Acts 19:29

With the confusion (th sugcusew). Genitive case after eplhsqh. An old word, but in the N.T. only here, from verb sugcew, to pour together like a flood (only in Acts in the N.T.). Vivid description of the inevitable riot that followed "the appearance of such a body in the crowded agora of an excitable city" (Rackham) "vociferating the city's watch-word." They rushed (wrmhsan). Ingressive aorist active indicative of ormaw, old verb for impetuous dashing, a case of mob psychology (mob mind), with one accord (omoqumadon as in Acts 1:14 , etc.). Into the theatre (ei to qeatron). A place for seeing (qeaomai) spectacles, originally for dramatic representation (Thucydides, Herodotus), then for the spectators, then for the spectacle or show ( 1 Corinthians 4:9 ). The theatre (amphitheatre) at Ephesus can still be traced in the ruins (Wood, Ephesus) and shows that it was of enormous size capable of seating fifty-six thousand persons (some estimate it only 24,500). It was the place for large public gatherings of any sort out of doors like our football and baseball parks. In particular, gladiatorial shows were held in these theatres. Having seized Gaius and Aristarchus men of Macedonia (sunarpasante Gaion kai Aristarcon Makedona). See 1 Corinthians 6:12 for this same verb. They wanted some victims for this "gladiatorial" show. These two men were "Paul's companions in travel" (sunekdhmou Paulou), together (sun) with Paul in being abroad, away from home or people (ek-dhmou, late word, in the N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 8:19 ). How the mob got hold of Gaius ( Acts 20:4 ) and Aristarchus ( Acts 20:4 ; Acts 27:2 ; Colossians 4:10 ; Philemon 1:24 ) we do not know whether by accidental recognition or by search after failure to get Paul. In Romans 16:4 Paul speaks of Priscilla and Aquila as those "who for my life laid down their own necks." Paul lived with them in Ephesus as in Corinth. It is possible that Demetrius led the mob to their house and that they refused to allow Paul to go or to be seized at the risk of their own lives. Paul himself may have been desperately ill at this time as we know was the case once during his stay in Ephesus when he felt the answer of death in himself ( 2 Corinthians 1:9 ) and when God rescued him. That may mean that, ill as he was, Paul wanted to go and face the mob in the theatre, knowing that it meant certain death.