When the people heard this, they were filled with boiling rage. They shouted over and over, “Artemis, the great goddess of the Ephesians!” The entire city was thrown into chaos as everyone rushed into the stadium together, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia.
When Paul attempted to go in and speak to the massive crowd, the disciples wouldn’t let him. Some of the high-ranking governmental officials of the region, because they loved him, sent Paul an urgent message, saying, “Whatever you do, don’t step foot into that stadium!”
The frenzied crowd shouted out one thing, and others shouted something else, until they were all in mass confusion, with many not even knowing why they were there!
Some of the Jews pushed forward a Jewish man named Alexander to be their spokesman, and different factions of the crowd shouted instructions at him. He stood before the people and motioned for everyone to be quiet so he could be heard. But when he began to speak, they realized that he was a Jew, so they shouted him down. For nearly two hours they shouted over and over, “Great is Artemis, the goddess of the Ephesians!”