25 So, when Peter and John had given their testimony and preached the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, preaching the good news [about salvation] in many Samaritan villages [along the way].
26 But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go south to the road that runs from Jerusalem down to Gaza.” (This is a desert road).27 So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch [a man of great authority], a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship,28 and he was returning, and sitting in his chariot he was reading [the scroll of] the prophet Isaiah.29 Then the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.”30 Philip ran up and heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”31 And he said, “Well, how could I [understand] unless someone guides me [correctly]?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.32 Now this was the passage of Scripture which he was reading:
“Like a sheep He was led to the 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 [justice was denied Him]. Who will describe His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch replied to Philip, “Please tell me, about whom does the prophet say this? About himself or about someone else?”35 Then Philip spoke and beginning with this Scripture he preached Jesus to him [explaining that He is the promised Messiah and the source of salvation].36 As they continued along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch exclaimed, “Look! Water! What forbids me from being baptized?”37 [a][Philip said to him, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”]38 And he ordered that the chariot be stopped; and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord [suddenly] took Philip [and carried him] away [to a different place]; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but he went on his way rejoicing.40 But Philip found himself at [b]Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the good news [of salvation] to all the cities, until he came to [c]Caesarea [Maritima].
Acts 8:40Caesarea Maritima (Caesarea-on-the-Sea) was a coastal city and artificial harbor built by Herod the Great. It was an important city, both politically and militarily, and its harbor was the largest on the eastern Mediterranean coast. It was the capital of Judea, and the official residence of the prefects and procurators appointed by Rome. Both Pontius Pilate (prefect, a.d. 26-36) and Antonius Felix (procurator, a.d. 52-60) would have been based here during their respective terms of office.
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