Acts 19:27
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.
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(27) Not only this our craft.—The English word conveys, perhaps, too much the idea of art. Our business, or our interests, would be a somewhat better equivalent. The Greek word is not the same as that so translated in Acts 19:25.

The temple of the great goddess Diana.—The adjective was one specially appropriated to the Artemis of Ephesus, and appears on many of the coins and medals of the city.

Should be despised.—Literally, should come to an exposurei.e., should become a laughing-stock and a by-word. Panic is sometimes clear-sighted in its previsions, and the coppersmith of Ephesus becomes an unconscious prophet of the future.

And her magnificence should be destroyed.—The connection between the substantive and the received epithet is closer in the Greek than in the English. The great goddess was in danger of being robbed of her attribute of greatness.

Whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.—Asia is, of course, the proconsular province, and the “world” is used conventionally, as in Luke 2:1, for the Roman empire. Apuleius uses language almost identical with that of Demetrius, “Diana Ephesia cujus nomen unicum . . . totus veneratur orbis.”

19:21-31 Persons who came from afar to pay their devotions at the temple of Ephesus, bought little silver shrines, or models of the temple, to carry home with them. See how craftsmen make advantage to themselves of people's superstition, and serve their worldly ends by it. Men are jealous for that by which they get their wealth; and many set themselves against the gospel of Christ, because it calls men from all unlawful crafts, however much wealth is to be gotten by them. There are persons who will stickle for what is most grossly absurd, unreasonable, and false; as this, that those are gods which are made with hands, if it has but worldly interest on its side. The whole city was full of confusion, the common and natural effect of zeal for false religion. Zeal for the honour of Christ, and love to the brethren, encourage zealous believers to venture into danger. Friends will often be raised up among those who are strangers to true religion, but have observed the honest and consistent behaviour of Christians.So that not only ... - The grounds of the charge which Demetrius made against Paul were two: first, that the business of the craftsmen would be destroyed usually the first thing that strikes the mind of a sinner who is influenced By self-interest alone; and, second, that the worship of Diana would cease if Paul and his fellow-laborers were suffered to continue their efforts.

This our craft - This business in which we are engaged, and on which we are dependent. Greek: this part τὸ μέρος to meros which pertains to us.

To be set at nought - To be brought into contempt. It will become so much an object of ridicule and contempt that we shall have no further employment. Greek: "Is in danger of coming into refutation" εἰς ἀπελεγμὸν eis apelegmon. Since what is refuted by argument is deemed useless, so the word comes also to signify what is useless, or which is an object of contempt or ridicule. We may here remark:

(1) That the extensive prevalence of the Christian religion would destroy many kinds of business in which people now engage. It would put an end to all that now ministers to the pride, vanity, luxury, vice, and ambition of people. Let religion prevail, and wars would cease, and all the preparations for war which now employ so many hearts and hands would be useless. Let religion prevail, and temperance would prevail also; and consequently all the capital and labor now employed in distilling and vending ardent spirits would be withdrawn, and the business be broken up. Let religion prevail, and licentiousness would cease, and all the arts which minister to it would be useless. Let Christianity prevail, and all that goes now to minister to idolatry, and the corrupt passions of people, would be destroyed. No small part of the talent, also, that is now worse than wasted in corrupting others by ballads and songs, by fiction and licentious tales, would be withdrawn. A vast amount of capital and talent would thus be at once set at liberty, to be employed in nobler and better purposes.

(2) the effect of religion is often to bring the employments of people into shame and contempt. A revival of religion often makes the business of distilling an object of abhorrence. It pours shame on those who are engaged in ministering to the vices and luxuries of the world. Religion reveals the evil of such a course of life, and those vices are banished by the mere prevalence of better principles. Yet,

(3) The talent and capital thins disengaged is not rendered useless. It may be directed to other channels and other employment. Religion does not make people idle. It leads people to devote their talents to useful employments, and opens fields in which all may toil usefully to themselves and to their fellow-men. If all the capital, the genius, and the learning which are now wasted, and worse than wasted, were to be at once withdrawn from their present pursuits, they might be profitably employed. There is not now a useless man who might, not be useful; there is not a cent wasted which might not be employed to advantage in the great work of making the world better and happier.

