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Acts 19:35

    Acts 19:35 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And when the town cleark had appeased the people, he said, You men of Ephesus, what man is there that knows 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?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And when the townclerk had quieted the multitude, he saith, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there who knoweth not that the city of the Ephesians is temple-keeper of the great Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And when the chief secretary had got the people quiet, he said, Men of Ephesus, is any man without knowledge that the town of Ephesus is the keeper of the holy place of the great Diana, who was sent down from Jupiter?

    Webster's Revision

    And when the townclerk had quieted the multitude, he saith, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there who knoweth not that the city of the Ephesians is temple-keeper of the great Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?

    World English Bible

    When the town clerk had quieted the multitude, he said, "You men of Ephesus, what man is there who doesn't know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great goddess Artemis, and of the image which fell down from Zeus?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And when the townclerk had quieted the multitude, he saith, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there who knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is temple-keeper of the great Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 19:35

    When the town-clerk - Ὁγραμματευς, Literally, the scribe. The Syriac has reisha damedinato, the chief or prince of the city. The later Syriac has, the scribe of the city. Some think that the word recorder would do better here than town-clerk; and indeed it is evident that a magistrate of considerable authority and influence is intended - the mayor or sovereign of the city.

    Ye men of Ephesus - The speech of this man may be thus analyzed:

    1. He states that there was no need of a public declaration that the Ephesians were worshippers of Diana; this every person knew, and nobody attempted to contest it, Acts 19:35, Acts 19:36.

    2. That the persons accused were not guilty of any public offense, nor of any breach of the laws of the city, Acts 19:37.

    3. That, if they were, this was not a legal method of prosecuting them, Acts 19:38, Acts 19:39.

    4. That they themselves, by this tumultuous meeting, had exposed themselves to the censure of the law, and were in danger of being called into question for it, Acts 19:40. See Dodd.

    Is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana - The word νεωκορος, neocoros, which we translate worshipper, signified at first, among the ancient Greeks, no more than sweeper of the temple, and answered nearly to our sexton: in process of time, the care of the temple was intrusted to this person: at length the neocori became persons of great consequence, and were those who offered sacrifices for the life of the emperor. Whole cities took this appellation, as appears on many ancient coins and medals; and Ephesus is supposed to have been the first that assumed this title. At this time, it was commonly known as belonging to this city. "What man is there that knoweth not that the city of the Ephesians is the Neocoros of the great goddess Diana?" As if he had said: "The whole city is devoted to her worship: it is reputed an honor to our highest characters even to sweep her temple, and open and shut her doors. Besides, we offer to her the highest sacrifices; and are intrusted with the religious service that pertains to the emperor's safety."

    Of the image which fell down from Jupiter? - The original image of the Ephesian Diana (see on Acts 19:27 (note)) was supposed to have descended from heaven; which intimates that it was so old that no person knew either its maker or the time in which it was formed, and it was the interest of the priests to persuade the people that this image had been sent to them as a present from Jupiter himself. Several images and sacred things were supposed, among the heathens, to be presents immediately from heaven. Euripides states the image of Diana of Tauri to be of this kind; and calls it διοπετες αγαλμα, the image fallen from Jupiter. Numa pretended that the ancilia, or sacred shields, had come from heaven. In imitation of these, many of the Italian papists believe that the shrine of our lady of Loretto was also a Divine gift to their country. St. Isidore, of Damietta, says that the heathen, in order to induce the people to believe that such images came from heaven, either banished or slew the artists that had formed them, that there might be no evidence of the time in which, or the persons by whom, they were made: this point secured, it was easy to persuade the credulous multitude that they had been sent from heaven. The story of the Palladium, on which the safety of Troy was said to depend, is well known. It was an image of Minerva, and also supposed to have descended from Jupiter.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 19:35

    And when the town-clerk - ὁ γραμματέυς ho grammateus. The scribe; the secretary. This word is often used in the Bible, and is commonly translated "scribe," and is applied to "public notaries in the synagogues; to clerks; to those who transcribed books, and hence, to men skilled in the law or in any kind of learning." Compare 2 Samuel 8:17; 2 Kings 12:11; Ezra 7:6, Ezra 7:11-12; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 12:38; Matthew 13:52; Matthew 15:1; Matthew 23:34; 1 Corinthians 1:20. It is, however, nowhere else applied to a pagan magistrate. It probably denoted "a recorder; or a transcriber of the laws; or a chancellor" (Kuinoel, Doddridge). This officer had a seat in their deliberative assemblies, and on him it seems to have devolved to keep the peace. The Syriac, "Prince of the city." The Vulgate and Arabic, "Scribe."

    Had appeased the people - καταστείλας katasteilas. Having restrained, quieted, tranquillized, so as to be able to address them.

    What man is there - Who is there that can deny this? It is universally known and admitted. This is the language of strong confidence, of reproof, and of indignation. It implied that the worship of Diana was so well established that there was no danger that it could be destroyed by a few Jews, and he therefore reproved them for what he deemed their unreasonable fears. But he little knew the power of that religion which had been the innocent cause of all this tumult; nor that, at no very distant period, this despised religion would overturn not only the worship of Diana at Ephesus, but the splendid idolatry of the mighty Roman empire.

    Is a worshipper - νεωκόρον neōkoron. Margin, temple-keeper. The word used here does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. It is derived from νεὼς neōs, for ναὸς naos, a temple, and κορέω koreō, to sweep, to cleanse. But among the ancients, the office of keeping their temples was by no means as humble as that of sexton is with us. It was regarded as an office of honor and dignity to have charge of the temples of the gods, and to keep them in order. The term was also given to the cities that were regarded as the special patrons or worshippers of certain gods and goddesses. They esteemed it an honor to be regarded as the special keepers of their temples and images, or as having adopted them as their tutelar divinities. Such was Ephesus in regard to Diana. It was considered to be a high honor that the city was everywhere regarded as being entrusted with the worship of Diana, or with keeping the temple regarded by the whole world as especially her own. See Schleusner on this word.

    And of the image - A special guardian of the image, or statue of Diana.

    Which fell down ... - Which was reigned or believed to have been sent down from heaven. See the notes on Acts 19:27. It is probable that the image was so ancient that the maker of it was unknown, and it was therefore reigned to have fallen from heaven. It was for the interest of the priest to keep up this impression. Many cities pretended to have been favored in a similar manner with images or statues of the gods, sent directly from heaven. The safety of Troy was supposed to depend on the Palladium, or image of Pallas Minerva, which was believed to have fallen from heaven. Numa pretended that the ancilia, or sacred shields, had descended from heaven. Herodian expressly affirms that "the Phoenicians had no statue of the sun polished by the hand, but only a certain large stone, circular below, and terminated acutely above in the figure of a cone, of a black color, and that they believed it to have fallen from heaven." The same thing was affirmed of the ancient Minerva of the Athenian Acropolis (Paus., Att. 26); of the Paphian Venus, and the Ceres of Sicily (Cic. in Verr., v. 187). It has been supposed by some that this image at Ephesus was merely a conical or pyramidal stone which fell from the clouds - a meteorite - and that it was regarded with superstitious reverence, as having been sent from heaven. See the Edinburgh Encyclopedia's article, "Meteorites."

    From Jupiter - See the notes on Acts 14:12.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 19:35

    19:35 The register - Probably the chief governor of the public games. The image which fell down from Jupiter - They believed that very image of Diana, which stood in her temple, fell down from Jupiter in heaven. Perhaps he designed to insinuate, as if falling down from Jupiter, it was not made with hands, and so was not that sort of idols which Paul had said were no gods.