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Acts 8:27-28

Context
8:27 So 1  he got up 2  and went. There 3  he met 4  an Ethiopian eunuch, 5  a court official of Candace, 6  queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He 7  had come to Jerusalem to worship, 8  8:28 and was returning home, sitting 9  in his chariot, reading 10  the prophet Isaiah.

1 tn Grk “And,” but καί (kai) carries something of a resultative force in this context because what follows describes Philip’s response to the angel’s command.

2 tn Grk “So getting up he went.” The aorist participle ἀναστάς (anastas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

3 tn Grk “And there.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

4 tn Grk “and behold.” This expression is used to portray Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian in a vivid way. In the English translation this vividness is difficult to convey; it is necessary to supply the words “he met.”

5 sn The term eunuch normally referred to a man who had been castrated, but this was not always the case (see Gen 39:1 LXX, where Potiphar is called a eunuch). Such castrated individuals were preferred as court officials in the East, although Judaism opposed the practice. The Mosaic law excluded eunuchs from Israel (Deut 23:1), although God certainly accepted them (Isa 56:3-5; Wis 3:14). This individual was a high official, since he was said to be in charge of all her treasury. He may or may not have been a eunuch physically. He appears to be the first fully Gentile convert to Christianity, since the Samaritans mentioned previously (Acts 8:4-25) were regarded as half-breeds.

6 tn Or “the Candace” (the title of the queen of the Ethiopians). The term Κανδάκης (Kandakh") is much more likely a title rather than a proper name (like Pharaoh, which is a title); see L&N 37.77. A few, however, still take the word to be the name of the queen (L&N 93.209). BDAG 507 s.v. Κανδάκη, treats the term as a title and lists classical usage by Strabo (Geography 17.1.54) and others.

sn Candace was the title of the queen of the Ethiopians. Ethiopia refers to the kingdom of Nubia in the northern Sudan, whose capital was Meroe (not to be confused with Abyssinia, which was later called Ethiopia and converted to Christianity in the 4th century a.d.). Classical writers refer to several queens of Meroe in the 1st century b.c. and 1st century a.d. who had the title Candace (Kandake). The Candace referred to here was probably Amantitere, who ruled a.d. 25-41.

7 tn Grk “who was over all her treasury, who.” The two consecutive relative clauses make for awkward English style, so the second was begun as a new sentence with the pronoun “he” supplied in place of the Greek relative pronoun to make a complete sentence in English.

8 sn Since this man had come to Jerusalem to worship, he may have been a proselyte to Judaism. This event is a precursor to Acts 10.

9 tn Grk “and was sitting.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

10 tn Grk “and was reading.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

sn The fact that this man was reading from a scroll (an expensive item in the first century) indicates his connection to a wealthy house.



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