Hearing the passionate words of Demetrius, his fellow tradesmen are furious. How dare this man take away their livelihood? And how dare he try to discredit their goddess? “Diana of the Ephesians is great!” someone shouts, and the room fills with shouts of agreement. In their anger, the men rush out in the midst of the city, shouting threats against Paul and his companions. A huge crowd of people joins them, hearing their words and wanting to see a show. The crowd surges through the streets to the temple, and into the theater next to it. The huge arena holds 25,000 people, and it is filling up fast. Noticing that Aristarchus of Thessalonica and Gaius of Macedonia, two of Paul’s travelling companions, are standing outside the entrance to the theater, some of the men grab them and drag them inside. Paul, hearing the commotion and seeing his friends dragged into it, tries to enter the theater himself, both to debate with his accusers and to help his friends. But the believers of Ephesus surround Paul and will not let him go in, fearing that the frenzied crowd will kill him. Now the Asiarchs, men elected yearly to represent the ten largest provinces of Asia, now in Ephesus to celebrate the festival honoring Diana, are drawn to the scene of all the commotion. They have come to know and respect Paul, and consider themselves his friends, and they are in complete agreement with the Ephesian believers. “Paul, you can’t go in there. They are calling for your blood. Your presence will only escalate things. Let us try to get them to calm down, please,” one says, hoping to persuade Paul to remain outside of the fray. Many of the people in the theater have no idea what is going on. They only followed the crowd hoping to see a spectacle. The whole assembly is in chaos.