8:1Now Saul endorsed his execution. A great persecution against the Congregation in Jerusalem began in that day, and they were all (except the Ambassadors) scattered throughout the districts of Judea and Samaria.8:2Conscientious men carried Stephen away for burial, and they mourned deeply for him.8:3Saul, however, wreaked havoc on the Congregation, going into homes and dragging out both men and women to be jailed.
8:4As a result, those who were scattered went everywhere spreading the Word, the Gospel.8:5One was Philip, who went down into the city of Samaria to proclaim the Anointed to them.8:6The crowd was united in heeding the things they heard Philip say, and the miracles they saw him perform.8:7Many unclean spirits came out of those they had possessed, shrieking as they left; many who were paralyzed or lame were cured.8:8So great joy came upon that city.
8:9There was a certain man named Simon in the city, a practitioner of magic arts who was amazing the whole nation of Samaria. He claimed to be someone great,8:10and all of them, from peasant to prince, listened to him and said, “This one is the divine Great Power.”8:11They listened to him because of how long he’d been amazing them with magic arts.8:12But when Philip brought the Gospel of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus the Anointed, both men and women were immersed.8:13Even Simon believed and was immersed, and he stayed with Philip, watching with amazement the miracles and very powerful deeds being performed.
8:14Now the Ambassadors in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the Word of God, and they sent Peter and John to them.8:15They went down and prayed about them so that they could receive the Holy Spirit,8:16because to that point it had not come upon any of them since they had only been immersed in the name of Master Jesus.8:17Then they placed their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
8:18But when Simon saw that the Spirit was given by means of laying hands on people, he offered them money.8:19He said, “Give me this authority too, so that whoever I place my hands on will receive the Holy Spirit.”
8:20But Peter told him, “May your money be destroyed along with you, because you thought you could purchase the gift of God!8:21You have no share or stake in this matter, since your heart is not right with God.8:22Change your mind, then, about this malice of yours. Pray to the Master and beg him to forgive you for this evil intent,8:23for I perceive that you are poisoned with bitterness and bound by injustice.”8:24So Simon responded, “Plead to the Master for my sake, so that nothing you said will come upon me.”
8:25So then, those that had validated and spoken the word of the Master returned to Jerusalem, and along the way they brought the Gospel to many Samaritan villages.8:26Then a Messenger of the Master spoke to Philip: “Get up and go at noon to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert road.”
8:27So Philip got up and went, and he saw a man who was an Ethiopian high official.1 He had considerable power under the Kandake (queen) of Ethiopia as chief finance officer. He had come to worship in Jerusalem,8:28and as he sat in his chariot on the return trip, he was reading words of the prophet Isaiah.
8:29Now the Spirit said to Philip, “Approach this chariot and stay with it.”8:30So Philip ran toward it and heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Are you sure you comprehend what you’re reading?”
8:31“How could I, unless someone guides me?”, he replied. Then he invited Philip to step up and sit with him.
8:32The place of scripture he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to slaughter; like a lamb being sheered he made no sound, he did not open his mouth.8:33In his humble state, justice was denied, and who will tell the story of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”
8:34Then the official asked Philip another question: “Please tell me who the prophet is talking about here, himself or someone else?8:35” So Philip began with that passage to explain the Gospel about Jesus.
8:36Now as they went along the road, they came to some water, and the official said, “Is there any reason I cannot be immersed?”8:378:38So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both he and Philip went down into the water, where Philip immersed him.8:39As they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Master snatched Philip away! The official never saw him again, but went on his way full of joy.8:40Philip, meanwhile, found himself at Azotus. So as he passed through, he brought the Gospel to all the cities up to Caesarea.
- 1Lit. eunuch, but the context emphasizes his royal standing.