Saul Persecutes the Church
8 Now Saul approved of putting [a]Stephen to death.
And on that day a great persecution [b]began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles. 2 Somedevout men buried Stephen, and mourned loudly for him. 3 But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house; and he would drag away men and women and put them in prison.
Philip in Samaria
4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went through places [c]preaching the word. 5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming the [d]Christ to them. 6 The crowds were paying attention with one mind to what was being said by Philip, as they heard and saw the [e]signs which he was performing. 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 or limped on crutches were healed. 8 So there was much rejoicing in that city.
9 Now a man named Simon had previously been practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; 10 and all the people, from small to great, were paying attention to him, saying, “This man is the Power of God that is called Great.”11 And they were paying attention to him because for a long time he had astounded them with his magic arts. 12 But when they believed Philip as he was preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were being baptized.13 Now 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 repeatedly amazed.
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 would receive the Holy Spirit. 16 (For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized [f]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 was given 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 thought you could acquire the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this [g]matter, for your heart is not right before God.22 Therefore, repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart will be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are [h]in the gall of bitterness and in the [i]bondage of unrighteousness.” 24 But Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”
An Ethiopian Receives Christ
25 So, when they had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
26 But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Get ready and go [j]south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” ([k]This is a desert road.) 27 So he got ready and went; and [l]there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of [m]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 [n]chariot, and was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this [o]chariot.” 30 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:
“He was led like a sheep to slaughter;
And like a lamb that is silent before its shearer,
So He does not open His mouth.
33 In humiliation His justice was taken away;
Who will [p]describe His [q]generation?
For His life is taken away from the earth.”
34 The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, 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 preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch *said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?”[r] 38 And he ordered that the [s]chariot 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, [t]but went on his way rejoicing.40 But Philip [u]found himself at [v]Azotus, and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.