New American Standard Bible
Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great;
King James Bible
But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
Darby Bible Translation
But a certain man, by name Simon, had been before in the city, using magic arts, and astonishing the nation of Samaria, saying that himself was some great one.
World English Bible
But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who used to practice sorcery in the city, and amazed the people of Samaria, making himself out to be some great one,
Young's Literal Translation
And a certain man, by name Simon, was before in the city using magic, and amazing the nation of Samaria, saying himself to be a certain great one,
Acts 8:9 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
But there was a certain man called Simon - The fathers have written much respecting this man, and have given strange accounts of him; but nothing more is certainly known of him than is stated in this place. Rosenmuller and Kuinoel suppose him to have been a Simon mentioned by Josephus (Antiq., book 20, chapter 7, section 2), who was born in Cyprus. He was a magician, and was employed by Felix to persuade Drusilla to forsake her husband Azizus, and to marry Felix. But it is not very probable that this was the same person. (See the note in Whiston's Josephus.) Simon Magus was probably a "Jew" or a "Samaritan," who had addicted himself to the arts of magic, and who was much celebrated for it. He had studied philosophy in Alexandria in Egypt (Mosheim, vol. i., pp. 113, 114, Murdock's translation), and then lived in Samaria. After he was cut off from the hope of adding to his other powers the power of working miracles, the "fathers" say that he fell into many errors, and became the founder of the sect of the Simonians. They accused him of affirming that he came down as the "Father" in respect to the Samaritans, the "Son" in respect to the Jews, and the "Holy Spirit" in respect to the Gentiles. He did not acknowledge Christ to be the Son of God, but a rival, and pretended himself to be Christ. He rejected the Law of Moses. Many other things are affirmed of him which rest on doubtful authority. He seems to have become an enemy to Christianity, though he was willing "then" to avail himself of some of its doctrines in order to advance his own interests. The account that he came to a tragical death in Rome; that he was honored as a deity by the Roman senate; and that a statue was erected to his memory in the isle of Tiber, is now generally rejected. His end is not known. (See Calmet, art. "Simon Magus," and Mosheim, vol. i., p. 114, note.)
Beforetime - The practice of magic, or sorcery, was common at that time, and in all the ancient nations.
Used sorcery - Greek: μαγεύων mageuōn. Exercising the arts of the "Magi," or "magicians"; hence, the name Simon "Magus." See the notes on Matthew 2:1. The ancient "Magi" had their rise in Persia, and were at first addicted to the study of philosophy, astronomy, medicine, etc. This name came afterward to signify those who made use of the knowledge of these arts for the purpose of imposing on mankind - astrologers, soothsayers, necromancers, fortune-tellers, etc. Such persons pretended to predict future events by the positions of the stars, and to cure diseases by incantations, etc. See Isaiah 2:6. See also Daniel 1:20; Daniel 2:2. It was expressly forbidden the Jews to consult such persons on pain of death, Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6. In these arts Simon had been eminently successful.
And bewitched - This is an unhappy translation. The Greek means merely that he "astonished" or amazed the people, or "confounded" their judgment. The idea of "bewitching" them is not in the original.
Giving out ... - "Saying"; that is, boasting. It was in this way, partly, that he so confounded them. Jugglers generally impose on people just in proportion to the "extravagance" and folly of their pretensions. The same remark may be made of "quack doctors," and of all persons who attempt to delude and impose on people.
LibrarySeed Scattered and Taking Root
'And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. 4. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
Twenty-Sixth Day for the Holy Spirit on Young Converts
Whether Simony is an Intentional Will to Buy or Sell Something Spiritual or Connected with a Spiritual Thing?
The Holy Spirit Sending Men Forth to Definite Lines of Work.
"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
"For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing.
And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts.
When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus,
But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.
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