Acts 19:24

Demetrius, a silversmith (Dhmhtrio argurokopo). The name is common enough and may or may not be the man mentioned in 3 John 1:12 who was also from the neighbourhood of Ephesus. There is on an inscription at Ephesus near the close of the century a Demetrius called neopoio Artemido a temple warden of Artemis (Diana). Zoeckler suggests that Luke misunderstood this word neopoio and translated it into argurokopo, a beater (koptw, to beat) of silver (arguro, silver), "which made silver shrines of Artemis" (poiwn naou (argurou) Artemido). It is true that no silver shrines of the temple have been found in Ephesus, but only numerous terra-cotta ones. Ramsay suggests that the silver ones would naturally be melted down. The date is too late anyhow to identify the Demetrius who was neopoio with the Demetrius argurokopo who made little silver temples of Artemis, though B does not have the word argurou. The poor votaries would buy the terra-cotta ones, the rich the silver shrines (Ramsay, Paul the Traveller, p. 278). These small models of the temple with the statue of Artemis inside would be set up in the houses or even worn as amulets. It is a pity that the Revised Version renders Artemis here. Diana as the Ephesian Artemis is quite distinct from the Greek Artemis, the sister of Apollo, the Diana of the Romans. This temple, built in the 6th century B.C., was burnt by Herostratus Oct. 13 B.C. 356, the night when Alexander the Great was born. It was restored and was considered one of the seven wonders of the world. Artemis was worshipped as the goddess of fertility, like the Lydian Cybele, a figure with many breasts. The great festival in May would offer Demetrius a golden opportunity for the sale of the shrines. Brought no little business (pareiceto ouk olighn ergasian). Imperfect middle, continued to bring (furnish, provide). The middle accents the part that Demetrius played as the leader of the guild of silversmiths, work for himself and for them. Unto the craftsmen (tai tecnitai). The artisans from tecnh (craft, art). Trade guilds were common in the ancient world. Demetrius had probably organized this guild and provided the capital for the enterprise.