Acts 19:34
But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) When they knew that he was a Jew.—Better, when they recognised.

19:32-41 The Jews came forward in this tumult. Those who are thus careful to distinguish themselves from the servants of Christ now, and are afraid of being taken for them, shall have their doom accordingly in the great day. One, having authority, at length stilled the noise. It is a very good rule at all times, both in private and public affairs, not to be hasty and rash in our motions, but to take time to consider; and always to keep our passions under check. We ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly; to do nothing in haste, of which we may repent at leisure. The regular methods of the law ought always to stop popular tumults, and in well-governed nations will do so. Most people stand in awe of men's judgments more than of the judgement of God. How well it were if we would thus quiet our disorderly appetites and passions, by considering the account we must shortly give to the Judge of heaven and earth! And see how the overruling providence of God keeps the public peace, by an unaccountable power over the spirits of men. Thus the world is kept in some order, and men are held back from devouring each other. We can scarcely look around but we see men act like Demetrius and the workmen. It is as safe to contend with wild beasts as with men enraged by party zeal and disappointed covetousness, who think that all arguments are answered, when they have shown that they grow rich by the practices which are opposed. Whatever side in religious disputes, or whatever name this spirit assumes, it is worldly, and should be discountenanced by all who regard truth and piety. And let us not be dismayed; the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters; he can still the rage of the people.But when they knew - When they perceived or ascertained.

That he was a Jew - There was a general prejudice against the Jews. They were disposed to charge the whole difficulty on Jews - esteeming Christians to be but a sect of the Jews. They were, therefore, indiscriminate in their wrath, and unwilling to listen to any defense.

With one voice - Unitedly, in one continued shout and clamor.

About the space of two hours - The day, from sunrise to sunset, among the Greeks and Romans, was divided into twelve equal parts, John 11:9. An hour, therefore, did not differ materially from an hour with us. It is not at all improbable that the tumult would continue for so long a time, before it would be possible to allay the excitement.

Cried out ... - This they at first did to silence Alexander. The shouting, however, was continued in order to evince their attachment to Diana, as would be natural in an excited and tumultuous mob of pagan worshippers.

34. But when they knew he was a Jew, all with one voice, for the space of two hours, cried out, Great is Diana, &c.—The very appearance of a Jew had the opposite effect to that intended. To prevent him obtaining a hearing, they drowned his voice in one tumultuous shout in honor of their goddess, which rose to such frantic enthusiasm as took two hours to exhaust itself. A Jew, and by consequence an enemy to their idolatry; and, as they might imagine at least, a friend to St. Paul.

All with one voice; unanimity makes not the cause to be good, if it were bad at first. But when they knew that he was a Jew,.... And so equally an enemy to their idolatry, as Paul and his companions were, whether he was a Christian or not.

All with one voice about the space of two hours cried out; all that were in the theatre lift up their voices at once to prevent Alexander's apology, or at least its being heard; and which they continued about two hours, which was a long time to keep hallooing out,

great is Diana of the Ephesians; See Gill on Acts 19:28.

{9} But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

(9) Instead of reason, the idolaters are sufficiently contented with their own madness and outcries, and those are the greatest defence that they have.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 19:34-35. Ὅτι Ἰουδαῖός ἐστι] Alexander was a Jewish Christian; but his Christian position was either unknown to the mob, or they would listen to nothing at all from one belonging to the Jewish nation as the hereditary enemy of the worship of the gods.

ἐπιγνόντες] Nominative participle, having reference to the logical subject. See Winer, p. 528 [E. T. 710]; Buttmann, neut Gr. p. 256 [E. T. 298].

καταστείλας] after he had quieted. Plut. Mor. p. 207 E; Joseph. Antt. xiv. 9. 1, i. 1. 2.

The γραμματεύς, who had come up in the meantime, perhaps being sent for, is the city-secretary (Thuc. vii. 19, ὁ γραμματεὺς ὁ τῆς πόλεως), to whose office belonged the superintendence of the archives, the drawing up of official decrees, and the reading of them in the assemblies of the people. See van Dale, l.c., p. 423 f.; Hermann, Staatsalterth. § 127. 20, 147. 6.

