Acts 18:19 Index
"And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews."
Research Material

"And he came to Ephesus..."

  • Or, "they came to Ephesus." Ephesus was a famous city, capital of the Greek district of Ionia and later of the Roman province of Asia. It became the scene of the apostle John's later labors. The city stood not far from the sea, on hilly ground at the mouth of the Cayster, between the larger rivers Hermus and Maeander. Ephesus had been an early Greek settlement on the western coast of Asia Minor, but in the 6th century B.C., it fell under the power of the kings of Lydia. From the first it had been a center for the Worship of Artemis (the Roman Diana, Acts 19:24) whose temple there was visited by pilgrims for all over the known world. For centuries East and West had come into close contact at Ephesus, and there the religion of Greece took on a more Oriental character and involved magic, mysteries, and charms. In Paul's day Ephesus was by far the busiest and most popular city in proconsular Asia. There were enough Jews for at least one synagogue. (6BC 365-367)
  • After leaving Corinth, Paul's next scene of labor was Ephesus. He was on his way to Jerusalem to attend an approaching festival, and his stay at Ephesus was necessarily brief. He reasoned with the Jews in the synagogue, and so favorable was the impression made upon them that they entreated him to continue his labors among them. His plan to visit Jerusalem prevented him from tarrying then, but he promised to return to them, “if God will.” Aquila and Priscilla had accompanied him to Ephesus, and he left them there to carry on the work that he had begun. (AA 269)
  • During the long period of his ministry in Ephesus, where for three years he carried forward an aggressive evangelistic effort throughout that region, Paul again worked at his trade. In Ephesus, as in Corinth, the apostle was cheered by the presence of Aquila and Priscilla, who had accompanied him on his return to Asia at the close of his second missionary journey.
    • There were some who objected to Paul's toiling with his hands, declaring that it was inconsistent with the work of a gospel minister. Why should Paul, a minister of the highest rank, thus connect mechanical work with the preaching of the word? Was not the laborer worthy of his hire? Why should he spend in making tents time that to all appearance could be put to better account?
    • But Paul did not regard as lost the time thus spent. As he worked with Aquila he kept in touch with the Great Teacher, losing no opportunity of witnessing for the Saviour, and of helping those who needed help. His mind was ever reaching out for spiritual knowledge. He gave his fellow workers instruction in spiritual things, and he also set an example of industry and thoroughness. He was a quick, skillful worker, diligent in business, “fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." (Romans 12:11). As he worked at his trade, the apostle had access to a class of people that he could not otherwise have reached. (AA 351)

"...and left them there..."

  • Presumably Aquila and Priscilla settled for some time in Ephesus (Acts 18:2). (6BC 367)

"...He himself entered into the synagogue..."

  • This was Paul's usual practice; he cold not give up his own people, although constantly exposed to hard usage by them, but sought them out again here as soon as he arrived. However, what he preached here seems to have been received with less hostility, for the Jews of Ephesus begged him to stay longer (Acts 18:20). It may be that the cosmopolitan character of the Ephesian population had something to do with this difference in attitude. (6BC 367)

"...and reasoned with the Jews." (Acts 20:7)