was nearly half a mile (.8 kilometer) long and about thirty-five feet (10.7 meters) wide. Colonnades over fifteen feet (4.6 meters) deep lined both sides of this street, and behind these were shops and other buildings. A monumental gateway occupied each end of the street.
AGORA AND LIBRARY
Another feature of ancient Ephesus was the agora or marketplace. This was a rectangular, colonnaded area entered by gateways and surrounded by halls and chambers. The library of Celsus (believed to date probably from the second century C.E.) was near the marketplace. It was built with columns and double walls (an outer and an inner wall to protect the papyri from humidity). The walls were recessed with niches for bookcases.
PAUL’S MINISTRY IN EPHESUS
It was to Ephesus, crossroads of the ancient world, that the apostle Paul, accompanied by Aquila and Priscilla, came, probably in 52 C.E. Paul immediately went to the Jewish synagogue to preach. However, although being requested to remain longer, the apostle left Ephesus, stating that he would return if it should be Jehovah’s will. (Acts 18:18-21) Aquila and Priscilla, who remained in Ephesus, met Apollos, a Jew from Alexandria, Egypt, who was acquainted only with John’s baptism, and they “expounded the way of God more correctly to him.”—Acts 18:24-26.
When Paul returned to Ephesus, likely by the winter of 52/53 C.E., he found several men who were baptized with John’s baptism. Upon his clarifying the matter of baptism to them, they were rebaptized. (Acts 19:1-7) This time Paul taught in the Jewish synagogue for three months. But when opposition arose, he directed those who had become believers to the school auditorium of Tyrannus, where he discoursed daily for two years.—Acts 19:8-10.
Paul’s preaching, attended by miraculous healings and the expelling of demons, caused many Ephesians to become believers. Also, the unsuccessful attempt at exorcising by the seven sons of a certain Jewish chief priest named Sceva stirred up much interest. Former practitioners of magical arts publicly burned their books, which had a combined value of 50,000 silver pieces, or, perhaps, more than $8,000. (Acts 19:11-20) Ephesus was so renowned for magical arts that Greek and Roman writers referred to books or rolls of magical formulas and incantations as “Ephesian writings.”
Since many Ephesians forsook the worship of Artemis, the silversmith Demetrius pointed out to fellow craftsmen that Paul’s preaching was a threat to their occupation and also endangered the worship of Artemis. Enraged silversmiths shouted: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” The city was thrown into an uproar, climaxed by a two-hour riot at the theater.—Acts 19:23-41.
After this Paul left Ephesus. Later, from Miletus he sent for the older men of the congregation at Ephesus, reviewed his own ministry among them and gave them instructions on caring for their duties. (Acts 20:1, 17-38) His reference on that occasion to “three years” spent at Ephesus should evidently be regarded as a round number.—Acts 20:31; compare Acts 19:8, 10.
With the passing of years, the Christians at Ephesus endured much. However, some did lose the love they had at first.—Rev. 2:1-6; see ARTEMIS; DEMETRIUS No. 1; EPHESIANS, LETTER TO THE.
(Ephʹlal) [judge, judging].
The son of Zabad of the family of Jerahmeel and the father of