Acts 19:36

ESV Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash.
NIV Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm down and not do anything rash.
NASB So, since these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash.
CSB Therefore, since these things are undeniable, you must keep calm and not do anything rash.
NLT Since this is an undeniable fact, you should stay calm and not do anything rash.
KJV Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.

What does Acts 19:36 mean?

The town clerk of Ephesus—the liaison between the city government and the Roman representatives—is speaking to a crowd in the theater. The craftsmen of the city have incited a mob to pronounce their fidelity to the goddess Artemis by yelling for two straight hours. The people of the crowd don't know why they're there. The town clerk does (Acts 19:23–34).

Paul has been in Ephesus for three years (Acts 20:31), healing people, freeing them from demons, and teaching them how they can enter the kingdom of God (Acts 19:8). Demetrius, a silversmith, realizes that if Paul continues, the people will do more than abandon witchcraft, they'll abandon Artemis. The fewer people worship Artemis, the fewer idols and shrines they'll buy. So, Demetrius and the other craftsmen create an advertising campaign disguised as a display of civil and religious pride (Acts 19:23–27).

In their fervor, the people grab two of Paul's companions, Gaius and Aristarchus, but can't get their hands on Paul (Acts 19:28–31). The town clerk points out that Ephesus is in no danger of losing its loyalty to Artemis, and Gaius and Aristarchus are not a threat—they haven't even spoken against the goddess. If Demetrius has a legal complaint against Paul, he can press charges. But despite the fact the theater is used for legal forums, this is not a forum—it's nearly a riot. If the Romans realize what is going on, the city could be fined, or worse. Like Gamaliel told the Sanhedrin about the apostles preaching about Jesus, the people need to settle down, not be hasty, and trust the deity they worship (Acts 5:37–39).

Ironically, the town clerk isn't completely correct. The church in Ephesus stands strong for centuries—long after Artemis worship. It isn't until after the Turkish war in 1923, when the remnant of the Greek population leaves the country, that the church falls.
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