Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria
The city which was formerly called Samaria, but now Sebaste; it had been destroyed by Hyrcanus, and was rebuilt by Herod; and called by him, in honour of Augustus, by the name of Sebaste F4; and so R. Benjamin says F5, that
``from Luz he came in a day to Sebaste, (Nwrmwv ayh) , "this is Samaria"; where yet may be discerned the palace of Ahab king of Israel-----and from thence are two "parsas" to Neapolis, this is Sichem.''Which last place, Sichem, is by Josephus said to be the "metropolis" of Samaria; and is thought by Dr. Lightfoot to be the city Philip went to, and where our Lord had before been, and preached to the conversion of many persons: this place lay lower than Jerusalem, and therefore Philip is said to go down to it; and who was not Philip the apostle, but Philip the deacon, for the apostles abode at Jerusalem; and beside, though this Philip preached the Gospel, and baptized, and wrought miracles, yet did not lay on hands, in order that persons might receive the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost; this was peculiar to the apostles, and therefore Peter and John came down for this purpose, when they heard of the success of Philip's ministry: the subject matter of which follows:
and preached Christ unto them;
that Christ was come in the flesh, that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, and that he was the Son of God, and the alone Saviour of men; who by his obedience, sufferings, and death, had wrought righteousness, procured peace and pardon, and obtained eternal redemption for his people; and was risen again, and ascended into heaven, and was set down at the right hand of God, where he ever lived to make intercession, and would come again a second time to judge both quick and dead.
F4 Joseph de Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 2. sect. 7. & c. 21. sect. 2. Plin. l. 5. c. 13.
F5 Itinerar. p. 38.