Saul Persecutes Messiah’s Community
1Now Saul was in agreement with Stephen’s execution. On that day a great persecution arose against Messiah’s community in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the region of Judea and Samaria, except the emissaries.
2Some devout men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.
3But Saul was destroying Messiah’s community, entering house after house; and dragging off men and women, he was throwing them into prison.
The Good News Spreads to Samaria
4Now those who had been scattered went around proclaiming the Word.
5Philip went down to the main city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them.
6The crowds were paying close attention to what Philip was saying—as they both heard and saw the signs that he was doing.
7For unclean spirits were coming out of many who were plagued, shrieking with a loud voice. Many paralyzed and crippled were healed also.
8So there was great joy in that city.
9Now a man named Simon had been practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, saying he was someone great.
10They all were paying special attention to him, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called ‘Great.’”
11And they kept paying attention to him, because for a long time he had astonished them with his magical arts.
12But when they believed Philip proclaiming the Good News about the kingdom of God and the name of Messiah Yeshua, both men and women were immersed.
13Even Simon himself believed; and after being immersed, he continued with Philip. And when he saw signs and great miracles happening, he was continually amazed.
14Now when the emissaries in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the message of God, they sent Peter and John to them.
15They came down and prayed for them to receive the Ruach ha-Kodesh.
16For He had not yet come upon them; they had only been immersed in the name of the Lord Yeshua.
17Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Ruach ha-Kodesh.
18Now when Simon saw that the Ruach ha-Kodesh was given through the laying on of hands by the emissaries, he offered them money,
19saying, “Give this power to me, too—so that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Ruach ha-Kodesh.”
20Peter said to him, “May your silver go to ruin, and you with it—because you thought you could buy God’s gift with money!
21You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God.
22Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be pardoned.
23For I see in you the poison of bitterness and the bondage of unrighteousness!”
24Simon replied, “Pray for me, so that none of what you have said may come upon me.”
25So when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, proclaiming the Good News to many Samaritan villages.
An Ethiopian Asks about Isaiah 53
26Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Get up, and go south on the road going down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.)
27So he got up and went. And behold, an Ethiopian eunuch—an official who was responsible for all the treasure of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians—had traveled to Jerusalem to worship
28and was now returning. Sitting in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
29The Ruach said to Philip, “Go, catch up with this chariot.”
30Philip ran up and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31“How can I,” he said, “unless someone guides me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32Now the passage of Scripture that he was reading was this: “He was led as a sheep to slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so He opens not His Mouth.
33In His humiliation justice was denied Him. Who shall recount His generation? For His life is taken away from the earth.”
34The eunuch replied to Philip, “Please tell me, who is the prophet talking about—himself or someone else?”
35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he proclaimed the Good News about Yeshua.
36Now as they were going down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, “Look, water! What’s to prevent me from being immersed?”
38He ordered the chariot to stop. They both got down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and Philip immersed him.
39When they came up out of the water, the Ruach Adonai snatched Philip away. The eunuch saw no more of him, for he went on his way, rejoicing.
40But Philip found himself at Azotus. And as he passed through, he kept proclaiming the Good News to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.