1And Saul approved of their killing him.
Saul Persecutes the Church
That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria.2Devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him.3But Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison.Philip Preaches in Samaria
4Now those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the word.5Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them.6The crowds with one accord listened eagerly to what was said by Philip, hearing and seeing the signs that he did,7for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured.8So there was great joy in that city.9Now a certain man named Simon had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he was someone great.10All of them, from the least to the greatest, listened to him eagerly, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.”11And they listened eagerly to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.12But when they believed Philip, who was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.13Even Simon himself believed. After being baptized, he stayed constantly with Philip and was amazed when he saw the signs and great miracles that took place.14Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.15The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit16(for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus).17Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.18Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money,19saying, “Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”20But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God's gift with money!21You have no part or share in this, for your heart is not right before God.22Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.23For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and the chains of wickedness.”24Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may happen to me.”25Now after Peter and John had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, proclaiming the good news to many villages of the Samaritans.Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
26Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.)27So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship28and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.29Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.”30So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”31He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him.32Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and like a lamb silent before its shearer,
so he does not open his mouth.33In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”34The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”35Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus.36As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?”3738He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.40But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
Chapter 9The Conversion of Saul
1Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest2and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.3Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”5He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.6But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”7The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one.8Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.9For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.10Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.”11The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying,12and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”13But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem;14and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.”15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel;16I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”17So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”18And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized,19and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul Preaches in Damascus
For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus,20and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”21All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?”22Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah.Saul Escapes from the Jews
23After some time had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him,24but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night so that they might kill him;25but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.Saul in Jerusalem
26When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.27But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus.28So he went in and out among them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.29He spoke and argued with the Hellenists; but they were attempting to kill him.30When the believers learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.31Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.