8:26 Then an angel of the Lord 1 said to Philip, 2 “Get up and go south 3 on the road that goes down from Jerusalem 4 to Gaza.” (This is a desert 5 road.) 6 8:27 So 7 he got up 8 and went. There 9 he met 10 an Ethiopian eunuch, 11 a court official of Candace, 12 queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He 13 had come to Jerusalem to worship, 14 8:28 and was returning home, sitting 15 in his chariot, reading 16 the prophet Isaiah. 8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”
2 tn Grk “Lord spoke to Philip, saying.” The redundant participle λέγων (legwn) has not been translated.
3 tn Or “Get up and go about noon.” The phrase κατὰ μεσημβρίαν (kata meshmbrian) can be translated either “about noon” (L&N 67.74) or “toward the south” (L&N 82.4). Since the angel’s command appears to call for immediate action (“Get up”) and would not therefore need a time indicator, a directional reference (“toward the south”) is more likely here.
5 tn Or “wilderness.”
6 tn The words “This is a desert road” are probably best understood as a comment by the author of Acts, but it is possible they form part of the angel’s speech to Philip, in which case the verse would read: “Get up and go south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza – the desert road.”
sn The concluding note about the road appears to be a parenthetical note by the author.
7 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.
8 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.
9 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.
10 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.”
11 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.
12 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
13 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.
15 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.
16 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.