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Acts 8:32-35

Context
8:32 Now the passage of scripture the man 1  was reading was this:

He was led like a sheep to slaughter,

and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,

so he did 2  not open his mouth.

8:33 In humiliation 3  justice was taken from him. 4 

Who can describe his posterity? 5 

For his life was taken away 6  from the earth. 7 

8:34 Then the eunuch said 8  to Philip, “Please tell me, 9  who is the prophet saying this about – himself or someone else?” 10  8:35 So Philip started speaking, 11  and beginning with this scripture 12  proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him.

1 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 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.

3 tc ‡ Most later mss (C E Ψ 33vid Ï sy) read “In his humiliation,” adding αὐτοῦ (autou, “his”) after ταπεινώσει (tapeinwsei, “humiliation”), while the earlier and better witnesses lack the pronoun (so Ì74 א A B 1739 pc lat). However, the LXX of Isa 53:8 also lacks the pronoun, supplying motivation for scribes to omit it here. At the same time, scribes would also be motivated to add the pronoun both for clarity’s sake (note the similar impulse that led to the addition of δέ [de] by many of the same mss at the beginning of the next line) and to give balance to the lines (the pronoun is indisputably used five other times in vv. 32-33 in quoting Isa 53). On balance, the shorter reading is preferred.

4 tn Or “justice was denied him”; Grk “his justice was taken away.”

5 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.

6 tn Grk “is taken away.” The present tense here was translated as a past tense to maintain consistency with the rest of the quotation.

7 sn A quotation from Isa 53:7-8.

8 tn Grk “answered and said.” The redundant participle ἀποκριθείς (apokriqei") has not been translated.

9 tn Grk “I beg you,” “I ask you.”

10 sn About himself, or about someone else? It is likely in 1st century Judaism this would have been understood as either Israel or Isaiah.

11 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.

12 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.



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