But also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised - This temple, so celebrated, was regarded as one of the seven wonders of the world. It was 220 years in building before it was brought to perfection. It was built at the expense of all Asia Minor. The original object of worship among the Ephesians was a small statue of Diana, made of wood, but of what kind of wood is unknown. Pliny says that the temple was made of cedar, but that it was doubtful of what kind of wood the image was made. Some have said that it was of ebony. Mucian, who was three times consul, says that the Image was made of vine, and was never changed, though the temple was rebuilt seven times (Pliny, 16:79). See Vitruvius, ii. 9. It was merely an Egyptian hieroglyphic, with many breasts, representing the goddess of Nature - under which idea Diana was probably worshipped at Ephesus. Since the original figure became decayed by age, it was propped up by two rods of iron like spits, which were carefully copied in the image which was afterward made in imitation of the first.

A temple, most magnificent in structure, was built to contain the image of Diana, which was several times built and rebuilt. The first is said to have been completed in the reign of Servius Tullius, at least 570 b.c. Another temple is mentioned as having been designed by Ctesiphon, 540 years before the Christian era, and which was completed by Daphnis of Miletus and a citizen of Ephesus. This temple was partially destroyed by fire on the very day on which Socrates was poisoned, in 400 b.c., and again in 356 b.c., by the philosopher Herostratus, on the day on which Alexander the Great was born. He confessed, upon being put to the torture, that the only motive he had was to immortalize his name. The four walls, and a few columns only, escaped the flames. The temple was repaired, and restored to more than its former magnificence, in which, says Pliny (lib. xxxvi. c. 14), 220 years were required to bring it to completion.

It was 425 feet in length, 220 in breadth, and was supported by 127 pillars of Parian marble, each of which was 60 feet high. These pillars were furnished by as many princes, and 36 of them were curiously carved, and the rest were finely polished. Each pillar, it is supposed, with its base, contained 150 tons of marble. The doors and panelling were made of cypress wood, the roof of cedar, and the interior was rendered splendid by decorations of gold, and by the finest productions of ancient artists. This celebrated edifice, after suffering various partial demolitions, was finally burned by the Goths, in their third naval invasion, in 260 a.d. Travelers are now left to conjecture where its site was. Amidst the confused ruins of ancient Ephesus, it is now impossible to tell where this celebrated temple was, once one of the wonders of the world. "So passes away the glory of this world." See the Edinburgh Encyclopedia's "Ephesus" also Anacharsis' Travels, vol. vi. p. 188; Ancient Universal Hist., vol. vii. p. 416; and Pococke's Travels.

And her magnificence - Her majesty and glory; that is, the splendor of her temple and her worship.

Whom all Asia - All Asia Minor.

And the world - Other parts of the world. The temple had been built by contributions from a great number of princes, and doubtless multitudes from all parts of the earth came to Ephesus to pay their homage to Diana.

27. So that not only this our craft is in danger … but, &c.—that is, "that indeed is a small matter; but there is something far worse." So the masters of the poor Pythoness put forward the religious revolution which Paul was attempting to effect at Philippi, as the sole cause of their zealous alarm, to cloak the self-interest which they felt to be touched by his success (Ac 16:19-21). In both cases religious zeal was the hypocritical pretext; self-interest, the real moving cause of the opposition made.

also the temple of the great goddess Diana … despised, and her magnificence … destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth—It was reckoned one of the wonders of the world. It was built about 550 B.C., of pure white marble, and though burned by a fanatic on the night of the birth of Alexander the Great, 356 B.C., was rebuilt with more splendor than before. It was four hundred twenty-five feet long by two hundred twenty broad, and the columns, one hundred twenty-seven in number, were sixty feet in height, each of them the gift of a king, and thirty-six of them enriched with ornament and color. It was constantly receiving new decorations and additional buildings, statues, and pictures by the most celebrated artists, and kindled unparalleled admiration, enthusiasm, and superstition. Its very site is now a matter of uncertainty. The little wooden image of Diana was as primitive and rude as its shrine was sumptuous; not like the Greek Diana, in the form of an imposing huntress, but quite Asiatic, in the form of a many-breasted female (emblematic of the manifold ministrations of Nature to man), terminating in a shapeless block. Like some other far-famed idols, it was believed to have fallen from heaven (Ac 19:35), and models of it were not only sold in immense numbers to private persons, but set up for worship in other cities [Howson]. What power must have attended the preaching of that one man by whom the death blow was felt to be given to their gigantic and witching superstition!

