Acts 8:34 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 8:34, NIV: The eunuch asked Philip, 'Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?'

Acts 8:34, ESV: And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”

Acts 8:34, KJV: And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

Acts 8:34, NASB: The eunuch answered Philip and said, 'Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself, or of someone else?'

Acts 8:34, NLT: The eunuch asked Philip, 'Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?'

Acts 8:34, CSB: The eunuch said to Philip, "I ask you, who is the prophet saying this about--himself or someone else? "

What does Acts 8:34 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A God-worshiping Ethiopian court official is reading the account of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53 (Acts 8:32–33). He has good reason to ask Philip whom the passage refers to. Jews still can't accept that the Suffering Servant is the same person as their triumphant Messiah. Although the Bible says little about Isaiah's life, Jewish tradition says that he fled from King Manasseh's guards and hid in a cedar tree. The guards saw the hem of Isaiah's robe and sawed the tree down, cutting Isaiah in half as they did so.

But Philip explains that the passage refers to Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 8:35). Like the Passover lamb, He was led to His death (Mark 14:43–46, 53; 15:1). Although He spoke to His accusers and judges (John 18:19–23, 33–38), He did not defend Himself against the false charges (Mark 14:60–61; 15:4–5). He was humiliated unjustly (Mark 14:55–59; Matthew 27:17–23) and rejected by His contemporaries (Matthew 27:20–23).

Philip includes these horrors Jesus endured as part of the "good news" (Acts 8:35). Not that it was good for Him to be beaten and crucified, but that He rose again on the third day and offers forgiveness of sins. Unlike the Pharisees, priests, and scribes who know the Jewish Scriptures inside and out, yet either rejected Christ or resisted before coming to faith (Acts 6:5), this Ethiopian court official immediately accepts the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy and accepts Christ as his Savior (Acts 8:36–39).