The Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 19

Some disciples receive the Holy Spirit after they are baptized in Jesus’ name and Paul lays his hands on them, 1-7. The Jews blaspheme his doctrine, which is confirmed by miracles, 8-12. The Jewish exorcists, 13-15, are beaten by the devil, 16-18. Conjuring books are burnt, 19, 20. Demetrius, for love of gain, raises an uproar against Paul, 21-34; which is appeased by the town-clerk, 35-41.

1 And it came to pass, that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper region, came to Ephesus, and finding some disciples, 2 He said to them, "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" And they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is any Holy Spirit." 3 And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." 4 Then Paul said, "John truly baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in him who should come after him, that is, in Christ Jesus." 5 When they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in languages and prophesied. 7 And they were about twelve men in all.

8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one, Tyrannus. 10 And this continued for the space of two years so that all those who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus—both Jews and Greeks.

11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 So that handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then some of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon themselves to invoke over those who had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches." 14 And there were seven sons of one, Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, who did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, "Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?" 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overcame them, and prevailed against them so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 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. 18 And many who believed came, confessed, and showed their deeds. 19 Many of those who also practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them before all men. And they counted the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of God mightily grew and prevailed.

21 After these things had ended, Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome." 22 So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.

23 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. 24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silver-smith who made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain to the craftsmen, 25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, "Sirs, you know that by this craft we have our wealth. 26 Moreover, you see and hear, that not at Ephesus alone, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are no gods which are made with hands. 27 So not only is this craft of ours in danger to be set at nothing, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worships."

28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, "Diana of the Ephesians is great." 29 And the whole city was filled with confusion. And having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theater. 30 And when Paul wished to go in among the people, the disciples did not allow him. 31 And some of the chief of Asia who were his friends sent to him, desiring him that he would not venture himself into the theater. 32 Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and the greater part did not know why they had come together. 33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand and wished to make his defense to the people. 34 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, "Diana of the Ephesians is great." 35 And when the town-clerk had appeased the people, he said, "Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is a worshiper of the great goddess Diana and of the image which fell down from the sky? 36 Seeing then that these things cannot be contradicted, you ought to be quiet and to do nothing rashly. 37 For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. 38 Therefore, if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies. Let them accuse one another. 39 But if you inquire anything concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. 40 For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, since there is no cause by which we may give an account of this commotion." 41 And when he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Acts, Chapter 19[➚]