Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Join thyself to this chariot.—The act implied is that of laying hold and, as it were, attaching himself to the chariot in which the eunuch rode.Acts 8:29-31. Then the Spirit — By that secret suggestion which inspired persons could distinguish with certainty as divine revelation; said to Philip, Go near — Now Philip shall know the reason of his being sent into a desert; join thyself to this chariot — Enter into conversation with the person who sits in it, without fear of offending him, or exposing thyself to any inconvenience. And Philip ran to him — Ran up to the chariot; and heard him read — For he read aloud, both that his own mind might be more deeply impressed with what he read, and that his servants, who were near, might receive some benefit by it. And Philip, being well acquainted with the Holy Scriptures, soon perceived that the book in which he read was that of the Prophet Isaiah, and that the passage he was reading would give him a very proper opportunity of entering into discourse with him concerning Christ, and delivering to him that evangelical message with which he was charged. He therefore took occasion to begin the conversation from this circumstance, saying to the eunuch, Understandest thou what thou readest? — This question Philip puts to him, not by way of reproach, but with a design to offer him his service, and lead him into the true knowledge of the important prophecy which now engaged his attention. Observe, what we read and hear of the word of God, it highly concerns us to understand; especially what we read and hear concerning Christ; and therefore we should often ask ourselves whether we understand it or not. Philip did not begin about the weather, news, or the like. In speaking for God, we may frequently come to the point at once without circumlocution. And he said, How can I — The eunuch was so far from being offended at the freedom Philip took, that he mildly and respectfully said in reply, How should I understand such obscure oracles as these, except some man should guide me — Unless some person, better acquainted with the contents of them than I am, should throw that light upon them which I, who am so much a stranger to the Jewish affairs, must necessarily be destitute of. And he desired Philip to come up and sit with him — Inferring from the question he put, that he was better acquainted with these things than himself. Here we see a remarkable instance of the providence and grace of God. This great man had been at Jerusalem, where the apostles were preaching the Christian faith, and multitudes professing it, and yet there he had taken no notice of it, and made no inquiries after it; nay, it seems had slighted it, and turned his back upon it. Yet the grace of God pursues him, overtakes him in the desert, and there converts him. Thus God is often found of those that sought him not!Acts 8:26. The Holy Spirit is evidently intended here. The thought in Philip's mind is here traced to his suggestion. All good thoughts and designs have the same origin.
go near and join this chariot—This would reveal to Philip the hitherto unknown object of his journey, and encourage him to expect something.The Spirit said, either by the ministry of an angel, as Acts 8:26, or by inspiration immediately by himself.
Go near; so near that you may speak with him that sits in it.
Join thyself to this chariot; stick close unto it, and leave it not. Acts 8:26 but the Holy Spirit, as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, the same with the Spirit of the Lord, Acts 8:39 who spoke unto him, either by an articulative voice, such as was the Bath Kol among the Jews; or inwardly, by a secret impulse upon him, he directed him, saying:
go near, and join thyself to this chariot; he bid him make up to the chariot, he saw driving on the road at such a distance, and follow it, and attend it closely; and not leave it, till an opportunity of conversing with the person in it offered.Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 8:29. τὸ πνεῦμα εἶπεν: nothing inconsistent with the previous statement that an angel had spoken to him, as Weiss supposes by referring the angel visit to a reviser. There was no reason why the angel should accompany Philip, or reappear to him, whilst the inward guidance of the Spirit would be always present, as our Lord had promised.—κολλήθητι, cf. Acts 5:13, in Acts five times, and in each case of joining or attaching oneself closely to a person, of social or religious communion with a person, twice in Luke’s Gospel, cf. Acts 15:15 for its sense here, and elsewhere only once in the Evangelists, Matthew 19:5, and that in a quotation, Genesis 2:24, cf. its use three times in St. Paul, Romans 12:9, 1 Corinthians 6:16-17. In classical Greek similar usage, and cf. LXX, Ruth 2:8, Sir 2:3; Sir 19:2, 1Ma 3:2; 1Ma 6:21, etc. Hebrew דָּבַק, see Wetstein on Acts 10:28.29. Then [And] the Spirit said unto Philip] i.e. by a prompting from within.
Go near, and join thyself to this chariot] No doubt this royal treasurer had a numerous retinue, and a single traveller on a desert road would be doing what was natural in attaching himself to a train of people who were journeying in the same direction. Philip would therefore be able to approach and hear what was read without being deemed an intruder.Acts 8:29. Εἶπε, said) The Holy Spirit is therefore a Person: ch. Acts 1:16, Acts 10:19-20, Acts 13:2, Acts 21:11 [in all which passages the Holy Ghost is represented speaking as a Person].Verse 29. - And for then, A.V.
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