Acts 19:39 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 19:39, NIV: "If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly."

Acts 19:39, ESV: "But if you seek anything further, it shall be settled in the regular assembly."

Acts 19:39, KJV: "But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly."

Acts 19:39, NASB: "But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly."

Acts 19:39, NLT: "And if there are complaints about other matters, they can be settled in a legal assembly."

Acts 19:39, CSB: "But if you seek anything further, it must be decided in a legal assembly."

What does Acts 19:39 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The city clerk of Ephesus is addressing a mob that has descended upon the theater. Most do not know why they are there. They heard some men chanting "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" (Acts 19:28), and, agreeing with the sentiment, joined in. They shout for two hours before the city clerk gets their attention (Acts 19:34).

The reason they are there has to do with Paul's successful ministry. For three years he has been healing people and expelling demons (Acts 20:31). The sick, oppressed, and harassed have come from all over the district of Asia, in the southwest corner of modern-day Turkey, to hear what Paul has to say. He tells them about the kingdom of God and forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus. Miracles affirm his teaching, and many choose to abandon witchcraft and pagan gods and follow Paul's God (Acts 19:8–12, 18–20).

The problem is, Paul's God doesn't have an image. In fact, making an image of Paul's God is forbidden. When the silversmith Demetrius realizes this, he also realizes that the craftsmen who make idols and shrines are going to go out of business. They join to start a protest which leads to a mob at the Ephesian theater (Acts 19:23–27).

Three times a month, the Ephesian theater doubles as an assembly place for the civic forum to address issues such as sacrilege against the Greek gods. The city clerk points out that Demetrius has two problems. First, this is not an official meeting. In fact, it's illegal (Acts 19:40). Second, no one has committed sacrilege against Artemis. No one has attacked her temple or even spoken out against her—not even the companions of Paul whom the crowd grabbed and dragged to the theater (Acts 19:29, 37).

If Demetrius has a charge against Paul, something specific and illegal Paul did to cause the craftsmen financial hardship, Demetrius can bring it before the proconsuls at the regular court (Acts 19:38). If he has a further complaint, he can bring it to a regular assembly at the theater. As it stands, Demetrius's little marketing campaign is quickly becoming a riot. The Roman officials didn't like riots, and if this continues, things will not go well for the Artemis-worshipers.