Acts 8:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,

King James Bible
But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:

Darby Bible Translation
But a certain man, by name Simon, had been before in the city, using magic arts, and astonishing the nation of Samaria, saying that himself was some great one.

World English Bible
But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who used to practice sorcery in the city, and amazed the people of Samaria, making himself out to be some great one,

Young's Literal Translation
And a certain man, by name Simon, was before in the city using magic, and amazing the nation of Samaria, saying himself to be a certain great one,

Acts 8:9 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

A certain man called Simon - In ancient ecclesiastical writers, we have the strangest account of this man; they say that he pretended to be the Father, who gave the law to Moses; that he came in the reign of Tiberius in the person of the Son; that he descended on the apostles on the day of pentecost, in flames of fire, in quality of the Holy Spirit; that he was the Messiah, the Paraclete, and Jupiter; that the woman who accompanied him, called Helena, was Minerva, or the first intelligence; with many other extravagancies which probably never had an existence. All that we know to be certain on this subject is, that he used sorcery, that he bewitched the people, and that he gave out himself to be some great one.

This might be sufficient, were not men prone to be wise above what is written.

Our word sorcerer, from the French sorcier, which, from the Latin sors, a lot, signifies the using of lots to draw presages concerning the future; a custom that prevailed in all countries, and was practised with a great variety of forms. On the word lot see the note, Leviticus 16:8, Leviticus 16:9; and Joshua 14:2.

The Greek word, μαγευων, signifies practising the rites or science of the Magi, or Mughan, the worshippers of fire among the Persians; the same as Majoos, and Majooseean, from which we have our word magician. See the note on Matthew 2:1.

And bewitched the people of Samaria - εξιϚων, Astonishing, amazing, or confounding the judgment of the people, from εξιϚημι, to remove out of a place or state, to be transported beyond one's self, to be out of one's wits; a word that expresses precisely the same effect which the tricks or legerdemain of a juggler produce in the minds of the common people who behold his feats. It is very likely that Simon was a man of this cast, for the east has always abounded in persons of this sort. The Persian, Arabian, Hindoo, and Chinese jugglers are notorious to the present day; and even while I write this, (July, 1813), three Indian jugglers, lately arrived, are astonishing the people of London; and if such persons can now interest and amaze the people of a city so cultivated and enlightened, what might not such do among the grosser people of Sychem or Sebaste, eighteen hundred years ago?

That himself was some great one - That the feats which he performed sufficiently proved that he possessed a most powerful supernatural agency, and could do whatsoever he pleased.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Acts 13:6 And when they had gone through the isle to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

Acts 16:16-18 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us...

Acts 19:18-20 And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds...

Exodus 7:11,22 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt...

Exodus 8:18,19 And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice on man, and on beast...

Exodus 9:11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was on the magicians, and on all the Egyptians.

Leviticus 20:6 And the soul that turns after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them...

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination...

2 Timothy 3:8,9 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith...

Revelation 13:13,14 And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men...

Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.


Acts 5:36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves...

John 7:18 He that speaks of himself seeks his own glory: but he that seeks his glory that sent him, the same is true...

2 Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God...

2 Timothy 3:2,5 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy...

2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness...

Simon the Sorcerer
'Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.'--ACTS viii. 21. The era of the birth of Christianity was one of fermenting opinion and decaying faith. Then, as now, men's minds were seething and unsettled, and that unrest which is the precursor of great changes in intellectual and spiritual habitudes affected the civilised world. Such a period is ever one of predisposition to superstition. The one true bond which unites God and man being obscured,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

A Meeting in the Desert
'And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28. Was returning, and sitting in his chariot, read Esaias the prophet. 29. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Whether the Imposition of the Priest's Hands is Necessary for this Sacrament?
Objection 1: It would seem that the imposition of the priest's hands is necessary for this sacrament. For it is written (Mk. 16:18): "They shall lay hands upon the sick, and they shall recover." Now sinners are sick spiritually, and obtain recovery through this sacrament. Therefore an imposition of hands should be made in this sacrament. Objection 2: Further, in this sacrament man regains the Holy Ghost Whom he had lost, wherefore it is said in the person of the penitent (Ps. 1:14): "Restore unto
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Penance is a Sacrament?
Objection 1: It would seem that Penance is not a sacrament. For Gregory [*Cf. Isidore, Etym. vi, ch. 19] says: "The sacraments are Baptism, Chrism, and the Body and Blood of Christ; which are called sacraments because under the veil of corporeal things the Divine power works out salvation in a hidden manner." But this does not happen in Penance, because therein corporeal things are not employed that, under them, the power of God may work our salvation. Therefore Penance is not a sacrament. Objection
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Deuteronomy 18:10
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,

Acts 5:36
Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing.

Acts 8:11
They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery.

Acts 13:6
They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus,

Acts 13:8
But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.

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