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After the stoning of Stephen, there was a great persecution (per suh KYEW shun) of the Christians in Jerusalem. Saul went from house to house and dragged men and women off to prison if they were followers of Jesus.
The Christians ran away from Jerusalem so they wouldn't be arrested and killed. For some reason, the apostles were protected and were able to remain in Jerusalem without being arrested.
Philip, in our story, was not the apostle Philip, but he was one of the seven men who had been chosen to help take care of the widows in Jerusalem. He too, left Jerusalem and went to the district of Samaria.
One day an angel told Philip to go south on a certain road that went from Jerusalem to Gaza, which was near the coast of the Mediterranean (med it ter ANE ee un) Sea.
As he went, he met a man from the country of Ethiopia (ee thea OH pea uh). The man was riding in a chariot. He was an important person in the government of his country. Candace (can DAY see), the queen had put him in charge of the country's treasury; all their gold, silver, and wealth.
He was a believer in God and had been to Jerusalem to worship. He was probably not a Jew, but a proselyte (PROS uh lite), a person who had accepted the Jewish religion by going through certain acts such as baptism. When a person became a proselyte, he/she was taught about the Jewish laws and given a Jewish name.
Philip went near to the chariot. The man was reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah.
"Do you understand what you're reading?" he asked the man.
The man said he needed someone to explain it to him, and he invited Philip to sit in the chariot with him. Then they continued on the journey.
The scripture he had been reading had been written more than 500 years before, and was a prophecy in the book of Isaiah about a man who was going to be unfairly tried and judged, but that man wouldn't try to defend himself.
The Ethiopian asked, "Is the prophet writing about himself or someone else?"
Philip started at that very scripture and told him the good news about Jesus; how he had come to earth, been killed and how that God had raised him from the dead.
And evidently, he also had talked about baptism because when they came to a body of water, the Ethiopian said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" He ordered the chariot driver to stop.
Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may."
The man said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
Both Philip and the Ethiopian went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
The word "baptized" here means immersed. It was like a burial; as if the person has died and then is alive again, literally a new man. (See Romans 6:3-14 )
When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away. We don't know if he was suddenly transported to another place, or if he was just instructed to go to the next place. Anyway, the Ethiopian never saw him again.
As for the man in the chariot, he was so happy! He went on his way rejoicing, knowing that now he had this wonderful relationship with Jesus and God, the Father.
Read the story in Spanish
Felipe el Evangelista
Read the story in Amharic
What does this story
mean to me?
One lesson we learn from the story of the Ethiopian is to always look for the truth. He was honestly trying to find out what God wanted him to do.
God recognized his honest heart and sent someone to teach him.
If you truly want to do the right thing, God will help you. You may meet a person who can counsel with you and guide you, or circumstances may just "work out" so that you can serve Him obediently.
But the initial choice is yours, and you need to keep your heart soft and receptive so that God can work in your life.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Isaiah 53:7 (NIV)
(Rest the mouse lightly over the ??? to see the answers in the alternate tags.)
1. What did the Christians do when Saul began arresting them?
2. Who did Philip meet on the road to Gaza?
3. What was the man's official title in his country?
4.How do we know that he was a religious person?
5.From which book of prophecy was he reading?
6. What did he ask Philip?
7. What was Philip's message to him?
8. Why did he order the chariot to stop?
9. What did the Ethiopian believe about Jesus?
10. What happened to Philip when they came up out of the water?
11. What happened to the Ethopian?
You can read about Philip in the Bible in
Multiple Choice Test
Philip and the Ethiopian - Word Search
Philip and the Ethiopian - Crossword Puzzle
Philip - Word Scramble
Acts 8:32-33 Fill-in the Blanks
The Bedbug Bible Gang ®: Pentecost Party! DVD
By Vision Video
The bedbugs are buzzing with excitement to share their favorite stories about the Holy Spirit! This fun-filled show tells the tales of The First Pentecost, The Fruits oft the Spirit, and Phillip and the Ethiopian. Along the way there are songs to sing and great games to play. So, lets all get fired up for The Bedbug Bible Gang® Pentecost Party!This delightful program combines 3-D computer animation with illustrations and live-action puppets. Running time: Approximately 23 minutes. Recommended for ages 3 to 8.
Philip and the Ethiopian: Acts 8:26-40 for Children
By Martha Streufert Jander & Kathryn Mitter(ILLUS) / Concordia Publishing House
Search for Spanish Bible Stories
See an animation of this story at
Children's Bible Study
Go to Calvary Chapel and look at story #251 for activities for "Philip and the Ethiopian".
They have color sheets, crossword puzzles, word finds, and worksheets.
Philip and the Ethiopian - Story 251
Most Recent Comments ( See more comments on this page ) 2009-03-07
This has become the best site for me. I teach a small group of kids at church. This site has really helped me. Thank you
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Children's Bible Lessons
David & Goliath
3 Brave Boys
Parable of Talents
Paul's 1st Journey
Paul's 2nd Journey
Paul's 3rd Journey
Paul in Rome
Graphic courtesy of The Bread Site public domain clipart collection
Puzzles on these pages courtesy of
Songs of Praise and Armored Penguin