Acts 19:17
And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) Fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.—The fact thus narrated had shown that the sacred Name stood on quite a different level from that of the other names which exorcists had employed. It was a perilous thing for men to use it rashly, without inward faith in all that the Name implied. Men thought more of it than they had done before, because they saw the punishment that fell on those who had profaned it.

Acts 19:17-20. And this — Acknowledgment of the divine authority of Jesus and Paul, made in the absence of both; or this fact, concerning the possessed man, thus prevailing against the sons of Sceva; was known to all the Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus — And became, doubtless, the common subject of conversation; and fear fell on them all — For in this instance they saw a striking proof of the malice of the devil, whom they served, and of the power of Christ, whom they opposed; and both were awful considerations. They saw that the name of Christ was not to be trifled with, or taken into their mouths rashly, nor his religion confounded with the pagan superstitions. Hence his name, by which his faithful servants cast out devils and cured diseases, without any resistance, was the more magnified — For now it appeared to be a name above every name. And many — Who had formerly been professors of unwarrantable arts, but who now believed — Being strongly impressed by what had happened, and struck with the power of the evil spirit over the sons of Sceva; came — To Paul, of their own accord; and confessed — That they had attempted to cure diseased persons by charms and other magical practices; and showed their deeds — The devices by which they had deceived the multitude; or made a public declaration of their unlawful practices. Many of them also, who used these curious arts — Magical arts, to which that soft appellation was given by those that practised them, now firmly believing the gospel; brought their books — In which the different forms of incantation for different diseases were prescribed, the method of making these incantations was showed, the herbs and other medicines to be used with these incantations were pointed out, and the seasons for using them were fixed. And burned them before all men — Who were present; and — A great many of them being judged of high value in that place; they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver — If these be taken for Jewish shekels, and valued at three shillings each, (which are the principles of Dr. Benson’s computation,) the sum will amount to seven thousand five hundred pounds sterling; or, setting it at two shillings and sixpence, to six thousand two hundred and fifty pounds. Nevertheless, the owners of them made a willing sacrifice of them to truth and piety; because the arts themselves being unlawful, it was not fit that the books which taught them should be in the possession of any person whatever. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed — So remarkable was the triumph of the gospel over all considerations of honour or interest that could be opposed to it on this, or on any other occasion.19:13-20 It was common, especially among the Jews, for persons to profess or to try to cast out evil spirits. If we resist the devil by faith in Christ, he will flee from us; but if we think to resist him by the using of Christ's name, or his works, as a spell or charm, Satan will prevail against us. Where there is true sorrow for sin, there will be free confession of sin to God in every prayer and to man whom we have offended, when the case requires it. Surely if the word of God prevailed among us, many lewd, infidel, and wicked books would be burned by their possessors. Will not these Ephesian converts rise up in judgement against professors, who traffic in such works for the sake of gain, or allow themselves to possess them? If we desire to be in earnest in the great work of salvation, every pursuit and enjoyment must be given up which hinders the effect of the gospel upon the mind, or loosens its hold upon the heart.The name of the Lord Jesus was magnified - Acquired increasing honor. The transaction showed that the miracles performed in the name of the Lord Jesus by Paul were real, and were performed in attestation of the truth of the doctrine which he taught. Impostors could not work such miracles; and they who pretended to be able to do it only exposed themselves to the rage of evil spirits. It was thus shown that there was a real, vital difference between Paul and these impostors, and their failure only served to extend his reputation and the power of the gospel. 16. And the man in whom the evil spirit was—Mark the clear line of demarcation here between "the evil spirit which answered and said" and "the man in whom the evil spirit was." The reality of such possessions could not be more clearly expressed.

leaped on them … so that they fled … naked and wounded—This was so appalling a testimony at once against those profane impostors and in favor of Paul and the Master whom he preached, that we wonder not that it spread to "all the Jews and Greeks at Ephesus, that fear fell on them," and that "the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified."

Fear fell on them all; they feared (after this example of God’s not holding them guiltless that had taken his name in vain) to profane the name of Christ, and much more to blaspheme or speak against it.

The name of the Lord Jesus was magnified; his authority, which the unclean spirit could not resist; and his doctrine and ministers, whose defence God had undertaken. And this was known to all the Jews,.... These men being Jews: and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus: for though it was done in a private house, yet there might be many spectators and witnesses, both Jews and Greeks, who spread this fact about the city, and who, were to be depended upon:

and fear fell on them all; on the enemies of Christ and his Gospel, so that others were deterred from making such an attempt for the future:

and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified; which had such power over evil spirits, and whose power they themselves acknowledged: this was done by them that believed in Christ, who thought and spake the more highly of him; and who more strongly believed in him, and so magnified him, and gave more glory to him; Christ is great in himself, and he is magnified and made great, when he is declared to be so, and is treated as such.

