Acts 19:35 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 19:35, NIV: "The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: 'Fellow Ephesians, doesn't all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven?"

Acts 19:35, ESV: "And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, who is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky?"

Acts 19:35, KJV: "And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?"

Acts 19:35, NASB: "After quieting the crowd, the town clerk *said, 'Men of Ephesus, what person is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the image which fell down from the sky?"

Acts 19:35, NLT: "At last the mayor was able to quiet them down enough to speak. '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."

Acts 19:35, CSB: "When the city clerk had calmed the crowd down, he said, "People of Ephesus! What person is there who doesn't know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple guardian of the great Artemis, and of the image that fell from heaven?"

What does Acts 19:35 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

For two hours, the people of Ephesus have crowded the theater, chanting "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" Most of the people don't know why they're there. They don't know it is a marketing campaign planned by Demetrius and the other craftsmen who make idols and shrines of the city's goddess—craftsmen who are afraid that if Paul continues preaching, healing, and rescuing people from demons, there won't be anyone left to buy their idols (Acts 19:23–34).

The theater is huge. The stage is in a valley; three tiers of seats that can hold 24,000 people climb the hillside around it. The entire city must be able to hear the shouting. Three times a month it's used as a public forum. This is not a public forum, and Rome does not have freedom of assembly.

The town clerk is the executive officer of the civic assembly and the liaison between the Ephesian government and the Roman provincial representatives who are housed in Ephesus. If he doesn't get the riot calmed down, the Romans will hold him responsible and fine the city. The temple of Artemis is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; the "sacred stone" is probably a meteorite that is housed in the temple. Worship of the goddess is ancient, even at this time; "Artemis" is the Greek name given to the local fertility goddess so the residents can keep their old traditions while not breaking the law against worshiping an unauthorized deity.

The clerk has already accomplished step one: let the crowd wear themselves out. Now, he affirms their feelings: of course Artemis worship isn't going away. Next, he will remind them that they are safe, as Gaius and Aristarchus haven't spoken against Artemis or damaged any of her places of worship. Then, he will remind them of the proper way to express their fear. If Demetrius has a legal complaint against Paul, he can file charges. Finally, he will warn them of the consequences. The crowd is breaking the law by causing a riot. Everyone needs to go home (Acts 19:34–41).