But about that time, serious trouble developed in Ephesus concerning the Way.
It began with Demetrius, a silversmith who had a large business manufacturing silver shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis. He kept many craftsmen busy.
References for Acts 19:24
He called the craftsmen together, along with others employed in related trades, and addressed them as follows: "Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business.
As you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded many people that handmade gods aren't gods at all. And this is happening not only here in Ephesus but throughout the entire province!
Of course, I'm not just talking about the loss of public respect for our business. I'm also concerned that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will lose its influence and that Artemis -- this magnificent goddess worshiped throughout the province of Asia and all around the world -- will be robbed of her prestige!"
At this their anger boiled, and they began shouting, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
A crowd began to gather, and soon the city was filled with confusion. Everyone rushed to the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, who were Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia.
Paul wanted to go in, but the believers wouldn't let him.
Some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, also sent a message to him, begging him not to risk his life by entering the amphitheater.