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A Riot at Ephesus

This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Acts 19:21-43, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.

A long time ago, a man named Paul traveled around to tell people about Jesus. He went to a city called Ephesus and talked about how God is the only real God and that the statues people made with their hands were not really gods at all. This made some people who made those statues very angry. They made a lot of money selling their statues, and they didn’t want people to stop buying them.

One man named Demetrius was a silversmith who made silver statues of a goddess named Artemis. He told the other craftsmen that Paul was ruining their business by telling people the truth about God.

Demetrius said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.”

The other craftsmen became very angry too. They gathered together and went to a big theater to yell and scream saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” They even dragged two of Paul’s friends, Gaius and Aristarchus, with them.

Paul wanted to go into the theater and talk to the angry people, but his friends told him it was too dangerous. They were worried the angry people would hurt him. Everyone was yelling so much that no one really knew what was going on. Finally, a man named Alexander tried to talk to the crowd, but they were too upset to listen to him.

The town clerk came and told everyone to calm down. He reminded the angry people that the city of Ephesus was known for its temple of Artemis and that the courts were there to handle complaints. He told them that Paul and his friends were not doing anything wrong and that the angry people should stop making a fuss. The people listened and went home.

Biblical Lessons

  • Speaking the truth can make some people angry, but it’s still important to tell it.
  • God is the only true God, and we should worship Him alone.
  • We should not make idols or worship false gods.
  • We should not be afraid to stand up for what is right, even if it’s hard.

Related Stories

Paul Preaches at Rome under Guard

The Stoning of Stephen

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

Paul and Silas in Prison

Paul Addresses the Areopagus

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