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Silversmiths in Ephesus riot against 'The Way'

Acts 19:23-41
Silversmiths in Ephesus riot as people turn to Christ.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
1
Paul had spent over two years in Ephesus preaching about Jesus being ‘The Way’ to God. The new Christians became known as followers of ‘The Way’. – Slide 1
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In Ephesus was the Temple of the Greek goddess Artemis (worshipped by the Romans as the goddess Diana). People from all around the area came to worship at the Temple. – Slide 2
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Demetrius, a silversmith, had a large business, employing many craftsmen, making silver shrines of the goddess Artemis. He called a meeting of craftsmen and traders who sold items to worshippers of Artemis. – Slide 3
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‘Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business,’ Demetrius declared. ‘But Paul has persuaded people around this area that handmade gods aren’t really gods at all. I’m concerned that the temple Artemis will lose its influence and this magnificent goddess will be robbed of her great prestige!’ – Slide 4
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On hearing this, the men got very angry and began shouting, ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’ – Slide 5
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The angry mob rushed towards the amphitheatre, a large stadium in Ephesus that could hold 25,000 people. (This diagram of Ephesus shows the position of the amphitheatre). – Slide 6
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They dragged two of Paul’s travelling companions from Macedonia, Gaius and Aristarchus, into the amphitheatre with them. – Slide 7
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When Paul heard about the riot he wanted to go to the amphitheatre but the believers wouldn’t let him. Officials who were also friends of Paul, were begging him not to risk his life and to stay away. – Slide 8
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Inside, the people were all shouting, some one thing and some another. Everything was in confusion and many didn’t even know why they were there. – Slide 9
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The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander forward and told him to explain the situation. He motioned for silence and tried to speak. But when the crowd realised he was a Jew, they started chanting again ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’ They kept up this chant for two hours. – Slide 10
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Eventually, the city clerk was able to get them quiet. ‘Citizens of Ephesus,’ he said. ‘Everyone knows that Ephesus is the official guardian of the temple of the great Artemis, whose image fell down to us from heaven.  – Slide 11
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‘Stay calm. You have brought these men here, but they have not stolen from the temple or spoken against our goddess. If Demetrius and the craftsmen have a case against them they should make formal charges. The courts are in session and the officials can hear the case at once. – Slide 12
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‘We are in danger of being charged by the Roman Government of rioting without a good reason. And if Rome demands an explanation, we won’t know what to say.’  – Slide 13
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The city clerk dismissed them and they dispersed. When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia. – Slide 14
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Slide 15