 40 Today, there is a crowd of people who are shouting and fighting. The Roman rulers may hear about what has happened. They will say that we have done bad things. We could not explain to them the reason why there is all this trouble.’ 41 When the officer had said all this, he said to the crowd, ‘All of you should go home now.’