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Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, [1886], at

Acts Chapter 8

Acts 8:1

act 8:1

Death (ἀναιρέσει)

Lit., taking off. See on Luk 23:32.

Acts 8:2

act 8:2


See on Luk 2:25.

Carried to his burial (συνεκόμισαν)

Only here in New Testament. Lit., to carry together; hence, either to assist in burying or, better, to bring the dead to the company (σύν) of the other dead. The word is used of bringing in harvest.

Stephen (Στέφανον)

Meaning crown. He was the first who received the martyr's crown.

Lamentation (κοπετὸν)

Lit., beating (of the breast). Only here in New Testament.

Acts 8:3

act 8:3

Made havoc (ἐλυμαίνετο)

Only here in New Testament. In Septuagint, Psalms 79:13, it is used of the laying waste of a vineyard by the wild boar. Compare Act 9:21, where the A. V. has destroyed, but where the Greek is πορθήσας, devastated. Canon Farrar observes: "The part which he played at this time in the horrid work of persecution has, I fear, been always underrated. It is only when we collect the separate passages - they are no less than eight in number - in which allusion is made to this sad period, it is only when we weigh the terrible significance of the expressions used that we feel the load of remorse which must have lain upon him, and the taunts to which he was liable from malignant enemies" ("Life and Work of St. Paul"). Note the imperfect, of continued action.

Acts 8:5

act 8:5


The deacon (Act 6:5). Not the apostle. On the name, see on Mar 3:18.

Christ (τὸν Χριστόν)

Note the article, "the Christ," and see on Mat 1:1.

He did (ἐποίει)

Imperfect. Kept doing from time to time, as is described in the next verse.

Acts 8:7

act 8:7

Taken with palsies (παραλελυμένοι)

Rev., more neatly, palsied. See on Luk 5:18.

Were healed

See on Luk 5:15.

Acts 8:9

act 8:9

Used sorcery (μαγεύων)

Only here in New Testament. One of the wizards so numerous throughout the East at that time, and multiplied by the general expectation of a great deliverer and the spread of the Messianic notions of the Jews, who practised upon the credulity of the people by conjuring and juggling and soothsaying.

Bewitched (ἐξιστῶν)

Better as Rev., amazed. See on Act 2:7.

Acts 8:10

act 8:10

The great power of God

The best texts add ἡ καλουμένη, which is called, and render that power of God which is called great. They believed that Simon was an impersonated power of God, which, as the highest of powers, they designated as the great.

Acts 8:11

act 8:11


Amazed, as Act 8:9.

Acts 8:13

act 8:13

Continued with

See on Act 1:14.

Miracles and signs (σημεῖα καὶ δυνάμεις)

Lit., signs and powers. See on Mat 11:20; Act 2:22.

Which were done (γινομένας)

The present participle. Lit., are coming to pass.

He was amazed

After having amazed the people by his tricks. See Act 8:9. The same word is employed.

Acts 8:14

act 8:14


The country, not the city. See Act 8:5, Act 8:9.

Acts 8:16

act 8:16

They were (ὑπῆρχον)

See on Jam 2:15. Rev., more literally, had been.

In the name (εἰς τὸ ὄνομα)

Lit., "into the name." See on Mat 28:19.

Acts 8:20

act 8:20

Perish with thee (σὺν σοὶ εἴη εἰς ἀπώλειαν)

Lit., be along with thee unto destruction. Destruction overtake thy money and thyself.

Acts 8:21

act 8:21

Part nor lot

Lot expresses the same idea as part, but figuratively.

Matter (λόγῳ)

The matter of which we are talking: the subject of discourse, as Luk 1:4; Act 15:6.

Right (εὐθεῖα)

Lit., straight.

Acts 8:22

act 8:22

If perhaps

The doubt suggested by the heinousness of the offence.

Thought (ἐπίνοια)

Only here in New Testament. Lit., a thinking on or contriving; and hence implying a plan or design.

Acts 8:23

act 8:23

In the gall (εἰς χολὴν)

Lit., into. Thou hast fallen into and continuest in. Gall, only here and Mat 27:34. Gall of bitterness is bitter enmity against the Gospel.

Bond of iniquity (σύνδεσμον ἀδικίας)

Thou hast fallen into iniquity as into fetters. The word σύνδεσμον denotes a close, firm bond (σύν, together). It is used of the bond of Christian peace (Eph 4:3); of the close compacting of the church represented as a body (Col 2:19); and of love as the bond of perfectness (Col 3:14 :). See Isa 58:6.

Acts 8:26

act 8:26

The south (μεσημβρίαν)

A contracted form of μεσημερία, midday, noon, which is the rendering at Act 22:6, the only other passage where it occurs. Rev. gives at noon in margin.


Referring to the route. On desert, see on Luk 15:4. There were several roads from Jerusalem to Gaza. One is mentioned by the way of Bethlehem to Hebron, and thence through a region actually called a desert.

Acts 8:27

act 8:27

Of Ethiopia

The name for the lands lying south of Egypt, including the modern Nubia, Cordofan, and Northern Abyssinia. Rawlinson speaks of subjects of the Ethiopian queens living in an island near Mero, in the northern part of this district. He further remarks: "The monuments prove beyond all question that the Ethiopians borrowed from Egypt their religion and their habits of civilization. They even adopted the Egyptian as the language of religion and of the court, which it continued to be till the power of the Pharaohs had fallen, and their dominion was again confined to the frontier of Ethiopia. It was through Egypt, too, that Christianity passed into Ethiopia, even in the age of the apostles, as is shown by the eunuch of Queen Candace."

Of great authority (δυνάστης)

A general term for a potentate.


The common name of the queens of Mero: a titular distinction, like Pharaoh in Egypt, or Caesar at Rome.

Treasure (γάζης)

Only here in New Testament. A Persian word.

Acts 8:29

act 8:29

Join thyself (κολλήθητι)

See on Luk 15:15; and Luk 10:11; and Act 5:12.

Acts 8:30

act 8:30

Understandest thou what thou readest (ἆρά γε γινώσκεις ἃ ἀναγινώσκεις);

The play upon the words cannot be translated. The interrogative particles which begin the question indicate a doubt on Philip's part.

Acts 8:31

act 8:31

How can I (πῶς γὰρ ἂν δυναίμην)?

Lit., for how should I be able? the for connecting the question with an implied negative: "No; for how could I understand except," etc.

Acts 8:32

act 8:32

The place of the scripture (ἡ περιοχὴ τῆς γραφῆς)

Strictly, the contents of the passage. See on Mar 12:10; and Pe1 2:6.

He read

Rev., correctly, was reading; imperfect.

Acts 8:33

act 8:33


See on Mat 11:29.


His contemporaries. Who shall declare their wickedness?

Acts 8:35

act 8:35

Opened his mouth

Indicating a solemn announcement. Compare Mat 5:2.

Acts 8:37

act 8:37

The best texts omit this verse.

Acts 8:39

act 8:39

Caught away

Suddenly and miraculously.

And he went, etc. (ἐπορεύετο γὰρ)

A mistranslation. Rev., rightly, "for he went." A reason is given for the eunuch's seeing Philip no more. He did not stop nor take another road to seek him, but went on his way.

Next: Acts Chapter 9