Reply To: Who was the Ethiopian eunuch in the bible

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Once in a great while it happens. Someone begins asking us questions about God or the gospel, and before we know it, he or she has virtually rolled out the red carpet to be led to Christ. That’s the situation with the Ethiopian eunuch whom Philip encountered on the road to Gaza.



Ethiopia was the same country that was called Cush in the Old Testament. It was located south of Egypt in Africa, hundreds of miles from Israel. During the time of the Babylonian conquest of Judah, many Jews fled to Ethiopia to escape. Their influence may have been what led to a large following of native Ethiopians to worship the God of Israel.




By the time of the New Testament, Ethiopia had been ruled by several queens, all taking the title Candace—much like the title Caesar of the Roman Empire. The eunuch was an official of this kingdom, and he had just been to Jerusalem to worship there. The Lord led a Christian leader named Philip to go down to Gaza, where he met the eunuch reading the scriptures in his chariot.



As they began to talk, the eunuch asked Philip to explain who was being talked about in Isaiah 53—and Philip told him that this referred to Jesus. The eunuch became a believer, and then he was baptized. Philip was then led by the Spirit to Azotus, and the eunuch went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:26–40).



Though it is only speculation, it is possible that the Ethiopian eunuch was actually looking for a passage in Isaiah 56:3–4, and he may have only unrolled the scroll as far as chapter 53 by the time Philip met him.