Chapter 5

  1. 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 Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house and, dragging men and women, committed them to prison. Therefore, they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.
  2. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them, and the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did; for unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them, and many taken with palsies and that were lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.
  3. But there was a certain man called Simon (who previously in the same city used sorcery and bewitched the people of Samaria) declaring that he was some great one, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great Power of God. And to him they had regard, because of the long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also, and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
  4. Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the holy ghost; for as yet it was fallen upon none of them — they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the holy ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the holy ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomever I lay hands, he may receive the holy ghost. But Peter said unto him, Your money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you; for I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon and said, Pray to the Lord for me that none of these things which you have spoken come upon me. And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
  5. And the angel of the Lord spoke unto Philip, saying, Arise and go toward the south, unto the way that goes down from Jerusalem unto Gaza which is desert. And he arose and went, and behold, a man of Ethiopia — a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure and had come to Jerusalem to worship — was returning, and sitting in his chariot, read Isaiah the prophet. Then the spirit said unto Philip, Go near and join yourself to this chariot. And Philip ran there to him and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Do you understand what you are reading? And he said, How can I except some man should guide me? And he desired of Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
  6. The place of the scripture which he read was this: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb, dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth. In his humiliation his judgment was taken away; and who shall declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth.
  7. And the eunuch answered Philip and said, I ask you, of whom does the prophet speak this? Of himself? Or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water, and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what does hinder me from being baptized? And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they had 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. But Philip was found at Ashdod, and, passing through, he preached in all the cities until he came to Caesarea.
  8. And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest and desired of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus, and suddenly there shone round about him a light from Heaven. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? And he said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you persecute; it is hard for you to kick against the pricks. And he, trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what will you have me do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise and go into the city, and it shall be told you what you must do. And they who were journeying with him saw indeed the light and were afraid, but they heard not the voice of him who spoke to him. And Saul arose from the earth, and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man; but they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
  9. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias, and to him the Lord said in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus; for behold, he prays, and has seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on your name. But the Lord said unto him, Go your way, for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel; for I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way and entered into the house, and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto you in the way as you came, has sent me, that you might receive your sight and be filled with the holy ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received sight immediately, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples who were at Damascus.
  10. And immediately he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed and said, Is this not he that destroyed them who called on this name in Jerusalem? And came here for that intent — that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength and confounded the Jews who dwelled at Damascus, proving that this is the very Christ. And after many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him — but their lying in wait was known of Saul — and they watched the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night and let him down by the wall in a basket.
  11. And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join himself to the disciples, but they were all afraid of him and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem, and he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Greeks, but they went about to slay him, which, when the brethren knew this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him forth to Tarsus. Then the churches had rest throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, and were edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the holy ghost were multiplied.