New American Standard Bible
When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing.
King James Bible
And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Darby Bible Translation
But when they came up out of the water the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, and the eunuch saw him no longer, for he went on his way rejoicing.
World English Bible
When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, and the eunuch didn't see him any more, for he went on his way rejoicing.
Young's Literal Translation
and when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, and the eunuch saw him no more, for he was going on his way rejoicing;
Acts 8:39 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Out of the water - ἐκ ek. This preposition stands opposed to εἰς eis, "into"; and as that may mean to, so this may mean From; if that means into, this means here out of.
The Spirit of the Lord - See Acts 8:29. The Spirit had suggested to Philip to go to meet the eunuch, and the same Spirit, now that he had fulfilled the design of his going there, directed his departure.
Caught away - This phrase has been usually understood of a forcible or miraculous removal of Philip to some other place. Some have even supposed that he was borne through the air by an angel (see even Doddridge). To such foolish interpretations have many expositors been led. The meaning is, clearly, that the Spirit, who had directed Philip to go near the eunuch, now removed him in a similar manner. That this is the meaning is clear:
(1) Because it accounts for all that occurred. It is not wise to suppose the existence of a miracle except where the effect cannot otherwise be accounted for, and except where there is a plain statement that there was a miracle.
(2) the word "caught away" ἥρπασεν hērpasen does not imply that there was a miracle. The word properly means "to seize and bear away anything violently, without the consent of the owner," as robbers and plunderers do. Then it signifies to remove anything in a forcible manner; to make use of strength or power to remove it, Acts 23:10; Matthew 13:19; John 10:28; 2 Corinthians 12:2, 2 Corinthians 12:4, etc. In no case does it ever denote that a miracle is performed. And all that can be signified here is, that the Spirit strongly admonished Philip to go to some other place; that he so forcibly or vividly suggested the duty to his mind as to tear him away, as it were, from the society of the eunuch. He had been deeply interested in the case. He would have found pleasure in continuing the journey with him. But the strong convictions of duty urged by the Holy Spirit impelled him, as it were, to break off this new and interesting acquaintanceship, and to go to some other place. The purpose for which he was sent, to instruct and baptize the eunuch, was accomplished, and now he was called to some other field of labor. A similar instance of interpretation has been considered in the notes on Matthew 4:5.
And he went on his way rejoicing - His mind was enlightened on a perplexing passage of Scripture. He was satisfied respecting the Messiah. He was baptized; and he experienced what all feel who embrace the Saviour and are baptized - joy. It was joy resulting from the fact that he was reconciled to God; and a joy the natural effect of having done his duty promptly in making a profession of religion. If we wish happiness if we would avoid clouds and gloom, we should do our duty at once. If we delay until tomorrow what we ought to do today, we may expect to be troubled with melancholy thoughts. If we find peace, it will be in doing promptly just what God requires at our hands. This is the last that we hear of this man. Some have supposed that he carried the gospel to Ethiopia, and preached it there. But there is strong evidence to believe that the gospel was not preached there successfully until about the year 330 a.d., when it was introduced by Frumentius, sent to Abyssinia for that purpose by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. From this narrative we may learn:
(1) That God often prepares the mind to receive the truth.
(2) that this takes place sometimes with the great and the noble, as well as the poor and obscure.
(3) that we should study the Scriptures. This is the way in which God usually directs the mind in the truths of religion.
(4) that they who read the Bible with candor and care may expect that God will, in some mode, guide them into the truth. It will often be in a way which they least expect; but they need not be afraid of being left to darkness or error.
(5) that we should be ready at all times to speak to sinners. God often prepares their minds, as he did that of the eunuch, to receive the truth.
(6) that we should not be afraid of the great, he rich, or of strangers. God often prepares their minds to receive the truth; and we may find a man willing to hear of the Saviour where we least expected it.
(7) that we should do our duty in this respect, as Philip did, promptly. We should not delay or hesitate, but should at once do that which we believe to be in accordance with the will of God. See Psalm 119:60.
LibrarySeed Scattered and Taking Root
'And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. 4. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
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1 Kings 18:12
"It will come about when I leave you that the Spirit of the LORD will carry you where I do not know; so when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have feared the LORD from my youth.
2 Kings 2:16
They said to him, "Behold now, there are with your servants fifty strong men, please let them go and search for your master; perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has taken him up and cast him on some mountain or into some valley." And he said, "You shall not send."
Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me, "Blessed be the glory of the LORD in His place."
So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away; and I went embittered in the rage of my spirit, and the hand of the LORD was strong on me.
He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located.
Moreover, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the LORD'S house which faced eastward. And behold, there were twenty-five men at the entrance of the gate, and among them I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people.
And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God to the exiles in Chaldea. So the vision that I had seen left me.
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