The Lord Upholds My Life
To the choirmaster: with tstringed instruments. A Maskil1 of David, uwhen the Ziphites went and told Saul, “Is not David hiding among us?”
54 O God, save me by your vname,
and vindicate me by your might.
2 O God, whear my prayer;
give ear to the words of my mouth.
ruthless men zseek my life;
they do not set God before themselves. Selah
4 Behold, aGod is my helper;
the Lord is the upholder of my life.
5 He will return the evil to my enemies;
6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, dfor it is good.
7 For he has delivered me from every trouble,
and my eye has elooked in triumph on my enemies.
Saul Ravages the Church
And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and dthey were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. 3 But eSaul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he fdragged off men and women and committed them to prison.
Philip Proclaims Christ in Samaria
4 Now gthose who were scattered went about preaching the word. 5 hPhilip went down to the city1 of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. 6 iAnd the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him jand saw the signs that he did. 7 For kunclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So lthere was much joy in that city.
Simon the Magician Believes
9 But there was a man named Simon, mwho had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, nsaying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, o“This man is the power of God that is called pGreat.” 11 And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had qamazed them with his magic. 12 But when rthey believed Philip as he preached good news sabout the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, rthey were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And tseeing signs and ugreat miracles2 performed, vhe was amazed.
14 Now when wthe apostles at Jerusalem heard that xSamaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them ythat they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 for zhe had not yet afallen on any of them, but bthey had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then cthey laid their hands on them and dthey received the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, e“May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God fwith money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for gyour heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, hif possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in ithe gall3 of bitterness and in jthe bond of iniquity.” 24 And Simon answered, k“Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”
25 Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, lpreaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
26 Now man angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south4 to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an nEthiopian, a oeunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, pwho was in charge of all her treasure. qHe had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, r“How can I, unless someone sguides me?” And the invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
u“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
33 In his vhumiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and wbeginning with this Scripture xhe told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! yWhat prevents me from being baptized?”5 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, zthe Spirit of the Lord acarried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.