Not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; not only that we shall have no more to do, and be without work; but that it will be a reproach unto us to have had such an employment.

But also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised; this is made an aggravation to the loss of their all, that religion should suffer too. How much more ought it to concern those who have a sure foundation for what they do profess!

All Asia; this temple is said to have been burnt down the same day that Alexander was born, and that it was two hundred and twenty years in rebuilding, at the charge of all Asia.

The world worshippeth; though the Romans might worship any god (of those multitudes) which they allowed, yet they might leave their estates only to a very few amongst them; but Diana of the Ephesians was one of those few; as also one of those twelve whom they accounted dii or deae majorum gentium, gods and goddesses of the highest quality, or first rank.

So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought,.... Or "to come into reproof", as the words may be literally rendered, and as they are in the Vulgate Latin version; that is, if this notion prevails, that they are not gods, which are made with hands, this art and business of making shrines and images for Diana will be brought into contempt, and come to nothing; who will buy them, when once they believe there is no divinity in them? they will despise them, and the makers of them; yea, the latter will be in danger of being taken up, and charged, convicted, reproved and punished as idolaters, and blasphemers of deity; to which sense the Ethiopic version inclines, which renders it, "and not only for this thing we shall be in danger"; of being called to an account for making these shrines; our business will be put down, and we shall be treated with disgrace, if not with severity:

but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised; here religion is pretended, and a concern shown for that; partly on purpose to cover, as much as could be, the selfish and avaricious principles from which Demetrius acted; and partly the more to stir up the meaner and more ignorant sort of people, and irritate and provoke them, and set them against Paul and his doctrine, who generally speaking are the most bigoted. Diana is said to be the daughter of Jupiter, by Latona; she is often called the goddess of hunting, and is said to preside at births; the moon was worshipped by the Heathens under her name; she is here called the "great" goddess, for the Gentiles had their greater and their lesser gods, and she is reckoned among the former, which were in number twelve; Juno, Vesta, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Neptune, Vulcan, and Apollo: the temple of Diana at Ephesus is reckoned among the seven wonders of the world; it was about seven furlongs distant from the city (l), and was 425 feet long, and 220 feet broad, and had in it 127 pillars, 60 feet high; it was built on marshy ground, that it might not be affected with earthquakes; and yet that such a pile of building might not stand upon a slippery and unstable foundation, coals and fleeces of wool were laid in the foundation and trodden in it, according to Pliny (m), from whom this account is taken; who says it was two hundred and twenty years in building, and elsewhere he says it was four hundred years; the architect who first began it, he makes to be one Chersiphron; but it is commonly ascribed to the Amazons, and particularly to the Amazon Otrira, the wife of Mars; though Pausanias (n), as he observes that the temple of Diana of the Ephesians was built before the Ionians came into these parts, so he denies that it was built by the Amazons, but affirms that the builders of it were Cresus, and Ephesus, the son of Caystrus. Solinus (o), who calls it a fabric of the Amazons, says it was

"so magnificent, that Xerxes, when he burnt all the temples in Asia, spared this only; but (adds he) this clemency of Xerxes did not preserve the sacred temple from evil; for Herostratus set fire to this noble fabric with his own hands, for no other reason, as he confessed, than to get himself a name.''

At which the Ephesians were so enraged, that they got an order published by the common council of Asia, throughout all the neighbouring kingdoms and nations, that his name should not be once mentioned (p); which however, though it might be regarded for a while, was not always; for his name has since been both spoken of, and transmitted in writing to posterity. The above historian observes, that the temple at Ephesus was burnt, the same day in which Alexander was born at Pella; which occasioned Timaeus facetiously to say, as is related by Cicero (q).

