It was at this time that there was serious trouble in Ephesus because of the Way of the Lord.
A certain silversmith named Demetrius made silver models of the temple of the goddess Artemis, and his business brought a great deal of profit to the workers.
So he called them all together with others whose work was like theirs and said to them, "Men, you know that our prosperity comes from this work.
Now, you can see and hear for yourselves what this fellow Paul is doing. He says that hand-made gods are not gods at all, and he has succeeded in convincing many people, both here in Ephesus and in nearly the whole province of Asia.
There is the danger, then, that this business of ours will get a bad name. Not only that, but there is also the danger that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will come to mean nothing and that her greatness will be destroyed - the goddess worshiped by everyone in Asia and in all the world!"
As the crowd heard these words, they became furious and started shouting, "Great is Artemis of Ephesus!"
The uproar spread throughout the whole city. The mob grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, two Macedonians who were traveling with Paul, and rushed with them to the theater.
Paul himself wanted to go before the crowd, but the believers would not let him.
Some of the provincial authorities, who were his friends, also sent him a message begging him not to show himself in the theater.
Meanwhile the whole meeting was in an uproar: some people were shouting one thing, others were shouting something else, because most of them did not even know why they had come together.
Some of the people concluded that Alexander was responsible, since the Jews made him go up to the front. Then Alexander motioned with his hand for the people to be silent, and he tried to make a speech of defense.
But when they recognized that he was a Jew, they all shouted together the same thing for two hours: "Great is Artemis of Ephesus!"
At last the city clerk was able to calm the crowd. "Fellow Ephesians!" he said. "Everyone knows that the city of Ephesus is the keeper of the temple of the great Artemis and of the sacred stone that fell down from heaven.
Nobody can deny these things. So then, you must calm down and not do anything reckless.
You have brought these men here even though they have not robbed temples or said evil things about our goddess.
If Demetrius and his workers have an accusation against anyone, we have the authorities and the regular days for court; charges can be made there.
But if there is something more that you want, it will have to be settled in a legal meeting of citizens.
For after what has happened today, there is the danger that we will be accused of a riot. There is no excuse for all this uproar, and we would not be able to give a good reason for it."
After saying this, he dismissed the meeting.