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Ephesus

The Bible

Bible Usage:

Dictionaries:

  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: No
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: No

Strongs Concordance:

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Ephesus

The capital of proconsular Asia, which was the western part of Asia Minor. It was colonized principally from Athens. In the time of the Romans it bore the title of "the first and greatest metropolis of Asia." It was distinguished for the Temple of Diana (q.v.), who there had her chief shrine; and for its theatre, which was the largest in the world, capable of containing 50,000 spectators. It was, like all ancient theatres, open to the sky. Here were exhibited the fights of wild beasts and of men with beasts. (Comp. 1 Corinthians 4:9; 9:24, 25; 15:32.)

Many Jews took up their residence in this city, and here the seeds of the gospel were sown immediately after Pentecost (Acts 2:9; 6:9). At the close of his second missionary journey (about A.D. 51), when Paul was returning from Greece to Syria (18:18-21), he first visited this city. He remained, however, for only a short time, as he was hastening to keep the feast, probably of Pentecost, at Jerusalem; but he left Aquila and Priscilla behind him to carry on the work of spreading the gospel.

During his third missionary journey Paul reached Ephesus from the "upper coasts" (Acts 19:1), i.e., from the inland parts of Asia Minor, and tarried here for about three years; and so successful and abundant were his labours that "all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" (19:10). Probably during this period the seven churches of the Apocalypse were founded, not by Paul's personal labours, but by missionaries whom he may have sent out from Ephesus, and by the influence of converts returning to their homes.

On his return from his journey, Paul touched at Miletus, some 30 miles south of Ephesus (Acts 20:15), and sending for the presbyters of Ephesus to meet him there, he delivered to them that touching farewell charge which is recorded in Acts 20:18-35. Ephesus is not again mentioned till near the close of Paul's life, when he writes to Timothy exhorting him to "abide still at Ephesus" (1 Timothy 1:3).

Two of Paul's companions, Trophimus and Tychicus, were probably natives of Ephesus (Acts 20:4; 21:29; 2 Timothy 4:12). In his second epistle to Timothy, Paul speaks of Onesiphorus as having served him in many things at Ephesus (2 Timothy 1:18). He also "sent Tychicus to Ephesus" (4:12), probably to attend to the interests of the church there. Ephesus is twice mentioned in the Apocalypse (1:11; 2:1).

The apostle John, according to tradition, spent many years in Ephesus, where he died and was buried.

A part of the site of this once famous city is now occupied by a small Turkish village, Ayasaluk, which is regarded as a corruption of the two Greek words, hagios theologos; i.e., "the holy divine."


Hitchcock's Names Dictionary
Ephesus

desirable


Naves Topical Index
Ephesus

Paul visits and preaches in
Acts 18:19-21; Acts 44:19; Acts 20:16-38

Apollos visits and preaches in
Acts 18:18-28

Sceva's sons attempt to expel a demon in
Acts 19:13-16

Timothy directed by Paul to remain at
1 Timothy 1:3

Paul sends Tychicus to
2 Timothy 4:12

Onesiphorus lives at
2 Timothy 1:18

Church at
Revelation 1:11

The Epistle to the Ephesians
Revelation 49:1

Apocalyptic message to
Revelation 2:1-7


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Ephesus

(permitted), the capital of the Roman province of Asia, and an illustrious city in the district of Ionia, nearly opposite the island of Samos. Buildings.

Conspicuous at the head of the harbor of Ephesus was the great temple of Diana or Artemis, the tutelary divinity of the city. This building was raised on immense substructions, in consequence of the swampy nature of the ground. The earlier temple, which had been begun before the Persian war, was burnt down in the night when Alexander the Great was born; and another structure, raise by the enthusiastic co-operation of all the inhabitants of "Asia," had taken its place. The magnificence of this sanctuary was a proverb throughout the civilized world. In consequence of this devotion the city of Ephesus was called neo'koros, (Acts 19:35) or "warden" of Diana. Another consequence of the celebrity of Diana's worship at Ephesus was that a large manufactory grew up there of portable shrines, which strangers purchased, and devotees carried with them on journeys or set up in the houses. The theatre , into which the mob who had seized on Paul, (Acts 19:29) rushed, was capable of holding 25,000 or 30,000 persons, and was the largest ever built by the Greeks. The stadium or circus, 685 feet long by 200 wide, where the Ephesians held their shows, is probably referred to by Paul as the place where he "fought with beasts at Ephesus." (1 Corinthians 15:32) Connection with Christianity

The Jews were established at Ephesus in considerable numbers. (Acts 2:9; 6:9) It is here and here only that we find disciples of John the Baptist explicitly mentioned after the ascension of Christ. (Acts 18:25; 19:3) The first seeds of Christian truth were possibly sown here immediately after the great Pentecost. (Acts 2:1) ... St. Paul remained in the place more than two years, (Acts 19:8,10; 20:31) during which he wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians. At a later period Timothy was set over the disciples, as we learn from the two epistles addressed to him. Among St. Paul's other companions, two, Trophimus and Tychicus, were natives of Asia, (Acts 20:4) and the latter was probably, (2 Timothy 4:12) the former certainly, (Acts 21:29) a native of Ephesus. Present condition

The whole place is now utterly desolate, with the exception of the small Turkish village at Ayasaluk . The ruins are of vast extent.