τίς γὰρ κ.τ.λ.] who is there then, etc. With γάρ the speaker glances back on his efforts to calm them as completely justified, since there is certainly no one who does not know, etc. The question introduced with γάρ therefore states the motive of the καταστείλας. Comp. Nägelsbach on the Iliad, p. 59, ed. 3. Thus vividly does the question fit into the position of affairs.

τὴν Ἐφεσίων πόλιν] with patriotic emphasis.

On νεωκόρος (properly, temple-sweeper, temple-keeper, Xen. Anab. v. 3. 6; Plat. Legg. 6, p. 759 A–C) as an honourable epithet of cities, particularly in Asia, in which the temple-service of a divinity or of a deified ruler has its principal seat, see van Dale, l.c., p. 300 ff.; Valckenaer, p. 570 f.; Krause, de civit. neocoris, Hal. 1844; Hermann, gottesd. Alterth. § 12. 7.

τὸ διοπετές] that which fell from Zeus. That this was the ἄγαλμα fallen from heaven (Eur. Iph. T. 977; Herodian, i. 11. 2) was obvious of itself. The image of Artemis in the temple of Ephesus (according to Vitruvius, ii. 9, of cedar; according to Plin. xvi. 40, of the wood of the vine; according to Xen. Anab. v. 3. 12, of gold, or at least gilt; and according to others, of ebony) was given out as such. See Spanheim, ad Callim. in Dian. 238; Wetstein in loc. On the figure of the image,[104] see Creuzer, Symbol. II. p. 176 ff. It represented the goddess with many breasts (multimammiam, Jerome). According to our passage it must have been rescued at the burning of Herostratus, at least according to general opinion.

[104] With enigmatical words on forehead, girdle, and feet; see upon it Ewald, Jahrb. II. p. 175 f.Acts 19:34. ἐπιγνόντων: “when they recognised” by his dress and his features, “when they perceived,” R.V. If we read ἐπιγνόντες, see critical note, φωνὴ ἐγέν. = “anacoluthon luculentissimum” cf. Mark 9:20 (Blass).—μία ἐκ πάντων: callida junctura, arresting the reader’s attention (Hackett). Alexander was thus unable to obtain a hearing because he was a Jew, a fact which sufficiently justifies the apprehension for Paul entertained by his friends.—Μεγάλη κ.τ.λ., see on Acts 19:28, the cry in , and [330] text is doubled, which marks its continuance and its emphatic utterance (Weiss).—ὡς ἐπὶ ὥρας δύο κραζ.: probably they regarded this as in itself an act of worship, cf. 1 Kings 18:26, and Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, p. 142, “Diana,” Hastings’ B.D., p. 605. “A childish understanding indeed! as if they were afraid lest their worship should be extinguished, they shouted without intermission:” Chrys., Hom., xlii.

[330] R(omana), in Blass, a first rough copy of St. Luke.34. But when they knew that he was a Jew] Better (with Rev. Ver.), perceived. The stamp of his nationality was on his face, and no doubt on his dress also.

all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out] They now had one object against which to direct their uproar and thus became all of one cry. It is clear from this that Jews were not popular, and that as a Jew was the object at which Demetrius and the workmen were excited, the whole body of Jews might well be anxious lest an attack should be made on all the race.

Great is Diana (Artemis) of the Ephesians] The cry, first raised by the workmen, now became general, and was persisted in with all the energy of a fanatical mob.Acts 19:34. Ἐπιγνόντες δὲ) The nominative for the oblique case [the genitive, to agree with πάντων]. “A change of construction” [anacoluthon], says Camerarius, “not unusual in Greek, similar to that in the Iliad, ἄμφω δʼ ἑζόμενοι γεραρώτερος ἦεν Ὀδυσσεύς.”—ἐκ πάντων, from all) They were unwilling to hear a Jew. Thus the danger was averted from the Christians.Verse 34. - Perceived for knew, A.V. ἐπιγιγώσκειν, to recognize; see Acts 3:10; Acts 4:13). With one voice cried out

The reverberations of their voices from the steep rock which formed one side of the theatre must have rendered their frenzied cries still more terrific.

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