"it is no wonder that the temple of Diana of the Ephesians should be burnt the same night that Alexander was born, seeing Diana, being desirous to be present at the delivery of Olympias, (the mother of Alexander,) was absent from her own house.''

However, the inhabitants of Ephesus being very rich, and also willing to communicate to the charge of rebuilding this edifice, the women even bringing their gold, silver, and other precious ornaments, the work was set about, and a fabric was raised much more beautiful than the former; the name of the architect by whom it was rebuilt was Dinocrates; and so it continued, to this time the apostle was at Ephesus, a very fine and grand building, and commanded great attention, veneration, and respect from men; and which Demetrius suggests would fall into contempt, through the doctrine of the apostle, should he be suffered to go on:

and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth; by "her magnificence" is meant, her deity; which must be denied her, as well as her temple despised, if Paul's doctrine was true, and should obtain; so the Syriac version renders it, "the goddess herself"; and the Ethiopic version, "her divinity": what Demetrius says of her, that she was worshipped by all Asia, and the world, was fact; not only all Asia was concerned in building her temple at Ephesus, as many writers affirm (r); but she was one of the highest class of deities, and received as such by the whole Gentile world; yea, Diana of the Ephesians, as distinguished from all other Dianas, was revered by all nations. There were temples of Diana of the Ephesians in other places, particularly at Corinth, as Pausanias relates; and who also affirms, that all the cities celebrate Diana of the Ephesians, and men in private honour her above other deities; the reasons are, the glory of the Amazons, from whom according to fame her image was, and because of the antiquity of the temple: three other things besides these, adds he, contribute to the glory of it; the magnificence of the temple, which exceeds whatever was done by man, and the splendour of the city of the Ephesians, and the renown of the deity in it (s): here the silversmith suggests the catholicism and universality of their religion, in favour of it.

(l) Herodot. l. 1. c. 26. (m) Nat. Hist. l. 16. c. 40. & l. 36. c. 14. (n) Achaica sive, 1. 7. p. 399. (o) Polyhistor. c. 53. (p) A. Gell. Noct. Attic. l. 2. c. 6. (q) De natura Deorum, l. 2. p. 1918. (r) Plin. l. 16. c. 40. & l. 36. c. 14. Alex. ab Alex. l. 6. c. 2. Ganz Chronolog. par. 2. fol. 9. 2.((s) Corinthiaca sive, l. 2. p. 88. & Messenica, sive, l. 4. p. 275.

So that not only {m} 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.

(m) As if he said, If Paul goes on in this way as he has begun, to confuse the opinion which men have of Diana's image, all of our gain will come to nothing.

Acts 19:27. And not only this matter (μέρος, see on Colossians 2:16), this point, namely, our lucrative trade, is in danger for us of coming into contempt, but also[99] the temple of the great goddess Artemis (is in danger) of being regarded as nothing, and there will also (he added) be brought down the majesty of her, whom, etc.

ἡμῖν] dative of reference, i.e. here incommodi.

εἰς ἀπελ. ἐλθ.] i.e. to come into discredit; ἀπελεγμός is not preserved elsewhere; but comp. ἐλεγμός, frequent in the LXX. and Apocr.

τῆς μεγάλης] a habitually employed epithet, as of other gods, so particularly of the Ephesian Artemis. Xen. Eph. i. 11; Alberti, Obss. p. 259.

With μέλλειν the oratio recta passes into the oratio obliqua;[100] see Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 330 [E. T. 385].

τέ is and, simply annexing; καί is also, climactic: “destructum que etiam iri majestatem,” etc. Comp. Acts 21:28; Buttmann, p. 309 [E. T. 360].

τῆς μεγαλειότητος (see the critical remarks) is to be taken partitively (as if τί stood with it); there will be brought down something of her majesty. Comp. Xen. Hellen. iv. 4. 13 : τῶν τειχῶν καθελεῖν, also ii. 2. 11. Nothing of this magnificence will they sacrifice. On καθαιρεῖν of the lowering of the honour of one, comp. Herodian. iii. 3. 4, vii. 9. 24. ἣνσέβεται] again the direct form of address. See on such mixing of direct and indirect elements, Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 3. 14; Dissen, ad Dem. de cor. p. 203. The relative applies to αὐτῆς.

