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Paul had been preaching in Ephesus the message that there was only one true God and that idols were not gods at all. Many of the people in Ephesus worshiped the goddess Diana. Her Greek name was Artemis. There was a silversmith named Demetrius who made silver images of the goddess Diana and sold them to the people. He probably made a lot of money selling these statues. Paul was a threat to his business. Demetrius stirred up the people against Paul. They began shouting, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians". Over and over they chanted until a great crowd started shouting. Some of them didn't even know why they were shouting. They just did it because everyone else was shouting. Paul wanted to talk to the crowd, but his friends discouraged him for fear he would get hurt. The shouting continued for about two hours. It was turning into a riot. Finally the city clerk gained the attention of the people and got them quiet. He said they had no reason to be behaving in such a manner, and that if Demetrius had a problem, he needed to take it to the courts. The clerk dismissed the crowd and Paul was unharmed.