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. 8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 8:30 So Philip ran up 11 to it 12 and heard the man 13 reading Isaiah the prophet. He 14 asked him, 15 “Do you understand what you’re reading?” 8:31 The man 16 replied, “How in the world can I, 17 unless someone guides me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 8:32 Now the passage of scripture the man 18 was reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to slaughter,
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did 19 not open his mouth.
Who can describe his posterity? 22
8:34 Then the eunuch said 25 to Philip, “Please tell me, 26 who is the prophet saying this about – himself or someone else?” 27 8:35 So Philip started speaking, 28 and beginning with this scripture 29 proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him. 8:36 Now as they were going along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water! What is to stop me 30 from being baptized?” 8:37 [[EMPTY]] 31 8:38 So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, 32 and Philip baptized 33 him.
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
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.
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.
11 tn The participle προσδραμών (prosdramwn) is regarded as attendant circumstance.
12 tn The words “to it” are not in the Greek text but are implied.
13 tn Grk “heard him”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
14 tn Grk “and he.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.
15 tn Grk “he said”; but since what follows is a question, it is better English style to translate the introduction to the question “he asked him.”
16 tn Grk “He”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
17 tn Grk “How am I able, unless…” The translation is based on the force of the conjunction γάρ (gar) in this context. The translation “How in the world can I?” is given in BDAG 189 s.v. γάρ 1.f.
18 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
19 tn Grk “does.” The present tense here was translated as a past tense to maintain consistency with the first line of the quotation (“he was led like a sheep to slaughter”), which has an aorist passive verb normally translated as a past tense in English.
20 tc ‡ Most later
21 tn Or “justice was denied him”; Grk “his justice was taken away.”
22 tn Or “family; or “origin.” The meaning of γενεά (genea) in the quotation is uncertain; BDAG 192 s.v. γενεά 4 suggests “family history.”
sn The rhetorical question suggests the insensitivity of this generation for its act against God’s servant, who was slain unjustly as he was silent.
23 tn Grk “is taken away.” The present tense here was translated as a past tense to maintain consistency with the rest of the quotation.
25 tn Grk “answered and said.” The redundant participle ἀποκριθείς (apokriqei") has not been translated.
26 tn Grk “I beg you,” “I ask you.”
27 sn About himself, or about someone else? It is likely in 1st century Judaism this would have been understood as either Israel or Isaiah.
28 tn Grk “opening his mouth” (a Semitic idiom for beginning to speak in a somewhat formal manner). The participle ἀνοίξας (anoixa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
29 sn Beginning with this scripture. The discussion likely included many of the scriptures Acts has already noted for the reader in earlier speeches. At the least, readers of Acts would know what other scriptures might be meant.
30 tn Or “What prevents me.” The rhetorical question means, “I should get baptized, right?”
31 tc A few later
32 tn Grk “and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch.” Since this is somewhat redundant in English, it was simplified to “and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water.”
33 sn Philip baptized. Again, someone beyond the Twelve has ministered an ordinance of faith.