[99] “Efficax sermo, quem utilitas et superstitio acuit,” Bengel. Comp. Acts 16:19.

[100] Still μέλλειν may also be governed by κινδυν. ἡμῖν. But in that case μέλλειν would itself simply appear very unnecessary, and the passage would more fittingly after the preceding be continued: καθαιρεῖσθαί τε καὶ κ.τ.λ.

Acts 19:27. τοῦτοτὸ μέρος, sc., τῆς ἐργασίας ἡμῶν, Acts 19:25, Grimm-Thayer—this branch of their trade, which was concerned with the making of the shrines. Others take μέρος = trade, the part assigned to one.—κινδυνεύει: “the most sensitive part of ‘civilised’ man is his pocket,” Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 277, and the opposition thus naturally came not from the priests as instigators of the riot against Paul, but from the fact that trade connected with the Artemis-worship was endangered; so at Philippi, “when the masters saw that the hope of this was gone,” Acts 16:19; see Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, p. 129 ff., as against Hicks. “See how wherever there is idolatry, in every case we find money at the bottom of it, both in the former instance it was for money, and in the case of this man for money; it was not for their religion, because they thought that in danger; no, it was for their lucrative craft, that it would have nothing to work upon,” Chrys., Hom., xlii.,—εἰς ἀπελεγμὸν ἐλθεῖν: noun, not found either in classical Greek or in the LXX; the verb ἀπελέγχειν is found in 4Ma 2:11 (cf. Symm., Psalm 119:118), and ἐλεγμός is not uncommon in LXX, confutatio, repudiatio (for the phrase cf. Mark 5:26), in contemptum venire, Wetstein; but in redargutionem venire, Vulgate.—ἀλλὰ καὶ: the utilitarian aspect of the appeal stands first, but speciously seconded by an appeal to religious feelings (“non tam pro aris ipsos quam pro focis pugnare,” Calvin).—τῆς μεγ. θεᾶς Ἀ.: St. Luke appears to have retained the precise title of the goddess, according to the witness of the inscription; “Diana” (Ramsay), Hastings’ B.D., p. 605, so Blass, in loco.τὸἱερὸν: the Temple of Artemis was burnt to the ground by the fanatic Herostratus in B.C. 356 on the night of the birth of Alexander the Great, but its restoration was effected with great magnificence, and it was regarded as one of the seven wonders of the world. Its dimensions are given by Pliny, xxxvi., 95. For references, and a description of its worship, see C. and H., p. 422, small edition; Renan, Saint Paul, p. 427; Ramsay, “Diana,” u. s.; Wood’s Ephesus, pp. 4–45; Greek Inscrip. at British Museum, iii., 1890, and for a complete account of the temple, its structure, and literature relating to its history and site, B.D.2, “Ephesus”. So sumptuous was the magnificence of this sanctuary that it could be said ὁ τῆς Ἀρτέμιδος ναὸς ἐν Ἐφέσῳ μόνος ἐστὶ θεῶν οἶκος, Philo Byz., Spect. Mund., 7, and the sun, so the saying ran, saw nothing in his course more magnificent than Diana’s temple.—εἰς οὐδὲν λογ., cf. for a similar phrase LXX, Isaiah 40:17, Wis 3:17; Wis 9:6 (εἰς om. 1), and Dan. Theod., iv., 32. The verb λογίζομαι is also frequent in St. Paul with εἰς and the accusative.—τε καὶ, cf. Acts 21:28, not correlative, but: “and that she should even,” etc., Simcox, Language of the New Testament, p. 163.—τὴν μεγαλειότητα, see critical note, if we read the genitive, “and that she should even be deposed from her magnificence,” R.V., cf. Winer-Schmiedel, xxx., 6. Grimm-Thayer regards the genitive as partitive, aliquid de majestate ejus, as if it was inconceivable that all her magnificence should be lost: so Meyer, Zöckler, Weiss, cf. Xen., Hellen., iv., 4, 13; Diod. Sic., iv., 8. But Wendt (as against Meyer) regards τὸ ἱερόν as the subject; cf. 1 Timothy 6:5. The word is used, Luke 9:43, of the majesty of God, cf. 2 Peter 1:16 (Friedrich, p. 30); in LXX, Jeremiah 40(33):9; 1Es 1:5; 1Es 4:40, Daniel 7:27.—ὅλη ἡ Ἀσία: “multitudo errantium non efficit veritatem”: Bengel. The temple was built by contributions from the whole of Asia, tota Asia exstruente, Pliny, Nat. Hist., xvi., 40, so that the goddess was evidently held in veneration by the whole province, cf. ibid., 36:21; Liv., i., 45. According to the testimony of Pausanias, iv., 31, 8; cf. Xen., Anab., v., 3, 4, no deity was more widely worshipped by private persons (Wetstein, Ramsay, Blass), see also Apuleius, 2, quoted by Mr. Page from Wordsworth. For the way in which the imperial government allied itself with the Artemis worship and the revival of paganism in the second century, and the universal honour paid to Artemis by Greek and barbarian alike, cf. Greek Inscriptions of the British Museum (Hicks), iii., pp. 135, 145.—οἰκουμένη, see above on Acts 11:28. Plumptre points out that the language is almost identical with that of Apuleius (perhaps from this passage): “Diana Ephesia cujus nomen unicum … totus veneratur orbis”.

