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.
These were some of the same religious who had succeeded in having Jesus executed. They started thinking that His disciples might remove the body from the tomb and claim that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
At the annual celebration of the Passover in Jerusalem (see note on Matthew 26:19), the Roman governor released on Jewish prisoner who was selected by the people. This was a gesture of goodwill to the Jews, who resented the Roman occupation of their country.
This verse refers to the humiliation of the nobility of Judah by the army of Babylon after the fall of Jerusalem. Were these princes, or nobles, executed and then hung up by their hands as a public example? Or were they tied and hung up by the hands as a form of torture? We don’t know.
An annual tax, required of every Jewish male, was designated for maintenance and support of the temple in Jerusalem. Perhaps the temple officials who collected this tax approached Peter about paying it because Jesus and His disciples were hard to pin down. Their teaching and healing ministry kept them moving from place to place.
The Day of Atonement was an animal ceremony in which sacrifices were offered to atone for the sins of Israel. Marked by humiliation and fasting, it recognized the people’s inability to make atonement for their sins. This required God’s intervention and that of His representative-the high priest of the nation.