SAUL was pleased to have had a part in the murder of Stephen.
At that very time there was severe persecution against the church at Jerusalem;
and they were all, with the exception of the apostles, dispersed throughout the towns of Judea and Samaria.
And devout men took up Stephen and buried him, and they mourned over him in great sorrow.
As for Saul, he continued to persecute the church of God, entering into houses and dragging out men and women and delivering them to prison,
¶ So that they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word of God.
Then Philip went down to a Samaritan city and preached to them about Christ.
And when the people of that place heard his word, they gave heed and listened attentively to everything Philip said, because they saw the miracles which he did.
Many who were mentally afflicted cried with loud voices and were restored;
and others who were paralytic and lame were healed.
And there was great joy in that city.
Now there was there a man called Semon, who had lived in that city a long time, and who had deceived the Samaritan people by his magic, boasting of himself and saying, I am the greatest one.
And both the noblest and the least followed him, saying, He is the greatest power of God.
All of them listened to him, because for a long time he had bewitched them with his sorceries.
But when they believed Philip, preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Semon himself also believed and was baptized and attached himself to Philip, and as he saw the miracles and great signs performed by his hand, he marvelled greatly.
¶ Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that the Samaritan people had accepted the word of God, they sent to them Simon Peter and John,
Who, when they went down, prayed over them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
For as vet it had not come upon them although they had been baptized in the name of our Lord Jesus.
Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
And when Semon saw that the Holy Spirit was given by the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,
Saying, Give me also this authority so that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit.
Simon Peter said to him, Let your money perish with you because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with wealth.
You have no part nor lot in this faith because your heart is not right in the sight of God.
Repent, therefore, of this evil of yours, and beseech God that he may perhaps forgive you for the guile which is in your heart.
For I see your heart is as bitter as gall and you are in the bonds of iniquity.
Then Semon answered, saying, Pray God for me so that none of these things which you have spoken may come upon me.
Now when Simon Peter and John had testified and taught them the word of God, they returned to Jerusalem after they had preached in many Samaritan villages.
¶ And the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Arise and go south by way of the desert that leads down from Jerusalem to Gaza;
So he arose and went;
and he was met by a eunuch, who had come from Ethiopia, an official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to worship at Jerusalem.
While he was returning, sitting in his chariot, he read the book of the prophet Isaiah.
And the Spirit said to Philip, Go near and keep close to the chariot.
And as Philip drew near and heard him reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah, he said to him, Do you understand what you are reading?
And the Ethiopian said, How can I understand unless some one teach me?
and he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
The portion of the scripture which he was reading was this: He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and like a ewe lamb before the shearer, so he opened not his mouth.
In his humiliation, he suffered imprisonment and judgment;
none can tell his struggle, for even his life is taken away from the earth.
And the eunuch said to Philip.
I pray you, of whom does this prophet speak?
of himself or of some other man?
Then Philip opened his mouth and began at that same scripture and preached to him concerning our Lord Jesus.
And as they went on their way, they came to a place where there was water;
and the eunuch said.
Behold here is water;
what prevents me from being baptized?
And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may.
And he answered, saying, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
And he commanded the chariot be stopped;
and both went down into the water, and Philip baptized the eunuch.
And when they came up from the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away and the eunuch saw him no more;
and he went on his way rejoicing.
Philip was found at Azotus;
and from there he traveled around and preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.