The riot inspired by Demetrius spilled over into the entire city. The people gathered at the amphitheater to join in the demonstration.
The Roman theater at Ephesus has been unearthed by archaeologists. Built similar to a modern stadium, it had row upon row of tiered seats built of stone. It could seat about twenty-five thousand people.
Huge amphitheaters like this were built by the Greeks and Roman throughout the ancient world. Others have been discovered at Athens, Corinth, Miletus, Pergamos, and Philippi.
ACTS 19:29 –29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
The wilderness played an important role, affecting life in ancient Israel in several different ways. For instance, every year, at the beginning and end of summer, a hot, dry desert wind blows from the east. This wind, called sirocco, raises the temperature and can be quite destructive to vegetation. The wind was yearly reminder to Israel that the wilderness was within reach.
Most often, however, it appears that a masseba was set up as a sacred stone. In this case, the unnaturally placed stone or series of stones provided worshipers with a physical location at which to meet their deity. To this day, surviving sacred stones break the natural contours of the landscape, inviting us to come in for a closer look.
By banishment, which in the ancient world was the social equivalent of execution (also an option). Today, our identity and sense of self are radically individualistic. We believe that each individual has rights that a just society will distribute equally; that is, without respect to differences of race, age, or matters of conscience such as religious preference. These ideas find their origin in Europe’s emergence from feudalism and in the democratic revolutions of the eighteenth century.
If we tear our clothing, it is generally by accident unless we are tearing up an old garment for rags. This was not true in the culture of Bible times where the tearing of one’s garment was an external sign of one’s internal pain. The average person of the era did not have multiple changes of clothing like we do in our closets and dressers; consequently, they took great care to prevent accident tearing of their clothing (Exod 28:32; Matt 9:16; Mark 2:21). But there was “a time to tear and a time to mend” (Eccles 3:7); the time to intentionally tear was a time of intense grief that might have included repentance.
In the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel, we meet a woman named Hannah. She was married in a man named Elkanah, of the tribe of Ephraim. They lived in the hill country, in a little town with a big name-Ramathaim-zophim.
The mechanics are unclear, as always, but the result was a special sense of divine help and presence that enabled the leader to do God’s will. In very few places in the Bible is the coming of the Holy Spirit described in any detail (Acts 2), but the spirit descends, fills, and empowers according to God’s will and purpose.
Chapter 15 and 16 of Isaiah contain the prophet’s declaration of God’s judgment against the Moabites, enemies of the Israelites. The Lord would humiliate these people. Isaiah declared, by making them bald and cutting off their beards.
Place and agency for education, particularly of children. The word “school” is not mentioned in the OT and only once in the NT where the reference is to a Greek school (Acts 19:9). Until the exile in Babylon (586 B.C.), the education of children was like the of all ancient peoples: it was centered in the home. The main concern of the Jewish people was for religious education in the home.
In a vision the prophet Ezekiel saw the temple of the Jewish people in Jerusalem. He was shocked to see on its walls paintings or sculptures of unclean animals that God’s people were not supposed to eat (Leviticus 11:1-19).