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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - ACTS 8

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    CHAPTER VIII

    1. Death (anairesei). Lit., taking off. See on Luke xxiii. 32.

    2. Devout. See on Luke ii. 25.

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

    Stephen (Stefanon). Meaning crown. He was the first who received the martyr's crown.

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

    3. Made havoc (elumaineto). Only here in New Testament. In Septuagint, Ps. lxxix. 13, it is used of the laying waste of a vineyard by the wild boar. Compare Acts ix. 21, where the A.V. has destroyed, but where the Greek is porqhsav, 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, 16 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.

    5. Philip. The deacon (Acts vi. 5). Not the apostle. On the name, see on Mark iii. 18.

    Christ (ton Criston). Note the article, "the Christ," and see on Matthew i. 1.

    He did (epoiei). Imperfect. Kept doing from time to time, as is described in the next verse.

    7. Taken with palsies (paralelumenoi). Rev., more neatly, palsied. See on Luke v. 18.

    Were healed. See on Luke v. 15.

    9. Used sorcery (mageuwn). 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 practiced upon the credulity of the people by conjuring and juggling and soothsaying.

    Bewitched (existwn). Better as Rev., amazed. See on ch. ii. 7.

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

    11. Bewitched. Amazed, as ver. 9

    13. Continued with. See on ch. i. 14.

    Miracles and signs (shmeia kai dunameiv). Lit., signs and powers. See on Matt. xi. 20; Acts ii. 22.

    Which were done (ginomeav). The present participle. Lit., are coming to pass.

    He was amazed. After having amazed the people by his tricks. See ver. 9. The same word is employed.

    14. Samaria. The country, not the city. See vv. 5, 9.

    16. They were (uphrcon). See on Jas. ii. 15. Rev., more literally, had been.

    In the name (eiv to onoma). Lit., "into the name." See on Matthew xxviii. 19.

    20. Perish with thee (sun soi ein eiv apwleian). Lit., be along with thee unto destruction. Destruction overtake thy money and thyself.

    21. Part nor lot. Lot expresses the same idea as part, but figuratively. Matter (logw). The matter of which we are talking: the subject of discourse, as Luke i. 4; Acts xv. 6.

    Right (euqeia). Lit., straight.

    22. If perhaps. The doubt suggested by the heinousness of the offense. Thought (epinoia). Only here in New Testament. Lit., a thinking on or contriving; and hence implying a plan or design.

    23. In the gall (eiv colhn). Lit., into. Thou hast fallen into and continuest in. Gall, only here and Matt. xxvii. 34. Gall of bitterness is bitter enmity against the Gospel.

    Bond of iniquity (sundesmon adikiav). Thou hast fallen into iniquity as into fetters. The word sundesmon denotes a close, firm bond (sun, together). It is used of the bond of Christian peace (Eph. iv. 3); of the close compacting of the church represented as a body (Col. ii. 19); and of love as the bond of perfectness (Col. iii. 14). See Isa. lviii. 6.

    26. The south (meshmbrian). A contracted form of meshmeria, midday, noon, which is the rendering at Acts xxii. 6 the only other passage where it occurs. Rev. gives at noon in margin.

    Desert. Referring to the route. On desert, see on Luke xv. 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.

    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 Meroe, 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 (dunasthv). A general term for a potentate.

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

    Treasure (gazhv). Only here in New Testament. A Persian word.

    29. Join thyself (kollhqhti). See on Luke xv. 15; x. 11; Acts v. 12.

    30. Understandest thou what thou readest (ara ge ginwskeiv a anaginwskeiv); The play upon the words cannot be translated. The interrogative particles which begin the question indicate a doubt on Philip's part.

    31. How can I (pwv gar an dunaimhn)? Lit., for how should I be able? the for connecting the question with an implied negative: "No; for how could I understand except," etc.

    32. The place of the scripture (h perioch thv grafhv). Strictly, the contents of the passage. See on Mark xii. 10; 1 Pet. ii. 6.

    He read. Rev., correctly, was reading; imperfect.

    33. Humiliation. See on Matt. xi. 29.

    Generation. His contemporaries. Who shall declare their wickedness?

    35. Opened his mouth. Indicating a solemn announcement. Compare Matt. v. 2.

    37. The best texts omit this verse.

    39. Caught away. Suddenly and miraculously.

    And he went, etc. (eporeueto gar). 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.

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