During that time a serious disturbance concerning the way [of Christ] broke out in the city of Ephesus.
Demetrius, a silversmith, was in the business of making silver models of the temple of Artemis. His business brought a huge profit for the men who worked for him.
He called a meeting of his workers and others who did similar work. Demetrius said, "Men, you know that we're earning a good income from this business,
and you see and hear what this man Paul has done. He has won over a large crowd that follows him not only in Ephesus but also throughout the province of Asia. He tells people that gods made by humans are not gods.
There's a danger that people will discredit our line of work, and there's a danger that people will think that the temple of the great goddess Artemis is nothing. Then she whom all Asia and the rest of the world worship will be robbed of her glory."
When Demetrius' workers and the others heard this, they became furious and began shouting, "Artemis of the Ephesians is great!"
The confusion spread throughout the city, and the people had one thought in mind as they rushed into the theater. They grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, the Macedonians who traveled with Paul, and they dragged the two men into the theater with them.
Paul wanted to go into the crowd, but his disciples wouldn't let him.
Even some officials who were from the province of Asia and who were Paul's friends sent messengers to urge him not to risk going into the theater.
Some people shouted one thing while others shouted something else. The crowd was confused. Most of the people didn't even know why they had come together.
Some people concluded that Alexander was the cause, so the Jews pushed him to the front. Alexander motioned with his hand to quiet the people because he wanted to defend himself in front of them.
But when they recognized that Alexander was a Jew, everyone started to shout in unison, "Artemis of the Ephesians is great!" They kept doing this for about two hours.
The city clerk finally quieted the crowd. Then he said, "Citizens of Ephesus, everyone knows that this city of the Ephesians is the keeper of the temple of the great Artemis. Everyone knows that Ephesus is the keeper of the statue that fell down from Zeus.
No one can deny this. So you have to be quiet and not do anything foolish.
The men you brought here don't rob temples or insult our goddess.
If Demetrius and the men who work for him have a legal complaint against anyone, we have special days and officials to hold court. That's where they should bring charges against each other.
If you want anything else, you must settle the matter in a legal assembly.
At this moment we run the risk of being accused of rioting today for no reason. We won't be able to explain this mob."
After saying this, he dismissed the assembly.