When Life Makes No Sense
Studies in the Book of Revelation
Dr. Jim Denison
Ephesus was the greatest city in Asia Minor and was often called Lumen Asiae, “the light of Asia.” It was the wealthiest city in Asia Minor and had the greatest harbor in that part of the world. Three lucrative trade routes led to her shores, bringing wealth from across the Empire. And so she grew to a population of a quarter-million people, a giant metropolis for her day. Her ruins are spectacular still today.
Ephesus was the most religious city in Asia as well. Her money had built the greatest temples and shrines in the ancient world. Her chief claim to fame was the Temple of Diana. It had the following characteristics:
425 feet long by 225 feet wide.
127 columns, each 60 feet high and the gift of a king.
36 of the columns were covered with gold, jewels, and carvings.
The entire temple was made of cypress wood.
The Greeks said, “The sun sees nothing finer in his course than Diana’s Temple.”
Emperor worship was very significant in the city as well, with shrines to the emperors on every major street. Greek mystery cults had followers here as well, and the Jewish contingent was strong.