Acts 8:32-33 – What did Philip say to the Ethiopian eunuch?

Acts 8:32-33 – What did Philip say to the Ethiopian eunuch?

The Ethiopian eunuch was reading from the middle verses of Isaiah 53. This meant that he had read about a man who was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, smitten by God, and afflicted. He had also just read that this man’s suffering was because of others – he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

At the point that he encountered Philip, he had just read about Jesus’ death as a lamb led to the slaughter and his being cut off for the transgression of God’s people.

All of this would have allowed Philip to speak of Jesus’ death for sinners. The remaining verses which the Ethiopian subsequently read speak of Jesus’ resurrection and how all that he had suffered was so that he could bear the sin, iniquity and transgressions of many so that the many could be made righteous.

It is at this point that the Ethiopian requests baptism and incorporation in the people of God. He must have been conscious though that baptism was forbidden to him at the temple and he was even precluded from the temple due to his being a eunuch. What would have caused him to request a baptism he was accustomed to knowing he was denied?

I wonder if Philip unrolled just a little more of the Isaiah scroll to chapter 56. In this chapter it says: Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” The LORD promises those who join themselves to the covenant (the old covenant now become the new covenant) that he will give them eternal life (better than simply having sons and daughters to carry on one’s name). To those who join themselves to the LORD he will bring to his holy mountain and to the temple (the house of prayer for all nations). The Jerusalem temple from which the Ethiopian had been excluded is now replaced with the true temple that is Jesus. In coming to Jesus foreigners and eunuchs would have their sins forgiven and their worship accepted. Though outcasts to Israel, the LORD who gather them to himself.

I wonder if Philip unrolled just a little more of the scroll