The Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 8

The disciples were dispersed because of a great persecution at Jerusalem, Saul's persecution of the church, and a church is planted by Philip in Samaria, 1-8. Simon the sorcerer is baptized, along with many others, 9-13. Peter and John are sent there, who prayed for them and laid their hands on them, after which they received the Holy Spirit, 14-17. Simon offers money for the same power, is sharply reproved by Peter for his wickedness and hypocrisy, and admonished to repent, 18-24. The apostles return to Jerusalem, having preached the word, 25. Philip is sent by an angel to convert and baptize an Ethiopian eunuch 26-40.

1 And Saul was consenting to his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem, and they were all dispersed throughout the regions of Judea 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 havoc of the church, entering into every house and hauling off men and women and committing them to prison.

4 Therefore, those who were dispersed went everywhere preaching the word. 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed to those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he performed. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many who were possessed, and many who were paralyzed and who were lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously in the same city used sorcery and bewitched the people of Samaria, saying that he 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 for a 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.

14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15 Who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 (For as yet he had fallen upon none of them. Only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, "Give me this power also so that on whomever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit." 20 But Peter said to him, "May your money perish with you because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours and pray to God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven. 23 For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity." 24 Then Simon answered, and said, "Pray to the Lord for me that none of these things which you 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.

26 And the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise, and go toward the south, to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert." 27 And he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians who had the charge of all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 Was returning and sitting in his chariot, reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and join yourself to this chariot." 30 And Philip ran there to him and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you read?" 31 And he said, "How can I unless some man should guide me?" And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the Scripture which he read was this:

"He was led as a sheep to the slaughter,/
and as a lamb before his shearer is mute,/
so he did not open 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 you, of whom does the prophet speak this? Of himself, or of some other man?" 35 Then Philip opened his mouth and began at the same Scripture and preached to him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" 37 And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." 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 both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they had come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away so that the eunuch no longer saw him. Then he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities until he came to Caesarea.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Acts, Chapter 8[➚]


[v.32-33] - Quoting Isaiah 53:7-8 (LXX).