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The Riot At Ephesus
by Wayne Blank
"For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar"
When the apostle Paul successfully brought the Gospel to the region (see Paul's Ministry), Demetrius and his associates panicked:
"For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth." (Acts 19:24-27 KJV)
A near riot ensued:
"And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre. And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre."
A clue as to the origin of the Diana idol, or at least the one at Ephesus, is that it is described as "the image which fell down from Jupiter," meaning that it fell from out of the sky. What large stone or iron objects often fall from the sky onto earth? Meteorites, of all sizes (from less than a pound to many tons) and shapes (an example of an iron/nickel meteorite is shown in the photo).
Fortunately for Paul (fortunately for the raving mob, actually - Paul's service to God was not yet complete, and he was still under God's protection - see God's Marines) the riotous crowd settled down when Paul was recognized as having broken none of their laws, but that they were committing a crime by rioting:
"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? Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly. For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another. But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly." (Acts 19:35-41 KJV)
Fact Finder: How has pagan idolatry, the very same sort of idolatry that Paul encountered in Ephesus, corrupted much of the Christian-professing world? For example, what would Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, have to say about how she is represented by millions of (well-meaning but grossly misled and deceived) people?