27. so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought] This is an instance where the Rev. Ver., though more literal, gains nothing in force, and loses in diction. “And not only is there danger that this our trade come into disrepute.” The requirements of the connexion would be sufficiently met by, “and not only is this, &c.”

The word for “craft” means literally our “interest,” our “share” (i.e. in the profits of trade).

but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana] This was one of the wonders of the ancient world, and the glory and pride of all the Ephesians, and the recent explorations of Mr Wood (see Wood’s Ephesus) have made us aware of the grandeur of the edifice and the consequent reason for this pride. Even the fragments of the architecture in the British Museum make it plain that the whole temple must have been a work of unsurpassed magnificence. No expense had been spared on its building, and the munificence of worshippers maintained it in full splendour. It was also used as a divinely-secured treasure-house, and those who made use of it in this way no doubt paid liberally for the protection. Tradition said, as it said of many another heathen idol, that the image in the shrine fell down from heaven. The description of this image (see Acts 19:24) is taken from coins which were current at the date when the Acts of the Apostles was written.

should be despised] More literally (as Rev. Ver.) “be made of no account.” As would be the case if men began to think that they were no gods which were made with hands. In his eagerness to save the trade, Demetrius forgets to put forward what the townclerk mentions afterwards (Acts 19:35), that the image was held to have come down from heaven. He is only interested in the support of what supplied his wealth.

and her magnificence should be destroyed] According to the best supported reading: and that she should even be deposed from her magnificence. The Greek word rendered “magnificence” is not unfrequently used to express the “majesty” of God.

whom all Asia and the world worshippeth] For wealth from the East, as well as from Greece, was bestowed on this gorgeous shrine.

Acts 19:27. Ἡμῖν, for us) The dative of profit or loss.—ἀλλὰ καὶ, but also) An effective speech, which is whetted by personal interest and by superstition.—μεγάλης, of the great) A solemn and customary epithet of Diana. Hence presently, μεγαλειότητα, her magnificence, or majesty; comp. Acts 19:28; Acts 19:34-35. Hiller’s Onom., pp. 795, 634, 625, shows that also the names Ἄρτεμις and Diana denote greatness.—εἰς οὐδὲν λογισθῆναι) So the LXX., 1 Samuel 1:13, ἐλογίσατο αὐτην εἰς μεθύουσαν, he counted her as drunken.—καθαιρεῖσθαι, to he destroyed) Wretched majesty, which is thus destroyed.—αὐτῆς) her.—ὅλη, the whole) The multitude (great number) of those in error does not make error into truth.

