Acts 8

A Burial and a Baptism

Ephraim in Samaria

They were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:1).

Believers who fled to the north could have found refuge in the village of Ephraim, a town where Jesus and his apostles once retreated (John 11:54). Pictured here is the modern village of Taybe, a possible location for Ephraim.

Stephen's Burial

Devout men buried Stephen (Acts 8:2).

No information is given about Stephen’s tomb, but this photo shows examples of typical burial caves in the first century. Bodies or bone boxes could be placed in the burial niches (known as loculi or kokhim). This tomb is located on the southern end of the Mount of Olives, east of the City of David.

The Road to Gaza

Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza (Acts 8:26).

This passage does not give us additional details about the road Philip took. However, the Roman road shown here, which travels down the Hushah (Husan) ridge from Bethlehem to the Elah Valley, would probably have provided the most direct route.

The Eunuch's Baptism

And as they were going along the road, they came upon some water (Acts 8:36).

Tradition identifies the spring of Haniyeh with the place where Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch. The spring is located on the southwest side of Jerusalem, that is, towards Gaza, but the Book of Acts does not provide specific information as to where along this route the meeting occurred.

Philip in Azotus

But Philip found himself at Azotus (Acts 8:40).

Azotus was the first-century name of the city previously known as Ashdod. This view shows sand dunes south of the modern Israeli city of Ashdod. Depending on where Philip met the eunuch, the Spirit may have brought him to Azotus from a southward or an eastward direction.

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