Saul Persecutes the ChurchNow Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And some devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him. 3 But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he was delivering them into prison.
Philip Preaches in Samaria4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went about, proclaiming the good news of the word. 5 Now Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began preaching Christ to them. 6 And the crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was being said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was doing. 7 For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city. 9 Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city and astounding the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; 10 and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, “This man is what is called the Great Power of God.” 11 And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astounded them with his magic arts. 12 But when they believed Philip proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly astounded. 14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit had been bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you supposed you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray earnestly to the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of unrighteousness.” 24 But Simon answered and said, “Pray earnestly to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”
An Ethiopian Receives Christ25 So, when they had solemnly bore witness and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were proclaiming the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans. 26 But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Rise up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) 27 So he rose up and went; and behold, there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 And Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this:
“As a sheep is led to slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He does not open His mouth. 33
In humiliation His judgment was taken away;
Who will recount His generation?
For His life is removed from the earth.” 34 And the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you earnestly, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him. 36 And as they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch *said, “Look! Water! What prevents 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 ordered the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he kept proclaiming the gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea.