The Ethiopian Eunuch – Acts 8

The baptism of the eunuch by Rembrandt, 1626, ...

The baptism of the eunuch by Rembrandt, 1626, depicting Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Chapter 8, an angel of the Lord appeared to Philip and told him to go to the desert land that was to the south on the road between Jerusalem and Gaza. Philip did obey, and upon arriving, he met with an Ethiopian eunuch who was a court official to Candace, the queen of Ethiopia. “Candace” was a name assigned to all such rulers of Ethiopia during that time (much like the name Pharaoh was given to rulers of Egypt. Because the Ethiopian would have been returning from worship in Jerusalem to a destination over a 1,000 miles away, he must have been a a very devout man. Some speculate that he was a “God-fearer” — a Gentile who had converted to Judaism. That certainly seems to fit. Philip found him in his chariot reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit sent him to join the Ethiopian in his chariot.

 

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Acts 8, Acts 9, Acts 10, Acts 11, Acts 12

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

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Philip Baptizes the Ethiopian – Acts 8

Philip went and joined the Eunuch. He was reading from Isaiah 53 7-8 specifically at that time, which says:

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 074

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 074 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?

Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading, and the Ethiopian invited him to come up into the chariot with him. Peter explained this well-known passage as it applied to Jesus, and he used that opportunity to preach Christ crucified to him. Coming upon water, the Ethiopian asked Philip to baptize him. Afterward, the Eunuch went on his way, rejoicing.

 

One cannot help but wonder how many others this Eunuch taught upon his return to Ethiopia. But afterward, Philip “found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.” The words “found himself” suggest that the Spirit carried him away by divine intervention.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

 

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philip sent to Meet an Ethiopian – Acts 8

Lambert Sustris - The Baptism of the Ethiopian...

Lambert Sustris – The Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch by the Deacon Philip – WGA21979 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Verse 25 says that Peter and John “testified” and spoke the word of the Lord to villages in Samaria before returning to Jerusalem. “Testifying” merely refers to giving people their eyewitness account of Jesus rising from the dead. Meanwhile, an angel of the Lord appeared to Philip and told him to go to the desert land that was to the south on the road between Jerusalem and Gaza.

Philip did obey, and upon arriving, he met with an Ethiopian eunuch who was a court official to Candace, the queen of Ethiopia. “Candace” was a name assigned to all such rulers of Ethiopia during that time (much like the name Pharaoh was given to rulers of Egypt. Because the Ethiopian would have been returning from worship in Jerusalem to a destination over a 1,000 miles away, he must have been a a very devout man. Some speculate that he was a “God-fearer” — a Gentile who had converted to Judaism. That certainly seems to fit. Philip found him in his chariot reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit sent him to join the Ethiopian in his chariot.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

Philip Preaches in Samaria – Acts 8

English: This is a map of first century Iudaea...

English: This is a map of first century Iudaea Province that I created using Illustrator CS2. I traced this image for the general geographic features. I then manually input data from maps found in a couple of sources. Robert W. Funk and the Jesus Seminar. The Acts of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco: 1998. p. xxiv. Michael Grant. Jesus: An Historian’s Review of the Gospels. Charles Scribner’s Sons: 1977. p. 65-67. John P. Meier. A Marginal Jew. Doubleday: 1991. p. 1:434. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Now that the church had scattered to escape the persecution in Jerusalem, one of the places some of them went was Samaria. The Samaritans had long been shunned by the Jews, so the significance should not be overlooked. This was the beginning of evangelism in its purest form. People who held no “office” or position in the church were teaching and preaching the gospel. Philip was one of those first seven that had been chosen a deacons, and he also was teaching in Samaria.

Having been given authority by the laying on of hands by the apostles, Philip was casting out demons, healing the sick and the lame, and (most importantly) preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. Verse 8 says that there was much joy in the city because of the work that he was doing. There was also a man there named Simon, who had practiced manic of some sort. He had amazed the people and had commanded much attention from them because of it. many believed and were baptized.

 

Simon himself was one of those who were baptized, and afterward he stayed with Philip, and was amazed because of the miracles that Philip performed. But before being converted, he had convinced the people that he was himself someone very special – and he also evidently believed that to be the case.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 8 – Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

Before Saul became Paul, he persecuted the Christians, putting many in prison and even having some executed — Acts 8: 1-4.

The chapter opens with the statement that Saul approved of Stephen’s execution, and that from that day forward there was a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem.  And Saul was right in the thick of it, dragging men and women out of their homes and putting them in prison for their Christianity.  This was Saul’s darkest hour, and he would later have great sorrow for it.  It was a dark time for Christians in Jerusalem for sure.  But the scattering throughout Judea and Samaria described in verses one and four was not without a positive gain, as those people continued preaching the word in new places.

Philip went to Samaria healing the lame and preaching the “good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (verse 12); and he baptized many new Christians.  When the Apostles at Jerusalem heard about this reception, they sent Peter and John there to “lay hands” on some of them, so that they would receive the Holy Spirit.  Those Christians would have the power to perform miracles and signs as Philip did, but only through the Apostles could this happen.  Simon the magician’s conversion seemed genuine, but his heart was not in the right place.  But Peter’s rebuke of him for trying to buy the gift of God seemed to evoke the right response (verse 24).

Then, an angel of the Lord came to Philip and told him to go south to a “desert place” to the road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza.  There he met an Ethiopian, a court official to their queen, Candace.  He was reading from Isaiah.  The scripture he was reading in verses 32-33 is from Isaiah 53:7-8.  Philip told him that the passage was about the Christ, and told him “the good news about Jesus.”  As they came to water, the Ethiopian asked to be baptized.  After doing so, Philip was carried off, and found himself at Azotus (the ancient Philistine city of Ashdod).  From there, “he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea” (verse 40).

The significance of the story of the Ethiopian’s conversion was more than to teach us about the power of God’s word, or even to instruct us more about baptism.  Philip was doing very well with conversions and could have stayed where he was doing the same.  This demonstration of the providence of God in sending Philip to this one soul in this remote location was for the Ethiopian to continue back home and further the kingdom there.

Side note: In Philip’s time, Caesarea was the seat of Roman government in Judea.  Excavations there have provided significant discoveries.  The following link to BiblePlaces.com contains some highlights and photos.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.