Verse 27. - And not only is there danger that this our trade come into disrepute for so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at naught, A.V.; be made of no account for should be despised, A.V.; that she should even be deposed from her magnificence for her magnificence should be destroyed, A.V. and T.R. Is there danger. There is no example in St. Luke's writings, or in the New Testament, or in the LXX., of κινδυνεύει, being taken impersonally, as it is sometimes, though rarely, in G reek authors. The subject, therefore, of this sentence is τὸ μέρος (the portion, part, or business), and Τοῦτο κινδυνεύει ἡμῖν τὸ μέρος κ.τ.λ, must be construed together, "This trade is in danger for us to come into disrepute," or, put into English, "This our trade is in danger," etc. Come into disrepute; εἰς ἀπελεγμὸν, only found here in the New Testament; literally, into refutation; hence into disrepute, or into reproach, i.e. be a ground of reproach to us who practice it. The great goddess. An epithet especially applied to the Ephesian Diana (comp. the μεγαλειότητα at the end of the verse, and the cry, vers. 28 and 34). Lewin (vol. 1. p. 412, note) quotes Ὀμνύω τὴν μεγαλήν Ἐφεσίων Ἄρτεμιν in the Ephesian Xenophon Τῆς μεγάλης Θεᾶς Ἀρτέμιδος, in an inscription at Ephesus; Ἄρτεμις ἡ μεγάλη θεός (Achill. Tat.). Add from Pausanias, 4,31, 8, All men hold the Ephesian Diana in the greatest honor." From her magnificence. The R.T. reads τῆς μεγαλειότητος instead of τὴν μεγαλειότητα in the T.R. But Meyer, while he accepts the R.T., construes it "and some of her magnificence," etc.; and rightly, because the genitive after καθαιρεῖν should be preceded by ἀπὸ, as Acts 13:29; Joshua 8:29; Joshua 10:27 (LXX.), and the word καθαιρεῖν is also specially used of lowering the honor of any one. All Asia and the world. This is scarcely an hyperbole, the worship of the Ephesian Diana, and of her image reported to have fallen down from heaven, was so very widely diffused. Acts 19:27Craft (μέρος)

Lit., part or department of trade.

To be set at nought (εἰς ἀπελεγμὸν ἐλθεῖν)

Lit., to come into refutation or exposure; hence, disrepute, as Rev. Compare Acts 18:28, and see note there. Ἀπελεγμός, refutation, occurs only here in New Testament.


Or Artemis. We must distinguish between the Greek Artemis, known to the Romans as Diana, and the Ephesian goddess. The former, according to the legend, was the daughter of Zeus (Jove), and the sister of Apollo. She was the patroness of the chase, the huntress among the immortals, represented with bow, quiver, and spear, clad in hunting-habit, and attended by dogs and stags. She was both a destroyer and a preserver, sending forth her arrows of death, especially against women, but also acting as a healer, and as the special protectress of women in childbirth. She was also the goddess of the moon. She was a maiden divinity, whose ministers were vowed to chastity.

The Ephesian Artemis is totally distinct from the Greek, partaking of the Asiatic character, and of the attributes of the Lydian Cybele, the great mother of the gods. Her worship near Ephesus appears to have existed among the native Asiatic population before the foundation of the city, and to have been adopted by the Greek immigrants, who gradually transferred to her features peculiar to the Grecian goddess. She was the personification of the fructifying and nourishing powers of nature, and her image, as represented on current coins of the time, is that of a swathed figure, covered with breasts, and holding in one hand a trident, and in the other a club. This uncouth figure, clad in a robe covered with mystic devices, stood in the shrine of the great temple, hidden by a purple curtain, and was believed to have fallen down from heaven (Acts 19:35). In her worship the oriental influence was predominant. The priests were eunuchs, and with them was associated a body of virgin priestesses and a number of slaves, the lowest of whom were known as neocori, or temple-sweepers (Acts 19:35). "Many a time must Paul have heard from the Jewish quarter the piercing shrillness of their flutes, and the harsh jangling of their timbrels; many a time have caught glimpses of their detestable dances and Corybantic processions, as, with streaming hair, and wild cries, and shaken torches of pine, they strove to madden the multitudes into sympathy with that orgiastic worship which was but too closely connected with the vilest debaucheries" (Farrar, "Life and Work of Paul").


See on 2 Peter 1:16.

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