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Biblical People

Biblical People: The Ethiopian Treasurer

A man from Ethiopia makes a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He’s a high-ranking official in the Ethiopian government, the treasurer to the Kandake, the Queen of the Ethiopian people. The Bible also tells us that he’s a eunuch.

This doesn’t seem relevant, yet we pin this label on this man calling him the Ethiopian eunuch. But this makes me squirm, so I’ll call him the Ethiopian treasurer instead.

Taking a leave of absence from work, he travels to Jerusalem to worship God. Then he heads home. It’s a long journey, but he has his chariot to make the trip easier and faster.

Along the way, he pulls out a scroll and reads from Isaiah’s prophecy. Though intrigued, he can’t quite make sense of it.

That’s when this Jewish guy, Philip, strolls up and asks if he has any questions.

Boy, does he. The passage is a prophetic look at Jesus, but the man can’t wrap his mind around it. “Is Isaiah talking about himself or someone else?”

Building on that passage, Philip tells the Ethiopian treasurer all about Jesus. Then things start to click. They travel along the road as Philip teaches.

When they come to some water, the man asks Philip to baptize him. Philip agrees, but when the man rises out of the water, Philip is gone. Unshaken, the Ethiopian treasurer continues his journey home, full of much joy for what God has done for him through Jesus.

If some unexplainable, supernatural thing happens to us, do we dismiss it or praise God?

[Discover more about the Ethiopian treasurer in Acts 8:26–39.]

Read more about other people in the New Testament in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 700-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.