And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 19:17-18. The first impression of this signal miscarriage of that application of the name of Jesus was in the case of the Ephesian multitude naturally fear, dread (see on Acts 2:43) on account of its extraordinary nature (on ἐπέπεσε φόβος, comp. Luke 1:12); and then followed universal praise of that name (comp. Luke 7:16). And many who (through this event now) were believers (τῶν πεπιστ.[94]) came (to Paul) and confessed and made known (an exhaustive description) their deeds. This open confession (ἐξομολ., see on Matthew 3:6) of their previous practices, which had been entirely alien and opposed to the faith in Christ, was the commencement of their new life of faith. In πολλοί and τὰς πράξ. αὐτ. the converted sorcerers and their evil tricks are meant to be included, but not they only (in opposition to Heinrichs and Olshausen); for it is not till Acts 19:19 that these exclusively are treated of. As to πράξεις in a bad sense, comp. on Romans 8:13.

[94] This rendering of τῶν πεπιστ. is justified by ἐμεγαλύνετο κ.τ.λ., ver. 17. Others, as Baumgarten, understand those who had already previously been believers, but who had not yet arrived at such a confession. This, however, is not reconcilable with μετάνοια as the necessary moral condition of faith and baptism, which condition must have at an earlier period been fulfilled by those who had already at an earlier time become believers. Luther (see his gloss) has misunderstood the verse.Acts 19:17. φόβος ἐπέπ.: characteristic phrase in St. Luke; see above on Luke 1:12, and Friedrich, pp. 77, 78.—καὶ ἐμεγαλύνετο: “continued to be magnified,” imperfect, as in Luke 7:16, praise follows upon fear, Luke 23:47; cf. with Matthew 27:54, Friedrich, p. 78.—τὸ ὄνομα Ἰ.: “jam cuncta illa nomina inania irritaque pro Iesu nomine putabantur” (Blass), see on Acts 19:19.17. And this was known to all] It is better to render, with Rev. Ver., the verb literally, “became known.” It was no doubt a gradual spreading of the story. We may be sure that the “sons of Sceva” said little about it.

the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus] Better, both Jews and Greeks, that dwelt at Ephesus. The A. V. does not shew “Jews and Greeks” to be an explanation of the preceding “all,” which it is in the original. Exorcists were plentiful enough at Ephesus, and the event would be looked on as a warning.

and fear … magnified] The “fear” was the first feeling and the most widely prevailing, for that would touch all who heard the history; the magnifying of the Lord Jesus was the later effect produced among those to whom Jesus was becoming known and worshipped.Acts 19:17. Ἐμεγαλύντεο, was magnified) These exorcists were treated more severely than that person, who was casting out demons in Luke 9:49-50. But the same persons, though not forbidden by Paul, yet by the very disaster which they suffered were for the Christian cause (in spite of themselves). The contumely cast on those who act in a sinister manner is subservient to the Divine glory, and to the estimation of the servants of GOD endowed with real power.Verse 17. - Became for was, A.V.; both Jews and Greeks for the Jews and Greeks also, A.V.; that dwelt for dwelling, A.V.; upon for on, A.V. Fear fell upon them. Comp. Acts 5:11-14, where the same effects are ascribed to the death of Ananias and Sapphire and the signs and wonders which were wrought by the apostles at that time. This fear produced by the putting forth of God's power paralyzed for a time the enemies of the gospel, and enabled believers, as it were, to take possession of their new heritage, just as the miracles at the Red Sea and the destruction of Sihon and Og paralyzed the courage of the Canaanites and enabled the Israelites to take possession of their land (Joshua 2:9-11). With respect to the incident which caused this fear, it might at first seem inconsistent with our Lord's saying to the apostles (Luke 9:49, 50). But the cases were very different. He who cast out devils in the name of Jesus, in the Gospel, does not seem to have had any hostility to the faith, for our Lord speaks of him as one who "is not against us." But these sons of Sceva were among the unbelieving Jews who were "hardened and disobedient;" and if their exorcisms had been permitted to succeed, they would have had power to withstand Paul, as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, and the very purpose for which miraculous power was given to St. Paul would have been frustrated. There- fore they were discomfited, and the subtle design of Satan to destroy, while seeming to magnify, the Name of Jesus was signally defeated. Comp. the somewhat similar incident at Philippi (Acts 16:16-18). Justin Martyr, in his 'Diologue with Trypho,' quoted by Alford on Matthew 12:27, speaks of the Jews as exorcising, sometimes in the name of kings (referring, doubtless, to Solomon), sometimes of just men, or of prophets, or of patriarchs. So these men took up the name of Jesus. Was known (ἐγένετο γνωστὸν)

More correctly, became known.

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