23 And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way.
24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen.
25 He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade.
26 Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.
27 So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.”
28 Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”
shrines (v.24) — These shrines were miniature models, varying in size, of the goddess represented as seated in a niche, or shrine, with lions or stags beside her. They were fashioned not in silver only, but also in marble and terra-cotta, and specimens are still extant. They were purchased by votaries chiefly for the purpose of dedicating them as votive offerings to the temple; though many were, doubtless, also carried away by worshipers as household idols. They may have been worn, too, in certain cases, as amulets. — The Acts of the Apostles, by Thomas Walker, page 419.
Diana (v.24) — “Diana” is the Latin name of the Greek Artemis, the goddess of hunting, usually represented with a bow and quiver, and accompanied by two white stags. Sometimes she is depicted as holding a lion by one hand and a panther by the other. The Ephesian goddess, however, though the name Artemis had been conferred upon her through Greek influence, was really the deity of an indigenous Asiatic cult, the impersonation of the vitality and reproductive power of nature. She was represented by a rude idol, in shape partly human, the upper part being that of a woman, while the lower part was merely an upright block, without distinction of legs or feet, covered with symbols and figures of animals. Stags were shown on either side of her. — Walker, page 421-422.
The image of Diana was supposed to have fallen from heaven, sent down to earth by Jupiter, but it is easily possible, especially considering its unshapely form, that it was nothing more than a meteor made into a crude statue. — Acts Dispensationally Considered, by C.R. Stam, page 185.
The temple itself (v.27) was a magnificent structure … about 420 feet long and nearly 250 wide. Hundreds of persons, such as priests, eunuchs, temple wardens, virgin priestesses, were in connection with the temple. The temple was stored with rich treasures of gold and silver. a large part of the city lived on the trade, which had been created by the existence of the great temple and the thousands of pilgrims which flocked to the idolatrous festivities and games. There was a guild of silversmiths, and they manufactured shrines of Artemis and most likely all kinds of souvenirs, little models of the temple and the goddess. — The Acts of the Apostles, by Arno C. Gaebelein, page 337.