At that time a great disturbance erupted about the Way.
There was a silversmith named Demetrius. He made silver models of Artemis' temple, and his business generated a lot of profit for the craftspeople.
He called a meeting with these craftspeople and others working in related trades and said, "Friends, you know that we make an easy living from this business.
And you can see and hear that this Paul has convinced and misled a lot of people, not only in Ephesus but also throughout most of the province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands aren't really gods.
This poses a danger not only by discrediting our trade but also by completely dishonoring the great goddess Artemis. The whole province of Asia—indeed, the entire civilized world—worships her, but her splendor will soon be extinguished."
Once they heard this, they were beside themselves with anger and began to shout, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
The city was thrown into turmoil. They rushed as one into the theater. They seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from the province of Macedonia.
Paul wanted to appear before the assembly, but the disciples wouldn't allow him.
Even some officials of the province of Asia, who were Paul's friends, sent word to him, urging him not to risk going into the theater.
Meanwhile, the assembly was in a state of confusion. Some shouted one thing, others shouted something else, and most of the crowd didn't know why they had gathered.
The Jews sent Alexander to the front, and some of the crowd directed their words toward him. He gestured that he wanted to offer a defense before the assembly,
but when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" This continued for about two hours.
The city manager brought order to the crowd and said, "People of Ephesus, doesn't everyone know that the city of Ephesus is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven?
Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you must calm down. Don't be reckless.
The men you brought here have neither robbed the temple nor slandered our goddess.
Therefore, if Demetrius and the craftspeople with him have a charge against anyone, the courts are in session and governors are available. They can press charges against each other there.
Additional disputes can be resolved in a legal assembly.
As for us, we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since we can't justify this unruly gathering."
After he said this, he dismissed the assembly.