Saul Persecutes the Church
1Now Saul was consenting to his death.
At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and #John 16:2; Acts 8:4; 11:19they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and #Gen. 23:2made great lamentation over him.
3As for Saul, #Acts 7:58; 1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Phil. 3:6; 1 Tim. 1:13he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
Christ Is Preached in Samaria
4Therefore #Matt. 10:23those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. 5Then #Acts 6:5; 8:26, 30Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7For #Mark 16:17unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8And there was great joy in that city.
The Sorcerer’s Profession of Faith
9But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously #Acts 8:11; 13:6practiced sorcery in the city and #Acts 5:36astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, 10to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” 11And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. 12But when they believed Philip as he preached the things #Acts 1:3; 8:4concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
The Sorcerer’s Sin
14Now when the #Acts 5:12, 29, 40apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15who, when they had come down, prayed for them #Acts 2:38; 19:2that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16For #Acts 19:2as yet He had fallen upon none of them. #Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38They had only been baptized in #Acts 10:48; 19:5the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then #Acts 6:6; 19:6; Heb. 6:2they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because #2 Kin. 5:16; Is. 55:1; Dan. 5:17; (Matt. 10:8)you thought that #(Acts 2:38; 10:45; 11:17)the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your #Jer. 17:9heart is not right in the sight of God. 22Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God #Dan. 4:27; 2 Tim. 2:25if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23For I see that you are #Heb. 12:15poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
24Then Simon answered and said, #Gen. 20:7, 17; Ex. 8:8; Num. 21:7; 1 Kin. 13:6; Job 42:8; James 5:16“Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”
25So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
Christ Is Preached to an Ethiopian
26Now an angel of the Lord spoke to #Acts 6:5Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27So he arose and went. And behold, #Ps. 68:31; 87:4; Is. 56:3; Zeph. 3:10a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and #1 Kin. 8:41, 42; John 12:20had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
30So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32The place in the Scripture which he read was this:
#Is. 53:7, 8“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
#Matt. 26:62, 63; 27:12, 14; John 19:9So He opened not His mouth.
33In His humiliation His #Luke 23:1–25justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is #Luke 23:33–46taken from the earth.”
34So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35Then Philip opened his mouth, #Luke 24:27; Acts 17:2; 18:28; 28:23and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. #Acts 10:47; 16:33What hinders me from being baptized?”
37Then Philip said, #Matt. 28:19; (Mark 16:16; Rom. 10:9, 10)“If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
And he answered and said, #Matt. 16:16; John 6:69; 9:35, 38; 11:27“I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39Now when they came up out of the water, #1 Kin. 18:12; 2 Kin. 2:16; Ezek. 3:12, 14; 2 Cor. 12:2the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to #Acts 21:8Caesarea.