Acts 8

Persecution from Saul 1
Mission to Samaria 4
Simon believes and was baptized 9
Peter and John sent to Samaria 14
Simon wants power of apostles 18
Philip sent to teach an Ethiopian 26
The Ethiopian is baptized 36
Text Comments
.1 ¶ And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
 2  And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
.3  As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. 
   1 - His death Stephen (next verse)
   3 - Havock for the church Saul, who became Paul, is an example to the human tendency to hurt and kill those who believe differently.
.4 ¶ Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
 5  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
.6  And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
 7  For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
 8  And there was great joy in that city.
   4 - Scattered Persecution served to scatter believers. As we read the prophecies, we may expect it again soon. 
   5 - Philip ... to Samaria This is not the apostle Philip because verse 1 says that the apostles stayed in Jerusalem. We assume that he was the deacon by that name. See on ac0605 also known as Philip the evangelist ac2108.
  5 - City of Samaria Not definitively identified. The seed had been sown there jn0404-42.
  5 - Preached From kerusso, Not the same Greek word as in verse 4. Here is is more formal or deliberate as in mt0301, mt0417. According to the verb tense, Philip continued preaching.
  6 - People Rather "multitudes." For "one accord" see ac0114.
  6 - Hearing That is, hearing Philip's words. The resulting miracles strengthened the former preaching of Christ jn0439-42. Thus miracles were not used as evidence.
.9  But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
 10  To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
 11  And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
.12  But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
 13  Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
  9 - Simon Or "Simon Magus" where "Magus" means "sorcerer," or "magician."
  9 - Samaria From the context, the term refers to the province. The chief city is also called "Samaria."
  9 - Used sorcery Rather, "who had formerly practiced occult magic," as done in the East.
  10 - All gave heed Compare mt2424, 2th0209.
  13 - Then Simon Rather, "even Simon."
  13 - Believed But not with the faith of personal acceptance. See ja0214,19.
  13 "Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed." (RSV). 
.14 ¶ Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
 15  Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
 16  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
.17  Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
  15 - Prayed They did not give the Holy Spirit to the Samaritans.
  16 - Baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus See on ac0238.
18  And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
 19  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
 20  But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
 21  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
 22  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
 23  For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
 24  Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
 25  And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
  18 - Simon saw Although baptized, he had not received the Holy Spirit.
  20 - Because ... Literally, "Because you thought to acquire the gift of God with money."
  24 - Pray for me He wanted only to escape the curse. Pharaoh made similar appeals ex0808, 28; ex1017.
.26 ¶ And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
 27  And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
 28  Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
 29  Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
 30  And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
 31  And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
  26 - The angel Rather "an angel."
  26 - Unto the way Rather, "on the way," or "on the road."
  26 - Gaza Transliteration of the Hebrew 'Azzah' meaning "strong. The place is mentioned in de0223, 1ki0424, je2520. A city on the southern border of Canaan ge1019. At A5 on tribes map.
  27 - Ethiopia "a country which lay to the south of Egypt, beginning at Syene on the First Cataract (Eze 29:10; 30:6), and extending to beyond the confluence of the White and Blue Nile. It corresponds generally with what is now known as the Soudan." (Easton's Bible Dictionary). Known as Cush in the OT.
.32  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
 33  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
 34  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
 35  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
  32 - Place of the scripture Isa. 53:7, 8.

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.36  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
 37  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
 38  And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
.39  And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
 40  But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea. 
   37 - Believest ... heart Belief without reservation is required before baptism. The NIV omits this whole verse which would condemn baptism of babies because they cannot make an intelligent decision. (The verse is shown as a footnote.)
   38 - Baptized The scripture is quite clear that baptism is to be by immersion (dipping into the water). It is a symbol of washing away sin of making a clean start of public witness of acceptance of Christ's offer of salvation. Paul explained it as participating in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ ro0603. You will also see pictures of baptisteries on the Romans 6 page. Jesus Himself was described as coming up out of the water after His baptism mr0110.

   Baptism links.

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