Acts 8:11
And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) And to him they had regard.—The Greek word is the same as in the “gave heed” of the previous verse. The “long time” during which the evil fascination had been exercised, reckoning backwards from the date which we have now reached (A.D. 34), might carry us to a period prior to our Lord’s visit to Sychar, in A.D. 30. It is scarcely probable, however, that it was in active operation at that time. And it is likely enough that, finding the people still influenced by the impressions which that visit had left, he wrought on their excited feelings for his own purpose.

8:5-13 As far as the gospel prevails, evil spirits are dislodged, particularly unclean spirits. All inclinations to the lusts of the flesh which war against the soul are such. Distempers are here named, the most difficult to be cured by the course of nature, and most expressive of the disease of sin. Pride, ambition, and desire after grandeur have always caused abundance of mischief, both to the world and to the church. The people said of Simon, This man is the great power of God. See how ignorant and thoughtless people mistake. But how strong is the power of Divine grace, by which they were brought to Christ, who is Truth itself! The people not only gave heed to what Philip said, but were fully convinced that it was of God, and not of men, and gave up themselves to be directed thereby. Even bad men, and those whose hearts still go after covetousness, may come before God as his people come, and for a time continue with them. And many wonder at the proofs of Divine truths, who never experience their power. The gospel preached may have a common operation upon a soul, where it never produced inward holiness. All are not savingly converted who profess to believe the gospel.The great power of God - Probably this means only that they believed that he was "invested with" the power of God, not that they supposed he was really the Great God. 10. To whom all gave heed … because of long time he had bewitched them—This, coupled with the rapidity with which they deserted him and attached themselves to Philip, shows the ripeness of Samaria for some religious change. They had regard; they acquiesced in what he said, and yielded obedience unto it; not only attending to his words with their ears, but with their hearts: so true is that which our Saviour says, John 5:43, If any man come in his own name, him will ye receive. These Samaritans shall rise up in judgment against most men, who do not thus regard what was said by Christ, and such as he hath sent.

Bewitched them; made them as out of their wits; they were not themselves, and could not act their reason.

With sorceries; such wonders as by the permission of God, and Satan’s power, he did. To him they had regard,.... Which is repeated from the foregoing verse, for the sake of what follows:

because that of a long time he had bewitched them with sorceries; or because he had, it may be for many years, astonished them with his magic arts, and the pranks he played in the use of them.

And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 8:11. ἱκανῷ χρόνῳ: dative for accusative, cf. Acts 13:20, and perhaps Luke 8:29, Romans 16:25—the usage is not classical, Blass, Grammatik, p. 118, but see also Winer-Moulton, xxxi. 9 a. St. Luke alone uses ἱκανός with χρόνος, both in his Gospel and in Acts (Vogel, Klostermann).—μαγείαις: only here in N.T., not found in LXX or Apocryphal books, but used in Theophrastus and Plutarch, also in Josephus. It is found in a striking passage in St. Ignatius (Ephes., xix., 3) in reference to the shining forth of the star at the Incarnation, ὅθεν ἐλύετο πᾶσα μαγεία καὶ τᾶς δεσμός, and it is also mentioned, Didache 1, v., 1, amongst the things comprised under “the way of death,” and so in Acts 2:1 we read οὐ μαγεύσεις οὐ φαρμακεύσεις.—ἐξεστακέναι, see above on Acts 8:9.11. And to him they had regard] Read, And they gave heed to him. This is an instance of that fondness for change of expression which is so marked a feature of the A. V. The word in the original is exactly the same as in the preceding verse.

of long time he had bewitched [amazed] them with sorceries] His birthplace was in Samaria, and it is most probable that he had lived there a great part of his life. Tradition (Clement. Hom. ii. 22) makes him to have been educated in Alexandria, but he is also said to have been a pupil of Dositheus a Gnostic teacher in Samaria, so that he had probably been but a short time away from his native country.Acts 8:11. Προσεῖχον, they paid attention) The verb is repeated from the preceding verse.Verse 11. - They gave heed to him for to him they had regard, A.V.; amazed for bewitched, A.V.; his sorceries for sorceries, A.V. Bewitched

Amazed, as Acts 8:9.

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