Acts 8:31

31 And he said, 1"How can I, unless someone 2guides me?" And 3he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

Acts 8:31 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 8:31

And he said, how can I, except some man should guide me?
&c.] Which shows that he was of an excellent spirit and temper; since instead of answering in a haughty and disdainful manner, as great men are too apt to do; and instead of charging Philip with, impertinence and insolence, in interrupting him whilst reading, and putting such a question to him, he expresses himself with great and uncommon modesty; with a sense and confession of his ignorance and incapacity and of the necessity and usefulness of the instructions of men, appointed of God to open and explain the Scriptures: and though he wanted such a guide, and could have been glad of one, yet he was willing to use all diligence himself in reading, that he, might, if possible, come at some knowledge of the truth; which was very commendable in him; and no doubt but the spirit he was in was much owing to his reading the word, and to the Spirit of God disposing his mind in this manner:

and he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him;
which is an instance of his great humanity and courteousness, and of his meekness and condescension, as well as of his vehement thirst after the knowledge of the Scriptures; he concluding, or at least hoping by Philip's question, and by the air and look of the man, that he was one that might be useful to him this way.

Acts 8:31 In-Context

29 And the Spirit said to Philip, "Go over and join this chariot."
30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
31 And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: "Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth."

Cross References 3

  • 1. See Romans 10:14
  • 2. John 16:13
  • 3. [1 Kings 20:33; 2 Kings 10:15]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.