After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. "After I have been there," he said, "I must visit Rome also."
He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.
About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way.
A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen.
He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from this business.
And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all.
There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty."
When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia, and rushed as one man into the theater.
Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him.
Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.
The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there.
The Jews pushed Alexander to the front, and some of the crowd shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people.
But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: "Men of Ephesus, doesn't all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven?
Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to be quiet and not do anything rash.
You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess.
If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges.
If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly.
As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of today's events. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it."
After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.
When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter.
When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, "Oh! My daughter! You have made me miserable and wretched, because I have made a vow to the LORD that I cannot break."
"My father," she replied, "you have given your word to the LORD. Do to me just as you promised, now that the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites.
But grant me this one request," she said. "Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry."
"You may go," he said. And he let her go for two months. She and the girls went into the hills and wept because she would never marry.
After the two months, she returned to her father and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin. From this comes the Israelite custom
that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.
The men of Ephraim called out their forces, crossed over to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, "Why did you go to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you? We're going to burn down your house over your head."
Jephthah answered, "I and my people were engaged in a great struggle with the Ammonites, and although I called, you didn't save me out of their hands.
When I saw that you wouldn't help, I took my life in my hands and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the LORD gave me the victory over them. Now why have you come up today to fight me?"
Jephthah then called together the men of Gilead and fought against Ephraim. The Gileadites struck them down because the Ephraimites had said, "You Gileadites are renegades from Ephraim and Manasseh."
The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, "Let me cross over," the men of Gilead asked him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he replied, "No,"
they said, "All right, say 'Shibboleth.' " If he said, "Sibboleth," because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.
Jephthah led Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died, and was buried in a town in Gilead.
After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem led Israel.
He had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He gave his daughters away in marriage to those outside his clan, and for his sons he brought in thirty young women as wives from outside his clan. Ibzan led Israel seven years.
Then Ibzan died, and was buried in Bethlehem.
After him, Elon the Zebulunite led Israel ten years.
Then Elon died, and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.
After him, Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon, led Israel.
He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys. He led Israel eight years.
Then Abdon son of Hillel died, and was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.
The LORD said to Job:
"Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!"
Then Job answered the LORD:
"I am unworthy--how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.
I spoke once, but I have no answer-- twice, but I will say no more."
Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
"Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.
"Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself ?
Do you have an arm like God's, and can your voice thunder like his?
Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low,
look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand.
Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave.
Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you.
"Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.
What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly!
His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit.
His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron.
He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword.
The hills bring him their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby.
Under the lotus plants he lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
The lotuses conceal him in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround him.
When the river rages, he is not alarmed; he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth.
Can anyone capture him by the eyes, or trap him and pierce his nose?